August 15, 2023

By Bridget O’Donnell

This month, a slightly different writing prompt presented itself for our What’s Cooking Blog. Jump to the review to read about the assist.

…Remember that everyone has their own taste preferences. If you’re not seeing reviews that appeal to your hungry belly or curious mind, Submit a Review. After all, variety is the spice of life!

Title of Cookbook: The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and A Lot to Do.

Author of Cookbook: Ayesha Curry                                    

What prompted you to check out this cookbook? 

This cookbook was damaged by regular wear and tear, and left for me, as the selector, to decide whether it should be replaced, discarded, or repaired. While assessing the overall condition and cost of repair, I read through the introduction. I may not be able to empathize with Ayesha Curry’s lifestyle as a restaurateur, chef, two-time New York Times best-selling cookbook author, philanthropist, television host, producer and actress, entrepreneur, mother of three, and wife of professional NBA player Stephen Curry. (*deep breath*) But, I can definitely relate to having the resilience to adapt to a mercurial schedule, full of time constraints. To more candidly reiterate my point, most of the recipes take 10-30 minutes, are simple, and call for accessible ingredients. With our busy schedules, I felt almost empowered and absolutely compelled to try something from Curry’s second cookbook.

What did you like about this cookbook?

  • The beautiful photographs make everything look delicious.
  • Recipes introduced a few ingredients that I had to Google and inspired/encouraged creative food combinations.
  • Flavor(!) profiles transpire from versatile spice mixes, sauces, slaws, relishes, glazes, jams, citrus zests, and juices that I could make myself.

What didn’t you like about this cookbook?

  • A few recipes are a little more complicated than 30 minutes but the disclaimer in the introduction states nothing should take longer than an hour. *Remember to read through the entire recipe, multiple times, before beginning to cook.
  • There were a number of recipes that I wanted to taste before submitting this post. However, after e$timating the probable bill at the grocery store, I realized that was a naïve plan. Scaling serving sizes down allowed me to try more (in just two days!) before putting the book in for repairs and, ultimately, getting it back into the collection.
  • Occasionally, the author saves time by using a store-bought ingredient, like pesto (Sheet Pan Salmon with Pesto Butter, Corn & Tomatoes, pg. 114). This is a great idea but don’t be afraid to be selective and err on the side of picky with pre-made ingredients. There are so many different ways to make pesto. For example. I’d rather make my own pesto to avoid added preservatives and know exactly what ingredients went into it. Homemade pesto freezes well in an ice cube tray, too.
  • Tangentially, I avoided recipes that called for crab legs or whole crabs because I’m still a little traumatized. A few weeks ago we went to an all you can eat buffet and BOTH of the crab legs I tried cracking into ended up by an unimpressed teenager sitting at a table nearby. (Score!, I mean, sorry about that.)

Favorite recipes (that you tried from the cookbook/website):

To start with: Seared Spiced Salmon (pg. 95), Citrus-Glazed Salmon (pg. 96), and Coconut Rice (pg. 183). The next night: Pickled Onions (pg. 59) and Lemony Garlic Shrimp (pg. 91).

Did you alter the recipe or make any substitutions?

  • Serving sizes were reduced by at least half, except for the Coconut Rice and brine for the Pickled Onions.
  • The reduced salmon portions were both baked in the oven in separate Pyrex dishes at 350 F° until they flaked easily apart with a fork, about 30 minutes. Searing the salmon may result in a different texture and/or flavor so I’d like to make this again using the suggested kitchenware and less spice mix.
  • A few years ago, I watched a video that changed the way I make rice. I now measure the liquid with my finger. It has been an almost fail-proof method when I remember to set a 15 minute timer to stir the contents and, most importantly, don’t stray too far from the kitchen. (Click on the link to watch the video.) For better or worse, by using this method I didn’t measure the liquid for the rice exactly as suggested and, ultimately, made more work for myself. …Using a clean finger as my ruler, I poured full fat coconut milk into a cool-to-the-touch sauce pot until it made me nervous. (This was a lot more body than my go to vegetable scrap, or bone broths.) Then, I topped off the coconut milk with filtered water. The “measured” liquid was set aside and the pot was rinsed before returning to the recipe and toasting the coconut flakes and uncooked rice as instructed. (It came out perfect, btw.)
  • The pickling brine was prepared using the measurements provided in the recipe. Since I was experimenting, I finished a quarter of red onion instead of cutting into another whole one and let the mixture sit at room temperature for a little over an hour. The onion may have been sliced too thick so I’m curious to see if additional time in the refrigerator will enhance the flavor. Like refrigerated pickles, I plan to use the brine for one more batch of onions, sliced thinner.

Would you recommend this cookbook/recipe? Yes, who wouldn’t want to prepare dinner most nights in 10-30 minutes? EVERYthing tasted amazing and it gave me an idea for another “What’s Cooking” post.

To be continued…

Seared spiced salmon and glazed salmon
Pickled onions.
Lemon garlic shrimp
Coconut Rice Mixed Greens Reduced Sweet Cherry Tomato


Books –

Curry, Ayesha. The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and A Lot to Do. New York, Little Brown and Company, 2020.

Websites –

International Smoke. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Curry, Ayesha. “Welcome to Sweet July.”, August 2023,

McClellan, Marisa. “Can You Reuse Pickle Brine?”, August 28, 2009,

Video —

“Ladies Lunch.” Ayesha’s Home Kitchen, Ayesha Curry, season 2, episode 4, High Noon Entertainment, May 21, 2017.

The Secret Trick to Getting Perfect Rice is With Your Finger.” The Spruce Eats, uploaded by Patty Lee, December 12, 2019.

Quick Subject links to the Library catalog:

Quick and easy cooking.

Curry, Ayesha. (Vega, New Catalog)