Saturday, February 18, 2012

"If You Can't Stand the Heat" Cookbook ~ Review & Giveaway (Ended 2/26)

Overall, this was a very sweet gig.  I'll be walking away from this review experience with my first roux making under my belt, a recipe for my new favorite spice combo in the whole wide world in my pocket, a new interesting and fun fellow Disney loving comrade, and finally knowing how to make some amazing fish tacos at home!

If You Can't Take the Heat New Orleans Cookbook

I found Robert on Twitter... just tweeting away about Disney (imagine that).  His profile intrigued me ... he is a retired New Orleans firefighter, now living close to the Magic in Florida.

If you've ever known any firefighters, you know they have long shifts where they live at the station.  A camaraderie develops for many reasons - one of which most certainly has to be the big portion cookin' going on in the kitchen.

The New Orleans firefighters in Robert's station seriously lucked out.  His culinary skills blossomed in this arena (and thereafter, cooking per friend's requests), and he's now shared some of his best in the cookbook "If You Can't Stand the Heat".  Oh, I can STAND the heat!
Shrimp Fettuccine Diablo ~ rich, creamy, & decadent ... with just a little kick
If you've done any Cajun cooking, it usually revolves around some concoction of spices you mix together and use liberally.  Robert's version is called "Flashover Seasoning", and is used in many of his recipes.  I had a good feeling about Flashover Seasoning, and was very excited to get my hands on it.  Unlike other Cajun mixes I've tried ... it also has a little green in it - thyme, basil, and oregano (the French New Orleans influence, perhaps?), and it does not disappoint.

I love that there is an entire section on "Sauces,  Stocks, and Seasonings".  Make no mistake, this was written by a true food lover, and the flavor explosions abound!  I tried the recipe for cilantro dressing, needed to complete the cole slaw mixture that tops the fish tacos.  Oh, my.  Words cannot express how delicious this meal was!

fish tacos with cilantro coleslaw
Fish Tacos with Cilantro Infused Coleslaw - my new favorite meal.

It's not just Cajun cooking though, there is a really nice variety included.  He features some Chinese recipes, pasta recipes, stuffed artichokes, lots of creative ideas for fish and shrimp, the list goes on and on ... mmmmm.

He lost me at the recipe calling for "2 whole rabbits, cut up" (seems some of his buddies at the station were hunters), but hey ... you never cook every single recipe in a cook book, anyways, right?

Cookbook sections include:
  • Sauces, Stocks, & Seasonings
  • Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches
  • Appetizers, Sides, & Snacks
  • Entrees
  • Desserts
mandarin chicken with lettuce
Mandarin Chicken - only found in Louisiana.  And Robert's cookbook!

Robert has a great writing style - helpful, witty, informative without being too wordy.  Some of the creations were a little challenging for me, I'll admit.  But he walks you through it in such a down to earth manner, that anyone can pull it off.  Overall, it's just a really fun experience.

10% of the proceeds from all sales of the "If You Can't Stand the Heat" cookbook is donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

The Giveaway

Robert Medina has offered a signed copy of his fantastic cookbook "If You Can't Stand the Heat" to one of my readers!  

I received a complimentary copy of "If You Can't Stand the Heat".  All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am hoping that the gumbo recipe is in there. yummy. I also like that A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

  2. I think the author's story of his different occupations and what led him to publish this book is extremely interesting!

  3. desserts are always my biggest interest and lord knows that firefighters like to eat good food. My brother is one and lord can his crew eat!

  4. I am most interested in spice mixes, especially the one you mentioned. I love to try new recipes.

  5. I am interested in the fish recipes.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Love that is is honestly benefiting someone when you buy it!
    tristazmail yahoo com

  7. I just like to bake and cook and try new recipes, thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I love that 10% goes towards the Fallen Firefighters. My hubby is a firefighter and that is something that is close to my heart!

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  9. I like to try new recipes, and love New Orleans cooking! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. I love all the fish recipes!

    pjames330 at aol dot com

  11. New Orleans has the best food in the world! Is there a Bananas Foster recipe in the book?
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  12. I would love to learn how to cook fish

  13. I'm interested in the spices...and just trying new things.

  14. My fiancee is a firefighter and I'm a 911 dispatcher. We love that some proceeds go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. We are also amateur foodies. I love cajun food (fried pickles anyone?!) but have never given it a whirl at home. Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

    Lauren Bear

  15. I've never made Gumbo before and would love to try that recipe. I really love appetizers too so that section would probably be the first I look at.

  16. Im interested in the fish recipes!
    Jara Christensen

  17. I live about 30 minutes away from New Orleans and I love the fact that 10% goes to the National Fallen Firefighters foundation! I also love that it is signed!!!

  18. I don't know much about New Orleans cooking so this would be great to have

  19. First, love the fact that part of proceeds go to the Fallen Firefighters....I think that's awesome! I would like to try hi seasoning mix...and would love a good gumbo. New Orleans is on my bucket list...would love to know what I have in store for me! =)


  20. I love cajun cooking, I put Tony Chacheres on everything and my grandma's name was Blanche and was from Louisiana.

    Would love to get some new recipes.

  21. Love to try new recipes with sea foods.

  22. I am a relatively new cook and need all the help I can get, lol!

    Kelly L

  23. all of it im orginally from mississippi and southeast texas so always in LA and love my cajun roots!

  24. I love spicy food and I would love to try Cajun recipes,

  25. Im interested in the "Sauces, Stocks, & Seasonings" part.

  26. I am a Louisiana gal and I like spice so bring on the spicy recipes! I love how the book supports Fallen Firefighters!

    heyfrugalmommy at hotmail dot com

  27. The soup salad and sandwhiches section sound great thank you!

  28. I would love to read the Sauces, Stocks, and Seasonings section

  29. I just love spicy food. I like that they donate to the fallen firefighters fund.

  30. I'm always interested in new recipes! I would love to be able to make a good gumbo!!

  31. I would love to learn how to cook more food cajun style!

  32. I would love to know how to make some spice mixes!

  33. -I like all of the fish recipes

    Email: starseeds88 (at) yahoo dot com
    THANKS!! :)

  34. -I'm Subscribed to You in Google Reader (RSS)
    -I'm Subscribed to You with this Email: aliaskys (at) yahoo dot com

    THANKS! :)



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