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    $18.90
    1. Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is
    2. How to Drink
    3. Cooking from China's Fujian Province:
    4. Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes
    $23.00
    5. The Essential New York Times Cookbook:
    6. Fine Filipino Food
    $24.00
    7. Around My French Table: More Than
    $14.52
    8. Rachael Ray's Look + Cook
    9. Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and
     
    10.
    $15.49
    11. As Always, Julia: The Letters
    $9.98
    12. Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes
    $14.49
    13. Double Delicious!: Good, Simple
    $21.99
    14. Mastering the Art of French Cooking,
    $22.50
    15. Good Eats 2: The Middle Years
    $12.98
    16. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
    $20.71
    17. Cooking for Geeks: Real Science,
    $21.00
    18. Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary
    $21.00
    19. How to Cook Everything, Completely
    $16.50
    20. Bobby Flay's Throwdown!: More

    1. Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips
    by Ina Garten
    Hardcover
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $18.90
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307238768
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 16
    Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Ina Garten, bestselling cookbook author and beloved star of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, is back with her easiest recipes ever.
     
    In Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? Ina proves once again that it doesn’t take complicated techniques, special equipment, or stops at more than one grocery store to make wonderful dishes for your family and friends. Her newest must-have cookbook is all about saving time and avoiding stress while having fun in the kitchen.

    These are not recipes with three ingredients thrown together in five minutes; instead home cooks will find fantastic Barefoot Contessa recipes that are easy to make but still have all that deep, delicious flavor Ina is known for—and that makes a meal so satisfying. Think Pink Grapefruit Margaritas served with Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs—two classics with a twist. For lunch, Ina makes everyone’s favorite Ultimate Grilled Cheese sandwich and Snap Peas with Pancetta. For dinner, try Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken (tried and true!); Steakhouse Steaks, which come out perfectly every time and—with Ina’s easy tip—couldn’t be simpler; or an Easy Parmesan “Risotto” that you throw in the oven instead of stirring endlessly on the stovetop. Finally, Ina’s desserts never disappoint—from Red Velvet Cupcakes to Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart.

    To top it all off, Ina also shares her best tips for making cooking really easy. She leaves bowls of lemons and limes on the counter not only because they look great but because they also remind her that a squeeze of lemon in a dish brightens the flavors. She shows us the equipment that makes a difference to her—like sharp knives, the right zester, an extra bowl for her electric mixer—and that can help you in your kitchen, too.

    Filled with 225 gorgeous full-color photographs, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? is the perfect kitchen companion for busy home cooks who still want fabulous flavor.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not so easy...
    I didn't think it was possible to be disappointed with anything Ina Garten is associated with, but I guess there's a first time for everything. I loved her last book (Back to Basics), but this one just fell flat for me for a few reasons:

    1. The recipes aren't neccesarily easy, especially when you have to search for some of the special ingredients (duck fois gras, Tate's Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies, Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup, etc.). Also, "good ketchup such as Stonewall Kitchen"?!? There were just too many instances of blatantly trying to advertise other people's products. I think the only people who will have no trouble finding these specialized ingredients live in New York City, East Hampton or near a Whole Foods store (which for me is a 2 hour drive).

    2. Some of the tips are not realistic for regular cooks, especially in these tough economic times (having 2 dishwashers!?!?!). Sure, I'd love to have 2 dishwashers in my kitchen, but unless you regularly host dinner parties with > 10 people or you run a catering business out of your house, what's the point? And who has room in their kitchen for that?

    3. Unlike Ina's other books, none of the recipes here made me want to drop what I was doing and start cooking. Also, Ina's other books have included a chapter on breakfast foods, so I was sad when I saw that this book did not.

    The book was not a total disappointment. As always, the pictures and layout of the book were beautiful (although I didn't understand the full page individual photos of each of Ina's friends). Also, some recipes, such as Lemon Chicken Breasts, Ultimate Peach Ice Cream and Old Fashioned Banana Cake are really good.

    I'm still a big Ina fan and I'll continue to buy her books. I guess not everyone can hit a homerun everytime they step up to the plate. ... Read more


    2. How to Drink
    by Victoria Moore
    Kindle Edition (2009-05-04)
    list price: $18.99
    Asin: B00332GP3S
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In the past few decades, many of us have become sophisticated about food, but we have not given the same attention to what we drink. In How to Drink, Victoria Moore aims to redress the balance, by showing how to drink well throughout the seasons and at all times of day.

    She explains how to make the most delicious coffee and juices; how to choose wine that complements your food; and how to make cocktails for every occasion--whether to serve a garden barbecue, as a cold weather aperitif, or just to unwind with at the end of the day.

    Here are recipes for mint juleps in the spring, sloe gin in the autumn, hot buttered rum in the winter, and year-round showstoppers including the world's best gin and tonic. Moore is also an impassioned advocate of unfairly maligned drinks such as sherry, Campari and saki, and gives fascinating historical background on different spirits as well as invaluable advice on creating your home bar.

    How to Drink is a hugely readable, browseable and authoritative handbook, whose aim is to inform, entertain and crucially, make sure you can find the right drink at the right time.

    "It doesn't need to be either difficult or expensive to drink as well as you eat, it just requires a little care..."

    "A splendid book. Victoria Moore is quite right--it's not how much you drink but how you drink." --Fergus Henderson, chef and co-owner, St. Johns Restaurant

    "I loved How to Drink. For the first time in years I have broken open a bottle of vodka for a Bloody Mary, remembered how much better mulled cider is than mulled wine, drawn a fresh kettle for tea..." --Joanna Weinberg, author of How to Feed Your Friends with Relish

    "Anyone who loves their food should heed this unmatchable tutorial in the art of enjoying drink; Victoria Moore succinctly puts every sip in lively context, banishing the guilt from the pleasure of it all." --Rose Prince, author of The New English Kitchen ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cheers
    Nice little book for my Kindle. Lots to learn and very good hints and tip. This is a subject of which I have only a smattering of knowledge, I should say. So as an occasional drinker, I am finding this read useful. Good to pickup right before the holidays!

    Just had to add, after spending some more time with this little gem, it's really worth a read. Very well written and evocative. Heck, it even drove me to Amazon to hunt for a certain tea!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Effervescent and Engaging
    This is a must read. The writing is lovely, lively, and engaging. I am blown away by her knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject. It's infectious: like the other reader, I was inspired to search for a delicious tea online, as well as brew myself a pot of my own. The ingredient lists are short and simple, with readily available ingredients (with the exception of the author's reliance on blood oranges. Maybe they are more popular in England?) The recipes are vibrant, elegant, and interesting. She has a great recipe for chile hot chocolate that is so simple and delicious, it is worth reading the book alone. As you can tell by my attempts at a glowing review, I truly loved this book, and would highly recommend it. ... Read more


    3. Cooking from China's Fujian Province: One of China's Eight Great Cuisines
    by Jacqueline M. Newman
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $29.95
    Asin: B0028K36P6
    Publisher: Hippocrene Books
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Fujian, a province in southeastern China, boasts a distinct culinary tradition that enjoys a thousand-year-old recorded history but is barely known in the Western world. This collection of 200 easy-to-follow, authentic recipes provides the perfect introduction to this unique cuisine.

    Fujianese cuisine makes marvelous use of the foods and herbs found in the region's mountains, flatlands, and on the coast. The staples rice, wheat, and sweet potatoes are featured in these sweet-and-pungent-flavored dishes. Buddha Jumping the Wall, a famous specialty, is made with shark's fin, scallops, chicken, mushrooms, yams, scallions, and much more. Popular Fujianese dishes such as Crossing Bridge Noodles, New Year Money Bags, and Steamed Sea Cucumber Pockets are highlighted.

    Also included are fascinating cultural and historical notes, handy glossaries of equipment and ingredients, and suggested menus for everyday meals and holidays. Eight pages of color photographs bring the foods of Fujian to life! ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great free cookbook
    This was listed in Kindle's Top 100 free, so I got it. What a delight.
    1. The recipes look delicious, and seem easy to follow, even to a non-shef as myself.
    2. The formatting is gorgeous. For a Kindle book with lots of tables for recipes, this is one of the best layouts I've seen.

    There do not seem to be any pictures in this free version, but it's well worth a look.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two hundred authentic recipes from the Fujian province
    Fujian is a province in southeastern China and home to a distinctive culinary tradition that goes back a thousand years in the recorded history of the country. In "Cooking From China's Fujian Province", Jacqueline M. Newman (editor-in-chief of 'Flavor and Fortune', the only food magazine in the U.S. dedicated specifically to Chinese cuisine) has compiled two hundred authentic recipes from the Fujian province. Along with the recipes themselves, "Cooking From China's Fujian Province" also features cultural and historical notes, glossaries of equipment and ingredients, suggested menus, and eight pages of color photographs showcasing the culinary beauty of selected dishes. From Pork and Spinach Dumplings; Firecracker Shrimp with Litchi; Duck and Taro in Oyster Sauce; and Meatballs with Crab Meat; to Bean Curd Rice Rolls; Stuffed Sweet Potato Pancakes; Chicken Soup with Pear; and Razor Clams with Black Bean Sauce, "Cooking From China's Fujian Province" is an impressive culinary collection and enthusiastically recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook shelves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cooking From China's Fujian Province
    I got the book because it was written by a cousin,and I wanted my sons to have it. I have since bought one for myself and have read it twice. It is well written and extremely informative.If you are serious about chinese cooking and I mean authentic Chinese , then this book is a must in your collection. ... Read more


    4. Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes in Spanish and English (Bilingual Cookbooks)
    Kindle Edition (1999-12-01)
    list price: $14.95
    Asin: B00275EE62
    Publisher: Hippocrene Books
    Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Havana is one of the oldest and most picturesque cities of the western hemisphere. It was a popular winter destination for North American tourists in the 1950s, and this cookbook recaptures the spirit of Old Havana-- Habana la vieja-- and its celebrated culinary traditions. Cuban cuisine, though derived from its mother country, Spain, has been modified and refined by locally available foods like pork, rice, corn, beans and sugar, and the requirements of a tropical climate. Fine Gulf Stream fish, crabs and lobsters, and an almost infinite variety of vegetables and luscious tropical fruits also have their places on the traditional Cuban table. This cookbook includes over 50 recipes, each in Spanish with side-by-side English translation-- all of them classic Cuban fare and old Havana specialties adapted for the North American kitchen. Among the recipes included are: Ajiaco (famous Cuban Stew), Boiled Pargo with Avocado Sauce, Lobster Havanaise, Tamal en Cazuela (Soft Tamal), Quimbombo (okra), Picadillo, Roast Suckling Pig, and Boniatillo (Sweet Potato Dulce), along with a whole chapter on famous Cuban cocktails and beverages. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Havana cookbook, June 19, 2008
    I purchased this book because my family is from Havana, Cuba, and I felt I could get some good authentic recipes. I was very dissapointed. My grandmother who has shown me how to cook cuban food was even surprised at some of the ingredients in the recipes. The recipes are from foods we eat but the ingredients were way off. Sorry just my opinion

    4-0 out of 5 stars AUTHENTICALLY CUBAN, January 21, 2010
    a friend who lived in cuba until her family left several years ago, recently stumbled on my edition of this charming little volume, pronounced it the most authentic of all my cuban cookbooks and asked to borrow it. although i hate lending books, she lives across the street and i felt there was very little risk. what did i know. after she'd had it for more than a month, i decided to get one for her as a christmas gift and retrieve mine. in the interim mine had been blessed with a few more grease spots. she had really used it!

    as an additional piece of this book's charm, recipes are in spanish on one page and in english on the facing page (which helps me with my efforts to learn spanish). probably more people know about picadillo (a kind of ground-beef hash with raisins and olives) than about ajiaco, the national soup. but make this hearty dish once and you will have experienced a delicious piece of culinary cuba.

    i have cooked my way though this book's 120+ pages and so far my guests and i have enjoyed everything. i don't much make desserts, but if someone made the apple pudding with bicardi rum for me, Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes in Spanish and English (Bilingual Cookbooks)i'd for sure eat it!

    Oh, and if you're interested in a bit of bartending at home, there are also recipes for drinks, including the daiquiri, which originated in cuba.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Buena Comida!, February 16, 2009
    I got this book for my wife for Christmas. It's great, and has Spanish on one page and English on the opposite, so you can learn some words and phrases if you feel so inclined. There is a wide variety of recipes, and they're great. My wife loves to cook, and this has become one of her favorite cookbooks.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Old Havanna Cookbook review, September 17, 2009
    The cookbook is great, it just took FOREVER to get to me. I think I waited almost a month for a 12 dollar purchase. That part was really annoying. Other than that I love the recipes and I am glad I bought the book.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lacking, December 15, 2004
    This was an interesting, early attempt at compiling a cookbook of Cuban recipes. Having the book in two languages may help your local library, but most chefs speak one language or the other -- the result is a lot of wasted space. The simple graphics and lack of photos are uninspiring and there is nothing here that will entice or motivate you. A better choice for contemporary Cuban cuisine: Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban <ASIN: 158685433X>.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, January 13, 2001
    There's a wonderful Cuban restaurant on our neighboring island of St. Croix. So, I was thrilled to find this charming book. Easy to understand and filled with mouth-watering recipes to remove the drudgery of cooking. If you like this book, you'll love Angela Spenceley's two new cookbooks "Just Add Rum!" and "A Taste of the Caribbean". Both books are valuable additions to any good cookbook library. ... Read more


    5. The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century
    by Amanda Hesser
    Hardcover (2010-10-25)
    list price: $40.00 -- our price: $23.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0393061035
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 40
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguishedfood journalism-a volume to take its place inAmerica's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art ofFrench Cooking and How to Cook Everything.Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years—Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta—as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics—from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread.

    Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special.The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish-a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Dishes, Priceless Cookbook
    This is the type of cookbook I call an armchair cookbook because it can be just as easily enjoyed by simply reading through it as it can be trying out the recipes in the kitchen.

    If you were impressed when Julie Powell spent a year of her life trying every one of Julia Child's French recipes, you will be astounded by Amanda Hesser's six-year Herculean task of evaluating and writing about 150 years of New York Times recipes. There's an immense satisfaction that comes from reading thru these recipes, kind of like being a guest invited into Hesser's test kitchen and watching the culinary drama unfold without having to do any of the work or shoulder any of the responsibility.

    Clear a space on your cookbook library shelf for The Essential New York Times Cookbook -- this heavy tome is a must-have for anyone who loves reading about food as well as getting creative with it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite!
    I was reading another book but set it aside when this arrived in the mail, and haven't been back to it yet. I'm not the sort of person who would read a cookbook, but this is more like a cool encyclopedia of best of the New York Times recipes over the past 150 years, interspersed with interesting historical information, hints from testing, cooking notes, and some reader comments/memories. The author's voice is full of warmth, wit, and sharp, bright intelligence. Her personable approach (as opposed to taking the form of a disengaged editor) conveys care about this momentous project and it is precisely what makes the book really shine. And it's fun to see a recipe that I had clipped from the Times years and years ago, right there in the book--it kind of underscores how great it is! (Plus it may include a footnote that offers a small change that will make it turn out even better!) The 1,400-plus recipes were selected judiciously, sound absolutely wonderful, and cover a huge territory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read. Recipes you know and love plus more
    First, for anyone who loves to read a good cookbook, this is wonderful gift. The background provided with the recipes and the tone in which it is given are a real pleasure. Second, for anyone who loves food and making it, this book is a treasure. There are recipes here that i know well from years of devoted clipping and, later, printing from the NY Times but I am also discovering many new ones that sound just great. A thousand recipes, most of them interesting and all with at least the original publication date or some extra tidbit of information! In addition, you can learn about how our tastes have evolved and what a family might eat in the 19th century. When my copy arrived, I was reading a decent novel. Since then I have been happily perusing my new cookbook with the novel all but forgotten. And, oh yeah, occasionally I cook something yummy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars modern and historic at the same time
    I just received my book today, and I'll admit that I've been watching for it since first hearing about the project a few years ago. I love old recipes, and I'm enjoying the historic aspects of this collection. It is quite interesting to see the dates on each recipe. The author's comments and introductions strike the right tone by being warm, down to earth, and helpful. I know I will want to cook lots and lots of the recipes in the book, both the old dishes and the new. Already I've identified the "Salted Caramels" as a perfect completment to after-dinner coffee on Thanksgiving. Now, if only I could decide on a historic punch to start the Thanksgiving holiday...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best cookbook to come out in years - 5 stars plus!
    I've had this cookbook for two weeks now. Although I loved reading it, I wanted to wait to write a review until after I'd actually cooked from it. In the past two weeks, I've made over a dozen recipes from the book: plum torte (twice), blueberry muffins, fennel stew, cumin carrots, roast salmon, root vegetable stew with dumplings, watermelon tomato salad, warm butter lettuce salad, a chicken stew with olives, and more. They are uniformly terrific recipes - clearly written, well-tested, challenging enough to be fun, but easy enough to prepare after a busy workday - for foods that I actually want to eat. I've recommended this book to everyone I know who likes to cook. This is going to be an instant classic. I'm sure it will be the go-to cookbook for both everyday and special occasion meals, much the same as The Joy of Cooking and The Silver Palate have been.
    In addition to the recipes, it contains a great introduction, interesting comments throughout, suggested accompanying dishes, extensive menus, etc. This is the best $22 you'll ever spend!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book that inspires me to cook!
    Just received my copy yesterday and it's amazing. There are so many recipes, historical recipes such as the Purple Plum Torte, that I would have never known about without this book. The book looks liken an encyclopedia, reads like one, and feels like one. It's a great gift for anyone who loves food.

    What I liked:
    1. I love reading cookbooks and there's more than enough recipes to flip through, read about, and drool over. The author includes a short summary with most recipes detailing her selection process, the recipe's history, and NYT reader's comments. She really took the time to make sure each recipe had a story and identity.
    3. It's a collection of recipes printed within the last 150 years so the author has included many historic recipes. It's really different from all of the other cookbooks I own and includes recipes I've never heard of from regions around the world.
    4. The book includes recipes at all degrees of difficulty. Everyone will be able to find something they can make.

    Cons:
    The only thing I didn't like was that it doesn't have any photos or illustrations (Except for section covers and introduction). But being concious of the book's size, I know why they didn't include any.

    UPDATE:
    I've made several recipes in the book now, all successful. I find myself referencing this book whenever I crave a dish; 80% of the time, I find one or more recipes that match.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook, Excellent Recipes and Well Authored
    I made a few of these recipes when Ms Hesser posted them in her column in the NYTimes. I had success with a couple of them, so I thought I'd try the cookbook. I've had it for two or three weeks now, and it's been even better than I had hoped.

    My mom, a home-ec major in the 50's, can just sit and read cookbooks. I always thought that was among her more endearing but characteristically baffling oddities, until I got this cookbook for myself. Now I see the attraction. I've never had a cookbook before where just flipping through the pages I stumble across so many recipes I'm eager to try. Ms Hesser's engaging but concise commentary and personal cooking notes keep it from getting too dry and make it an easy read.

    Not only did Ms Hesser compile a cornucopia of delicious and interesting recipes, but she tested them and updated them to make them approachable to the average modern cook. I've made at least a half dozen of these recipes already and I've had great success with almost all. (Ok, my Bordeaux jelly - like a Jello shooter with red wine - didn't really set. But it was my first time making gelatin. And it was tasty anyway.) Some of these recipes have been so good, I'm adding them to my regular rotation.

    My only regret is that by rating this so high, my friends might find out about it and know the secret to the recent up-tick in the quality and variety of my cooking. Oh well, Ms Hesser deserves the high score.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love the commentary...
    I love the commentary for nearly every recipe. The difficulty of the recipes varies widely, so that even the novice cook can find something to prepare. The book was created to look at all the years of published food writing in the New York Times. The Times started in 1851, and there are a number of recipes and stories about that time as well as through the years. The recipes inside the chapters are in chronological order, with a list of recipes by category in the beginning of each section, so you can easily find what you are looking for. There are also suggestions of other recipes that would compliment the recipe you are considering making. I found the instructions clear and the stories fun... they gave another element to planning a meal. I would highly recommend this book.
    Charli Vogt
    [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Marks!
    We have a fairly large cookbook library which includes the James Claiborne edition of this book (pretty much falling apart from use). Not sure what to expect from this book but felt it was worth for it's reputation in the past and we weren't disappointed & are sure this one will also become tattered in due time. Instructions are very clear, although there are no photos - you really can't include photos in a book that is over 900 pages!! One of the very nice features is the suggested menu pairings after each recipe. This cookbook would serve newlyweds as well as those with lots of experience in the kitchen. ... Read more


    6. Fine Filipino Food
    by Karen Hulene Bartell
    Kindle Edition (2003-06-30)
    list price: $14.95
    Asin: B002JVXWNA
    Publisher: Hippocrene Books
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Created from recipes collected during the author’stravels to this country at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean and theSouth China and Sulu seas, FINE FILIPINO FOOD is a testament to a richmix of cultures. Chinese traders introduced stir-frying anddeep-frying cooking techniques, as well as noodles and soy products;Malaysian spice traders brought seasonings from the Spice Islands andintroduced that delectable appetizer, satay; Spanish colonizationbrought Spanish cuisine: Adobo (a pickling sauce made from olive oil,vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, thyme, bay leaf, and salt),arguably the best-known Filipino dish, is a by-product of both Spanishand Chinese influence. Finally, the American influence left thelegacies of speed and convenience.

    Enjoy this blend of cuisines with its 19 cooking methods, such asstir-frying, deep-frying, grilling on skewers, sautéing in coconutmilk, marinating in vinegar and spices, broiling over live charcoal,wrapping in banana leaves, and steaming. Fine Filipino Food features205 recipes, a glossary of ingredients, a guide to ingredientsubstitutions, and an extensive resource guide, which allow all homecooks to perfectly recreate these tantalizing dishes. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Each classic dish is accompanied by a small history
    There are surprisingly few cookbooks covering Filipino food on the market and new titles are few and far between, which would make the appearance of this guide an unusual event in and of itself - but its attention to recipes gathered during the author's travels to the Philippines makes Fine Filipino Food exceptional even in its genre. Each classic dish is accompanied by a small history of its origins, plus a variety of variations on the theme. Thus you have classics such as Adobo which go beyond the usual Chicken Adobo to include such dishes as Cinnamon-Garlic Beef Adobo and Lumpias which include Pork and Shrimp with Lemongrass and Garlic Shrimp and Bamboo Egg Rolls. Dishes are easy to make too - no color photos, but this doesn't need them. ... Read more


    7. Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
    by Dorie Greenspan
    Hardcover
    list price: $40.00 -- our price: $24.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0618875530
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    When Julia Child told Dorie Greenspan, “You write recipes just the way I do,” she paid her the ultimate compliment. Julia’s praise was echoed by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, which referred to Dorie’s “wonderfully encouraging voice” and “the sense of a real person who is there to help should you stumble.”
     
    Now in a big, personal, and personable book, Dorie captures all the excitement of French home cooking, sharing disarmingly simple dishes she has gathered over years of living in France.
    Around My French Table includes many superb renditions of the great classics: a glorious cheese-domed onion soup, a spoon-tender beef daube, and the “top-secret” chocolate mousse recipe that every good Parisian cook knows—but won’t reveal.
     
    Hundreds of other recipes are remarkably easy: a cheese and olive quick bread, a three-star chef’s Basque potato tortilla made with a surprise ingredient (potato chips), and an utterly satisfying roast chicken for “lazy people.”
     
    Packed with lively stories, memories, and insider tips on French culinary customs, Around My French Table will make cooks fall in love with France all over again, or for the first time.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars A VERY Personal Book from Greenspan, September 14, 2010
    First, what this book is NOT: an introduction to classical French cuisine. Or even modern French cuisine. As Greenspan herself points out in a post at the eGullet forums,

    "Here's what the book isn't: It's not Escoffier. It's not Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It's not a by-the-rules book. It's not a textbook. It's too personal to be any of those things."

    This is a collection of recipes that feels like it comes straight out of Greenspan's kitchen: which means that if your cooking style and tastes run with hers, you will like this book. If they don't, you won't. So despite my four-star rating, that is purely a reflection of how well my cooking style agrees with Ms. Greenspan's. I strongly encourage you to check out the table of contents before clicking "Buy" on this one. There are a lot of braises, including three different recipes for what amount to roast chicken. There are two veal stews, and two beef daubes. If that's the food you like to eat, you would be hard-pressed to find clearer, better-written recipes. Naturally Greenspan is not breaking any new culinary ground here: if you have even a medium-sized cookbook collection, you probably already have most of the recipes she presents. What you probably don't have is the exquisite photography (by Alan Richardson), or the extremely well-written recipe instructions. The production values of this book are very high indeed: I am astonished at how low the price is all things considered.

    A few favorite recipes of the dozen or so I've made so far: Chicken Breasts Diable, Veal Marengo, Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine, and the Chard-Stuffed Pork Roast are all very good. In particular I think that the Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine would be a wonderful dish for an evening with guests: just exotic enough on the US palate to be different, without being totally out of left field. But all of those dishes would go over very well on a typical US dinner table, and some, like the Chicken Diable, are quick-and-easy weeknight meals.

    Pros:
    * Exceptionally well-written recipes
    * High percentage of excellent dishes
    * Fantastic production qualities

    Cons:
    * Not a "learn to cook French Cuisine" book (it doesn't try to be, though)
    * Three roast chickens? Really?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Makes my heart and tummy sing!, September 4, 2010
    I made the Quiche Maraichere (pg.158), a French Vegetable Tart, the first day I received the book. My husband said it rated a "5 out of 4 stars"! It was delicious both hot and room temperature, and not difficult to make.

    Tonight is the second night, and I am making Hachis Parmentier (pg.258)...basically a French Shepard's Pie. The fragrance of the meat cooking and making it's own beef broth is out of this world! Not hard to do, just takes some time.

    Clear directions,beautiful photos, and easy to come by ingredients for the American cook; this is my new FAVORITE cookbook. Definitely worth every penny!

    The fragrance of the food cooking brings an indescribable sense of home, comfort, and joy in living and being a cook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It really IS around her french table!, October 18, 2010
    I first discovered Dorie Greenspan after reading David Lebovitz's book "The Sweet Life in Paris." I loved the book and started reading everything I could on him. Since Lebovitz and Greenspan are friends, naturally on Google, I soon discovered Dorie's blog, doriegreenspan.com. The first time I went there, I was in search of a Financiers recipe. I used to get them in a wonderful bakery in New Orleans' French Quarter and fell in love with them, and found a good recipe on the blog.

    A dear friend sent me Greenspan's latest book "around my french table." When I first opened it, I figured this would be so far out of my league, and probably mostly upscale Parisian food. Not having been to France (yet!) I wondered if I could find anything in the book that would be at my skill set, which is being a very good cook and baker but still, an amateur. I decided to take the book and lay across my bed perusing the recipes. In no time flat, I was off to the desk to get my post-it notes. By the end of the hour session, I had about a dozen recipes marked to make. Far from being anything like the average American envisions French cooking, this seemed to me to be French home cooking. (Actually, she had me on the front cover)...the photo of the recipe "chicken in a pot: the garlic and lemon version" which is depicted on the cover is a very good example of why it wasn't upscale cooking alone. A large, heavy porcelain cast iron dutch oven with a whole chicken, celery, garlic, sweet potato, onions and carrots surrounded by a golden ring of dough (a dough seal) between the pot and the lid. In my mind, this looked straight from Provence, like I know anything about Proven�al cooking!

    I ventured into some of the recipes. The first I made was the brown sugar squash and Brussels sprouts en papillote. Two years ago, I despised Brussels Sprouts. Now, I love them. The brown sugar and the squash make a sweet compliment and tone down the sulfuric taste of the sprouts. The dish was a big hit. Yesterday I tackled the cauliflower-bacon gratin. Oh wow.WOW. just delicious. I bet some kids would not even know those are cauliflower and not potatoes. The taste is so good, and this is my new favorite vegetable side dish. I also made the spiced butter-glazed carrots and this is going on the Thanksgiving table! On page 342, one of the simplest, yet most delicious and handy to have on hand recipes is the slow-roasted tomatoes. Seasoned and slow roasted, the flavor is intensified, and I keep them in a jar in the refrigerator. They are great with salads and I am sure would be great on pizza.

    There are so many things I want to make, but usually I have to make them on the weekend. I have to make the garlic crumb-coated broccoli, the potato gratin (the photo is just wicked!) I found a French version of a brittle cookie my Mom used to make, but simpler and with an egg wash to make it golden, called salted butter break-ups. I can't wait to make that next weekend. I saw something good for the fall, pumpkin & Gorgonzola flans.

    Ok, I am about to make myself sick with hunger, so let me just say: GET THIS BOOK! Your family and friends will want to steal it. Be sure and check out her blog at doriegreenspan.com Some of the recipes featured are in the book.

    Did I mention the Marie-H�l�ne's Apple Cake?

    5-0 out of 5 stars delicious cook book, September 22, 2010
    I read cookbooks and rarely cook from them. I took one look at Dorie Greenspan's new recipes and knew I would be cooking from the book. They are terrific, trustworthy and great to eat. I made her cheese crackers for a party. They were very easy and really good. My friends were shocked that I used a recipe from a cookbook and that it was wonderful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, October 11, 2010
    I love french food. I love to talk about it, I love to eat it. Cook it? Hmmmm, that's an entirely different matter. Where do you begin? Enter Dorie Greenspan's new book "Around My French Table " and I am hooked after the first easy to toss together Tartine. I thought French food would be more complicated and fiddly to prepare? Guess not. The book breaks it down so accessibly, that I'm almost embarrassed by how easy it all is. And delicious. I particularly enjoy the narrative within the sidebars short stories scattered throughout the book.

    One of my new food book favorites this autumn!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Wish I had waited to check it out in store..., September 16, 2010
    I like DG and have her "Baking From My Home to Yours" book, which is excellent. I also follow her blog and have perused some of her other works and find her to be a great writer. I ordered this book from Amazon based on this, but now wish I had waited to check it out in store. I know the title says "300 Recipes," but, after reviewing the book, I really would have preferred 150 more selective choices. I feel like there is a lot of "filler" in this book to get to 300. There certainly seems to be some terrific ideas (and the previews from her blog over the year pretty much guarantee it) but there are a number of uninspired, plain, or not-very-French dishes that are easy for me to pass up ("Olive-olive Cornish hens, Coconut-lemongrass Braised Pork, Monkfish and Double Carrots"). I know there are tons of books on classical French, and I have no problem with DG wanting to go outside the box, but I really feel the collection of recipes is unfocused and somewhat random - two words I never would have associated with DG.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than I ever imagined, October 20, 2010
    My family thinks I'm crazy, taking this cookbook to bed with me at night and reading for hours. But I can't help it, Dorie Greenspan's writing is so captivating. Each recipe has a little back story and includes hints and tips. Best of all, she gives the cook flexibility with the recipes - so you can make any recipe work just about any way you like it. Truly, this cookbook is a keeper.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite new cookbook this year -- by far, October 9, 2010
    I've been cooking from this wonderful book for several months, as I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the galleys
    Every single dish has been a complete success. I've been playing in the kitchen for a long time and have a large collection of dependable recipes, so when I try a new one it has to earn its way into my Make-It-Again-and-Again repertoire. Well, cooking with Dorie has swelled that repertoire considerably.
    But owning this book isn't just about great food --it's equally about great writing and spending time with an incredibly warm, caring cook with a gift for friendship And what friends: chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Pierre Herme and talented home cooks from Paris and throughout the French countryside.-- all of whom have shared recipes and "trucs" (little tricks that make recipes shine).
    If you love cooking, eating or just dreaming about French food, you have to treat yourself to this book




    5-0 out of 5 stars These recipes will become every day favorites!, November 3, 2010
    I was lucky enough to go to a booksigning and meet Dorie in person last month. She is utterly delightful (she brought us Valrhona chocolate!) and these recipes are clearly near and dear to her. So far, I've made Marie-Helene's Apple Cake, Hachis Parmentier, Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans, and the Cafe Seyel Burgers and they were all home runs.
    So far, I'd say the book is equal parts recipes you can make any night of the week and recipes that take a bit more time that would be excellent for entertaining. I am loving this cookbook and HIGHLY recommend it! It's a HUGE book full of fabulous stories, gorgeous photos and seriously good recipes.

    Bon Appetit!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I want to try every recipe!, October 12, 2010
    As with all of Dorie's books, this does not disappoint. Beautiful photographs, little bits of Dorie's hints and wisdom and the most delicious and easy recipes. I always thought of French food as being more intimidating. Nothing very complicated and has definitely made meals more fun. ... Read more


    8. Rachael Ray's Look + Cook
    by Rachael Ray
    Paperback (2010-11-02)
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $14.52
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 030759050X
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 88
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    “Inexperienced cooks need more that just a few lines of laconic test to help them along.  Rachael Ray has coached a generation of rookies on her Food Network shows, talking and plopping and emoting her way through dish after dish.  Her latest books, Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook, shows what each stage should look like in big photos.  Betty Crocker, or more specifically, the 1976 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, used to be my bulletproof go-to recipe source. But now Ray fills that role.”  — Time magazine
     

    From her cookbooks to her magazine to her daily talk show, Rachael Ray’s message remains the same today as the day she wrote her very first 30-minute meal—making delicious, knock-your-socks-off dishes should be fun, fast, fulfilling, and foolproof.

    Rachael now presents her best idea yet: Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook—100 brand-new recipes, each featuring beautiful and helpful step-by-step full-color photographs that illustrate how to create each meal, along with photographs of the gorgeous finished dishes. You literally look along while you cook!

    But that’s not all . . . at the back of Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook, you’ll find 125 bonus, never-before-published recipes, including 30-Minute Meals; Yes! the Kids Will Eat It; Sides & Starters; Simple Sauces & Bottom-of-the-Jar Tips; and Desserts. As if that weren’t cool enough, Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook also features accompanying real-time video available online for select recipes at www.rachaelray.com.

    Rachael makes it easier than ever to prepare delicious home-cooked meals as you follow along with the step-by-step photographs or even the video! Having a last-minute dinner? No worries . . . you’ll wow the crowd with Gazpacho Pasta, Fancy Pants Salmon, or Almost Tandoori Chicken. Looking for some fun twists on classic dishes that will have your kids clamoring for more? The Open-Face Turkey Burgers with Potpie Gravy and the Coconut Fish Fry are sure to be family faves! Wondering what to do with those last spoonfuls in the jars lining your refrigerator door? Check out Rachael’s Bottom-of-the-Jar Sauces and add pizzazz to any meal with Salsa Dressing, Orange Bourbon Glaze, or Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Packed with the value that her fans love and have come to expect, Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook has a simple-to-follow recipe to fit every occasion.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Looking and Cooking with Rachael Ray!
    I love cookbooks, I must have hundreds and my mother (from whom I inherited my passion for cooking) has thousands. A few of my early purchases were of the "Look and Cook" variety, such as French Country Cookery (Anne Willan's Look & Cook) but I have since moved on to cookbooks that rely on the reader to have mastered the different techniques that are required for each specific dish. Then I saw Rachael Ray on television cook some of the dishes from this new cookbook of hers. I must say that I was impressed with both the style of the dishes and their ease of preparation. The recipes are new, trendy and very approachable. The photos that demonstrate the preparation of the dishes do so in a step-by-step fashion are well shot and very easy to learn from. Some of the recipes in this book were posted on Rachael's website before the book was released so I had the opportunity to try out a few earlier as well as some new ones that are only in the book.

    The look and cook portion of the book includes 100 recipes and is divided into 3 chapters:

    1. Cozy Food - Includes recipes for some great comfort food, such as: Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes; Pimiento Mac n' Cheese; and fresh Onion and Wild Mushroom Soup


    2. Make Your Own Takeout - Restaurant-style dishes that can be prepared faster than you can pick up something to-go, recipes include: Chinese Orange-Barbeque Cashew Chicken and Crunchy Tuna Tacos


    3. Fancy Fake-Outs - These are simplified versions of dishes that are usually reserved for the advanced home chef, including: Almost Tandoori Chicken; Individual Beef Wellingtons; and Veal and Olive Ragu with Pappardelle

    The back section of the book includes 5 more chapters (125 additional recipes), but they are in her 30 Minute Meals format and do not include photographs. There is also a link to her interactive website where you can see select dishes being made in real-time.

    So far my favorite recipe is for the Chicken Cutlets Brasciole. The chicken breast filets are butterflied and pounded; the breasts are then stuffed with a mixture of raisins, toasted pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest, cheese, garlic and bread crumbs and is served atop a tomato, wine and tarragon sauce. Delicious!

    This book is full of great recipes, some of which will become regular fare at my house. Although the Look and Cook feature is not really necessary if you are an advanced cook, this book is still worth having for its creativity and ease of preparation alone. It should be a big hit with the beginning and intermediate home chef as nothing is assumed and each technique and process is both shown and explained in detail. Advanced cooks will still be inspired by Rachael's ability to simplify classic recipes and to substitute easy to find ingredients for those that have been used historically in the well-known versions.

    Ms. Ray has both her fans and her detractors. Some find her a little too "cutesy" with her made-up words and expressions (like EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil), but I find her somewhat unorthodox style to be refreshing (and she's not too hard on the eyes!). All in all I find this to be a very fine cookbook and one that I will be recommending to quite a few of my friends who would appreciate both the recipes and the step-by-step style of the photography and instructions. This will not become a go-to cookbook for me, but I am very glad that I own it and I will be cooking recipes from it from time to time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes so far!
    I pre-ordered this book cause I saw an episode on her Rachael Ray morning talk show where she was preparing a pasta and shrimp dish that looked so delicious. So I just had to try it which I did last night and it was a hit in my home. I look forward to trying some more recipes from this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun cooking
    I have made many recipes so far and have loved the book. It is so helpful to have the pictures, and the the dishes have came out great. Both in taste and in looks! There is a great variety of dishes to made, and I look forward to more fun cooking with Rachel Ray!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Delicious Recipes, Fast and Easy!!!
    I have made several recipes from Rachael Ray's Look + Cook. Some of my favorites have been the Summer Corn Fettuccine and the Steakhouse Chili. I enjoy this new style of cookbook with the pictures of the steps and the finished dish. A bonus is the other 125 plus recipes in the back of the book that don't have pictures but you can go online and cook with Rachael Ray. Who wouldn't want to cook along such a funny woman and excellent cook? I liked this book so much that i told my mother and sister-in-laws about it and the great recipes i have found in it. Not in the mood for something really heavy yummy recipes for light recipes are inside here as well as ones that are a tad on the heavier side when you decide you want to go all out. Plus it has a great new feature it tells you what the dish would be great paired with to make a complete meal. This is by far her best cookbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WOW! Perfect Christmas present for beginner chefs! And me too!
    What a great cookbook! Bought this cookbook as a Christmas present for my son, who loves to cook and just moved into his first apartment with buddies. Now I'm going to buy another one for myself! What I like about this cookbook is that it is so incredibly visual, perfect for a beginner cook. But not dummied down, the recipes are savory, complex and delicious! What a great Christmas present! ... Read more


    9. Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture: Ancient Festivals, Significant Ceremonies, and Modern Celebrations (Hippocrene Cookbook Library)
    by Amy Riolo
    Kindle Edition (2009-03-28)
    list price: $29.95
    Asin: B003JTHY5S
    Publisher: Hippocrene Books
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    From classics like Fava Bean Puree, Yogurt with Honey, and Egyptian Whole-Wheat Pita Bread, to tempting Lamb-Filled Phyllo Triangles and Peanut, Coconut, and Raisin Baklava, "Nile Style" spans the range of the Egyptian kitchen with recipes that will appeal to every palate! It includes 23 full menus showcasing, 150 easy-to-follow recipes and much more. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Egyptian Food
    I've been married to an Egyptian guy for 8 years--and ever since, I've been searching out Egyptian and Middle Eastern cookbooks. I have all of the main Egyptian ones, including Claudia Roden's "New Book of Middle Eastern Food", Samia Abdennour's "Egyptian Cooking", Sally Elias Hanna's "Dining on the Nile", Collette Rossant's "Memories of a Lost Egypt," and Magda Medhwany's "My Egyptian Grandmother's Kitchen."

    The recipes in "Nile Style" are easy and accessible to the average American--yet they are pretty much authentic. I wondered from the description if I'd be receiving ancient, but unpalatable, recipes--but that's not the case. All of the recipes here are used by Modern Egyptians--and are still very much a part of every day Egyptian cuisine. What I liked about Amy's book in particular was that she offers some things I haven't seen in others--such as the drink recipes (basically layering different fruit nectars) as well as the restaurant recommendations for not only Cairo, but also Alexandria and Luxor. She also includes recipes from Southern Egypt which is typically ignored in most other cookbooks which focus on mainly Cairo, with some fish recipes from Alexandria. I also learned about the dessert truffles, which I had never heard about.

    Her recipe for aish baladi is the best I've found. I couldn't find the unprocessed bran in my local stores, so I substituted toasted wheat germ (cereal aisle) and it worked very well. She includes the Egyptian-home style favorite "macarona bechamel"--which is similar to Greek pastito. The Egyptians I know use a typical French bechamel when making it, but I liked learning Amy's approach which mixes chicken/beef stock with the milk. It makes a very rich meal, slightly lighter. Her hawashi dough is excellent--very close to the stuff one finds on the street, but her filing was not traditional for me. I think "My Egyptian Grandmother.." does a better job with her mixture of ground meat, allspice, chopped carrot, green pepper, and garlic. Her fuul is a bit boring--I think I would have preferred to see some more variations--such as cooking/mashing the fuul with garlic, onion, tomatoes, and tahini, etc. Heating up a can of fuul isn't really a recipe to me. :) See Claudia Roden for how to actually cook the dried beans. The chicken shwarma was very good and one of the best I've found for doing it at home. Nothing is going to compare to something roasted on a vertical roaster--but this is good. I recommend squeezing some fresh lemon juice on it as you take it out of the oven. The masa'a was good--and I tried the unorthodox suggestion of adding cheese on top which my family loved. I also loved her serving suggestion for fattah in using the ramekins.

    The book contains lots of dessert recipes--and the few I've tried have been good. I like how she including the baklava with cream recipe--as it's a wonderful variation that many Americans have never had. I'm also eager to try the double chocolate baklava.

    Although not mentioned (or perhaps I missed it), you can always use ground beef for any recipe calling for ground lamb. It won't be exactly the same--but it works well and nearly every recipe that calls for ground lamb is made with both in Egypt.

    The book has some nice pictures and is a good, if small, size. If you are at all interested in Egyptian cooking, I highly recommend adding it to your library. I'd also recommend Claudia Roden's and Sally Elias Hanna's books as well. Those are the ones I keep coming back to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent recipes and culinary history
    This book provides a wealth of culinary history along with tantalizing recipes, allowing the reader to understand the context of each dish. The author, Amy Riolo, has traveled extensively in Egypt, and she includes excerpts of her experiences in the book. As a result, Nile Style is fun to read as travel literature as well as a cookbook. With the home cook in mind, Amy has a adapted the recipes for easy after-work cooking. I especially enjoyed learning about and cooking with exotic ingredients like orange blossom water, molokhiya, and baby okra.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for any collection strong in ethnic cookery
    Egypt is an ancient land of monuments and artifacts. It's also a country rich in distinctive culinary traditions that encompass food and dining as a fundamental element of both ancient and modern festivals, ceremonies, and celebrations. An internationally recognized culinary authority, food historian, and cooking instructor, Amy Riolo brings her many years of experience and expertise to bear when she compiled the recipes comprising "Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine And Culture", a illustrated, 220-page compendium of superbly presented recipes that range from such exotic fare as Nubian Bread ad Hibiscus Punch; to traditional dishes like Lentils, Rice, and Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce; to classics like Egyptian Rice, Apricot, and Pistachio Pudding. The Egyptian names for each of the presented recipes is given along with the English translations of their names. Enhanced with the inclusion of a glossary of ingredients commonly used in Egyptian cooking, a 'Where to Buy' guide (including specific contact information for vendors of specialty ingredients not otherwise readily available), a tour-guide listing of superb Egyptian restaurants, an extensive bibliography, and a handy index, "Nile Style" is an enthusiastically recommended addition for personal and community library ethnic cookbook collections.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth it for a freebie! Good recipes.
    "Nile Style" is much more than a cookbook. Packed with deep research and excellent reporting of Middle Eastern cultures, celebrations and rituals, "Nile Style" is also a history book. Amy Riolo writes from her soul, pulling the reader into understanding lifestyles from all countries in the Mid-East and Northern Africa. As a marketing professional in the global coffee and tea industries, this book provides an historic education from ancient customs to modern day cuisine. Recipes are easy to prepare and open a new world of flavors to enjoy. ... Read more


    10.
     

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    11. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto
    Hardcover (2010-12-01)
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $15.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0547417713
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 78
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known around the world by her first name alone. But despite that familiarity, how much do we really know of the inner Julia?
     
    Now more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent memorably introduced in the hit movie Julie & Julia, open the window on Julia’s deepest thoughts and feelings. This riveting correspondence, in print for the first time, chronicles the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship between the two women and the turbulent process of Julia’s creation of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of the most influential cookbooks ever written.
    Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, and occasionally agonized, these letters show Julia, first as a new bride in Paris, then becoming increasingly worldly and adventuresome as she follows her diplomat husband in his postings to Nice, Germany, and Norway.
     
    With commentary by the noted food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these astonishing letters show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A foodie friendship, one letter at a time, November 15, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    It's easy to recommend this book to dedicated foodies, and certainly to fans of Julia Child. "As Always, Julia" is the collection of the correspondence between Julia Child and her friend, mentor, and editor Avis DeVoto, from the time in 1952 when Julia wrote a fan letter to Avis' husband (regarding an article he'd written about kitchen knives) and mentioned in-passing that she was working on a cookbook, until the time several years later that the cookbook finally was published.

    If you're interested in Julia Child the person (and My Life in France wasn't enough for you, whether or not accompanied by the Julie & Julia movie), then "As Always, Julia" is a no-brainer, because these were the letters shared by two intelligent and opinionated women who were confiding in one another, not talking to a microphone. And confide they did: about Avis' child-raising and Paul Child's job as well as the difficulty of finding fresh shallots. It is, more than anything else, the story of a real life friendship, and better than any epistolary novel you can imagine. You will know these women well, at their most personal, such as Avis writing, "I like every part about growing older except what happens to your feet." (It's hard to imagine anyone compiling such a collection now, with all of us writing e-mail -- if that -- and only packrats like myself keeping copies of everything for decades.)

    But the book is interesting for several other reasons.

    Watching the creation of a masterpiece: Mastering the Art of French Cooking was an instant classic, and it was the result of years of hard work. But the words "it was the result of years of hard work" does not begin to capture the number of cooking experiments Julia (and Simca) did, or contract negotiations, or research into the equipment that Julia could expect a typical American housewife to own. She experimented with pressure cookers, for instance, to find out if they were okay for making chicken or duck stock. "First time the [pressure cooker] brew was so horrible I threw it away." Then, after adding the vegetables only at the end, "Again it was loathsome so I threw it out." Many ducks gave their lives for such research, and the Childs often found themselves "bilious" after all these experiments.

    Would-be writers (or any creator waiting for her ship to come in) may be heartened or inspired by the knowledge that even Julia had self-doubts. She wrote in 1953, "There is so much that has been written, by people so much more professional than I, that I wonder what in the hell I am presuming to do, anyway."

    A snapshot of foodie history: My mother was never excited about cooking, and I don't think she owned a copy of MtAoFC. But I do remember shopping for groceries in the 1960s and early 1970s, when cookbooks had to give detailed explanations about what cilantro is, or how to make your own coconut milk. It was worse in the 1950s, and much of the Avis-Julia correspondence is about what was (or usually wasn't) available, from decent jarred chives to fresh clams anywhere but the coastal cities. They also debated the wisdom of getting those newfangled dishwashers, Waring blenders, and other devices that, they started out agreeing, nobody really needed.

    A "daily history" of the McCarthy era: Nowadays, we tend to think of the time when Senator McCarthy held sway as a bizarre interlude in American history, but few of us remember it personally. Julia and Avis were extremely political women; one constant theme in their letters was the current political landscape, which they actively abhorred, and their letters become a chronicle of living through that time. "Oh god I wish this madness would subside, as I know it will, but it is exhausting watching all this go on," wrote Avis in 1953. "I do not enjoy watching the Senate floor turned into a bear-pit." There's so much political discourse, in fact, that it might lower the book's value for some readers. (Or raise it for others, if you're more political than I.) While I care about their views (or at least their passions) it often was more than I needed to know. But I could comfortably skip ahead through those parts.

    A view of intelligent, accomplished women in a pre-Betty Friedan world: Both Julia and Avis were upper-class women who saw themselves as "housewives" but simultaneously were engaged in serious endeavors. Avis was active in Boston-area intelligentsia (Bernard DeVoto had taught at Harvard), in politics (dinner guests included the Schlessingers and Kennedys), and in book publishing (not the least of which was her initial introduction of Julia to book acquisition editors). Julia was part of the government agency's social scene throughout Paul Child's career, not to mention her own cooking accomplishments in the 40s and 50s. This book is a picture of the years before "Women's liberation" were coined, including social mores. The poet May Sarton, a friend to both Avis and Julia, has a "special relationship;" the editor's footnote explains this meant that Sarton was lesbian. It was indeed a different world, and I'm grateful for a peephole into it -- and even more grateful not to live in it.

    As you can tell: I've really enjoyed this book. I think you will, too -- and not just for foodie reasons.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Julia, Unplugged, October 28, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Who would have guessed that Julia Child was a control freak?

    Judging by her own letters, it seems that she was often in various stages of irritation at her two co-authors of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the book that launched her career. One co-author didn't do her share of the work, although in her defense, it's unlikely that any of them realized when they began, that they were embarking on what would be a 20-year-long project that was anything but smooth. Her other colleague was a hard worker, but something of a perfectionist, often second-guessing Julia's meticulous research. It's amazing the book was published at all.

    Julia became pen pals with Avis DeVoto, a reviewer of mysteries and wife of Bernard DeVoto, a writer and editor. Julia had written to Bernard about an article he had written and he asked Avis to answer the letter. Julia and Avis hit it off immediately and began a correspondence and friendship that lasted the rest of their lives.

    Julia was an expert at French cooking, but she knew little about book publishing and oddly, little about American cooking. She had never cooked when she lived in America, and had learned everything she knew about cooking in Paris, so she had peculiar gaps in her knowledge, such as that Americans keep their fresh eggs in cartons in the refrigerator, not in a bowl on the counter. Avis was able to keep such clangers from getting into the book, as well as steering Julia to editors who would be open to the idea of such an ambitious cookbook.

    Avis also acted as Julia's stateside researcher, answering questions such as whether cake flour was available, or just all-purpose flour. Avis alerted her to new trends in American cooking, such as the use of mono sodium glutamate (MSG) in the form of sprinkle-on Accent.

    They wrote about politics as well, with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for communists the topic of the day. Julia and husband Paul moved from Paris to Marseilles to Germany to Oslo during the 1950s, and she wrote Avis how they were adapting to each new home and how their attempts at language learning were going. Julia loved getting to know new places, but her heart always belonged to Paris.

    After two years of letter writing, Avis and Julia finally met in France, and they met a few more times over the years, until the Childs finally returned to the States for good and could see the DeVotos on a more regular basis.

    The letters span the years from 1952 to 1961 and are remarkably interesting despite their share of mundane matters such as the weather and who had what seasonal disease. Julia and Paul went to a play while they were visiting New York in 1957 and were impressed by the "young male lead, Richard Burton...he is English, I believe." In a prescient letter dated 1952, Julia told Avis "I'm enjoying [teaching French cooking to Americans] immensely, as I've finally found a real and satisfying profession which will keep me busy well into the year 2000."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Peek Into the Life of a Great Woman, November 2, 2010
    I love to cook and have been cooking for over 40 years. Surprisingly enough, I was never a fan of Jullia Child until much later in her life. I never saw her show on PBS, but recently I've been more interested in finding out more about her.

    As Always, Julia was a fascinating look into Ms. Chilld's personality and politics, as well as her views on cookery. I found the progression of her friendship with Avis to be a great read. I was afraid that I'd be bored just reading letters between two women, but what women they were!

    I also had no idea that Mastering the Art took so many years to right and edit and that a major publisher made the really dumb mistake of turning it down, wow!

    I found Julia to not only be a pioneer in the modern American kitchen, but a truly lovely and extremely bright woman. She was an avid reader, writer and very involved in the politics of the time.

    I would recommend this book for anyone who would like to know more about the fascinating person who was Jullia Child. I rate the book a solid 4.5 stars. The editing was excellent as well.

    Please note that I received an E-ARC copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review. I'm a little disappointed to see it's not available for Kindle yet, but online it says that the book is due out 12/10/10, so that may be the Kindle release date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two extraordinary women, one inspiring friendship, November 8, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Picture a young wife, circa 1963, faced with entertaining her husband's European business associates and friends (one of whom was a Swiss trained chef!), but whose only cookbook was "Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook." Now, imagine her astonishment as she thumbs through her brand new book entitled, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Talk about prayers being answered! Yes, Julia was responsible for awakening my passion for cooking that continues to this day.

    But much as I appreciated Julia as an excellent instructor and enjoyed her television appearances, I had no clue how intelligent, witty and warm hearted she was until I read these letters. In addition, what a pleasure it was to meet her friend, Avis DeVoto, every bit as charming and erudite as Julia. How extraordinary that these two "met" when Julia sent a couple of good French knives to Avis's husband, the writer Bernard DeVoto, after reading his article complaining about the lack of quality in American kitchen knives. That simple gift was the seed of a friendship that is beyond heartwarming to read about.

    For those of us who remember the late `50's, these letters also remind us of the turmoil surrounding the McCarthy witch hunts and the latter hearings, years that can only be described today as "bizarre." But it reminds us of how easy it is for just one person to create an atmosphere of suspicion and hearsay so poisonous, that, for awhile, it can intimidate an entire country.

    When I first began reading this rather large book, I thought I would keep it by my bedside and read a few letters each evening. Ha! "Bet you can't eat (read) just one!" Instead, I promptly gave in and let the rest of the world go by while I devoured every word until the end. I can't remember the last time that happened.

    History, humor, inspiring and unforgettable personalities -- what more can you want in a book?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A PERFECT GIFT FOR THOSE WHO LOVE COOKING, STRONG WOMEN AND WITTY CONVERSATION, November 5, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    A great and lasting friendship was born on March 8, 1952, when a young American housewife living in Paris, Julia Child, wrote a short letter to historian Bernard DeVoto, complimenting him on an occasional piece he had written in Harper's lamenting the absence of good carving knives in the States, where knives seemed all to be made of stainless steel, which would not hold an edge. Mrs. Child included a French knife in her letter -forged carbon steel. Mr. DeVoto was swamped with work at the time so his wife, Avis, wrote back. Avis and Julia are one of the great pairs of friends in modern times. They were both sharp as pins, they were irreverent and opinionated, and, most of all, they both were genuinely interested in the people and things around them. Avis's letters are now released from archive and veteran culinary historian Joan Reardon has done a labor of love, combining Avis's and Julia's letters across the span of almost ten years (1952-61) to tell the story of a lovely friendship and of the growth to maturity of the author of one of the classic cookbooks of modern times.

    On February 12, 1953, Julia Child wrote her new pen pal, Avis DeVoto, to describe a dinner Julia and her two colleagues in their new Ecole des Trois Gourmandes had attended the night before with famed Parisian gourmand Maurice Curnonsky ("the Prince of Gastronomy"). "At the party," she wrote, "was a dogmatic meatball who considers himself a gourmet but is just a big bag of wind. They were talking about Beurre Blanc, and how it was a mystery, and only a few people could do it, and how it could only be made with white shallots from Lorraine and over a wood fire. Phoo. But that is so damned typical, making a damned mystery out of perfectly simple things just to puff themselves up." She concluded, tongue in cheek, by writing: "I didn't say anything as, being a foreigner, I don't know anything anyway." Two pares later, she's rhapsodizing over the kind of kitchen she'd like to have if she were rich: "I am going to have a kitchen where everything is my height [over six feet], and none of this pigmy [sic.] stuff, and maybe 4 ovens, and 12 burners all in a line, a 3 broilers, and a charcoal grill, and a spit that turns."

    That's Julia to a T, always unbuttoned in her opinions, wobbly in her spelling, bursting with energy, savoring whatever life offered her. She wasn't yet the world authority on French cooking she would soon become but she already knew where she was heading and she knew how she wanted to get there -every recipe tested, adaptations made to American materials, tastes and equipment, the `secrets' of French cuisine made clear and obvious to even the neophyte cook. (She commented once about another French cookbook that it should spell out what weight hen to buy for coq au vin -a five-pounder, which is what the recipe called for, would be an old hen: it wouldn't cook in forty-five minutes as the recipe stated; it'd still be tough as leather.)

    Julia hadn't finished her immortal Mastering the Art of French Cooking yet, but Avis and she were talking about it. Avis lived in Cambridge, Julia in Paris. Avis hoped to get Julia a decent publishing contract with Houghton Mifflin, a publishing house with which she had contacts. The letters continue through 1961, by which time Mastering had been published, not, alas, by Houghton Mifflin, but by Alfred Knopf. Bernard had died unexpectedly in 1955. Julia and her husband Paul had paid for Avis to visit them in France. The flurry of letters back and forty continued unabated but by that point the continuing themes of their correspondence are in place. As much fun as their letters are to read, at this point there are few new revelations. But who cares? These are first class letters by two first class people, and who would not want to know more about the forging of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I?

    A warning: There is a lot about cooking in these letters, typically gone into in great detail. Julia asks Avis for American ingredients (dried spices, for example) and cooking equipment and counsels her how to make dishes, Avis corrects errors and un-Americanisms in Julia's prose. Other topics pop up repeatedly, most notably, in the earlier portions of the book, their caustic commentary on the Red Scare, Senator Joe McCarthy, and the spineless elected officials who time and again failed to confront him. These are two tough (but very warm) ladies. It's a treat to be let in on their intimate and prolonged conversation with each other.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Correspondence, November 21, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    In 1951, American West historian Bernard DeVoto wrote an article for Harper's magazine in which he deplored the lack of adequate knives for the American housewife. In Paris, Julia Child read the article and sent him a French kitchen knife. Avis DeVoto, Bernard's wife, who answered her husband's mail, wrote back to Julia. From this start, the two women corresponded until Avis' death in 1989.

    "As Always" covers only ten years of their 38-year friendship. During that 10-year period, Julia attended Le Cordon Bleu to learn how to master French cooking and decided to write a French cookbook for American women.

    Over the course of a 38-year friendship, the two women wrote hundreds of letters. Reading these letters was fascinating because interspersed in the two on-going topics of cooking and eating were discussions of politics, living in foreign countries, and many other topics.

    One has to wonder whether these two erudite and intelligent women would produce such a body of correspondence in this day of 140-character tweets, 500-word blog posts, and emails.

    If you love cooking, eating, Julia Child, cookbooks, and intelligent women, this book will fascinate you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Story of Friendship and Gastronomy! A must for every Julia Child fan!, November 5, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Julia Child's legacy still lives on whether through her foundation or her revolutionary television show on public television, "The French Chef." Despite her own WASPY upbringing in Pasadena, California in a well-to-do family, she had planned on becoming a novelist in New York City and went to serve her country in Ceylon where she met Paul Child, her loving husband. He accepted an assignment in France. There Julia decided to expand her knowledge on French cuisine and gastronomy with enthusiasm, fascination, and interest.

    THis book is not just about Julia Child but about a friendship between her and Avis De Voto, the wife of author Bernard DeVoto. Avis replied to her letter and there began a friendship of love, devotion, honesty, and candid between these two women until the end of their lives.

    Their letters also express the time in the 1950s whether set in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Avis lived with her family and all over Europe where Julia and Paul had managed to live in Paris, Marseilles, Germany, and Oslo among his assignments. In the duration, Julia had worked with Louisette and Simca, two French chefs, on a cookbook that was years in the making. In many ways, Avis was the fourth author of this book. She was the force to get it published in the United States through her contacts.

    In reading this book compiled by the author, the letters do go into details about food a little too much for me. Avis was also an accomplished chef. But it's a fascinating look at American life and the world of letter writing between two exceptional, brilliant women who revolutionized the publishing and cuisine industries to this day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Witty, moving, consuming--a feast of fifties' culture, friendship, food, and love, November 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is the kind of book where you come to know the writers like friends, grow to love them, and feel their joys and tragedies as your own. In the opening sections I was captivated by the chatty, literate voices of Avis and Julia, their generous wit and intelligence, and the exciting political and cultural circles in which they moved even more than any of the specific--and also wonderful--information about food. Avis is married to the noted Harvard historian, novelist, and Harper's columnist Bernard DeVoto and knows everybody, writing about Adlai Stevenson, Archie MacLeish, and the scions of American publishing as houseguests and `lambs.' Speaking of Dorothy de Santillana, a top editor at Houghton Mifflin, she remarks, "She used to be married to Robert Hillyer [a Pulitzer prize-winning poet and novelist]. She is now married to Giorgio de S., who is an Italian marquis and teaches history of philosophy at MIT and is a darling. . . You'll die when you meet Dorothy because she is very beautiful and enormously fat--I think this is really one of the rare glandular cases--it makes no difference because she is a great natural force and men gravitate towards her like flies. I'm quite sure she'd give her eye teeth to get this particular book."

    I was both amused and intrigued by this breezy kind of talk and the up close and personal views of American literati, their dinners and cocktail parties, and Julia's and Avis's thoughts on such subjects as the `new' stainless steel knives, Dick Nixon, frozen vegetables, roasting chickens, the French, Peyton Place, and McCarthyism. It was like being steeped in pitch-perfect Fifties culture as experienced by tremendously talented, intelligent women immersed in domesticity and serving others and yet somehow managing, quite heroically I might add, to craft lives where their own remarkable gifts shine through.

    It took me a while to realize just how courageous these women were because part of their outward cheeriness and generosity towards others is making it all look not that hard. As the years roll by and their labors on Julia's manuscript and for their families continue, you start to see along with all the recipes and other commentary more of the very real hardships they face and the steadfast determination that gets them through. The book is organized by editor Reardon so that you know when something very tragic or really wonderful is about to happen, and then you live through it with the women in their letters as it occurs. This makes for an incredibly engrossing, affecting read.

    As the Booklist reviewer pointed out, Avis thought Julia's book was as exciting as a novel, and their correspondence about creating a culinary masterpiece and surviving the ups and downs of midlife is certainly the same. In fact, it's richer, more sumptuous, true, and moving than almost anything I've read this year. You don't even have to be that interested in food or cooking to get swept up by the story. Thank goodness Houghton Mifflin had the good sense to publish their book this time!

    4-0 out of 5 stars More Julia, December 14, 2010
    I have loved and admired Julia Child since my Mother and I would sit mesmerized in front of the television in the 60's and watch her cook. What a difference from what we knew then!

    I'm midway through this almost fascinating book - the fascinating part is Julia. I didn't realize how long it took to bring this book to the public or how intelligent she was or how much effort she brought to the book - almost obsessive but what a success.

    What's starting to bother me is the conversations about knives, beurre blanc and McCarthy, none of which I care about. Also I don't like Avis at all. She's racist, spoiled and exaggerates"how busy she is" all the time. How busy can you be when you have live in help and two sons 8 years apart and one not home? The frantic pace she keeps is unbelievable and I can't imagine anyone living like that. With all that ruckus, she still seems to get to the market and even would like to invite her butcher for lunch - this after what seemed like endless dinner parties. It must have taken an hour at least to type all those letters to Julia.

    Two things that makde an impression on me that I had not thought about recently is the enormity of what is offered today in American supermakets and specialty stores compared to the 50's. The second is what a hunk Paul Child was and what an odd couple they made visually. The fact that they were so in love is reassuring.

    I doubt I will finish this as I find myself skipping around but it is an interesting endeavor to plumb the personality of this fascinating woman who lived such an extraordiary life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gold mine for Julia-philes, December 3, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    For those of us whose appetite for all things Julia was whetted by My Life In France and the movie Julie and Julia, As Always, Julia is a gift. A bonus is getting to know the inimitable Avis deVoto, a vibrant and memorable character in her own right, whose role in creating the phenomenon that was Julia Child and Mastering The Art Of French Cooking deserves to be better known.

    Things began in 1951 when Harvard historian and foodie Bernard deVoto wrote an article for Harper's on the abysmal quality of American made kitchen knives. Julia Child wrote in response, mentioning her interest in French cooking for American kitchens and sending along a French knife. Bernard's wife/secretary Avis wrote back in thanks, requesting recipes for a couple of French dishes she remembered fondly from a trip abroad. Their ensuing correspondence resulted in a deep friendship and the eventual publication of Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, revolutionizing American kitchens, supermarkets and, it can be argued, quality of life. As Avis would say, "Wow."

    The French Chef and the Cambridge hostess had much in common. They were both curious and avid readers, loved parties, wines, politics, jokes and cooking and eating great food. These letters sparkle, even when the contents are gloomy. Julia's humor, honesty and exuberance leap from the page, her zest for life evident even when relating an anecdote about a truly awful ladies' luncheon in Oslo. It's prefaced with a succinct, "Gawd!" and ends with "Ugh." In addition, there is delightful commentary on people and events and wonderful glimpses inside Julia's marriage to that Renaissance man, Paul Child through their many moves, language lessons, health issues and conflicts between his job and her own ambitions.

    For her part, Avis' letters reveal a sharp and rigorous intellect, a deep commitment to home and family, and wide ranging interests. They provide a fascinating picture of domestic life among the Cambridge intelligentsia in the second half of the last century. Highly entertaining descriptions of what was available in grocery stores, uses of aluminum foil, quality of frozen vegetables, meals she cooked (often with the benefit of Julia's coaching) and parties she attended are interspersed with blunt and perceptive characterizations of public figures; Sen. Joseph McCarthy "...really insane," President Eisenhower "a dope;" and Adlai Stevenson "a nice man."

    It was Avis who knew the ins and outs of publishing and while MTAOFC might have seen the light of day without her help, it was her suggestions, contacts and guidance that made the book what it is. From initial feelers to Dorothy de Santillana (resident of The Pnk Palace), the only woman editor at Houghton Mifflin, through the devastating news that after seven years of consideration and work, HM turned it down, Avis was its indefagitable champion and just as euphoric as the Childs when it found its home at Knopf. Her letter to the Childs delivering the news is one of the most eloquent and charming in the book, espressing love, respect and admiration and joy.

    My only complaint is that the footnotes are somewhat distracting and perplexing. On the one hand Ms. Reardon provides a great deal of information on people we already know about (Richard Nixon, Arthur Schlesinger, Archibald MacLeish), information on people mentioned once in passing at a dinner party or something but ignores juicy details of incidents and anecdotes we'd love to know more about. Avis and Julia run away with two-thirds of the book, leaving Ms. Reardon and her footnotes in the dust, but she really tried. The section introductions are informative and good if perhaps the book could have done with more editing--there's a lot of step by step cooking in it, and some dullish passages about long-over political debates--but better too much than too little, and one can only imagine Ms. Reardon's state of mind when faced with the task of compiling these letters. Overall it's an heroic effort, and minor quibbles are just that. Highly, highly recommended.

    ... Read more

    12. Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats
    by Bakerella, Angie Dudley
    Hardcover-spiral
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0811876373
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 103
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    What's cuter than a cupcake? A cake pop, of course! Wildly popular blogger Bakerella (aka Angie Dudley) has turned cake pops into an international sensation! Cute little cakes on a stick from decorated balls to more ambitious shapes such as baby chicks, ice cream cones, and even cupcakes these adorable creations are the perfect alternative to cake at any party or get-together. Martha Stewart loved the cupcake pops so much she had Bakerella appear on her show to demonstrate making them. Now Angie makes it easy and fun to recreate these amazing treats right at home with clear step-by-step instructions and photos of more than 40 featured projects, as well as clever tips for presentation, decorating, dipping, coloring and melting chocolate, and much more. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars I have two words for this book, LOVE IT, September 1, 2010
    This has got to be the best little treat book out ever!! These cute little pops would be perfect to make for a child as well as adults. The recipe is so easy. If you don't own this book you are missing out. I plan on making these with my granddaughter. A batch of these would be perfect to give as a gift. I cannot say enough about this book. Thanks so much for writing it. Photo of every pop included.
    Just an Update- We are having so much fun making these. My granddaughter is only 5 years old and loves making these as much as grandma does. We have made so many different ones already. One of the suppliers we used for the sprinkles and hearts and many of the other decorations was from Millcreekcountrystore.com. They are a great supplier, they even sell samples so you don't need to buy so much and most of the samples are $1.00 and under. Just an FYI the Wilton food markers do not work well on these pops, use the Americolor ones like it is stated in the supply list in the book. And by the way Bakerella.com Website is so full of more ideas. Thanks Bakerella!! Hope this helps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bakerella Rocks!, September 10, 2010
    I had my first cake pop about a year ago at work. I wanted more but when I found out how much the person was charging for them, I decided no. Forward to January 2010 - my niece was getting married and I was helping host her bridal shower. She wanted Red Velvet mini cupcakes...and do you think I could find a baker that did mini cupcakes? Nope! Then I remembered the cake pops...and the price, so I googled "cake pops" and somehow came upon Bakerella's blog and was in cake pop heaven!! Needless to say, the pops that I made for the shower were a hit, and I had all kinds of requests for more pops and people wanted to pay me to make them! If I do charge anyone, I pretty much just charge to cover my expenses (not much!), but mostly I just make them and share them. Bakerella's book is so inspriational - I love her creative ideas.
    Don't skip over the tips she lists throughout the book either - they will give you all the hints to make cake pops successfully. I have made the baby chicks and the Easter bunny cake pops. I have also made dice shaped ones for my Bunco girls (that one was my idea).
    Even though I already make cake pops, the book is great for her ideas. They are just too cute. The photography is a delight as well. I can't wait to make more of her ideas and use them as a bouncing off point for my own. I know that I am going to gift this book a few times! Buy this book, make cake pops, and check out Bakerella's blog (there is so much more than just cake pops there!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE BAKERELLA!!!!!!, September 1, 2010
    This book is MORE than what I expected! So detailed... so beautiful! With easy to follow instructions, tons of tips and many pictures anyone can create these magical little treats. I was anxiously awaiting this book and have NOT been disappointed. Thanks Bakerella!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great ideas don't have to be too too sweet, September 18, 2010
    Bakerella is amazing and her ideas are ultra-cute. Personally, I find cake balls way too sweet for my taste (Bakerella herself describes them as "super-sweet" and I agree), but I love the book and it totally deserves 5 stars. I have already bought two as gifts as well as one for myself, and will be buying more as well as recommending it to all my friends, for the simple reason that it's full of brilliant ideas for decorating sweet truffles. I have been making truffles by combining crushed Oreo cookies with cream cheese for almost 4 years now. The saltiness in the cream cheese cuts the sweetness of the cookies, so (in my opinion) they taste so much nicer than cake balls. Bakerella mentions the possibility of oreo truffles on page 98 of her book, and you'll find the recipe on her website as well as elsewhere (1 pack cream cheese, one pack oreos, one pack almond bark for coating - just 3 ingredients). I use Bakerella's ideas but with an oreo truffle filling - perfection! I don't bother with sticks though, I just put the balls in paper cases - it's less hassle that way. By the way, shop around for the best-priced white almond bark, as prices vary widely. In Houston, the lowest-priced by far is the store where "here everything's better". In the UK, almond bark is called "chocolate flavour cake covering", brands include Silver Spoon and Tesco.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cake Pops, October 31, 2010
    To be honest, when I first heard about cake pops I thought, how hard can they be? I tried a recipe from the internet and though they turned out really tasty, the execution was pretty bad - and I consider myself a pretty accomplished baker. So, I decided to buy this book in hopes of perfecting my new passion. Well, I've only made one batch since I got the book (pumpkin pops for Halloween) and though it took me a bit to get the technique down, they turned out pretty darn well and got rave reviews at the bonfire party I took them to. I really look forward to my next batch now that I have the technique down, thanks to the awesome tips from this book. There are so many different decoration ideas in here, and it really is just a starting point. The only negative I can say is that although the decorating ideas are endless, there is not really much focus on the taste. There is the base recipe for cake pops, and "common combinations" as well as a few cake & icing recipes at the end. However, there is not a whole lot of creativity past your classic chocolate, white, and yellow. I guess that part is up to you - which is just fine with me, that's the part I am very good at.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cake Pops ROCKS And So Does Bakerella!!!, September 2, 2010
    Have you had a cake pop? Oh my gosh, you're missing out if you haven't! Cake pops are SO good, so fun, and it's the only way we eat cake in our house now. :-) We make cake pops for EVERY occasion and they are always a huge hit with family and friends. This book has tons of great ideas and they're so fun and easy to make. Highly recommended! Thank you for cake pops, Bakerella! Our family loves you for them! lol

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cake Pops - Bakerella, October 3, 2010
    I follow the Bakerella blog sit. Love the Blog... its creative and innovative. I was very excited to hear of their new book and pre-ordered it to ensure I received it right away.
    After receiving and reviewing the book, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting to see new ideas and projects however a good portion of them were duplicates from the blog site. On the plus side there were some assembly tips that were very useful that are not disclosed on the blog.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Love the book but there's 1 teensy problem (literally), September 3, 2010
    I love the idea of cake pops. i love the ring bound book and the pictures of the cake pops .. too cute. My teensy problem is the TEXT. The text is so small that I have a hard time reading it, especially with the glare of the glossiness of the pages. I do wear glasses and have no problems with other books/kindle/etc so I am pretty sure it's just the text is too small. some of the text is white on pastel colors some is a grey on green, some is just black on white.. it all seems pretty difficult to read. The recipes themselves have some bigger/bolded text which is okay.

    I don't fault the content, it's great (what I can read).. perhaps I'll get good at making them w/o reading the instructions...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fun on a stick!, December 5, 2010
    Love the blog, like the book. I was SO excited about buying this. I wish I would have bought the hard-cover, and not the e-book for this. It makes the recipes more challenging to follow. It's whimsical, and light, and the creatures, and creations are fun. I made some of the pumpkins for my daughters class, due to nut allgeries, and the kids went nuts, and the teacher asked for the recipe!
    There are some downsides for some of the decorations, add-ons are not easy to come by, and you must do a lot of "hunting and gathering" for the molds and edible markers. One crucial step is getting the cake to frosting ratio just right, otherwise you end up with a gloppy mess. She recommends 3/4 can of store bought, but 1/2 is close to making them easier to handle. Start with LESS, then add. If you use too much the rolled balls don't retain their shape long. And, make certain NOT to roll your cake balls with a heavy hand. The chocolate coating WILL crack! I am making the Frosty the Snowman pops for Christmas gifts. The only other downside is finding a way to transport these out of home more safely. You definitely need a lollipop stand of some sort, and those aren't easy to find either. Fortunately, I am good with wood, so I am going to get out to the garage to make my own. You will likely ruin your first try or two. Gets better with practice.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Crazy for Cake Pops, October 23, 2010
    Purchased this book to try my hand at "Cake Pops" after following Bakearella's email blogs. The instructions are very repetitious (same basic instructions repeated with each different "Pop"). Book could have had more variety of "Pops" if the instructions had been edited a bit. Otherwise very happy with this purchase, photography - excellent, book style - excellent, price payed through amazon.com fantastic!! ... Read more


    13. Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives
    by Jessica Seinfeld
    Hardcover-spiral
    list price: $28.99 -- our price: $14.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061659339
    Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks
    Sales Rank: 183
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller Deceptively Delicious goes beyond purees and kids’ foods to make family mealtime more delicious, more wholesome, and simpler than ever.

    In her bestselling book Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld inspired millions of parents to improve their kids’ eating habits by giving everyday classics a nutritional boost with hidden vegetable purees. Now in Double Delicious!, she’s turned her attention to the whole family. Here are more of her easy, imaginative recipes that use the power of purees to make everything healthier, from a hearty Turkey Meatloaf to an irresistible Tiramisu. Again, she’s raised the bar nutritionally and eliminated unnecessary sugar and fat, boosted fiber and nutrients, and cut way back on sodium to bring us more healthful food with fantastic flavor. (She’s even developed a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie that nutritionist Joy Bauer loves!)

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like it...., November 6, 2010
    I saw Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah and the recipes and tips she was giving seemed awesome. I thought this would be a good healthy cookbook that would have quick and easy recipes that also (supposedly) tasted good. The recipes are neither quick nor are they any good. And I hate saying this, I usually never give things a bad review but these recipes are just awful. My daughter and I made 5-6 recipes from main dishes to deserts and every one them was wasted ingredients because no one would eat them, not even me. And we are good cooks, we can follow a recipe at least, so this wasn't 'operator error'. The food tastes bad. The doughnut cookies literally made my son gag. Healthy recipes do not have to taste that gross. Sorry Jessica :(

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Too, November 7, 2010
    Like others have mentioned, I saw Jessica on Oprah and I really liked the meals she cooked. They seemed quick and easy. I purchased the book right after the show. I was very disappointed that the crock pot lasagna and chicken recipes were not included. I realize that the recipes are on Oprah.com, but that is not the point. If you are on a show to promote a cook book shouldn't you use the recipes that are actually in the book you are promoting? Also, she did not use purees on the show. Almost every one of the recipes in this book calls for a vegetable puree. While this is not a bad idea, I bought this book because I wanted easy and quick meals. I do not have time to purchase a weeks worth of veg.,peel them, boil them, puree them and freeze them into 1/2 cup increments only to get them out a few days before each meal to thaw them. While it would be healthy it just honestly isn't going to happen. Next time I will wait for reviews before purchasing another cookbook. Hope this helps others.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed, October 27, 2010
    I saw Jessica on Oprah and thought the book would be great. I bought it to discover the 3 recipies that she showed on Oprah are NOT in the book.
    What happened to the Crock Pot Lasangna, the steak,asparagus dinner and the Whole Roasted Chicken? She never mentioned the use of Purees in the recipies. None of this seems fast with the use of the vegetable purees. I am not saying it is a bad cookbook, it was represented as something else.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Double Delicious????, November 2, 2010
    I bought this book after watching the author prepare great simple meals on the Oprah Winfrey show. I assumed the meals she was making on the show would be in this cook book that she was touting. Wow was I wrong. This seems to be like her other book. More about sneaking puree's into foods but for adults. I don't have trouble getting my husband to eat his veggies. The title is misleading in itself. If I need puree's for some of the meals then that makes it more complicated, not less. Now I need to make a bunch of different puree's to make some of the recipe's. I have a busy complicated life and this food isn't that simple. Very dissapointed in the purchase. Wouldn't reccomend this book to anyone who wants good food that can be quickly and easily made. I don't wan't chick peas in my cookies or brocoli in my brownies. I want MEALS!!!!!! I couldn't wait to get this book after hearing how great it was going to be for people who don't have time to cook or just can't cook. This was supposed to simplify making meals. I'm afraid it falls very short in that area!

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!, November 8, 2010
    I honestly do not know how other people are giving this cookbook a low rating. It is fantastic! It's very unfortunate for Jessica that the rating is being lowered by a few people who are "disappointed" because it is missing the recipes they saw on Oprah. Go print it off of Oprah.com. I don't really care if it's in the book or not...because I can get it there. Plus, it leaves space for other fantastic meals! I have a very hectic lifestyle, mostly because I am the mother of a very mobile 9 month old, and I was in need of some quick and simple recipes. THIS IS IT! The purees do not bother me one bit. Now, the purees weren't mentioned on the Oprah show, but seriously, do you people who are leaving the bad reviews not preview a cookbook before you purchase it? I stood in the aisle for about 5 minutes, skimming through the pages, before deciding to buy it. I saw that it called for a lot of veggie purees....but like I said earlier....I am the mother of a 9 month old. I am VERY familiar with pureeing food. Plus, you can puree a ton of it at once, put it in ziploc bags, freeze it, and thaw it out in hot water. Then you can cut a corner off of the ziploc bag and squeeze it out as you need it. You do not have to thaw it out days in advance like one reviewer stated. Just so you know! =) Also, it is very easy to steam veggies in the microwave and it is MUCH faster for people who do not have much time. Find you some Pyrex microwavable glass dishes. They come with a plastic lid and they have a little steam flap that can be opened. They are fantastic for quick steaming. I bought mine at Walmart and they were fairly cheap.

    If you have a toddler or child who refuses to eat veggies, you MUST buy this cookbook. I had the chicken enchiladas tonight and was shocked at how good they were with CARROT puree! My husband loved it and he is the pickiest eater EVER! I didn't tell him it had carrots in it and he kept commenting on how smooth the sauce was and how it tasted much better than the regular chicken enchiladas I make. I wanted to tell him so badly that it was half the fat and calories and MUCH better for us than the alternative.....but I kept that part a secret. =) Good job, Jessica. I look forward to your next cookbook.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Falsely Advertised on Oprah, October 30, 2010
    I completely agree with other reviewers that are disappointed in the recipes in this book. When she was on Oprah she made great, easy looking dishes that had veggies in them, but had nothing to do with purees. I thought this cookbook would have included those recipes and other similar recipes. I don't mind using purees sometimes, but I didn't want a whole book full of recipes with them in it, and was not aware that this book is just like her first "Deceptively Delicious".

    I feel as though this book was falsely advertised to viewers because NONE of the recipes she made on the show are included here. Who would have guessed that? If you're on Oprah talking about your new book, why not highlight some of the recipes that are in the book? Maybe she (and the producers) knew that recipes with purees wouldn't appeal to everyone. I would not have bought this knowing what I do now. I could have just gotten the recipes I wanted, for free, online.

    1-0 out of 5 stars BUSY PEOPLE???, November 29, 2010
    Worst cookbook ever. If I had time to puree all those vegetables, it would be a miracle. The crockpot lasagna shown on Oprah wasn't even in the book.

    Go back to Kraft recipes on line for fast, easy and nutritious.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Simply healthy, October 29, 2010
    This is a spiral bound cookbook that has as its goal less fat and more healthy cooking. Jessica Seinfield shows you how to shop for better well being, how to read labels and her hints for picking out more wholesome choices in fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, oils, breads and cereals, pasta, rice, beans and grains, juices and sodas, snacks. In my book the spiral binding is very tight and especially for the first 25 and last 25 pages, they tear even as I tried to carefully flatten them.

    The recipes are: breakfast, mealtime, dessert.
    An example of how she makes her food better for you is in some of the ingredients for her cinnamon buns: nonfat milk, orange juice, whole wheat flour, non fat milk powder, carrot puree, trans fat free margarine, cauliflower puree. If you have very sensitive taste buds, you can taste these purees and sometimes the different texture they result in. I counted 66 various recipes with the following purees: broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower, pumpkin, spinach, butternut squash,, yellow squash and 16 with no purees used- so this seems to be one of the keys to this healthful cooking. In all honesty my family prefers regular recipes and has voted unanimously to eat less rather than to use the pureed vegetable ingredients.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Loved Deceptively Delicious, but this was very disappointing, October 27, 2010
    I loved Deceptively Delicious, but Double Delicious was really disappointing. Creating a cookbook focused on easy, healthy and delicious meals for your entire family is a great idea and I wish more authors would incorporate this concept into their books, but this particular book is made for someone who is so beyond moronic in the kitchen. The recipes were flat and uninteresting.

    I will say, incorporating Nutrition Facts is appreciated and wish more cookbook authors would include.

    PLEASE go to a book store first, flip through it and then decide.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, November 4, 2010
    I was very disappointed with this cookbook. I saw Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah and thought the book would be great. The receipes she did on the show are not even in the book! The 1/2 cup puree stuff just makes it harder for me because I don't puree food and it just seems random. Its just a really bad cookbook. actually want to return it. ... Read more


    14. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1
    by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck
    Hardcover
    list price: $40.00 -- our price: $21.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0375413405
    Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
    Sales Rank: 97
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Revised edition of the classic cookbook, originally published in 1961. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am a man that cannot cook. but with this book I CAN, October 5, 2005
    First, I cannot cook. other then basic heat and serve.

    So I bought a ton of cookbooks and tried a ton of recipes from the food network. Still could not cook.

    Picked up this book at a flea market ( the 1963 printing ).

    This book is incredible. My kids not only will eat the food, but they love it. ( and they demand the food now ).

    I do not agree with other reviews about complexity and cost of the recipe's. She provides both easy and complex recipes.

    The recipes are well thought out, with step by step insrtructions and illustrations. The illustrations are priceless, cooking is alot of technique, and the illustrations walk you through it. Every question I would have had about the ingredients or prep are covered.

    Oh, and ingredients.. She assumes that the grocery store is the only place you have to shop. So she notes how to adjust for canned or frozen vs fresh, and what you can substitute. Not some cute ethnic market in New york city where everything is always in season from the 4 corners of the world. You can literally take the book to the grocery store to buy your ingredients. and come out with everything you need. ( I have a 40 year old copy of this book, and Julia's assumptions about what I will be able, and will not, to find in my grocery store is 100% correct. )

    Crepes - been trying for a year to make the kids crepes. tried several recipes online. failed. first attempt with Julia, and voila crepes.

    Omlette - so I could always make an omlette. or at least I thought. now I am an omlette gourmet cook.


    I cannot wait to graduate to her other cookbooks.


    5-0 out of 5 stars My cooking textbook and still my favorite "all-purpose" book, September 14, 2002
    My mom was insistent that we kids learn to cook, and when Julia Child came on public television in the 60's, the whole family was glued to the set. We watched with fascination as she did things with food we Americans didn't know you could do. Mom bought this cookbook then, and I still have it, cover hanging by threads and covered in all kinds of saucy stains. It's still going strong, getting more stains every time I give a dinner party.

    We learned how to make omelets, roasts, soups like Vichysoisse (surprisingly simple potato and leek soup), and how to cook the bumper crop of garden green beans in a new and very delectable manner.

    I still think that this may be one of the best cookbooks for vegetables that I have on my shelf. I prize it for the meat section, especially a veal ragout that is possibly one of the most luxurious company dishes for a dinner party. It can be made ahead, and in fact, improves if you do. There are a lot of delicious desserts, some complicated (like Creme Bavaroise) and some cakes such as Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba), a darkly moist and modest looking little chocolate cake. This is easy to make, but so rich and delicious it should be banned by the AMA. What's not in here is French Bread. That's in Volume II.

    We made French-style green beans and the Reine de Saba cake one memorable Thanksgiving when we were very young, and even the kids (seven cousins, five of which were BOYS) sat politely glued to the table for the ENTIRE meal instead of getting up and running around halfway through the feast. The food was THAT good.

    While I don't make French food every day because I watch my weight, I do use this book for the princples of good food preparation, even if omitting cream or substituting lower fat choices.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most Important Cookbook of the Last 50 Years. Period., April 6, 2004
    Rarely are we able to say with certainty that a book is at the top of its subject in regard and quality. This book, `Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck is certainly in that most unique position among cookbooks written in English and published in the United States.

    With Julia Child's celebrity arising from her long series of TV cooking shows on PBS, it may be easy to forget how Ms. Child rose to a position with the authority that gave her the cachet to do these shows in the first place. This book is the foundation of that cachet and the basis of Ms. Child's influence with an entire generation of amateur and professional chefs.

    It may also be easy to forget that this book has three authors and not just one. The three began as instructors in a school of French cooking, `Les Ecole des Trois Gourmandes' operating in Paris in the 1950's. And, it was from their experience with this school that led them to write this book. To be fair, Julia Child originated a majority of the culinary content and contributed almost all of the grunt work with her editors and publisher to get the book published.

    The influence of this book cannot be underestimated. It has been written that the style of recipe writing even influenced James Beard, the leading American culinary authority at the time, to change his style of writing in a major cookbook on which he was working when `...French Cooking' was published. Many major American celebrity experts in culinary matters have cited Child and this book as a major influence. Not the least of these is Martha Stewart and Ina Garten. It is interesting that these first to come to mind are not professional chefs, but caterers and teachers of the household cook. Child was not necessarily teaching `haute cuisine', she was teaching what has been named `la cuisine Bourgeoise' or the cooking of the housewife and, to some extent, the cooking of the bistro and brasserie, not the one or two or three star restaurant.

    The table of contents follows a very familiar and very comfortable outline, with major chapters covering Soups, Sauces, Eggs, Entrees and Luncheon Dishes, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Cold Buffet, and Deserts and Cakes. The table of contents does not itemize every recipe, but it does break topics down so that one can come very close to a type of preparation you wish from the table of contents. One of the very attractive schemas used to organize recipes in this book is to take a general topic such as Roast Chicken and give not one, but many different variations on this basic method. Under Roast Chicken, for example, you see Spit-roasted Chicken, Roast Chicken Basted with Cream, Roast Chicken Steeped with Port Wine, Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapes, Casserole-roasted Chicken with Tarragon and Casserole-roasted Chicken with Bacon. Thus, the book is not only a tutorial of techniques, it is also a work of taxonomy, giving one a picture of the whole range of variations possible to a basic technique.

    The book goes far beyond being a simple collection of recipes in many other ways without straying from the culinary material. Unlike books combining regional recipes with anecdotal memoirs, this book is all business. Heading the recipes is a wealth of general knowledge on cooking variables such as weights versus cooking time and conditions. Headnotes also include general techniques on, for example, how to truss a chicken (with drawings) and many deep observations on professional technique. The notes on roasting chicken instructing one to attend to all the senses in watching and listening to the cooking meat in order to obtain the very best results. This may have easily come from the pen of Wolfgang Puck or Mario Batali.

    The individual recipe writing is detailed in the extreme, and recipes typically run to two to three times as long as you may see in `The Joy of Cooking' or `James Beard's American Cookery'. The recipes are also very `modular'. A single recipe may actually require the cooking of two or three component preparations. This is not an invention of Julia Child. I believe she has captured here an essential characteristic of French culinary tradition. The most common of these advance preparations is a stock. More complicated examples are to make a potato salad, a dish in itself, as a component to a Salade Nicoise. What Child may have originated, at least to the world of American cookbook writing, is the notion of a Master Recipe, where many different dishes are presented as variations on a basic preparation. This notion has been used and misused for decades.

    This book has become so important in its field that it seems almost irreverent to question the quality of the recipes. I can only say that I have prepared several dishes from these pages, and have always produced a tasty dish and learned something new with each experience. While there are other excellent introductions to French Cooking such as Madeline Kamman's `The New Making of a Chef', one simply cannot go wrong by using this book as ones entree into cooking in general and French cooking in particular.

    The more I read other cooking authorities' writing, the more I respect the work of Julia Child and company. Observations on technique that went right over my head two years ago are now revealed as signs of a deep insight into cooking technique.

    As large as the book is, the material presented to Knopf in 1961 was actually much larger and the second volume of the book is largely material created for the original writing. To get a reasonably complete picture of French Cookery, do get both volumes at the same time.

    A true classic with both simple and advanced techniques. A superb introduction for someone who is just beginning an interest in food.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Revised One is the One to Get, August 14, 2009
    I ordered this after seeing the movie. I was a little concerned about whether I really wanted the revised edition or try to find an original. I ordered this one, and was so pleased. It has the original instructions and then a note, like with aspic..It has the instructions for using the calf foot, like in the movie "Julie and Julia" and then tells you how to use boxed gelatin instead, since it is readily available now.
    I, a down-home Southern cook, at the age of 53, who thought no one could teach this old dog new tricks, have Boeuf Bourguignon simmering in my oven as I write this, and my husband said the house smells better than it ever has with anything cooking (and he loves my cooking!) The only bad part of this recipe is smelling it, wanting to eat it, and having to wait for it to cook slowly in the oven!
    Julia Child is a genius, and I can't wait to try more recipes! Love, Love, Love this cookbook. But now I want new cookware and knives............

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Learning Experience, July 8, 2006
    I have always enjoyed cooking, but had never read this book. I thought that traditional French cooking would be difficult to master, high in fat and unnecessarily time-consuming. Also -- I'm an Italian-American -- I thought that Hazan was the last word in cooking. Boy, was I wrong.

    A few months ago, my teenage son returned from his first trip abroad raving about the meals that he'd had in Paris. I knew from experience how great those meals could be and, to please him and provide my family with a new dinner experience, I bought "Mastering" and tried a few recipes. I am now totally hooked. Julia's recipes are clear, well-organized and easy to follow. The book is exquisitely -- and logically -- organized, with each section beginning with a master recipe and continuing through several variations on that theme. This method of organization teaches the structure as well as the ingredients of each recipe, thus encouraging further experimentation by the reader. In other words, by following the recipes, you learn to cook. (Having recently read "My Life In France," I now know that this was Child's intention: "Mastering" took years to write, with each recipe tested and refined many times.)

    Some recipes contain too much butter or cream for modern diets, but these recipes may be easily modified. The techniques, however, are flawless: my pie crust was flaky and did not shrink; the ratatouille (which is low in fat) was perfect and beautiful; the swordfish provencale was so good that my son, who never eats leftovers, ate the leftovers cold out of the refrigerator. Indeed, the pastry dough recipe works so well that, after turning it out into the pan, I exclaimed aloud, "Julia Child is brilliant!", much to the surprise of my plumber, who was working in the house at the time and had walked into the kitchen to ask about a leak. In sum, if you have been afraid of this book, don't be, and if you think that it has become dated or irrelevant -- a mere collector's item -- you are very wrong. I still love Hazan, but "Mastering" is the master class.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incomparable--the one book you need to begin cooking!, February 9, 2007
    This was the first cookbook I bought for myself and my wife after we were married 34 years ago and had migrated to Perth, Australia from San Francisco. I knew almost nothing about cooking and Julia, along with Simone and Louisette, taught me how to cook.

    The book is far, far more than a collection of recipes; it is a university course in French cooking but after plumbing the depths of souffle's and quenelles, terrines and crepes, you can attack any recipe from virtually any region of the world. It might be like climbing Everst as your first mountain--after that everything is a piece of cake [pardon the expression].

    Even as a total neophyte, and this is not to pat myself on the back, the explicit and extremely clear directions will lead, after a careful reading, to a successfully completed, eminently enjoyable and some would say, very complicated dish suitable for any luncheon or dinner. These three women have drained away from these recipes all the little blank spots that inevitably occur in most recipes; those little places where the recipe does not fully explain the next step. The women that wrote this superb book, really a manual about how to cook, dissected the recipe steps precisely to the extent that there are no blanks anywhere in any of the recipes that I have tried and I have tried a great many in the 30 plus years I have been cooking from the book.

    At this point one may well ask, "Why am I writing these comments now, thirty-some years after buying and using the book"? The answer is that last night I made a pork chop with a mustard-cream sauce that was superb, as usual, and believe me that says infinitely more about the clearity of the book than my cooking. I love the number of sauces in the book so I looked specifically at the second chapter about sauces to find some for vegetables. It has been my primary cook book for all these years and I wanted to write something complementyary about this fabulous work.

    Treat the book like a university textbook--read it carefully, underline appropriate passages and then go back and take written notes on the material; you won't be disappointed and you will learn cooking, "... the way its 'spossed to be".

    3-0 out of 5 stars A little caution, August 24, 2009
    First of all, I'm a huge Julia fan, have owned this book since 1973, and saw the movie on opening weekend. I have also been to culinary school and own shelves full of cookbooks. I sometimes spend an entire day planning and cooking dinner. I have to say, however, that all of the gushing about this book surprises me. I have a 48" professional range and cupboards full of pots and pans, and I often run out of stovetop space and cooking vessels while preparing some of her recipes. I'm of the "fine ingredients cooked with respect" school of cooking, and Julia most often cooks her vegetables to death, and I'm not sure "medium rare" is in her vocabulary. Her pastry is to die for, her bread (vol 2) is heavenly, and the chocolate almond cake featured in the movie is one of my all time favorite cake recipes. The instructions in the book are clear, and I'm assuming that they have been updated since my edition was published. By all means this cookbook should be in your collection, but if you're looking for a cookbook with the best sauce instructions, I would choose the little gem from Williams Sonoma that is just sauces with wonderful photos of the whole process, and if you want French flavor with a more modern approach, I'd suggest Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris. Her beouf is wonderfully tasty and takes just one pot. I'm not a fan of the 30 minutes till dinner cookbooks, but Mastering the Art of French Cooking is not the first cookbook I'd choose for a beginner. And if you're going to eat from Julia every night, be sure to serve French portions as well as French food.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, Incomparable, August 29, 2004
    A book of unique importance in the culinary (& cultural) history of the United States. Before Child, this country was mired in a cuisine that had never really emerged from the depradations of wartime rationing, was being manhandled into the unsavory tinned world of industrialized food (soup in a can, noodles in a box, adulterated, nothing fresh), & had never had much in the way of a national cuisine. Onto this bare plate Child (& her co-authors) placed a sumptuous feast of perfect French food, & with it, an awareness of a better way of eating, a better way of living.

    A watershed, a monument. But how does it stand up as a cookbook? In a word, it remains one of the best cookbooks ever written. The recipes are elegant & their products are nearly without exception delicious. The writing is graceful, witty, & informative. The index & glossary are excellent.

    This book can teach you to cook. If you can cook, this book can teach you to cook better. If you can't cook, but love to eat, give it to someone who will cook for you, & you will eat better.

    Try the Potage Parmentier. The soul of simplicity & gustatory delight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "If you're afraid of butter, as many people are nowadays, just put in cream!", July 25, 2009
    The movie "Julie & Julia" is built around the astonishing idea that a fan of "Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One" would cook her way through the book's almost-600 recipes in a single year. I've been using this book for three decades and I've only made a fraction of the recipes. But I've made that fraction so many times that the pages fall open to my favorite recipes.

    The other way to identify my favorites? Greasy pages. Makes sense --- Child knew, when Michael Pollan and Nina Planck were still in their cribs, that it wasn't real food that kills you, it's grotesque American portions. As Child gaily told her television audience, "If you're afraid of butter, as many people are nowadays, just put in cream!"

    Such bluntness was her nature --- and her charm. She came from money and privilege; the challenge of her life was to find something worth committing herself to. First came Paul Child. Then, at 37, came the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. And then, through a bit of luck, came an opportunity to work with Simone Beck on a French cookbook for Americans. As she tells the story in My Life in France, that book took almost a decade.

    Judith Jones was the first American editor to read the manuscript. She flipped: "I pored over the recipe for a beef stew and learned the right cuts of meat for braising, the correct fat to use (one that would not burn), the importance of drying the meat and browning it in batches, the secret of the herb bouquet, the value of saut�ing the garnish of onions and mushrooms separately. I ran home to make the recipe --- and my first bite told me that I had finally produced an authentic French boeuf bourguignon --- as good as one I could get in Paris. This, I was convinced, was a revolutionary cookbook, and if I was so smitten, certainly others would be."

    Quality mattered. So did timing. "Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One" was published in 1961. In the White House was a President with a wife who loved France. Air travel was replacing ocean liners --- Americans in larger numbers were traveling to Europe. Frozen food and TV dinners were clogging the supermarkets; Child lobbied for accessible sophistication, and changed the way some of us ate.

    And then there was multi-media. WGBH, Boston's public TV station, invited Child to promote her book. The station had no studio kitchen, so she brought eggs, a whisk and a hot plate. On camera, she made an omelette, narrating the process with wit and confidence. A TV series soon followed --- she was Martha Stewart before there was Martha Stewart.

    Actually, she was much more. Back then, cooking was not a respected profession. She showed that it was a discipline --- and an art. And she legitimized the home-gourmet. Was cooking a chore? Not after you'd seen Julia Child, amusing herself as she prepared dinner.

    All these years later, I'm still charmed by Child's 13-page screed on omelettes. On the other hand, I never had much use for her p�t�s or terrines, souffl�s or sauces. Dessert still seems like overkill. And the seven recipes for kidney? Non-events. It's the classics that first appealed to me, and still do.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An essential book for every kitchen, November 16, 2002
    I really can't add anything to the previous reviews. This book is a classic and belongs in every kitchen, as does its companion, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume II. Which brings me to the REAL purpose for this review: Have you tried searching for volume two on the Amazon website? Not much luck, eh?

    Fear not...here's help! The ISBN number for the second volume is 0394721772. Search using this number to find it. ... Read more


    15. Good Eats 2: The Middle Years
    by Alton Brown
    Hardcover
    list price: $37.50 -- our price: $22.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1584798572
    Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
    Sales Rank: 112
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Good Eats 2: The Middle Years picks up where the bestselling Good Eats: The Early Years left off. Showcasing everything Alton Brown fans (and they are legion!) have ever wanted to know about his award-winning television show, The Middle Years is chock-full of behind-the-scenes photographs and trivia, science-of-food information, cooking tips, and—of course—recipes.

     

    Brown’s particular genius lies in teaching the chemistry of cooking with levity and exuberance. In episodes such as “Fit to Be Tied” (meat roulades), “Crustacean Nation” (crab), and “Ill-Gotten Grains” (wheat products), Brown explains everything from how to make the perfect omelet to how to stuff your own sausages. With hundreds of entertaining photographs, along with Brown’s inimitable line drawings and signature witty writing, this comprehensive companion book conveys the same wildly creative spirit as the show itself.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Return of Good Eats, September 29, 2010
    Alton Brown continues his record of his distinctive and fun, but still educational food program Good Eats. He includes a DVD with 15 very short clips that include the subjects: cotton candy, plum pudding, cowboy chow talk, grog, egg nog, sugar, turkey carving, fish, French toast, knives, peanut brittle, macaroons, rice, pickles, diner speak. The turkey carving is very useful and well done.
    All are done in Alton's inimitable quirky style.
    Included in the book itself is an interview with Alton and seasons 6 through 10 which are episodes 81through 164. There are colour illustrations, diagrams and pictures to show various techniques such as shucking oysters. Two or three recipes are included with each episode. There are many good ones here including Cuban sandwiches and Alton's favorite on frying turkeys. Included are equivalent charts and a recipe index.

    Everything is done in the fun quirky style of the show which would make this a good book for those a bit hesitant about their ability or the fun of cooking. Cookbook collectors and fans of Alton Brown of course would also appreciate this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Kind of Disappointing, October 17, 2010
    I don't know if I just didn't remember the scripts from the first 80 episodes, but the first book it seemed like he took more time with the information at the beginning of each episode. The first book had stories and anecdotes about why each episode subject was chosen or a little story about it. In this one he just copied and pasted the opening script from the show. I still love that I get all the recipes plus a few extras, but I wish he had taken as much time with this one as he did with the first. Maybe it was the publisher's fault, pushing him to get it out faster.
    I just hope the next one goes back to the first book's style.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Volume 2 - following the same good template from volume 1, September 27, 2010
    This is the second book in the Good Eats "series" of book that Alton is putting out covering what he teaches us during the his TV show. It is a very valuable resource for people to learn a lot about a cooking in a fresh, innovative way as opposed to just reading another cookbook. It is a refreshing and entertaining way to discover they why's of cooking rather than just regurgitating recipes. For that I think this book is an excellent resource for people and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about cooking.

    My only complaints are the same as they were for the previous edition. The main complaint is that the index doesn't really cover all of the books. This is a very minor problem and one that only real fans of the show will find difficult since, in my case I already have seen all of his shows and might know that I want to do a version of one of the recipes he covered in one of his shows but I have to remember which book contains that episode in order for me to find the recipe. True, the individual indices have all the values we need to go look things up but at the same time, they only index what is in that volume of the series, so if you are looking for something and don't find it in the index then you have to go look it up in the other index to see if the recipe is there instead. I think I'm just spoiled by how easy Alton makes it to understand everything on his show and am wishing that the same ease of use translated to looking things up in these books. I'm hoping/wishing that after a few volumes of the book are out that they include an overall index to make things easier to look up. (I also wrote in my review of the first book that not all of the recipes from the show were included in the book. I don't know if that is still the situation with this book since I have yet to find anything that is not included in the book.)

    Overall I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book...especially for people that are new to cooking or shy about cooking since it does contain a treasure trove of information that can be unbelievably helpful to people whether they watch the show or not.

    Buy it if you have any interest at all in cooking and why things happen the way they do.
    Don't buy it if you don't cook or don't like thinking beyond just following a recipe step by step.
    Definitely buy it if you are a fan of Alton Brown and his show.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding Voume to the series!, October 18, 2010
    What an excellent follow up to the 1st book, Good Eats "The Early Years." Yet again, I am very happy to have purchased the 2nd Volume in this series. Just a short blurb about us: I admit it, we are foodies. It started with my hubby (a bit like Alton Brown so naturally he was happily drawn to the show Good Eats) who quickly addicted myself and both of our daughters. We were immediately drawn to the entertainment factor and unbelievable tips and bits of information/education. We are devote Alton Brown fans. Anyone who can bring the level of education/information he does in such a fun way in just 30 minutes is awesome!

    This hardcover book is simply gorgeous and is of the same size and thickness of the 1st book in this series. Attractive and worthy of being a coffee table book and simply a delight to hold and look through. This is a large book (10.3 x 9.3 x 1.7 inches ) and not to mention VERY thick with each of the 431 pages filled to the brim with information, diagrams and photos. The handy Conversion Charts are on page 422-423 and the Index is from pages 424-431. The format of this book is similar however greatly improved in my opinion with an upgrade in font and general format of the added tips & photos. The easiest way to locate specific episodes is the by using the Contents page with very simply lists the episodes in a very easy to use format. Much tidier. The book covers Seasons 6- 10; Episodes 81-164. An added bonus of an included DVD from Alton Brown: 15 Short Stories (The Middle Years) The book cover also happily informs us that Volume 3 Good Eats: Infinity and Beyond is soon to come!

    After the section for his interview you jump right into the episodes. Each episode is very nicely set up:
    * Title of episode, along with Season and number, and information about the episode.
    * In depth "Knowledge Concentrate" which is VERY helpful things to know. Not too long, but just the right amount of information to keep you from drooling.
    * The recipes (which Alton refers to amusingly as "Applications") themselves in a VERY well written way that is easy to follow and understand. Outstanding job with putting the recipes in this book!
    And of course, in addition to the above, each episode is filled with diagrams, photos, tips and more.

    You will absolutely relive each episode and have the information in your hands to run to the kitchen with and use right away. Alton brings his humor, science and character to every inch of this book. At the end of the book, you also have your Conversion Charts/equivalents (for Weight, Volume & Oven Temperature) As with well the recipes (ahem: Applications), these charts are easy to understand and use. This book does NOT have a poster book cover but does include a fun DVD called "15 Short Stories"

    This was a gift for my hubby (You know, the guy who can't stop watching Good Eats and anything Alton Brown, lol) and I am very pleased with the quality and information in this gorgeous book. A must have for any Good Eats fan, a great idea for a gift (and useful as you don't have to go watch episodes and jot down recipes while watching) WELL worth the full price of $37.50 and even better at the Amazon price :o)

    4-0 out of 5 stars You've Seen the Movie; Now Read the Book!, November 7, 2010
    Alton Brown and his merry band of studio accomplices have created the best dual medium cooking product since Julia Child launched Mastering the Art of French Cooking and PBS' The French Chef. On his televised series (I also bought the DVD set), Alton demonstrates a gift for clearly presenting dishes I want to cook while increasing my understanding of cooking techniques and equipment and how things all come together. As in Good Eats 1: The Early Years (which I also own), the text closely tracks the televised episodes. For fans, the book has sidebars with inside tidbits about filming, which of the merry band did what and a written version of the DVD "Ask Alton" section. Buy the package and you won't regret it. Plus, you get the whole teaching-training program of tell 'em what you'll teach, show 'em how and finally, remind 'em what they've learned. With this book, Alton even gives you the notes!

    Alton organizes each recipe using "GeekSpeak" titles: 'knowledge concentrate', 'application', 'software' and 'procedure'. "Hardware" items are discussed in sidebars about, say 'pots and pans.' I find this presentation to be very well organized but the titles seem a little 'precious' with repeated cooking from the book. I do like Alton's commentary on running changes he has made to recipes and techniques based on his own experiences with food preparation. The overall effect is one of having a personal tutorial by Alton in your home, complete with conversational 'asides.'

    Unlike the "Iron Chef" series Alton hosts, there is nothing 'foodie' about ingredients and there is nothing elaborate about procedures. This is 'straight ahead' cooking for all of us but with really good recipes and techniques so things come out better than expected and better than the recipes do from the 'average' cookbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as the first....., October 2, 2010
    There are three places I turn to offline for culinary knowledge. I have tried and enjoyed dozens of AB recipes and I love the show Good Eats. In this book (as well as Volume 1, Good Eats: The Early Years) you will find recipes as well as instructions for preparation (and blueprints if you will of AB's most famous or notorious multi-tasking gadgets) sorted by episode. There's a good ol' fashioned index do-hickey included if you don't have the episode names and order memorized. Kids, you might have to get help from your parents to use it but don't worry, it won't hurt your eyes or anything. It's the perfect source for recipes and procedures I'm too lazy to write down and I can use it when the darn carpal tunnel is acting up.

    All the best recipes plus a few extras are included. Some of the recipes and procedures have been tweaked from their on air format. Often this has to do with feedback from the shows. Recipes are made easier, procedures are made more convenient, and sometimes they are even made tastier if AB has changed his way of thinking in the years since the original air date.

    Don't worry, these are improvements. It's nothing like the whole George Lucas, Star Wars Special Edition debacle.

    The other sources you ask? Well, there's the previously mentioned Good Eats Volume 1 and another AB book, Gear for Your Kitchen which I always consult before shopping. ... Read more


    16. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
    by Jeff Hertzberg MD, Zoe Francois
    Hardcover
    list price: $27.99 -- our price: $12.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0312362919
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
    Sales Rank: 122
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread to fill a kitchen with warmth, eager appetites, and endless praise for the baker who took on such a time-consuming task. Now, you can fill your kitchen with the irresistible aromas of a French bakery every day with just five minutes of active preparation time, and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you how.

    Coauthors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François prove that bread baking can be easier than a trip to the bakery. Their method is quick and simple, bringing forth scrumptious perfection in each loaf. Delectable creations will emerge straight from your own oven as warm, indulgent masterpieces that you can finally make for yourself. In exchange for a mere five minutes of your time, your breads will rival those of the finest bakers in the world.

    With nearly 100 recipes to put this ingenious technique to use, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will open the eyes of any potential baker who has sworn off homemade bread as simply too much work. Crusty baguettes, mouth-watering pizzas, hearty sandwich loaves, and even buttery pastries can easily become part of your own personal menu, and this innovative book will teach you everything you need to know.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Bread I've Ever Made, As Good as Almost All I've Ever Eaten, December 2, 2007
    I'm a foodie; the kind of person who will drive miles to a bakery, who will visit Italy when the ricotta is sweetest. I'm also a skeptic. So, when I bought this book, I didn't expect much. But, was I ever wrong. What I love is that the authors turn everything you know about bread baking upside down, and the result is the best bread you'll ever make at home. Easily. Simply. Whenever you want. You must, however, read the introduction to the method to succeed as well as you might -- this is not a book to begin baking from the minute you buy it. But the few minutes you invest in all the suggestions pay off mightily -- how to tell when this particular kind of bread is really ready (I used to swear by an instant read thermometer -- forget that); how to dock it; how to store it, etc. The instructions are utterly clear. I've already baked ten loaves, each magnificent, and I've only had the book for a week. All kinds of breads are represented -- French loaves, ciabbata, pita, peasant -- I could go on and on. Enough for a lifetime of pleasure. Hertzberg and Francois are geniuses.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some notes for sourdough/dense loaf fans, December 15, 2007
    This is a terrific book ... I've tried the basic approach and it is great. To make it more useful (for some) I'd like to add a few notes.

    The book has an unfortunate, (for me) bias towards light, fluffy breads and breads that rely on "ingredients". So...

    Sourdough breads: I've been refrigerating my dough for years to increase the sourdough flavor. This books opens the door to a very simple approach to sourdough.

    As the book notes, the sourdough taste increases with time in the refrigerator. So simply keep two sets of dough running ... a "dormant" set and an active set. Start by making a batch of dough. Stick it in the refrigerator and don't touch it for at least a week. After a week or so, make a second batch of dough. (I would mix in a hunk of the previously mixed, week old dough to enhance the sourdough development.) Now put this second batch away and start using the first batch ... which will have started to taste like a sourdough. When this first batch is used up, make up a brand new "dormant" batch and put it aside while you start using the batch that's been sitting in the refrigerator for the past week or so.

    In this way you can keep a sourdough going forever, without any additional work. (Since you only a new batch when an old batch runs out.)

    Rye and whole wheat: The technique is IDEAL for rye ... which is a gummy, no-knead but extremely delicate dough. I would certainly use much more rye than any of these recipes call for and would use the sourdough technique I mentioned above to develop flavor.

    It its also ideal for whole wheat. The big problem with whole wheat is not the crust, (I'll mention a technique to bring out a crust), but that whole wheat contains bran, which, when kneaded, cuts the strands of gluten/protein. That's why 100% whole wheat is so dense. But, since you do not knead this dough, the bran does not cut the protein strands and the dough is free to rise almost as much as a white flour.

    Personally, I use 50% rye and 50% whole wheat and, using the books oven technique get a great rise.

    Another technique that develops a very thick crust, no matter the flour, is to bake the bread in a preheated, covered oven pot or casserole pot at 450 degrees.

    By the way ... to get actual pumpernickel, forget the powders, (coffee and chocolate ... yeesh!) and just use pumpernickel flour in place of rye flour. (Pumpernickel flour is nothing more than whole grain rye flour.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, November 28, 2007
    I have many bread baking books and was skeptical that this one would be any better or different. I expected either a catch in the "5 minutes", poor quality bread, or both. I made my first batch last week and was very impressed with both the ease and taste. You can really make the dough in just a few minutes and keep it in your fridge for use over the next 2 weeks. It was wonderful to be able to pull a chunk of the dough out of the container and have delicious bread (the last was more like a big roll) in just over an hour. I could make a loaf when I got home from work and serve it for dinner. There are many recipes included, but it also gave me a much more relaxed attitude toward the bread and I found myself making up my own additions by the time I was forming my second batch. I showed the book to a friend and rather than copy a few of the recipes, she decided to order the book herself because she said that everything looked good and it looked like stuff she would really make. Not many cookbooks earn that comment.

    The book frequently calls for a pizza peel and baking stone. A set of the peel (or a suitable cutting board), stone (or an unglazed ceramic tile from Home Depot) and this book would make a great gift. In fact, I thought that I could cross several people off of my shopping list by buying the set or just the books for all. Unfortunately, it is already out of stock. Looks like I am not the only one who is impressed by it. I can't even give my book away and wait for a new copy because I spilled olive oil on it while making the sun dried tomato and Parmesan bread. By the way, it was delicious!

    This is a great book for all cooking experience levels. The recipes are easy and the results impressive.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good premise but better with some modifications, January 27, 2008
    After baking bread from this book for over a month I have a few suggestions for folks that vastly improve (in my opinion) the bread from this book. Even without these changes the bread is still better than store-bought, but it's *not* artisanal quality.

    1) WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS! This is a cardinal rule of baking and one not to be flaunted. Buy a good scale -- it's as important as your baking stone.

    2) Cut the salt and yeast called for by half: I use 10gm salt and 8gm yeast.

    3) Preheat your oven for at least an hour at 500 degrees. A 20 minute preheat does NOTHING for your stone and bottom crust. Drop the temp to 450 when the bread goes in the oven.

    4) I use Light Whole Wheat Bread on page 74 as my base recipe. The 140 grams of whole wheat flour kicks the flavor level up substantially.

    5) Skip the cornmeal and go with parchment paper. SO much easier and no smoke in the kitchen.

    6) Get a good instant-read thermometer. The bread is done when it reads 200 degrees. Another pricey tool but you'll soon find it indispensable.


    Follow my recommendations and you'll get great bread with excellent top and bottom crust every time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Bread---With Ease!, January 9, 2008
    The concept around which Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day revolves is that with the right method, you can make quick, easy bread that mimics the fancy, crusty loaves you find in restaurants and bakeries. There's no kneading involved. The fanciest piece of equipment you might need is a baking stone for optimal results, but even that you can do without. There's no proofing of yeast, no multiple long rise times on baking day. You use very few dishes, so there isn't much to clean.

    The secret? A wet dough that ages over time in the refrigerator. One batch makes a handful of loaves, and will last happily for more than a week, so you can just lop some off and make bread whenever you want during that time. All you'll need is a little time for the bread to rest and bake, and you have lovely homemade bread whenever you want it. If that isn't enough, as the dough ages it takes on a sourdough characteristic, giving it additional flavor.

    We found the recipes quick and easy. The dough was crusty as advertised. It had a lovely crumb. It had tons of flavor. And most importantly, it really did take only a few minutes of work.

    My only disappointment is that the method isn't quite as easy and simple when it comes to making whole grain breads. You definitely have to adjust things a bit, and it'll take a little time to get the hang of making sure the dough is wet enough. Also, whole grains don't lend themselves to those perfect crackling crusts, so you'll have to live without that.

    This is a delightful baking method that sets tradition on its ear and produces wonderful bread with little effort. Using Hertzberg and Francois's method, you'll be able to make fresh, homemade bread even around a busy working schedule.

    5-0 out of 5 stars They Love It, January 19, 2008
    As a resident of the less urban areas of the United States, I have often been faced with the grim reality that good bread is hard to find. Even in enormous supermarket bread aisles, one look at arm-long ingredient lists filled with unpronounceable chemicals is enough to prove the unfortunate difficulty of obtaining a healthy, cheap instance of this traditional food staple. The obvious solution, then is to make bread at home, with good ingredients purchased cheaply from the very store that does not offer the finished product. The problem with this approach, however, is that real bread is not just considered to be food: it is an art form.

    Thus the familiar term "artisan bread," a phrase meant to capture the aesthetic finery of good bread, the skilled labor necessary to create it, and the sale price required to compensate for it. Buying bread then, is more like going to a gallery than to a market. And so even we who do not have ready access to real "artisan bread," who wish to produce the stuff on our own, are at the mercy of our only easy resource: books on how to make this "artisan bread." The problem is that these books are all written by bakers, artists of bread. I have purchased a few of these myself (The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, Artisan Baking), but the intense involvement which these methods require is more than I am interested in. I have no desire to bake world-class breads, or even really good ones; I just want something to eat(!) and enjoy and give to lots of other people who also don't get to experience real bread of any quality most of the time.

    The first small loaves I baked using the master formula came out of the oven crackling; when they cooled and I invited my family to try them (the same people who have witnessed some very un-enviable bread attempts in the past), I was overjoyed to see that they kept coming back for more! It is without a doubt the best bread I have ever baked (although I haven't baked much), and it certainly meets and surpasses all my requirements for a quick, easy method of making decent "good bread" at home.

    If all you want to do is eat inexpensive, decent bread, and do so easily and quickly (from dough to delicious in an hour and a half), then this is the book you should buy. If you have a desire to learn the intricate art of bread, then get the other books--you'll probably be making better bread after a time. But this is not a book for artists, or even hobbyists--it's a book for the rest of us, who just want to eat...bread.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Really good and Easy Bread, January 30, 2008
    I have used the basic dough recipe for a month and have baked 8 loaves of free form bread and 1 loaf pan bread. It is so easy and fast to prepare the dough that I mix a new batch while the bread from the last batch is baking. No mixers or complicated ceremonies needed. The dough is good in the frige for 2 weeks and I usually let it set for 4 days before I make the first loaf. Also the book suggests a 2 hour rise before refrigerating but I generally let it rise for 4 hours. I have now doubled the recipe and have modified the mix according to the book's instructions for a whole wheat variation. The key to the fabulous crust is steam. Last night I grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with a micrograter over the top of the wet formed dough and added a liberal sprinkle of black sesame seeds. It looked and tasted fantastic. We have several good bakeries in the area but this bread tops them all. Cost is about $.75 a loaf compared to $4.50 at the artisan bakery. Found King Arthur flour and the best yeast price at Trader Joe. No finer gift to bring to a friend than a loaf of freshly baked bread or you could easily take the dough there and bake it 1/2 hour before dinner for a spectacular presentation.
    (update- I have gone back to steam only in the beginning of the baking time and have used a floured banneton for better shape as suggested on their website. I now let the dough rise slowly (4 hours in a very cool room)before refrigerating and bake at 500 for 10 minutes and 425 for 30 or so minutes by inspection with very good results. I have also gone back to my old bread books and like Breads from La Brea Bakery the best in conjunction with ABin5. I am having fun and have addicted some of my friends. I have emailed several times to Zoe and always get quick replies.
    Enjoy!)p.s. just had a 50lb bag of ap flour delivered.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a review but a caution, July 7, 2008
    There are quite a few errors in the text of the book. The corrections can be found at the authors' website under the Errors tab. http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

    5-0 out of 5 stars This works!, January 10, 2008
    This idea really works. I am a bread snob. I only buy sourdough and artisan breads (usually w/rosemary) Last week I heard an interview about this technique on KCRW on the radio. Though I am a clutz in the kitchen, and I had never made bread before, I decided to try it. I threw the water flour and yeast together, then left the bread in a small refrigerator for an agonizing week. It was amazing when I finally removed it and did the 5 minute bread routine. I even got the recipe wrong for everything - especially salt and yeast (I also forgot to add them to the water firstand just threw the yeast and salt in when mixing the flour and water- it still worked!). It still produced wonderful 5 minute bread that is so easy to be creative with. I started out mixing in some new saigon cinnamon (extra flavorful) and some walnuts to the raw dough. Unbelievable! The next day I whipped up a regular loaf with the water pan underneath for crunchy crust- great, but could have used the rest or the recipes salt. I've made rosemary peasant bread, rolls and twists and today cranberry and walnut and it's all so easy and fast. I'm buying the book now to learn some of the fine points. This is a god-send and is saving me gobs of money that I would have spend on some of my favorite bakery bread. Every day the loaves get get better as I get used to working with the dough. I start my second batch next week and can't wait to work with dough that was made closer to the real recipe.

    I can't believe how healthy, easy, fool proof, and delicious this is!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!, November 14, 2007
    Not only are these bread recipes simple to make, they are extremely versatile. I LOVE the sweet and savory recipes offered that are either made using the basic bread recipes, or paired as perfect accompaniments. The authors' descriptions of each recipe and why they included them in the collection make you feel like you are in the kitchen with them preparing the bread with love. The pictures are beautiful as well, and help in creating the perfect loaf at home! ... Read more


    17. Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food
    by Jeff Potter
    Paperback
    list price: $34.99 -- our price: $20.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0596805888
    Publisher: O'Reilly Media
    Sales Rank: 118
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer -- used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it's cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish?

    More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so popular? Why do we bake some things at 350 F/175 C and others at 375 F/190 C? And how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers and offers a unique take on recipes -- from the sweet (a "mean" chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (duck confit sugo).

    This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking, even if you don't consider yourself a geek.

    • Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your tools
    • Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
    • Play with your food using hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking
    • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, chemist Hervé This, and xkcd


    From Cooking for Geeks: Butternut Squash Soup

    Purée in a food processor or with an immersion blender:
    2 cups (660g) butternut squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted (about 1 mediumsquash)
    2 cups (470g) chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
    1 small (130g) yellow onion, diced and sautéed
    1/2 teaspoon (1g) salt (adjust to taste)

    Notes

    • The weights are for the prepared ingredients and only rough suggestions. So, prepare each item individually. For example, for the squash, peel it, then coat it with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt, and roast it in the oven at a temperature around 400–425 F / 200–220 C until it begins to brown. When you go to purée the ingredients, hold back some of the squash and some of the stock, taste the purée, and see which you think it needs. Want it thicker? Add more squash.Thinner? Add more stock.
    • This soup by itself is very basic. Garnish with whatever else you have on hand that you think might go well, such as garlic croutons and bacon. Or top with a small dab of cream, some toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries to give it a feeling of Thanksgiving. How about a teaspoon of maple syrup, a few thin slices of beef, and some fresh oregano? Chives, sour cream, and cheddar cheese? Why not! Instead of purchasing items to follow a recipe exactly, try using leftover ingredients from other meals to complement the squash soup.
    • If you’re in a rush, you can “jump-start” the squash by microwaving it first. Peel and quarter the squash, using a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, cube it into 1–2” / 3–5 cm pieces, drop it into a glass baking pan that’s both oven and microwave safe, and nuke it for four to five minutes to partially heat the mass. Remove from microwave, coat the squash with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt, and roast it in a preheated oven until done, about 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re not in a rush, you can skip the peeling step entirely: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, add oil and salt, roast it for about an hour (until the flesh is soft), and use a spoon to scoop it out.

    Pumpkin Cake

    There are two broad types of cake batters: high- ratio cakes--those that have more sugar and water than flour (or by some definitions, just a lot of sugar)--and low-ratio cakes—which tend to have coarser crumbs. For high-ratio cakes, there should be more sugar than flour (by weight) and more eggs than fats (again, by weight), and the liquid mass (eggs, milk, water) should be heavier than the sugar.

    Consider this pumpkin cake, which is a high-ratio cake (245g of pumpkin contains 220g of water--you can look these sorts of things up in the USDA National Nutrient Database, available online at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/).

    In a mixing bowl, measure out and then mix with an electric mixer to thoroughly combine:
    1 cup (245g) pumpkin (canned, or roast and puree your own)
    1 cup (200g) sugar
    3/4 cup (160g) canola oil
    2 large (120g) eggs
    1 1/2 cups (180g) flour
    1/4 cup (40g) raisins
    2 teaspoons (5g) cinnamon
    1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
    1/2 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract

    Transfer to a greased cake pan or spring form and bake in an oven preheated to 350 F / 175 C until a toothpick comes out dry, about 20 minutes.

    Notes

    • Try adding dried pears soaked in brandy. You can also hold back some of the raisins and sprinkle them on top.
    • One nice thing about high-ratio cakes is that they don’t have much gluten, so they won’t turn out like bread, even with excessive beating. With a total weight of 920 grams, of which only roughly 20 grams is gluten, there just isn’t enough gluten present in this cake to give it a bread-like texture. There’s also a fair amount of both sugar and fats to interfere with gluten development.
    • ... Read more

      Reviews

      5-0 out of 5 stars Explains the scientific how and why of cooking, September 9, 2010


      You've got to have a lot of confidence and nerve to write and try to sell a nearly 400 page book on cooking to the take-out pizza and cola set. No cookbook is likely to turn many geeks into chefs or take them away from their computer screens. However, even though "Cooking for Geeks" contains a large number of recipes, it is not a conventional cookbook but a scientific explanation of the how and why of cooking which will certainly appeal to that group, as well as to cooking professionals and intellectually curious others.

      The author is a geek himself and brings "geek-like" approaches to the subject matter - deep intellectual curiosity, affinity for details, appreciation of problem solving and hacking, scientific method, and a love of technology. What is even better is his filtering of cooking concepts by a computer coder's framework, analogizing recipes to executable code, viewing of ingredients as inputs and as variables, running processes over and over in a logical manner to test and improve outcomes. This is not a mere literary shoe-horning of cooking concepts into a coder's framework but an ingenuous approach to the topics that should loudly resonate with geeks.

      The subject matter includes selecting and using kitchen and cooking hardware; prepping inventory; calibrating equipment (especially your oven, using sugar); understanding tastes and smells; the fundamental difference between cooking and baking (and the personality types which gravitate to one form or the other); the importance of gluten and the three major types of leavening (biological, chemical, and mechanical); the types of cooking; using time and temperatures; how to use air as a tool; the chemistry of food combinations; and very thorough and detailed discussions of food handling and safety. The book is organized into seven chapters and includes an appendix dealing with cooking for people with allergies. The recipes are indexed in the front of the book.

      The major conventional flavor types of salt, sugar, acids, and alcohol have been supplemented by modern industrial elements - E- Numbered (a Dewey decimal system-like index) additives, colloids, gels, foams, and other yummy things! All are itemized, charted, and explained in the chapter entitled "Playing with Chemistry." A whole chapter (and an interview with mathematician, Douglas Baldwin) is devoted to the latest and greatest food preparation technique -sous vide- cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath.

      Threaded through the sections are short sidebar interviews of mostly computer and techie types who are serious cooks or involved in the food industry. Some of these contributors are Adam Savage (of Myth Busters fame) on scientific technique, Tim O'Reilly (CEO of the book's publisher) on scones and jam, Nathan Myhrvold, on Moderist cuisine, and others. Other interviews deal with taste sensitivities, food mysteries, industrial hardware, pastry chef insights, and many more. There is an insightful section just on knives and how to use and care for them.

      Anyone who is interested in cooking will learn from this book. I now pay attention to things I've never heard of before: browning methods like caramelization and the Maillard processes, savory as a major taste, transglutaminase (a.k.a. meat glue), for example. There is stuff I didn't really want to know - "if you've eaten fish you've eaten worms."

      Although one of the strengths of the book is the systematic organization, there are useful tips spread throughout. For example, keeping a pizza stone permanently in your oven will help even out heat distribution; storing vegetables correctly requires knowing whether they admit ethylene gas or not (a chart is included); you can test your smell sensitivity profile by using a professional scratch and sniff test kit obtainable from the University of Pennsylvania. Whatever specialized information not contained in the book is referenced to external sources, especially on the Internet.

      If all of this is not stimulus enough for the geek crowd, how about learning how you can spectacularly kill yourself cooking with dry ice, liquid nitrogen, blowtorches, and especially an electrocuted hotdog. Cool! This is mad scientist stuff. Engineering-minded types can learn how to make their own ice cream machine from Legos. You'll also learn how NOT to kill your guests with bacteria and other toxins.

      The production is nicely done with easily readable text, plentiful drawings and charts, color captions, and many other quality production features. Weights are based in both grams and US volume-based measurements.

      (FTC disclosure (16 CFR Part 255): The reviewer has accepted a reviewer's copy of this book which is his to keep. He intends to provide an honest, independent, and fair evaluation of the book in all circumstances.)

      5-0 out of 5 stars Alton Brown Fans Take Note--You Need This!, August 6, 2010
      Alton Brown fans take note! You need a copy of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food. Seriously, this book takes everything I enjoy about Alton's shows and combines them into a book for the beginner, novice and pro alike.

      Sure some recipes may seem basic. Extremely basic actually. It may seem weird to some that there are people who cannot even scramble an egg, but I've learned from experience that these people do exist. When my neighbor came flying out her house with a smoking pan, it had simply contained olive oil and water for boiling pasta but she'd turned on her stove and forgotten all about it. It became apparent that people can even burn water if given the opportunity.

      Everything you need to know about cooking is in this book. From kitchen set-up and equipment to simple tips like reading a recipe completely before getting started, Cooking for Geeks has everything you need to start preparing home-cooked meals.

      The book offers more than 400 pages of tips, recipes and even interviews with geeks of today. I loved reading Mythbuster's Adam Savage share his love of science and cooking. Learn easy recipes like a 30-Second Chocolate Cake or ones that may seem a little tougher like Butterflied Chicken. By the time you're done, you'll understand that kitchen and be able to whip together nutritious meals for yourself and others.

      It's a very rare event that I come across a review book that I feel I must rush out and purchase a copy as soon as it is released. This is one of those situations. I can't imagine NOT owning this cookbook and I love to cook and know more than the basics already. With outstanding recipes, entertaining interviews and witty writing, this is definitely a book you should hand your friends, family and especially neighbors who do come running out of their home with flaming pans.

      5-0 out of 5 stars Goes Ways Beyond a Collection of Recipes, August 5, 2010
      This isn't your ordinary cookbook. Sure, there are recipes--good ones, too--but the author presents a wealth of information about the science of cooking, cooking techniques, and even the psychology of cooking. It's not so technical that you need a degree in chemistry to understand it. Instead, the author explains things like how human taste senses work in plain terms. There's also a bit on nutrition towards the beginning, and there are charts and tables now and then to illustrate the mechanics of food and cooking throughout.

      If you're an "innovative cook" (see the interview with Brian Wansink, p. 7), this is right up your alley. Potter gives lots of hacks. Usually, cookbooks are very prescriptive and give exact measurements and ways of doing things. Here, the author encourages us to improvise, and he even gives great tips how to do so. For example, did you know you can roast peppers in a toaster?

      I have dozens of cookbooks and love to cook. Cooking For Geeks has surpassed them all and is now my favorite one. Check it out yourself. Well worth the money.

      5-0 out of 5 stars Takes you beyond the "what" into the "how" and "why"... great stuff!, August 14, 2010
      The typical geek doesn't just want something to work. They want to know *why* and *how* it works. If your geekness extends to the kitchen, this book is perfect... Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food by Jeff Potter. It's a wonderful mix of science and hands-on activities, and definitely opened my eyes as to why things work as they do in the kitchen.

      Contents:
      Hello, Kitchen!: Think Like a Hacker; Cooking for One; Cooking for Others
      Initializing the Kitchen: Approaching the Kitchen; Kitchen Equipment; Kitchen Organization
      Choosing Your Inputs - Flavors and Ingredients: Smell + Taste = Flavor; Tastes - Bitter, Salty, Sweet, Umami, Others; Adapt and Experiment Method; Regional/Traditional Method; Seasonal Method; Analytical Method
      Time and Temperature - Cooking's Primary Variables: Cooked = Time * Temperature; Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe; Key Temperatures in Cooking
      Air - Baking's Key Variable: Gluten; Biological Leaveners; Chemical Leaveners; Mechanical Leaveners
      Playing with Chemicals: Traditional Cooking Chemicals; Modern Industrial Chemicals
      Fun with Hardware: Sous Vide Cooking; Commercial Hardware and Techniques
      Appendix; Afterword; Index

      There's just so fun stuff here, it's hard to know where to start. Potter does an excellent job in explaining the science behind what happens when you mix the eggs, flour, and milk together and apply heat. While most books on cooking tell you *what* to do, this one goes into the *why* and *how*. For instance, why does heat change food, and how does that happen? What is involved in protein denaturation, the maillard reaction, and caramelization? And why does knowing all this make a difference to you when it comes to knowing when a particular item is "done cooking"? It's this type of information that takes you beyond saying "but I left it in for the 10 minutes they said... why wasn't it cooked?" After reading Cooking for Geeks, you can start to understand what's going on within the food, and make educated decisions about what happened, what is happening, and what will happen next.

      Fortunately, Cooking for Geeks isn't just a chemistry manual though. It's full of actual recipes that look delicious, as well as interviews with other cooks who reveal some of their secrets and mindsets behind what they do in the kitchen. Again, it all serves to take you beyond the "follow steps 1, 2, and 3" method of cooking, into something that is creative and fun.

      This is like reading a season's worth of Alton Brown's Good Eats shows. Plenty of fun and very informational... and you can eat or toss your mistakes. :)

      Disclosure:
      Obtained From: Publisher
      Payment: Free

      4-0 out of 5 stars A new way to look at cooking and science!, September 6, 2010
      Cooking for Geeks, by Jeff Potter, published by O'Reilly Media

      Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter is the cookbook for people who pestered their parents with "why" questions and were never content with the universal answer of the exasperated, "because I said so."

      Cooking for Geeks offers an in-depth look at the science of food, and provides detailed and well researched answers to many questions: Why is it better to weigh, rather than measure, your ingredients? (Weighing is more accurate.) Why is commercial baking powder better than the common tightwad substitute of 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda? (Because the commercial kind typically uses multiple types of acid, allowing the CO 2 to release over time, rather than all at once.) How do you create a super hot pizza oven in your own home? (According to Jeff Varasano, C++ programmer turned Atlanta pizzeria owner, clip the lock and bake pizza during the oven's cleaning cycle.)

      Cooking for Geeks also include interesting interviews with well-known geeks who answer even more questions--Adam Savage, of Mythbusters, discusses how they test myths on TV, and how the same principle (change one variable at a time!) can be applied to cooking, while Adam Ried, of America's Test Kitchen and The Boston Globe, talks about developing new recipes by making charts comparing the ingredients and methods in 40 or more existing recipes for the dish he wants to cook.

      Offering 30 pages on kitchen equipment and organization, Cooking for Geeks seems to assume that geeks are novice cooks. The recipes, however, are often lacking in sufficient detail to be successfully prepared, even by an experienced cook. For example, the "Rosemary Mashed Potatoes" recipe on page 201 offers a novel method of preparing potatoes for mash: by microwaving them. Potter explains why this works, but neglects a couple of key points: what are the properties of a microwaved potato when it is ready to mash? And, is it necessary to pierce or cut the potato before cooking? (We ordinarily would poke a potato before cooking it, but since it wasn't mentioned in a book that seems geared to unexperienced cooks, we didn't want to assume. We thought perhaps piercing the potato allow too much moisture to escape, leaving the potato starch unable to expand. But also wondered if the unpierced potato would explode.) In keeping with the theme of the book, and, honestly, hoping to witness an explosion, we designed our own experiment: three batches of potatoes, one pierced; one un-pierced, and a control batch boiled the old fashioned way. We found that the un-pierced potatoes didn't explode. We hypothesized that this was because the recipe called for red potatoes with thin skins, not russets with heavier skin. Further, the unpierced potatoes didn't cook as thoroughly as the pierced potatoes. After 6 minutes, both were soft enough that we could poke them with a fork (the common test for doneness of a potato) but the unpierced ones had hard spots throughout. They were difficult to mash and left crunchy bits throughout. The pierced potatoes cooked through, resulting in coarse and chunky mashed potatoes. The boiled potatoes control group lost less than one-half the water of the pierced group and one-fourth the water of the non-pierced group. We should have adjusted the amount of sour cream and milk, for they had an almost oatmeal-like consistency.

      Cooking for Geeks made acids and bases far more entertaining than our Chemistry textbook ever did, helped us understand what people mean when they say they "need an E-numbers fix" and introduced us to Doug Powell's amusing food safety site: [...]. We copied the lists of flavors used in various ethnic foods and the chart of substitutions for foods that commonly cause allergies to keep in the kitchen for easy reference and inspiration. Cooking For Geeks offered us a method to explore many of the questions we've had about food and cooking. Yes, we wish the recipes were more detailed. No we don't plan to use liquid nitrogen the next time we make ice cream or to flash-pickle cucumbers with a vacuum sealer. Even so, we appreciated and enjoyed this book--it's a far more entertaining introduction to science than anything we read during our K-12 years.

      4-0 out of 5 stars The Z-axis of cooking, September 6, 2010
      This book was designed for me. I've never been comfortable in the kitchen and I haven't been a fan of cooking, as I just don't "get it" and always fear I might ruin other people's meals botching the cook job. I've tried cookbooks, or getting recipes online, but just following directions rote is tedious and boring and I still feel like I might screw it up.

      This book really goes into the how and why of Cooking. I'm learning things like how temperatures and seasons can effect the quality, consistency, and nutrition of foods. It's like learning the legos of cooking, the building blocks, and the recipes are examples of the types of things you can make. But once you understand the blocks, you start to see how you can re-assemble them in new, exciting ways, and its ok to experiment.

      There are also great inteviews with cooks and twitter/internet celebrities. The latter is kind of an interesting choice; Some of them work, others don't, but it's like the author experimented with the traditional recipe for a book, so I still dig it.

      My only real complaint is with the table of contents. I'm reading the ePub version in iBooks on an iPad. I don't know if it's the publisher, the technology, or a combination of both, but the TOC links don't line up with the correct pages. As I read, I have insights and/or get excited about a topic and want to jump to other sections of the book to see the recipes, but the links are quite a few pages off in some cases. The book also tells me there are 929 pages, which I don't think is the case, but if true, I guess that makes it the cryptonomicon of cookbooks. So there is much page flipping, but all in all, a great, useful read!

      5-0 out of 5 stars The Why of Cooking, August 15, 2010
      Cooking is chemistry. With maybe a little physics thrown in on the side. You know, temperature control, stuff like that.

      You may think you don't like to cook. Too boring, too restrictive, you have to follow the recipe - or else. If so, this book is for you. It answer questions that most cook books don't think about asking. And if you have any curiosity about why recipes turn out like they do, and are interested in experimenting, using a knowledge of chemistry and physics to improve your dishes, this is a great book. It includes interviews with fellow geeks who explain why and how they prepare favorite dishes, including one with the publisher, Tim O'Reilly. Each interview adds something to the final mix.

      Although there is some organization to the book, like most cook books, it can be opened to any page, and you'll likely find something interesting to peruse. It is not put together as a textbook on cooking, more as a smorgasbord. Some of the more basic elements of cooking are covered in the early chapters, but the science is available in side bars and short essays throughout the book.

      Other reviews have listed the books table of contents, I won't repeat them. Suffice it to say, if you enjoy experimenting, using the scientific method in your cooking, if your curiosity isn't satisfied by just following a recipe time after time, if you like to know the "why" as well as "how," you'll enjoy this book. Would also make a great gift for that nerdy son/daughter newly living on their own. Highly recommended.

      5-0 out of 5 stars Great cookbook from an unlikely source!, August 9, 2010
      To tell you the truth, I was a little hesitant about a cookbook coming from O'Reilly Media. They produce design and programming books like Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps and HTML5: Up and Running, not culinary books...or so I thought...

      While waiting for the book release, I checked out Jeff Potter's videos on Facebook and on the O'Reilly site. From there I was hooked. This book, just like the title says, is designed by a geek for geeks (and non-geeks). This book is all about getting hands on with your "software" and "hardware" in your "lab" :) Jeff Potter did a great job in making easy for cooks of all levels to get started. My girlfriend, who claims she's a novice, enjoyed reading cover to cover. Someday I'll read it cover to cover myself, but I'm having too much fun learning about the science of cooking a la carte.

      The cool recipes I keep experimenting with are the timeless "shock & awe eggs" and the 30-Second Chocolate Cake:)
      Awesome job Jeff and O'Reilly to get everyone I know reinvigorated with cooking! Highly recommended for geeks, non-geeks, foodies and novices alike!

      5-0 out of 5 stars Don't be afraid to burn your dinner!, September 7, 2010
      Reading this book is like listening to an old friend who has taken an interest in cooking and is trying to convey his knowledge to you, his good old friend, because he has learned some best practices he would like to share. It's an interesting journey about temperatures, melting points, chemical reactions and what not, it's all in there. One of the main lessons is; "Have fun! Learning is about curiosity, not work," which should not only appeal to us geeks, but to people, eager to learn, in general. Another great lesson "Don't be afraid to burn your dinner!"... In our daily routine, don't be afraid to make mistakes! That's the only way you'll learn what NOT to do. Life lessons.

      Cooking is all about time and temperature, chemistry and flavor, smelling and tasting and you can experiment right in your own kitchen. Sometimes the result of the experiment is even edible, now isn't that cool! In what other cooking book can you read sentences like this: "buttermilk has a pH of 4.4-4.8, while regular milk has a pH of ~6.7, so it follows that baking soda will buffer and neutralize the more acidic buttermilk," not in my moms!

      The book is littered with jokes and references to our geeky-jobs, like RTFR (last R being the "recipe", you know the other letters in this acronym ;-) Or making 'subclasses' of a sauce, and trying various 'instances'... You know exactly where to place these kind of sentences. Brilliant stuff! Apart from that this book is very complete. It covers setting up your kitchen and tools, talks about the various flavors and to smell and taste food, has great interviews with people with various types of relation to cooking or food and is packed with great recipes and ideas. I bet not only geeks have found its contents invaluable and a must read for everyone who regularly has to turn on the stove or oven!

      Great job to Jeff and his team! I wonder what other subjects he and the team could geekify! These could turn out to be much more interesting than the "For Dummies" books!

      P.S. One thing I haven't found yet in the book... How to best clean my burned pan!

      5-0 out of 5 stars Excercises in creativity AND molecular gastronomy!, September 6, 2010
      Sometimes I forgot I was reading a cook book. Cooking for Geeks reminds me of other books I've read and they're mostly craft books. Lots of info about the craft, short but inspirational interviews with people who have done amazing things, and projects that are as much about the process as they are the finished object. The book is already being compared to Alton Brown and it's definitely a must read for AB's fans but it's also for people who want to play with food, experiment, and learn by doing.

      I love Jeff Potter's attitude about cooking. Especially about failure. You will make things that will turn out poorly so stop worrying and start learning. I've messed up plenty of dishes but it's rare that I can't salvage it in some way and this is one of the few cook books I've seen that encourage that kind of thinking. Most will just suggest a few alternative ingredients instead of leading toward thinking up entirely new applications.

      The recipes are more examples of things explored earlier. This isn't a staple cookbook in terms of recipes but it would be very, very good for a beginning cook to have this (as well as anyone else interested in cooking). Concepts, philosophies, and, yes, science are all explored and then demonstrated with recipes. Many recipes have alternate serving suggestions as well.

      The section on molecular gastronomy is very cool. I thought I'd never get to do much of that kind of thing since the ingredients and equipment are expensive and it looks rather difficult for a regular home cook. I was wrong! There are plenty of things the home cook can do without breaking the bank. Granted, I now have more agar flakes than I really need but I can give them to friends who want to make panna cotta pie. It'll be like that Amish friend bread recipe only with strange ingredients and probably more taste. And more calories. ... Read more


    18. Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006
    by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker
    Hardcover
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0743246268
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 110
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    When the last edition of the Joy of Cooking appeared in 1997, it was a chef-centric, rarified global ingredient kind of moment. And now, 1997 seems very far away. This country is in an economically wobbly, terror-filled time where Americans have kept close to home both literally and figuratively. The 75th Anniversary Edition of the Joy of Cooking -- as it has always done -- speaks to the time it is published into. This Joy has come full circle from 1997 with a huge emphasis on American home cooking. We are not chasing the authentic Oaxacan enchilada here -- we have cheese, chicken, and beef. We have returned the casserole; included slow cooker recipes; restored chapters on jams, jellies, pickles, ice cream, and drinks. There is an eye to economy with expanded discussions on how to get the best out of tougher cuts of meat; the art of leftovers; and keeping household stock. With 500 completely new recipes and hundreds of recipes long edited out of previous editions, this is a brand-new, best-loved Joy of Cooking that rejoices in the cooking of the country that made it the bestselling cookbook of all time -- America.

    BACK TO BASICSThe perfect boiled egg*fluffy rice*pancakes light as air*choosing the perfect cut of meat* no fail cakes* knife skills* vegetables for every meal*cooking with fresh herbs*how to cook fish*roast chicken with crispy skin*fresh salads and homemade dressings*crisp fritters, fries, and onion rings* casserole cooking*finding the right sauce for the pasta*easy homemade pie dough*simple stock making*chewy and cakey cookies and brownies*quick pan sauces for meats

    BRAND NEWA return to the American classics from enchiladas and chop suey to velvet cake and mud pie* all new illustrations*rich new soups*more grilling recipes*homemade ice cream and sorbet*slow cooker recipes*complete new grains*food for a crowd*how to freeze ingredients, dishes and entire meals*beverages and party drinks for entertaining and family meals* making jellies, jams and preserves* how to can fruits and vegetables*quick suppers*brining meats and shellfish

    RETURN TO REFERENCECutting-edge nutritional information*Expanded Know Your Ingredients*More information about storing and keeping foods*more menu planning*new illustrations of techniques*new sections on high altitude baking and cooking*cooking with wine and spirits*stocking your pantry*buying the right equipment*expanded index*botanical information*ingredient substitutions*expanded information on fish and game*entertaining how-to from supper clubs to children's parties ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cook up some classics!, September 9, 2008
    Originally a self-published book in 1931, and no less than nine revisions later, this thick volume of recipes (it's got to be at least 3 inches thick) is a great addition to anyone's cook book library.

    But wait! This book is not merely just a collection of recipes- although with 4000 classic recipes and an additional 500 new ones, that would make it worth buying alone. No, this cook book stands heads and shoulders above the rest because its what I call a "teaching" cook book. It contains recipes for just about every dish or food category you can think of which are arranged in various sections throughout the book. Then, at the beginning of each chapter, there is a kind of introduction which goes into detail about that category. For example, the section on grains starts off with an almost encyclopedic explanation of the types of grains, their anatomy, how to combine them, and so on.

    A handy, informative cook book with plenty of choices, there is sure to be something for everyone and even healthy eaters will find a great section on what makes up a healthy diet, how many calories you need, etc. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for readers who need more motivation to eat healthier and have trouble changing their diet habits.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new edition, February 1, 2007
    I love the new edition. Love, love, love it! When it arrived, I sat down and started reading it. This will sound silly, but I actually CRIED because it was so fantastic and brought back so many good memories.

    I have used the 1975 edition since I started to cook. It was the first book I would turn to when I wanted to see the "standard" recipe for anything. I loved the friendly tone and always found the recipes reliable, producing consistently tasty results. Its only weakness was that it had become a bit dated, in terms of modern tastes and food trends.

    I was excited when a new edition of Joy was released in 1997. It turned out to be a total disaster. Among other things, it lacked recipes for pickling and canning, ice cream and lots of other American standards. Additionally, the 1997 edition eliminated the friendly tone and instructions I had come to love. Worst of all, the recipes were not reliable. I made a few really bad dishes from it before I stopped using it almost completely. Its only strength was in its updated instructions for cooking meat, fish and poultry.

    This new edition is a tremendous achievement. It keeps the down-to-earth tone of the older editions while providing a perfect selection of old favorites and new (primarily ethnic) dishes that are widely eaten in the US. The ice cream and pickling/canning sections are restored. It's actually an improvement on the 1976 edition, and that's saying something!

    I love this edition. I'm throwing out the 1997 edition and eventually I may even part with my old 1975 copy, though it has tremendous nostalgia value for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Keeping for Life!, November 7, 2006
    I heard about this book long time ago but never was interested in getting one because I'm only interested in cookbooks with glossy pictures and fancy mouthwatering covers. While I was waiting for my car's rountine maintenance at Costco, I read it just to kill time there. I discovered that it was such a wonderful cookbook that I just got to buy it! I have about 100 cookbooks at home but this one is the best I ever bought. This book covers all kinds of dishes, and all cooking methods. They are easy to read and very illustrative. I think lots of recipes in other cookbooks are originated from this cookbook, or adapted from the ones in this cookbook. I think being the first comprehensive, illustrative and reliable cookbook in history, lots of cookbook authors referred to it when writing cookbooks of their own as time goes by. By reading this cook book, I can see Raychael Ray, Martha Stewart, and many other cooking moguls' recipes here. My suggestion is, buy this cookbook and you can toss away Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals and others. This books has all the recipes you want to cook exactly as it is or to adapt to create your own. This book is valuable in that it helps you build a very solid foundation and understanding in cooking, equipment and all kinds of food ingredients, like "fig" which the Chinese believe to have healing power on your acid damaged GI tract.... Now I can cook it like a tasty American dessert instead of the boring dull tasting Chinese herbal soup my mom taught me to make regularly to stay healthy. Like I say, with the cooking basics and all the wonderful recipes in Joy, I'm confident that I can create better recipes than Rachel Ray or Martha Steward. It's a cook book that is inspirational and helps everybody to discover new knowledge in cookery every time you refer to it! This is the cookbook that I'm definitely keeping and cherishing for the rest of my life ! I highly recommend this to everyone who wants to give a meaningful gift to the ones you care and love!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for all cooks!, December 21, 2007
    The day I found out my grandmother was dying was the day I got this book.

    She was sick and I was very hopeful that she would get better. She was lying on the couch in the living room and asked me to boil her a potato. I, being 19, had NO idea how to boil a potato! But I did not want to bother her about it - so I went into the kitchen and started up the pot of water.

    Not only did I ruin that cute little potato ... but I saw my grandmother lose it! She came into the kitchen and saw the whole potato (not peeled or cut into fourths) hanging out in the pot and just lost it. She started crying... How can I leave you if you can't even boil a potato?!

    My grandfather happened to arrive home at that moment. He did a big sigh when he heard and saw the commotion. My poor frail grandma rolling around on the stool (too weak to stand up even), throwing pans around as she was trying to find another pot to make her potato in. He got her calmed down and fixed her another potato. But before it was even boiled she made him go out to the store "right this minute" and buy me the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook.

    She knew that she would not always be in the kitchen with me to help me cook -- so she got me a GREAT back up.

    That is how I knew my grandmother wasn't going to get better and that I had better learn how to boil a potato.

    In the years that have followed (quite a few of them too) I have used this book to learn how to cook. I love their instructions for cooking beets, steaming artichokes, roasting lamb, pork chops, pork tenderloins, chocolate cake, great pie crusts ... the list goes on and on.

    For anyone learning how to cook / wanting to cook or needing another great book - I highly recommend this and thank my grandmother for giving me great instructions on how to cook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still the Champ, if you can only have one cookbook!, October 11, 2007
    The `New Cookbook, 14th Edition' from `Better Homes and Gardens' is a heavyweight contender for best `if you have to have only one cookbook...' title, weighing in against the perennial champion, `The Joy of Cooking', now at its 75th Anniversary edition. The first of these contenders has been my mother's favorite for at least the last 40 years, and her original copy is so beat up (thus the purchase of a new edition), I can't even see the publication date on its binder, where the covers have literally fallen off the spine.
    Looking at the bare figures, `Joy' would seem to be a clear winner, with almost twice (1132 versus 656) the number of pages and almost three times (4000 versus 1400) the number of recipes. Going one step deeper and comparing the Tables of Contents, `Joy' has 39 chapters to `Better Homes' 23 chapters, meaning that `Joy' gives some topics a highlighted treatment missing from `Better Homes'. And yet, `Better Homes' has things going for it, especially considering the fact that there are millions of people such as my mother who have been going to it for so many years.
    `Better Homes' most obvious attribute is its 3 ring binder style, which means that every page will lay perfectly flat AND one can easily remove any page and photocopy it on an inexpensive home multipurpose copier / scanner / printer. No small consideration compared to `Joy's' sewn signatures which are a bit awkward if you are looking at candies at the end of the book or appetizers near the front of the book. This virtue is diminished just a tad by the fact that the binding is a non-standard size, not carried by your local Staples. (I looked, to try to replace the binder laying on my workbench in three pieces!). Another virtue associated with this design is the tabbed dividers for each section. This makes browsing to look for a nice egg recipe much easier than in `Joy'. The next obvious virtue is its color pictures. This is not a clear win, since `Joy's line drawings of how to techniques are often superior to `Better Homes' static pics.
    `Better Homes', after over 40 years on the bookshelves, primarily succeeds at the one thing every `general purpose' cookbook must do well. It has good recipes for virtually every basic, and most of the not so basic preparations the average home cook will want to do in the kitchen in the course of a year. The only stock recipes I could not find was one for Genoise and one for the en papillote cooking technique. Not only do both appear in `Joy', but the Rombauer / Becker clan gives us two different recipes under both rubrics! But, `Better Homes' still has things going for it!
    Looking at the layout, writing, and selection of recipes in `Better Homes', I find much that I like. Many standard recipes are provided with well-written variations, and especially variations I am really interested in trying, such as the blueberry variations on pancakes and muffins. There are also many full-blown parallel recipes when there are several classic ways for making a basic dish, such as biscuits, both rolled and cut and drop biscuits. I am also fond of how most of the recipes are written. Few details are overlooked, yet the writing is crisp and no nonsense direct and to the point. The one thing which will most appeal to the average home cook is that the book makes a point of using only familiar ingredients certain to appear even on the smaller local supermarket shelves. On the other hand, there is little or no holdover from the dark days of 1950s cooking making heavy use of canned or dried ingredients. On the other hand, canned mushrooms, mushroom soup, and hydrogenated shortening are not missing entirely and more than once I found recipes where butter does better than Crisco.
    The two things which most impressed me were the overall selection of recipes and the excellent introductory chapter on `Cooking Basics'. There is an entire library of cookbooks who try to give a good treatment of this subject, and end up giving us just a short chapter of filler to pad out their standard 250 pages. `Better Homes' does it right, as befitting its `be all things' ambitions. The recipe selection is broad enough to appeal to even the more adventuresome home cook, with its recipes for breads, homemade pasta, and homemade salad dressings. My problem with some of the more elaborate recipes is that the product is almost certain to be not as good as what you get from a commercial source. The cinnamon bun recipe, for example, is not nearly as good as my standard from `Baking with Julia'. I was also skeptical of it's hot cross buns recipe, a preparation which is remarkably difficult, as baked goods go. Remarkably, `Joy' passes on both these recipes, reinforcing my belief that for these specialties, one will be far better off going to a book specializing in baking for an authoritative recipe.
    IF I were limited to a single cookbook, my personal choice between these two is `Joy of Cooking', simply because it's recipes are just as good as `Better Homes', and there is more of it. But, if your family tradition belongs to `Better Homes and Gardens', you will not be disappointed by their offering.
    My final word on Joy is that I miss the notebook binding style, which made every page lay flat. Still a great book, however!

    2-0 out of 5 stars a sad echo of the original -- but you can still get the real thing, November 21, 2008
    The infamous and unfortunate late 1990s "update" of this important classic took it in a trendy, low-fat, vaguely-Northern-Italian-accented direction -- and worse, removed so many of the key instructions and techniques that made the classic Joy the one all-purpose reference. A sad day indeed. Fortunately, a happier day followed when it was announced, after some uproar, that the 1975 revision -- the Last Good One -- would remain in print, and so it does to this very day. Do yourself a favor: Forget this unfortunate hodgepodge and go get the real thing, ISDN #0026045702, available in lovely durable timeless hardcover right here at Amazon.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Crepes Recipe and Squirrel Skinning are Gone!, November 27, 2007
    I bought the 1975 edition as my first cookbook after I was married in 1983. I am happy to report that the dust jacket is faded, yellowed, stained, and quite dirty; the spine of the book is cracked, and the pages are dog eared. I learned to cook with this book and still use it regularly. After all this time, I decided to upgrade to the new edition. It was so tempting - that bright white, clean, brand new cover was calling out to me. So I bought it and brought it home without showing it to my husband who uses it on the weekends to make his breakfast crepes, which are just like the ones his French Canadian mother made. I decided I would give my old book to a very good friend who lives in the city, doesn't really cook, and doesn't own a cookbook. I inscribed the front page to her (saying I hoped the book would inspire her to cook as it did for me) and then told my husband I had given it away. He said "Wait, that book has my crepes recipe". I said "Don't worry, that's such a basic recipe, they wouldn't have gotten rid of that". So I asked my friend to look and see if the recipe was still in the new book, and sure enough it was gone! How could they remove the "French Pancakes or Crepes" recipe?!

    My husband said "We have to get that book back!" I said "No, I can't ask for it back, we'll just copy the recipe into the new book." So I asked my friend to bring the book over so we could copy the recipe into the new book.

    Meanwhile, she had brought the book into work and had a good laugh with her co-workers going through the book, picking out recipes for meals that she would never make, and looking at the old illustrations. She pointed out the best illustration on page 515 on how to skin a squirrel. It's great! It shows disembodied gloved hands and a boot stomping on the tail and pulling the skin off in one fell swoop. We checked the new book and it's gone along with the crepes recipe!

    Well that was it. We had to ask for the book back. I gave my friend the new edition, tore out the page that had my inscription to her on, and put the book back in it's place on my kitchen bookshelf. I will never give away my 1975 edition again!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good basic recipes, terrible quality book, February 22, 2008
    I am an avid cook and have loved previous editions. This was my wedding gift and I was very excited.
    The binding on my new edition began to split and fall apart within a couple months. They glued the edges of the paper to the binding in a way that I can't imagine lasting through the years as my mother's edition did. It's actually a loose stack of papers within the cover. Also, there are numerous recipe mistakes, more than are catalogued on their website. Some favorite recipes are gone.
    They really rushed this one through the printers and I can't believe how much they're charging for it. My advice is to look for a used copy from the 70's or 80's

    3-0 out of 5 stars Errors mar an otherwise fine book, November 18, 2006
    This edition of the classic work has all of the charm of the previous volumes but has a number of errors. The Simon and Schuster web site notes a number of "revised" recipes. For instance, one problem highlighted on the discussion board is that the pancakes need 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder not 1 3/4 tablespoons.

    My first dish out of the new edition turned up a glaring omission. The Chicken Papirikas recipe didn't mention the stock that obviously was needed. I knew to put it in but novices might not.

    I'm delighted that we have a new volume to work with but I hope that the publisher will issue a more accurate version soon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Over 1100 pages and BINDING IS GLUED NOT SEWN!, March 21, 2010
    The content is fine, but this binding is just unacceptable! My 5 month old copy is heavily creased on the binding because it is glued, not sewn. The 1975 version of Joy of Cooking I have has a sewn binding. The content of the book is 5 stars.. but I just had to give this a 1 star, so you'd notice that the BINDING IS HORRIBLE.

    Check out your copy's binding.. are you satisfied with it? I'm not. :(

    I hope you are reading this Scribner! Please make the next version of the book with sewn binding! ... Read more


    19. How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food
    by Mark Bittman
    Hardcover
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0764578650
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 92
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Today's Favorite Kitchen Companion—Revised and Better Than Ever

    Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks—or wants to. With Bittman's straightforward instructions and advice, you'll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you'll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.

    "A week doesn't go by where I don't pull How to Cook Everything down from the shelf, so I am thrilled there's a new, revised edition. My original is falling apart!"
    Al Roker

    "This new generation of How to Cook Everything makes my 'desert island' cookbook choice jacked up and simply universal. I'll now bequeath my cookbooks to a collector; I need only this one."
    Mario Batali

    "Mark Bittman has done the impossible, improving upon his now-classic How to Cook Everything. If you need know-how, here's where to find it."
    Bobby Flay

    "Mark Bittman is a great cook and an incredible teacher. In this second edition, Mark has fine-tuned the original, making this book a must for every kitchen."
    Jean-Georges Vongerichten

    "Throw away all your old recipes and buy How to Cook Everything. Mark Bittman's recipes are foolproof, easy, and more modern than any others."
    Isaac Mizrahi

    "Generous, thorough, reliable, and necessary, How to Cook Everything is an indispensable reference for both experienced and beginner cooks."
    Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook

    "I learned how to cook from How to Cook Everything in a way that gives me the freedom to be creative. This new edition will be my gift to new couples or for a housewarming; if you have this book, you don't really need any others."
    Lisa Loeb, singer/songwriter ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Got Even Better, November 7, 2008
    I got my copy of the new edition of How to Cook Everything the other day and am beyond thrilled. I own the old yellow edition and have cooked from it far more than any other book, so I knew the new book had a lot to live up to. Well, it by far exceeded my expectations. While the book still feels familiar, it also feels new and improved. The essential recipe sections beginning each chapter are a great way to find the basics. But even the basics have changed. For example, Mark's roast chicken recipe, which I've used and liked in the past (though I still love Barbara Kafka's) has changed. He suggests you heat the pan before putting the chicken in and placing the chicken breast side up (instead of side down as he suggested in his old book). The heat of the pan helps cook the thighs faster so the breasts don't dry out. It worked perfectly the first time I tried it. Beyond the basics, there are just so many new recipes in here. The variations, lists, and charts that Mark is famous for seem even more plentiful than before, and there are tons of beautiful new illustrations. I'm so excited to cook with this new edition and foresee a day when it's pages will be stained with grease and flour just like the old edition. But I still can't get rid of the old one. It's like a good friend. I'll just put the new one on the shelf right next to it, red by yellow, and know that I can always count on them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Innovative, hip, and inspirational - it's The One, November 25, 2008
    If you have room in your heart for only one cookbook, this is the one. With 2000 recipes it really does have everything. With variations. It's got vegetables from A to Z, with several recipes for each, primers on meat, fish and fowl, on stocking the kitchen and preserving your tools.

    Bittman, author of the Minimalist column in the New York Times, has overhauled the original to reflect the changing times. Almost half the material is new, showcasing more international dishes, more vegetarian fare, and a tighter organization. Best known for keeping it simple - fine food, with minimal fuss - Bittman would like to see the home cook spend an hour a day cooking but most of these dishes can be made in half that time.

    If the dishes are inspirational, the organization is breathtaking. Organized by course, each chapter begins with "essential" recipes, the "building blocks," and icons accompany every recipe, indicating fast (under 30 minutes), make ahead, or vegetarian. Charts and sidebars abound, offering ideas for using different techniques with similar ingredients or the same technique with different ingredients.

    As always with Bittman, the watchword is variation, the goal is inspiration. Cooks of all levels of experience and interest will spend hours with this book and never run out of new ideas and new tricks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this cookbook!, October 21, 2008
    In addition to the typical American basics, I love that this cookbook includes recipes for international and less than every day foods. There are plenty of suggestions for varying recipes and I find his "quick" versions of many recipes helpful and well suited to work night dinners. The recipes tend to be fairly easy while using mostly fresh and healthy ingredients. I find so many things that sound delicious that I have a hard time deciding what to try first. Bittman explains techniques and ingredients clearly enough for real beginners, while going into enough depth that even more experienced cooks can learn something. I am already buying a second copy to send to my daughter at college.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful resource that I can't say enough good things about., January 13, 2009
    This book is not only a wonderful resource; it is a rather significant achievement. The book is useful and helpful for beginning and developing cooks as well as a handy reference for experienced culinary professionals. Much of this usefulness flows from the way Mark Bittman has organized the book around 102 Essential Recipes. He then shows you other dishes and variations that build on or can be adapted from the core recipe. For example, on page 508 he has a nice recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese (which I made and my family loved). He then provides four variations and then six mac-and-cheese combos. So much of learning to cook is developing the ability to see how dishes relate to each other and gaining a sense of what you can do with them even without a specific recipe or permission from some authority to do something different. You gain understanding and freedom through experience and seeing connections. This book fosters the development of this understanding and way of looking at food.

    You can tell the core recipes because they have a white star inside a red circle by the recipe title. The author also uses three other handy symbols (all in red circles). F means that the meal is fast and can be made in less than thirty minutes. M means you can make the dish ahead (or at least to significant degree of completion) of when it will be needed. V means it is a vegetarian recipe.

    I like the way Bittman takes care to explain things to the reader without condescension. He assumes that someone using the book will need to know, for example, what basic pots and pans he should have or what her basic set of knives should be. Every beginning cook needs to learn how to use knives safely and what core ingredients should be in their pantry. Bittman explains all this and so much more. He also uses helpful diagrams to explain to how carve chickens, prepare fish, peeling and deveining shrimp, dice veggies, and so forth. The book also has many tables to help you get at the core types of ingredients such as apples, spices, herbs, and so much more. This is a cooking resource, not just a collection of recipes.

    The way the author writes the recipes is especially helpful. He does not use the cryptic shorthand seen in so many recipes. The steps he provides are careful explanations of not only what you should do, but they also include explanations of why you need to do it and if something might be unclear he also tells you how to do it. Sometimes he even includes alternative approaches in the steps of a recipe. The recipes read as if he were talking to you as a friend and sharing with you so you can share in the fun he is having. Each recipe also tells you the yield in servings and the amount of time you should plan on spending to make the dish. He also lets you know when most of the time making the dish is actually in unattended mode.

    You should also go to the back of the book for some other handy resources. These pages all have a red edge. He offers a series of menu ideas for Breafast and Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, and Celebrations. He also lists the 102 Essential Recipes on page 974 and 975. He then provides his own top 100 fast recipes, his top 100 make-ahead recipes, and top 100 vegetarian recipes. On page 982 he provides a list of specialty resources you can use for items you might need if they aren't available in your area. Of course the book has an index, which is extremely useful. Inside the front and back covers are some handy bits of conversion and temperature information.

    Does the book really tell you how to cook everything? Pretty much. Remember, this isn't about cooking every possible dish in the universe, but of providing ways of handling a vast range of ingredients to get wonderful and easy to prepare dishes. I didn't find dishes with foie gras or caviar in the book. But they might well be there and I just missed them. However, it is insignificant either way. This subtitle is spot on: "Simple Recipes for Great Food" and that is what you need to know in approaching this wonderful book.

    I recommend this to everyone who loves food and wants to begin cooking or develop their repertoire of dishes from the few they use over and over again. Take the plunge and you can thank me later. This book would also be a terrific gift to kids and grand kids setting up their own house or apartment. Learning to cook will not only be cheaper than eating out or ordering in, it will be far healthier. And it offers much more opportunity for healthy socializing than the usual stuffing of faces in front of a glowing tube.

    Strongly and fervently recommended.

    Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beverages are missing!, November 18, 2008
    I gave away my first edition of this book as soon as I got the new one. Much to my dismay, I discovered that the entire beverages chapter has been omitted from this new book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Recipes are not the best, October 19, 2009
    I too was surprised at all the five star reviews, because as others have pointed out, the individual recipes are not always the best for the task. Specifically, I needed a pie crust recipe today. Bittman suggests using all butter, which is fine, but that makes an extremely short crust -- not the most ideal for a quiche, for instance. Check Julia Child, Alton Brown, Better Homes and Gardens ... you will find that they all suggest the addition of a proportion of vegetable shortening to make the crust tender. I improvised since I basically needed the proportions of flour/fat, but for a novice baker the crust would probably be a bit disappointing.

    It's a nice idea to create a book that would supplant all your other cookbooks (and I can't believe John-George Vortigern said to throw away all your other cookbooks, and why does Lisa Loeb have the authority to review a cookbook, she's a rock star), but in fact one person can't make everything well. From what I have seen, he hasn't taken the best of the best to make up this volume. It's too easy to turn to this book and get a mediocre result, without realizing you could have made it better using another source. A good cook should use a few different sources, with a couple of well-tested basic books such as Better Homes and Gardens or America's Test Kitchen, or even Joy of Cooking to have core recipes on hand.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Resource for Those Who Want to Go Beyond Mixing Simple Ingredients to Make a Quick Meal, January 22, 2009
    As someone who was banished from the kitchen by my mother (except for dish-washing chores), I have always had lots of questions about what to do and when for the kinds of dishes I like. My wife was similarly banished so we are like the blind leading the blind. Our mothers' culinary skill caused us to appreciate great home-cooked food, but unable to provide it for ourselves. As a result, we are fond of cookbooks where you toss a few ingredients together and get something tasty in a few minutes. We also look forward to restaurant meals where great flavors are experienced beyond what our mothers gave us.

    That seemed to me like where we would stay until I found the Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. With this book, I can create almost anything I used to enjoy at my mom's house or in a restaurant. I also feel confident about achieving those results because this book answers my unanswered questions.

    I was astonished to see how many flavors I like in sauces can be created very easily. Wow!

    In addition, I can now look forward to healthier eating by knowing what ingredients are being used rather than relying on so many prepared ingredients.

    Thank you!

    If you already know how to make great recipes from scratch, you won't be as impressed by this book as I am. In fact, you probably won't need it.

    To use a metaphor, this book isn't the ultimate cook book. It's the step-up cookbook for those who have mastered the simplest kitchen preparations but want to learn how to do more and create the kind of results that you don't experience in 90 percent of American kitchens.

    Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Revised and Better Than Ever!, February 11, 2009
    Often times, "completely revised" and "anniversary editions" don't live up to the billing. The original "How to Cook Everything", is my "go-to" cookbook whenever I need to learn about a technique or food I'm cooking with for the first time. Reflecting the changing food and cooking industries, many of the recipes are new, yet stick to Bittman's principles of simple, fresh food. Icons label the recipes as fast, make-ahead, and vegetarian; charts and lists enhance each section. The organization is superior, making it easy to find everything. With essential recipes and variations on just about everything, plus an encyclopedia of techniques and information, in addition to accessible, easy-to-use organization, this is the one cookbook that should be on everyone's shelf.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite cookbook, December 31, 2008
    I received this book for Christmas and have already made 6-7 recipes from it. The instructions are clear and simple enough for those who aren't gourmet cooks.

    This is NOT a book for those who choose recipes based on photographs, but for those who have a basic idea for what they want to make...but maybe with a new twist.

    Many of the recipes have alternate versions for those who like to experiment and wherever there is an option for homemade ingredients (like mayonnaise or sauces) the book refers to the specific page where they can be found.

    Overall, this is the best How To I've found so far. I'm buying the vegetarian version for a friend!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Book needs more editing, hit or miss recipes, July 30, 2009
    First of all whoever put this book together did not read through it very well. Sentences are cut off and incomplete. I would recommend people with little or no cooking experience do not buy this book. Many recipes need adjusting or maybe some steps or ingredients are just plain missing. Also in the back index there is not a lot of cross referencing and sometimes hard to locate a recipe. I've tried several recipes, many needing adjustments so I end up looking up other recipes either on-line or in other books I own. There have been a few winning recipes but not enough for me to recommend this book to others. ... Read more


    20. Bobby Flay's Throwdown!: More Than 100 Recipes from Food Network's Ultimate Cooking Challenge
    by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas, Miriam Garron
    Hardcover
    list price: $27.50 -- our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307719162
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 152
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Are you ready?
     
    Every week on Throwdown!, celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay goes head-to-head with cooks who have staked their claim as masters of an iconic dish—buffalo wings, chicken cacciatore, or sticky buns, for example—even though he may never have cooked these things before. The results are always entertaining—and delicious. In his first-ever cookbook collaboration with Food Network, Bobby shares the recipes and fun from his popular show.
     
    For each episode, both Bobby’s recipe and his challenger’s are included, comprising a cross-country tour of regional specialties and good-hearted competitive spirit. Travel to San Antonio for puffy tacos, Philadelphia for cheesesteaks, Harlem for fried chicken and waffles, and Charleston for coconut cake. Try both dishes to pick your favorite, or challenge friends and family to a battle of your own. Either way, you’ll find tons of fantastic flavors in this best-of-the-best book from the first seven seasons of Throwdown!.
     
    The ultimate companion cookbook to one of America’s favorite food shows, Bobby Flay’s Throwdown! lets home cooks and fans in on the action, featuring favorite Throwdown! moments and behind-the-scenes peeks alongside beautiful, all-new color food photography created just for this book. So if Bobby Flay ever strolls into your backyard asking “Are you ready for a Throwdown?” you definitely will be!
     
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Many, but not all, of the great Throwdown recipes, October 13, 2010
    I have to preface this review by saying that I love Throwdown, so I don't think I can write an unbiased review. The book has recipes from 51 throwdowns with both Bobby and the competitor's recipes. The recipes come pretty evenly from the first seven seasons. Each section has pictures from and a recap of the Throwdown episode. Also, there are tons of pictures in this book, and every recipe is pictured. The Throwdowns in the book are

    Barbecue
    Chowder
    Red Chili
    Steak
    Breakfast
    Cocktails
    Cheesesteak
    Fried Chicken
    Chicken Cacciatore
    Meatloaf
    Mac 'n' Cheese
    Fish and Chips
    Cheesecake
    Cuban Roast Pork
    Cupcakes
    Buffalo Wings
    Sticky Buns
    Crepes
    Puffy Tacos
    Jerk Steak
    Fruit Pie
    Muffuletta
    Meatballs
    Lasagna
    Ice Pops
    Eggplant Parmesan
    Chicken and Waffles
    Arroz con Pollo
    Grilled Cheese
    Dumplings
    Pulled Pork
    Arepas
    Coconut Cake
    Seafood Gumbo
    Paella
    Chile Rellenos
    Falafel
    Chocolate Bread Pudding
    Cioppino
    Ravioli
    Chicken Pot Pie
    Matzoh Ball Soup
    Shrimp and Grits
    North Carolina Ribs and Beans
    German Chocolate Cake
    Country Captain Chicken
    Green Chile Cheeseburger
    Steak Fajitas
    Barbecued Chicken and Potato Salad
    Lobster Club Sandwich
    Pumpkin Pie

    I would have loved for this book to have every single Throwdown recipe (I especially miss the blueberry pancake, pineapple upside down cake, doughnut, and chicken tikka masala recipes), but I can't hold that against this book since they had to get the competitors to agree to publish their secret recipes. All-in-all, it's a fun cookbook, espcially if you love a good Throwdown.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful cookbook, October 18, 2010
    First of all, this is a beautiful cookbook! The quality of the paper and photographs is worth the price alone! The recipes are all winners. I have already found most of these recipes on the internet, and all of the ones I have tried are excellent. It is wonderful that so many of the competitors were wise enough to know that sharing their signature recipes takes away nothing from their business, but adds immensely to their popularity and respect from the public. Bobby Flay and his assistants have done a wonderful job writing the intros., and the recipes are laid out very well. It is a very impressive book, and I am very happy to have all the recipes handy. If you like Throwdown, buy the book; you won't be disappointed!! Heck, if you have never seen Throwdown, still buy the book; you won't be disappointed!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's about time!, October 12, 2010
    Been waiting for this companion to the awesome Throwdown for a long time. Love the format of recapping the show and providing the recipe. Bobby's food is always amazing, both his recipes and restaurants. Now that I have this in book form can't wait to try them all. I am disappointed that the Blueberry pancakes and Choc Chip cookie challenges did not make the cut. I think it could have been a little bigger volume and included more. Still 5 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ask Yourself This-Are You Ready for TheThrowdown Cookbook?, October 14, 2010
    Many of us would answer, if asked, who for you is at the cutting edge of American cuisine? I would answer Bobby Flay. Early on in FoodNetwork's existence, opposed to Flay as he seemed arrogant and distant, but this false image has been taken away. This show exhibits more of Bobby as fun, gracious guy to be around (and even compete against) and one who really knows food.

    His breadth of range of cusine is marvelous, from Spanish to American burgers to French. He appreciates range and diversity in food, but especially that of passion and skill. This show picked up on all of this, as Flay explains this was an outgrowth of his experiences in show called "Food Nation."

    Having watched with interest and pleasure much of this series, this collection provides pretty much "something for everyone!" I'm really excited about having both recipes for each Throwdown, and duplicating many, and even trying to enhance some, or even prepare my own answer.

    Check out the likes of: Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust; Chicken And Waffles; Peach-Blackberry Pie; Duck and Shitake Mushroom Crepes with Habanero Sauce; Caramel Apple Cheesecake; Collucci Brothers Meatloaf;

    The format and style is what Clarkson Potter Pubs are known for: great large format with wonderful full color photos and great prose to accompany.

    We are ready for this Throwdown Cookbook! It will be great to cook out of!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Over 50 of America's favorite dishes PLUS Chef Bobby Flay's version of them, October 20, 2010
    Celebrity chef Bobby Flay delivers a stunning "one-two punch" in his latest book, "Bobby Flay's Throwdown". Based on the cooking challenges from his Food Network show, this book not only contains 50 classic American recipes, like Southern Fried Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, Muffuletta, and Mac n' Cheese but also Chef Flay's take on them. It's like two cookbooks in one!

    Bobby Flay is well known not only for his restaurants, cookbooks and T-V shows, but also for his New York cockiness (does anyone remember his first appearance on the Japanese version of Iron Chef when Bobby infuriated Chef Masaharu Morimoto by striking a victory pose while standing on his own cutting board?) which makes him an unlikely candidate for a show that most chefs would avoid like two day old sushi. In the series Throwdown, Chef Flay surprises cooks that are famous for a particular dish and challenges them to a one-on-one contest on that very food, using local judges to determine the outcome! Sounds like a recipe for failure and Bobby does lose most of his contests (and loses in style, I must add), but it makes for great culinary entertainment.

    The book includes recipes gleaned from 7 seasons of the television show and details the cook or cooks featured, their specialty and both their and Chef Flay's dishes with the recipes for each. Every dish is photographed by my favorite food photographer, New York's Ben Fink. Good food photography is not only rare but it's also expensive, and the publisher spared none when he commissioned Mr. Fink for the studio shots of both the featured cook's dish and Bobby Flay's version.

    I really like having two recipes showing variations of the same dish. Some of Bobby Flay's recipes in this book are inspired, some seem a little contrived (as if he was making his dish different just for the sake of being different by using exotic ingredients), and others are somewhere in-between. I have made several of the recipes in "Throwdown" and find myself "mixing and matching" the ingredients, using some of his and some of his competitors. For instance, I used his choice of bread but his opponents filling when I made the grilled cheese sandwich featured in this book.

    The only complaint that I have is with the design of the book itself. Each "Throwdown" is shown as a dossier of sorts, with a manila file, a label-maker style title and candid photos (that look like they were taken with a Polaroid SX-70) laying on top of each other. The food featured here and the people that made it deserve a classier presentation than they received with this book's design.

    I would have purchased this book for the classic recipes alone and to get Chef Flay's interpretation of them doubles the value for me. Even though I don't like the layout of this book, I give it 5 stars for it's content.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just What I wanted., November 1, 2010
    This Books is exactly what I had expected it to be. It has several of the receipies from his Throwdown show, His and the competers. I have not made any yet, but can't wait to try about 3 that I had really wish were in there and they were. I do hope he makes a 2nd throwdown with the rest of his show in them. The Lobster Club is in there, the Steak Fajitas with Father Leo, Even the EggPlant Parmesan with David Greco, I just loved the way he cut the eggplant and made it look like Noodles. The pictures are GREAT, and each chapter tells the story of the product. GREAT GREAT BOOK.

    5-0 out of 5 stars There Is One Problem With This Book, October 15, 2010
    The problem of this book is which recipe to try first.

    The pictures are amazing and the recipes are amazing.

    Just looking at this book all I could say is 'Oh my God" over and over again.

    Bobby, we're looking for you do another THROWDOWN book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 270 PAGES OF FUN AND FINE FOOD, December 8, 2010


    Millions of us watch THROWDOWN on the Food Network every week. It's great fun and we learn a lot when celebrity chef and restauranteur Bobby Flay takes on cooks who claim to make the best ever of a popular dish, such as Coconut Cake, Lasagna or Grilled Cheese sandwiches (wait until you taste Bobby's made with grilled Brie, Goat Cheese, bacon, and green tomato - called by some a "taste explosion"). As we know, Bobby happily takes on these challenges even though he may never have cooked a specific dish before.

    While watching THROWDOWN is a pleasure what a treat and how handy to have over 100 of these recipes available in Bobby's first cookbook. It's a beauty of a book with many of the show's favorite moments, some peeks behind the scenes, and gorgeous food photography. You'll find everything from Barbecue to Mac `n' Cheese to Ravioli with all sorts of good dishes in between. For each episode of THROWDOWN featured in the book both Bobby's and his challenger's recipes are included.

    For instance, when it comes to Grilled Cheese Connie and Bill Fisher who own a restaurant in New Jersey that offers 31 varieties of grilled cheese may have thought they were sure-wins with their sandwich built with Monterrey Jack cheese, turkey and bacon on rosemary focaccia. Not quite - Bobby took the day with his "Grilled Brie and Goat Cheese with Bacon and Green Tomato." Mom's grilled cheese was great but nothing like these!

    Don't we all love spaghetti and meatballs? Bobby's looked tempting but a100-year-old recipe from Mike Maroni was declared tops, and Mat Arnfeld taught Bobby a few tricks when it came to Fish and Chips (Flour whisked with brown ale for dredging the fish couldn't have hurt).

    Sometimes Bobby wins and sometimes he loses, while the recipes are always terrific. It's impossible to choose a favorite, so enjoy 270 pages of fun and fine food.

    - Gail Cooke

    4-0 out of 5 stars Cool Throwdown Challenges!, October 19, 2010
    Lots of fun! Many are familiar with Chef Bobby Flay's show, "Throwdown," in which he challenges chefs who have specialties. He tries to "beat them at their own game."

    This volume chronicles some of those challenges. I recall actually viewing quite a few of these episodes. Who could forget his macaroni and cheese battle with Delilah (which he won). Here are both his and Delilah's (7 cheese) recipes. One of my personal favorite throwdowns? Buffalo chicken wings! Bobby Flay challenged Chef Drew Cerza, at Buffalo's Anchor Bar (the home of chicken wings!).

    Other favorite throwdowns? Philly Cheese steak sandwich. Boy, are these great. Compare Bobby's recipe with that of Tony Luke. Meatloaf? I have developed my own favorite recipe. But it's fun to compare Bobby's recipe with that of the Collucci brothers. Muffuletta? New Orleans sandwiches! Bobby versus Mike and Jack Serio's. Then, something as simple as grilled cheese. Bobby Flay's recipe featuring brie and goat cheese with bacon and green tomato. The competitor? "The Calvert," featuring balsamic vinegar, focaccia bread, Monterey jack cheese, turkey, bacon, and avocado. Both recipes rock!

    At any rate, a nice work, where you can compare an Iron Chef's take on individual chefs' signature dishes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Are You Ready For a Throwdown?, November 8, 2010
    I have to admit, I was prejudiced in favor of this book as soon as I heard it was coming out. I'm a 'Throwdown' addict, and while many of the recipes are available on the Food Network site, I liked the idea of having so many of them all gathered together in one book. Plus, the behind the scenes photos and Bobby Flay's own descriptions of the episodes, the competitors and the fun are a great bonus.

    The recipes are clear and easy to follow. I was sorry the Red Velvet Cake Throwdown wasn't included, as I wanted to try Cakeman Raven's signature cake, but the Cupcake Throwdown winner also did a Red Velvet, so I'll do that one instead. I've already tried the winnng meatballs recipe and it turned out great! I'm looking forward to trying out more of them, and especially to our upcoming move to a place with a much bigger, better kitchen. There I plan on challenging friends to a Throwdown or two of our own! ... Read more


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