1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2014
I was eager to get this because I have the first edition and use many of the recipes, and this was expanded. While I love the new arrangement, what ruined it for me was that they deleted the white cake recipe. I mean really--how many freaking chocolate cake recipes do you need? (I know--many people will say you can't have too many, but I'm afraid I can't agree. Sorry!) So now I have both editions. I still like the explanations for how they came up with the final recipe and their choices, and love the tips and product recommendations. I recommend this for someone who has some cooking experience and is looking to expand their recipe collection.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2014
If cooking were a religion this book would be the bible. You have to take the time to read the comments before each recipe as it's a wealth of information. I'm an avid cook and have been since i was 13 (I'm now almost 50). I love cooking and I thought I knew alot.....wrong. I've learned a ton with this book and I've now subscribed to their website to take classes, order other books and get more recipes.
on April 10, 2014
I purchased this booked based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews and am very happy that I did. This is an amazing recipe book for many reasons, and for me, the explanations, tips, and equipment recommendations have been imperative to how I cook now. And of course, there are the recipes which made my husband exclaim "this is the best chicken I ever ate" when referring to the Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic dinner. He made the same exclamation for the Pan Seared Filet Mignon and the Roast Beef. And indeed they were devine. The focus of these recipes are on a simple blend of flavours, but with the proper guidance from the authors, the food comes to life.
Some things to note:
1) The recipes are not for those who want a quick dinner. You need to be patient and put in love and sweat in order to get the best meal. Many recipes are best meant for a weekend or an evening when you come home at 6 pm and don't mind eating at 9 pm. But there are plenty of good ones that aren't time consuming as well so don't be discouraged by that. You will be so inspired by your first success, that the time it takes won't phase you because you'll want to improve as you take on more recipes. This book has really made me love cooking even more than I thought I did.
2) You will discover new tools that you will want to make your new found love of cooking even that much better. I since purchased a blow torch for the awesome creme brulee recipe (they recommend one that can be found at Home Depot), a cast iron dutch oven, and a scale ($20 from Costco). The scale is a must by the way and you will surprise yourself by using it more often than you thought you would. I already owned the Al Clad skillet recommended in this book and before this book, hardly used it because I didn't know in what circumstances I would use it. Since owning this book, the skillet gets plenty of use from me and I love it.
3) Your grocery bill is likely to go up, at least it did for me when I started making a new recipe from the book each day for awhile. They suggest the 'best' ingredients to use and cuts of meat which can be pricey depending on what you make. I rationalized that by the quantity made and getting to eat tasty leftovers for lunch the next day.
4) You are guaranteed rave reviews. When my husband took a bite of the oven fries (which are one of my favorites), he also said "these are the best potatoes I've ever had". The book allowed me to make restaurant quality french fries without being deep fried which was wonderful considering I haven't eaten restaurant fries in years to keep slim.
5) The book isn't organized well in terms of the table of contents. It's broken down generically so with over 1000 recipes, sometimes it makes it hard to find a recipe you are looking for. But since I've used it so many times, a quick flip through is good enough for me or the index at the back is excellent. It would also be extremely helpful it they included the total prep and cooking time on each recipe. It can take awhile to read through the steps and add the time up to figure out if it fits your schedule.
6) Don't be turned off by having no glamorous photos of food. There are plenty of instructions and the illustrations are detailed enough that anybody can follow. The instructions are so good, that when I compare them to other cookbooks I love, it just makes me appreciate this book more. I love how the authors tell you what pan to use, what size pan, when to do this or that. The instructions are clear cut and you don't have to make any guesses.
7) I must say also that the recipes are not wildly trendy or 'creative. Most of it is basic North American type of recipes despite a few international ones here and there (e.g., pad thai). Think chicken pot pie, brownies, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, etc.
I have been raving about this book since I purchased it and have called it 'life changing' because it is. It makes you a better cook, will inspire you, and those you love with love your meals and you can actually see them take pleasure in eating what you created. Food brings people together, especially when it is fabulous food. I just purchased this book for a friend and I am looking forward to hearing about her success in the kitchen. Do buy the book!