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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2009
I've been a fan of Michael Smith's show on the Food Network for years but this is the first of his cookbooks that I've ever used. I wasn't sure what to expect from it, but it was love at first sight. This book is beautifully laid out - uncluttered, simple formatting of recipes and gorgeous photos of each dish. Even if you don't make a single one of the recipes in here, it is just a lovely book to look at.

The recipes themselves are very easy to make and the ones I've tried so far have all turned out wonderfully. I've made the whitefish provencal, the fetuccine alfredo, and the grilled chicken with 10 toppings (I used the basil pesto suggestion for the topping but all of Smith's ideas are great). He provides a lot of suggestions for variations and substitutions so these recipes are quite flexible depending on your tastes and what you have in your pantry.

My favourite thing about this book is the way that the instructions are given. Unlike most other cookbooks I own, Smith gives instructions based on how the food looks, feels, and smells so that you become an intuitive cook. He doesn't tell you how many minutes to saute something, he tells you what signs to check for to see if it's done. I find that very helpful - I'm not a beginner in the kitchen but there are many things I am still learning and this book is great for developing that Chef's Sixth Sense.

This is easily one of my favourite cookbooks and I highly recommend it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2009
Michael Smith is my favorite all time Food Network Chef. His meals are simple, easy to make and you can always find the ingredients. This book has many outstanding recipies in it, that everyone in the family will enjoy. I have bought 4 of this book and used 3 for gifts of which my girlfriends just love it. They agreed that the recepies are simple and easy to follow and the end result is a dinner you would think a professional chef made. Don't miss the chance to give someone a cookbook that won't just sit on the shelf, it will sit in your kitchen and you will use it over and over again!! I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2010
I love Michael Smith and I was really excited for this new book, hoping for a stellar follow-up to his last Chef at Home book. I was disappointed to find that many of the recipes were reprints or slight variations of recipes from that book (i.e. orange ginger beef, chocolate chip cookies) and I laughed out loud when I saw the recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich. However, the pasta section is expanded and interesting, the recipes do use easy to find (often staple) ingredients and the variations and tips offered make everything very accessible. In short, if you only buy one Michael Smith book, you'll probably be really happy with this one. If you already owned his last Chef at Home compilation, you might find it's a bit of a let-down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2009
My cupboard is full of unused cookbooks and then I got this cookbook and LOVE IT! I actually use this one. The recipe's are absolutely delicious and so easy to make and with ingredients found in most kitchens. A joy to cook with, THANK YOU Michael Smith! This is THE cookbook to have and a great gift for the person who has everything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2010
I absolutely love this book. Cannot emphasis that enough. We loved the blue cheese crusted filet mignon. It was better than our local steak house that used to be our ultimate favorite. The homemade salad dressings are a daily staple now. We love how the book is all about adapting to what you have and what you like. It doesn't hurt that I'm from PEI and very proud (and a teeny bit biased) that Chef Smith has so much inspiration from PEI ingredients and traditional foods like the seafood chowder.

Please, please, please buy this book! You will not be sorry. Try the cinnamon buns and/or the brownies first (my boss said they were the best brownies he's ever had). And definitely the homemade granola you will not be able to stop eating it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Definitely worth the purchase! I am currently cooking and blogging my way through the entire cookbook and there very few recipes that I wouldn't recommend.
This is an excellent book for beginners and pros alike, and it's the perfect gift for anyone who needs to be in the kitchen (or wants to be!)
I have met Chef Michael, and I can tell you that the "freestyle variations" that he offers really reflect how he cooks. He is generous and wants to allow all the home cooks out there some space to be creative and learn! I have learned SO much from this book, and I've eaten better than I have in my life!
Our favourite recipe thus far is the Brined Turkey with Herb Gravy. Well worth the purchase!
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2010
This is a great book for Canadian cooks as all the ingredients are available in Canada (maybe not year round though). It's also good for average, at-home cooks and the recipes are forgiving and don't have a list of 25 ingredients that you need to hunt down before you get started. I haven't tried every recipe but the ones I have tried have turned out well for the most part, and those that didn't I suspect were user error.
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on April 7, 2010
This book is fantastic!
It has #1) beautiful picture to give you a good finishing product image
#2) Well-organized ingredients list and instruction that won't confuse you while cooking, and
#3) Lots of great, alternative ideas

This book has a bit of everything for everyone; from easy novice recipes like a tortilla-wrapped peanut butter and banana snack to some advanced meal like prime rib roast. This book also covers every genre: appetizers, fish, meat, vegetarian, side dish, pasta, rice, potato, dessert and even salad dressing.

One big kudos on this book is that Michael Smith gives a lot of alternative ideas. Say, instead of whole wheat flour, it says "any kind of flour", or instead of so many cups or something, it says the ratio of 1:2. When you are out of a few ingredients, or you have to double (or even triple!) the recipe, it helps to know what you can use instead.... and it inspires you to be creative and adventurous of food!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
Purchased as a gift for Christmas for my husband. He made the Clam chowder recipe and it was simple and tasty. The photos in this cookbook are very appealing and show you what your meal will look like.
Most ingredients for the recipes we found in our pantry which makes this easy for last minute meals. Next we will try the gumbo!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2009
Recettes simples mais délicieuses. Belles illustrations. Je l'aime tellement que je l'ai offert aussi en cadeau.
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