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on February 4, 2001
I'm one of those men who like to cook sometimes, for the fun of it. Cooking can be as creative as any other art, and recipes are often adaptable. Substitutions of ingredients and addition or subtraction of other ingredients or changed amounts are up to the cook, according to their own taste requirements or simply to see what new taste results.

This is a good cookbook. I have used it over the years, and some of the recipes are old standbys that I return to frequently. For example, on page 299 is an excellent recipe for chili con carne. I substitute sirloin or stew meat cut into approximately 1" cubes for the chopped beef. I also like to throw in an extra red pepper just for color, and sometimes lighten up on the chili powder, depending on the taste of those I'm cooking for. My 96-year-old mother-in-law loves my chili, but likes it a little milder. For those who like it hot, adding a few jalapenos will wake up the taste buds and make the eyeballs sweat. Chili was originally made without beans, until the Great Depression era, when beans were added to add bulk cheaply. Hamburger as a substitute for top grade beef was also an economy measure that has become synonymous with chili. I retain the beans for the flavor, but revert to the original use of prime beef as the meat ingredient.

Another recipe from the book that has proven popular with my friends and family is the one for Nova Scotia Black Fruitcake, on page 699. It has become a family tradition for me to make it every Christmas. I make it with brandy usually, adding the booze over a period of a month or so unsparingly, keeping it moist while it ages, wrapped in cheesecloth in a cool room. It is delicious. Everyone has heard that the original Christmas fruitcake is still with us, having been passed from person to person over the centuries--the implication being that it is undesirable. This one is delicious, and very popular! The liberal use of brandy helps to encourage its disappearnce, of course.

Those are only a couple of recipes out of 800 pages of them. The book is full of them, categorized and indexed for easy use, with no wasted space for lecturing or philosophizing. It is my next to favorite cook book, after The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 7th Edition, (1944), which is no longer available except at auction.

If you like to cook, and like to try new things, this is a fine basic cookbook. Nothing frivolous, but everything you need, with plenty of room for expressing your originality through experimenting and innovation.

Joseph H. Pierre
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on March 1, 2001
I have both Joy of Cooking and the NYT Cookbook, and I have to say that the NYT cookbook is our kitchen bible. The recipes are basic, like chili and pot roasts, yet somehow a cut above the average kitchen standards. So this is the one I reach for when entertaining or just figuring out what to make for dinner.
The sour cream fudge cake is our favorite dessert in the book. This simple yet unbelievably good cake doesn't even need icing and is just the thing for bringing to a party. Again, this is the kind of recipe in the book; standard chocolate cake, yet better in every way than other recipes we've tried.
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on December 29, 2002
New York has been the epicenter of world cuisine for some time and this is a classic referance for that cuisine. Not the most modern, or the simplest, or the most complete but a balance of all that is good in food. Like "The Joy of Cooking" or "How to Cook Almost Everything" this book can serve as a basis for learning all the classic recipes and techniques of western and some asian and American cooking. If you want to own just one cookbook, this may well be the one to own.
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on September 7, 2002
I have several cookbooks, but this one has the most stains in it by far, which is probably the best way to determine if a cookbook is any good. I turn to the Times cookbook when I want to make my old standbys, when I am trying something new or when I have company coming over. Of course, I was raised by a mother who used an older edition of this book as her main cookbook, so I may be a bit biased.
The cookbook has everything out there you need to start cooking. When I first started cooking, I was able to pick up this cookbook and start with almost no background. All the recipes turned out excellent. I particularly liked the chili recipes.
Last year, I mixed and matched these recipes with ones typed on index cards that I inherited from my grandmother and made a successful Thanksgiving dinner (which may be the ultimate praise for a cookbook).
One warning: recipes in this cookbook are not shortcuts. They will take a decent time to prepare. If I am in a hurry, I don't usually use this cookbook. If you never have much time to prepare a meal or do not enjoy cooking, this is probably not the book for you.
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on February 9, 2001
This cookbook will serve you for many years.
It offers indispensable advise on common cooking issues as well as many many excellent recipes that will become regulars in your house.
Since it was first published in 1961, The New York Times Cook Book, a standard work for gourmet home cooks, has sold nearly three million copies in all editions and continues to sell strongly each year. All the nearly fifteen hundred recipes in the book have been reviewed, revised, and updated, and approximately 40 percent have been replaced.
Emphasizing the timeless nature of this collection, Craig Claiborne has included new recipes using fresh herbs and food processor techniques. He has also added more Chinese, Indian, and foreign recipes and more recipes for pasta, rice, and grains. Additional fish recipes, new salads and bread recipes, and an exceptional chili dish enhance this edition, which contains traditional American recipes and selected recipes from twenty countries. All the recipes are clearly presented and suitable for many different occasions, ranging from a wide variety of family meals to the most formal dinner party. The author also covers sauces and salad dressings, relishes, and preserves. And there are countless old favorites and those wonderful desserts.
Complete with essential cross-referencing, a table of equivalents and conversions, and an index, the revised edition of The New York Times Cook Book is a superb new cookbook to give, to own, and to use for years to come.
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on October 24, 2002
This book is great. Whenever I'm stumped for something new, and want to get out of our food rut, I open this book and always find something great.
Recipes are always a crowd pleaser, with compliments galore! Toss that Joy of Cooking and turn to this. Recipes aren't complicated and range from great Sea Bass to orange sorbet. YUM!
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on December 8, 1999
The beauty of this cookbook is its timelessness. It was first written when people who cooked automatically knew basic terms. Therefore, the recipes are straightforward and not ostentatious. Claiborne also assumes a certain amount of confidence that the reader has, so his writing style doesn't make the home cook feel stupid or uninformed.
Even if you already have three or four cookbooks you regularly use as your bible, buy this one for the value of understanding where the American gastronomic movement came from. It was pushed forth partially by Claiborne.
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on February 14, 2000
I have been consistently impressed with Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook. I expected the recipes to be complicated and to require expensive or obscure ingredients. This is not the case at all. This is a surprisingly accessible cookbook for someone who has at least basic cooking skills. Not for absolute beginners, but certainly not for advanced chefs only. While other general-purpose cookbooks like Joy of Cooking will provide more nitty-gritty information, this one is pure pleasure cover to cover.
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on November 2, 2012
My first copy of this book is over ten years old and has been worn from frequent use, into two pieces. This cook book is the best all round cook book I have ever seen, not only does it cover a wide selection of foods, but the recipes are usually quite simple in preparation, and taste great too. When I bought mussels because they were on sale, this is the book that had a quick and easy recipe to deliciously show case this seafood. It is worth every dime.
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on November 21, 2003
This is the ultimate cookbook out there. I reccomend this cookbook to anyone in need of an essential cookbook! The creme brulee is the best ever. I have made it over 50 times and I get the same reaction every time. People ooh and ahh over it. Everyone must have a copy of NYT in there library! My pages are not only stained they are also torn and have fallen out! That is how good this book is it is a must have.
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