Cookbook Reviews

by Josée
The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time

I waited to get this book from the library for a while. When I finally got the book it got buried under a stack of books and forgotten until I had one day left to read it. The Lost Art of Real Cooking guides the reader through making basic and classic food without hard-fast guidelines. The recipes are flexible and often don’t list specific amounts of ingredients. There are few pictures, but I still found it to be an easy read. I skim through the entire book one evening while watching Pride and Prejudice. A nice introduction into real cooking.

Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen

A back to the basics, made-from-scratch, kind if book. The book is divided by food categories and offers guidance in making basic foods that we often take for granted. Make a sourdough starter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, ice cream, smoked salmon, dry-cured bacon, fresh pasta, or marshmallows. Then use these basic recipes and transform your food into something else like raita, ravioli or lasagna. The book has lots of inviting pictures and comes across in a anyone-can-do-this give-it-a-try kind of way. The overnight cinnamon rolls are amazing(!) and I’ve got a bunch more recipes I’m going to try soon (like the sourdough starter).

Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market

This book is devoted to desserts featuring seasonal fruits – hence the title! It offers some basic recipes to get you started and then covers a variety of desserts. Many dessert recipe books focus on predictable fruits like apples, berries and cherries; this recipe book includes these and goes beyond by offering tantalizing recipes for oranges, date, figs, plums, grapes. I also appreciated the chapter on dried fruit since I’m not the type to buy strawberries in the winter.  A neat book, definitely worth taking a peek.

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