Thursday, May 14, 2009

The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook - America's Test Kitchen

Summary: Recipes that work...the first time and every time. We know how frustrating it can be when things go wrong in the kitchen. That's why every single recipe in this book has been tested not once, not twice, but often as many at 20, 30, or even 40 times. And then, just to make absolutely sure, we often test our recipes using cheap cookware, mediocre stove tops, and the wrong ingredients. All of this work results, we hope, in a simple promise: our recipes work, the first time and every time. As we like to say, "We make all the mistakes, so you don't have to." So here are 1,200 recipes you can count on. And that's a guarantee from America's Test Kitchen to your kitchen. (Picture from and summary from back of the book)

My review: Well the plot was thick and juicy. The characters were vibrant and flavorful, and most of all I loved the ...well, here's a list:

-There are lots of different sections: Appetizers, Salads, Sandwiches, Soups and Stews, Vegetables, Rice Grains and Beans, Pasta, Eggs and Breakfast, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry, Meat, Grilling , Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker, Bread and Pizza, Quick Breads, Cookies, Cakes, Pies and Tarts, Fruit Desserts, Puddings and Custards, Frozen Desserts, Sauces and Condiments, Light Recipes, and Special Menus.

-Most of these recipes are ones that I would actually make. There is nothing (or very little) in french or in milliliters or grams. I could probably get a hold of a majority of the ingredients in a local supermarket. It's nice. It's practical. And there's something comforting about knowing that someone actually tried this recipe a bazillion times before they published it.

-This book is ring bound so that it will lay flat while you are cooking. There is nothing worse than a regularly bound cookbook because in order to use it you have to either have one of those fancy cookbook holders cluttering up your counter OR you have to break the binding. You can imagine how well that goes over with me.

-This book will likely make me a better cook who makes tastier food. There are Cooking 101 sections that help with the basics and Test Kitchen Tips alongside that give you helpful information on just why a recipe is better with a certain ingredient or what you shouldn't do if you want a recipe to work. The Emergency Substitutions list will help me when it's too late to go to the store. The Test Kitchen also rates equipment and ingredients and then tells you which is the best product to buy--taking taking both quality and PRICE into account.

-Does it work? Their big promise of recipes that work right the first time? To tell you that I'd have to cook them all so.....I'll let you know. You can check out the ones I like, as well as some other great recipes at The Family Kitchen. All I can tell you right now is that with this massive amount of recipes to choose from available at my fingertips, it's going to take me a lot longer to plan my menu.

But wait, what do I find on page 686?

It's a MENU PLANNING section with tips on how to plan your menu and even some pre-planned menu suggestions for different activities like"Sunday Dinners", "Dinners to Serve a Crowd", "Birthday Parties for Kids", "Valentine's Day Dinner", "Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed", and much more.

Honestly, I really don't see a down side to this cookbook (except that it doesn't come with one of the chefs). I even got it at Costco (if you're looking for a deal). It will likely boot my Better Home's and Garden's cookbook off the pedestal marked "Most Used Cookbook in my Home."

My Rating: 5 Stars. Suitable for all ages and cooking levels.

Sum it up: Tasty and delicious.

1 comment:

Sweet Em said...

Sounds like a good book, and if anyone knows cook books I'd say its you!


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