My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this cookbook as a Christmas gift last year, and it has been a good one. I have only made about 4-5 recipes so far (and one of those, I actually delegated to my husband…but hey, I found the recipe!), but they’ve all been well-received, and most of them have been either very easy or easy to make in large batches so I don’t have to cook as often. Particular favorites so far include her granola recipe, Mexican tortilla casserole (I’ve made similar recipes before, but this has been my favorite all-vegetarian version), and roasted potatoes (which has convinced my non-potato eating son to eat a potato or two). I have plans to make at least 3-4 more of the recipes in the near future.
Beyond the individual recipes, this is a cookbook that is both fun and useful to just sit down and read. I wouldn’t recommend it as next month’s book club selection or anything, but when I go searching through the recipes, I often lose half an hour just reading. Her comments about trying to feed healthy things to kids are both funny and helpful, and when I first looked through the book, I was laughing out loud at some of her chapter titles and tag lines. For example, there’s a chapter called “Let’s Call a Carb a Carb!” and her seafood chapter has the tagline, “Just eat the damn fish!” (This one could probably apply to me as well as my kids, so that might be why it tickled my funny bone. On the “useful” front, she includes many dishes that I already have recipes for, but with variations that are nice to keep in mind, and lots of the recipes include “Fork in the Road” suggestions to vary one dish for several picky palates.
If you are looking for a low-meat cookbook, this is not it. It has some great vegetarian recipes, but many of the meat dishes call for a lot of meat. I personally love meat, but it’s a good thing to know in advance, and that also means that some of the recipes are on the expensive side. One other criticism is that most the chicken recipes, including several roasting recipes, call for the chicken to be cut up before cooking. Not a problem if you remember to buy chicken parts; I was just a little disappointed because I expect a roast chicken recipe to involve sticking a whole chicken in the oven and moving on with the day.
Aside from these slight criticisms, I think this is a great book and I look forward to cooking from it more over the coming months.