Our What's Cooking group was small this month (a snowstorm and Valentine's Day were intense competition!), so we weren't able to sample as many recipeOur What's Cooking group was small this month (a snowstorm and Valentine's Day were intense competition!), so we weren't able to sample as many recipes from this book.
We had a mix of reviews...1/3 of us thought it was only worth 2 stars, 1/3 thought 3 stars and 1/3 thought 4 stars.
We thought the layout of the recipes was good (no page turning!), and we liked the suggested soundtrack to accompany the recipes. We would have liked more photographs (and closer to their corresponding recipes), and we were unfamiliar with some of the ingredients. Grocery budgets get challenged when you need to spend $ on an ingredient (or 2 or 3) that you only need 1 tablespoon of in a recipe...especially when you don't know if you'll ever want to make that recipe again.
With the exception of the BBQ Beans (which everyone liked), we were mixed on how strongly we liked the recipes. No one disliked anything that we tasted, but some of us thought the food was just okay.
Following a vegan diet is challenging...especially when cooking for people with allergies to nuts and soybeans. While we weren't blown away by this cookbook, we thought Terry provided us with potential side dishes for our meat entrees.
*We thought that the yummy flavor of the Maple Coated Pecans was lost in this recipe. Eat the Maple Pecans on their own. Use plain pecans in the recipe.
*1 The coconut flavor in the crust is overpowering, and the baker had trouble with rolling it out. She resorted to piecing it into the pie dish....more
This cookbook was very well received with our What's Cooking group even though most of the recipes we tasted had mixed reviews. Apparently, there wasThis cookbook was very well received with our What's Cooking group even though most of the recipes we tasted had mixed reviews. Apparently, there was something for everyone but not at the same time.
We found the instructions well written and liked the flexibility that Lakshmi gives to the home cook to use their preferred ingredients. Don't have fresh fruit? Canned is okay.
This book reads like a memoir but most in our group weren't interested in her essays relating her various experiences with food. Also, we would have preferred more photos of finished recipes than her family or ingredients especially if it meant that the additional space could have been used to increase the font size of the measurements (!). It was interesting to note that not one of the 10 participants viewed the reality show Top Chef that Lakshmi co-hosts.
Lakshmi incorporates chilies into a large percentage of her recipes. The fact that she doesn't share the spiciness level of each recipe was a little disappointing for those of us who are sensitive to peppers. She celebrates food and clearly enjoys it but doesn't go so far as to make the experience with the reader an educational one.
We sampled the following recipes...
- Red Snapper with Green Apple and Mint Chutney - Spiced Candied Pecans - Honeycomb and Fig Ice Cream - Pochettes of Feta, Basil and Tomatoes - Stefano's Roasted Potatoes - White Sangria - Mexican Cornbread - BBQ Korean Short Ribs - Jamaican Johnny Cake - Cauliflower with Anise and Cashews - Curried Long Beans with Black Eyed Peas - Sweet Potatoes and Sauteed Lima Beans - Basil and Blood Orange Salad - Homemade Hot Chocolate
Everyone loved the pecans, the ice cream and the pochettes. All the other recipes had mixed levels of appreciation.
Readers may have difficulty initially connecting with the recipes in this book, but we think that with a little time and effort you will find a recipe (or two or three) that you will enjoy....more