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Beat This! Cookbook

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Do people take one bite of your food, moan with delight and beg you for the recipe? Do they exclaim, "Out of this world!" and "Beyond perfect!" when they taste your cooking? When you cook from BEAT THIS!, they will. In a book that has become a classic for its unique combination of irresistible recipes and hilarious prose, Ann Hodgman throws down the gauntlet, with more tha ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 7th 1999 by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published October 15th 1995)
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 ·  136 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Deborah Markus
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yes, as a matter of fact, I have read this whole book. And yes, it's a cookbook. But it's not just a cookbook. Plus, okay, I might have skimmed some of the ingredients. But that's not the point.

The point is, this is one of those cookbooks that talks to you. Rants at you, more often than not. Which I love.

"Why are people always so proud of their brownie recipes? Katharine Hepburn, for example. If there's anything I'm sick of -- besides the way she always says she's a regular person and not an act
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review from NetGalley
This is a re-issue of a great cookbook with updated quips, recipes, and antidotes!
Book releases March 15, 2011

What I Loved: I have loved every version of this cookbook but haven't been able to find a copy in awhile. When I saw that another version was coming out with tidbits from Elizabeth Berg, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. The book did not disappoint. This is not a typical cookbook---oh don't get me wrong it is full of great recipes---but it also full of humor, st
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have the older, 1993 version of this cookbook. I remembered checking it out from the library many times during the 1990s, so when I saw it for sale on a discount book site, I ordered my own copy. It's paperback, not the nicest quality for kitchen duty. The author is irreverent, sometimes funny and sometimes obnoxious ---but never boring! Her personality adds spice to the recipes, for sure. Here are a few examples:
"I think quick rolled oats are sissies"

"I don't want to sound like THE BAD FOR YO
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, food-and-drink
It's not that the recipes are bad--I tried a couple and found them both good. It's that the author was touted as HILARIOUS! but I just find her incredibly ANNOYING.

Plus, the recipes are arranged every which way, with clam chowder on one page and cinnamon rolls on the facing page, for example, which I'm sure is fine, but not what I prefer.

Plus, she arrogantly insists her recipes for each item are the absolute best, but I'm already terribly fond of my own versions of several of them (like my cho
Another cookbook to return to - here Elizabeth Berg (a favorite author) claims on the cover it is her favorite cookbook because it tells stories - yes! The best kind of cookbook. Cookbook, we will meet again.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I want to move next door to Ann. I have used this cookbook since it came out the first time. Awesome recipes and makes me laugh out loud.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
Pictures of Recipes? Nope. Not a single one.
Commentary on Recipes? Yes
Nutrition Facts? No
Recipe style? Classic American.
Any keepers? I just can't with this book.

In this day and age, I don't know how a cookbook gets published without pictures. We don't even get a glossy color insert in the middle showcasing some of the recipes. Without pictures, I'm not sold on why your recipes for X is better than the way I've been cooking X for years. I don't doubt some of these recipes might be good, but I'm
Kristie Uebbing
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Definitely gets my vote as the most humorous cookbook I’ve ever read. Filled with 100+ recipes Ann Hodgman claims people take one bite, moan with delight, and beg for the recipe. My potato salad and deviled eggs have had that effect on people. I look forward to trying some of her recipes, although in moderation, as I believe her secret may be in the amount of butter, cream, and sugar she uses. Special Occasion recipes for me.
Emily M
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a hoot to read, and while I've only tried about half of the recipes, they're all yummy. This author is definitely of the double-the-butter-and-add-bacon school of thought, which is why they taste good. Right now, we're in a mid-30's healthy kick, so I don't reach for this as much as less indulgent cookbooks of late. But it's worth it for the 2 or 3 times a year I do get it out. ...more
✨ Evelyn ✨✨
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm keeping one recipe out of this book. Priceless almond triangles... hope they turn out good. ...more
Elizabeth Sims
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
Great recipes and great wit: What more could you ask for?
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning and intermediate level home cooks
Recommended to Elhara by: it was noted by a character in another book
Aside from reading, I am lucky to find myself enjoying yet another interest. Cooking. Many of us start out wearing the "feeding family hat", like it or not. It took me a number of years to have the time needed to up my status of possessing only basic culinary skills. I knew I was only placating my family's hunger pains. TV shows like early Martha Stewart and many show episodes of The Food Network played a huge role in bettering my meal offerings while still entertaining me; as did so many wonder ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
With a family of six I am always looking for new recipes to try and the Beat This! Cookbook, which is about to be rereleased, sounded promising.
While the style is certainly readable with Ann Hodgman's warmth and humor, I didn't find any recipes that particularly suited me. Many of the recipes require a lot of prep and ingredients (including some not available in Australia like Corn Syrup). Neither were any of the recipes particuarly original, I felt that they could have come from my mothers pre
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galley, own
I normally wouldn't write a review for a cookbook since you usually don't sit down and read a cookbook word for word, but I consider Beat This! a humor book as well. I originally recieved it as a galley, but as I got into it, I knew I had to buy my own copy (the Caremelized Bacon recipe is probably worth the price alone!) In the internet age, it's so easy to Google any recipe you need, but Hodgman has made this one worth the price for two reasons: her writing is witty AND practical, and she's go ...more
Rose Ann
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
This edition is simply not the equal of the original edition. I made the meatloaf -- I'm always searching for the perfect meatloaf recipe! -- and it was truly awful. Wanted to try the brownie recipe -- but the first instructions are to beat the eggs and sugar for FIFTEEN MINUTES?? Hello? No brownies are worth that investment of time! So I am glad that I checked this out of the library, instead of buying it on Amazon, as was my first impulse. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the most fascinating cookbooks of the 1990s


Basic Spaghetti Sauce

30 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 table vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pinches sugar
1/4 tea red-pepper flakes
1 lb spaghetti
8 slices thick bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup fresh parmesan
5 table chopped fresh basil

and then three hours of drying the plum tomatoes in the oven is the specialty here

Jeri Paull
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have the original edition of this book, and it is stained, dog-eared, torn and notes are written all over; all indicators of a well loved cookbook. I make the cornbread stuffing every Thanksgiving and the beef tenderloin every Christmas. Every recipe I have tried is a winner; and I've tried most of them. Hodgman is hilarious in addition to being an awesome cook, and I am so happy that it has been reissued so I can start giving it as gifts again! ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
If you're looking for "the best" version of a particular recipe, try this cook book. A lot of the recipes look delicious, but some are a little too long and involved for me. I guess you do have to put some effort in to get the best results though. I made the roasted chicken - easy and yummy! Lentil soup is next. ...more
Erica Olson
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm sure Ann Hodgman and I are going to be friends, if only we meet! I hope she'll cook for me.

Hodgman is a witty, passionate writer. OK, this is just a cookbook . . . but it's one I buy for newly married couples, people setting up housekeeping, etc.
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Too bad this was written in 1993. It was a fun read, but the references are lacking (addresses? Phone numbers?!). At any rate, as usual, the best sounding recipes would take forever...but it was fun to read.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun to read cookbook with good recipes.
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
A fun cookbook to read. If nothing else, read it for the brownie recipe.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ann Hodgeman is so easy and delightful to read- I laugh out loud as I read her cookbooks because not only does she make a mean recipe- she is a funny, witty writer.
Aug 26, 2009 marked it as to-read
Delightful NPR review. I'd like to be able to write a cookbook that sounds as readable and funny as this one (haven't seen it, though). ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook-food
Has my FAVORITE brownie recipe ever.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: diycookbooks
Maybe this would've been more interesting to me when it was published 11 years ago, but overall I found it rather lackluster. ...more
Carol D
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Jun 01, 2016
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May 19, 2014
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Ann Hodgman (born 1956) is an American author of more than forty children's books as well as several cookbooks and humor books and many magazine articles.

Ann was raised in Rochester, New York and graduated from Harvard College, where she was a staff member on the Harvard Lampoon and the Harvard Advocate. She was the food columnist for the magazines Spy and Eating Well. Her essay "No Wonder They Ca

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