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The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  103 reviews
125 family-friendly recipes based on the author's popular Just a Taste food site, with each recipe featuring a totally unexpected ingredient

Kelly Senyei, founder of the food site Just a Taste, has garnered millions of fans with a delicious hook--every one of her recipes has a secret ingredient, something totally unexpected that takes a dish from common to extraordinary. S
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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MissBecka Gee
This certainly had some tasty twists inside.
Not all of them had pictures, but a large chunk of them did which always makes life easier.
I tried a bunch of recipes and was pleasantly surprised to find my favourite one was...
The Cheesy Corn Chowder.
I normally am not a big fan of soup and only really make it to appease my husband.
That is what this book is; happy recipes you didn't know you wanted.
Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my DRC.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Publication Date: 5/4/2021

I am a cookbook lover!! I have a wide variety of cookbooks in my collection, so it takes something really different to catch my attention! The title of this book did just that!! A secret ingredient….who doesn’t love a good secret 😊

There were so many things I liked about this cookbook, I’m not sure where to start. The cover is beautiful and, as I mentioned, the title is eye-catching. The cookbook is set up in sections by Breakfast, Snacks, Soups and Salads, Pastas, Entr
Alicia Bayer
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fun cookbook filled with recipes that sound delicious. It is very heavy on wheat, meat, processed foods and splurge ingredients, so I would personally have to heavily adapt most of them for our family (I cook gluten free and lean towards whole foods, plant based recipes). That said, the photos are gorgeous and Senyei clearly knows how to mix ingredients.

Example recipes: pumpkin in macaroni and cheese, cream cheese in chocolate chip cookies, mayo on garlic cheese bread, honey on pepper
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

The Secret Ingredient Cookbook is a delicious cookbook for scrumptious meals that mostly take 30 minutes or less. The book is divided into sections and each recipe is easy to follow and understand. The photographs in this book of the dishes/meals look so yummy and will have your taste buds tingling.
There are so many recipes I want to try and can't wait to have a go at. I just
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, arc
* Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Until I try out some of these recipes it hard to properly rate a cookbook as a success or a one that I want to have in my kitchen. But I was really intrigued by the "secret" aspect of this book. It didn't disappoint. There are some twists on familiar dishes. I liked that the author included desserts and drinks too.

The editing of this book is exceptional.
Everything is very clear and easy to follow, with some mouthwate
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The Secret Ingredient Cookbook" by Kelly Senyei is the cookbook every home cook needs if he or she wants to make creative and delicious recipes! Some of the "secret ingredients" may sound unusual and even a little weird at first, but trust me, they work! Some of my absolute favorites that I will make over and over again are the Pumpkin Waffles (made light and crispy by adding ginger ale to the batter), Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup (made with tomatillos instead of boring tomatoes), Crisped a ...more
Susan's Reviews
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Those of us who are working from home are spending a bit more time in our kitchens these days, whether it be raiding our refrigerators, or whipping up meals from scratch, now that dining out is such a chore. The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei suggests all kinds of interesting twists to liven up your home cooked meals. (These recipes would be great to cook together with friend
Susan Johnson
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like this cookbook with its quirky secret ingredients. Some of them are to save time, some of them are to spice up the recipe and some of them are just to make the recipe better. There are chapters on appetizers, snacks, entrees, soup & salad, desert and drinks. They all have a special twist.

I loved the caramel apple cinnamon rolls made with buttermilk. The apples really made the rolls stand out. I loved the California Breakfast Quesadillas made with time saving Tater Tots. Unbelievably they
Bonnie DeMoss
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This cookbook has a great twist—each recipe has a secret ingredient that will make it taste even better.

My favorite idea is probably the caramel corn cooked in bacon fat, but that was just one of many recipes I’d like to try.

There is a balsamic vinaigrette with coffee added, curried red lentil soup with pear as secret ingredient, antipasto salad with fried mozzarella cheese, and many more.

If you want to make your favorites taste even better, check this one out.

I received a free copy of this bo
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, ebook-en, netgalley
A fun cookbook, with unusual recipes with a twist. This book has great photo's and makes it really professional. Great recipes really family orientated. The idea is original and unusual and brings something new to the market!

Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This cookbook is a unique one. The different secret ingredients for each recipe are insightful and things I will use when cooking next. The information about each secret ingredient is also insightful. I will definitely be buying this book when it comes out.

Good recommendation for anyone wanting to experiment from basic cooking.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
How I love a twist on a recipe - and this book provides plenty of those!

None of the recipes are complicated, and I have already tried a couple with great results. As a fairly adventurous cook myself, I found some of the "secret" ingredients to be ingredients I would have used anyway - but I have many years of cooking experience, so it is unfair to judge the book by that.

The thing I love most about this cookbook is that the vast majority of unusual ingredients are easily sourced in your local sup
Sara Hill
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a fun idea for a cookbook! The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei is all about taking some delicious recipes and elevating them with one ingredient.

This book is packed with so many recipes. Some of them are pretty common recipes, so that secret ingredient really helps to make it special. There were other recipes, I have never tried or heard of. It is fun to know when I try them, they will be made superior by that secret ingredient.

Each recipe tells you what the secret ingredient i
Jessica Rodrigues
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, cookbooks
The bad thing I can say about this book is that I read through it while I was already super hungry and it made me even hungrier.

I am excited to try out some of these recipes, and I am finding lots of inspiration here for things to share for the holidays. Considering social distancing, I'm looking forward to making some of these treats, putting them in cute boxes, and dropping them off for relatives.

I greatly appreciate that the vast majority of this book is spent on the recipes themselves and n
Lauren Rosano
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, I love this premise. The idea of a secret ingredient elevating each dish from ordinary to extraordinary in approachable recipes for home cooks is both appealing and exciting. Kind of like joining a special club - I want to know what the secret ingredients are! And I appreciated that the author (Senyei) was upfront about sharing that the secret ingredient premise isn't meant to be gimmicky or just adding unnecessary ingredients into an otherwise perfectly acceptable recipe, because I d ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei (Just A Taste), is exactly that and much more. The book is written in simple format, easy to understand steps, has dishes with readily available ingredients and substitutes and has easy to follow science behind the food we eat.
Let’s talk about what I loved the most about this book: it’s “down-to-earth” approach. What I mean by that? Well seeing how Kelly is herself a mom, and has worked as a professional chef and cooks for her family at her home, sh
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC received from Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I loved the concept of this book, who doesn't love a little suspense in cooking. My husband had fun trying to guess the secret ingredient in the recipes we tried, though occasionally the secret was something that we already used in the recipe or was so minimal it was hardly noticeable and didn't seem to make much of a difference. The book is well organized and the pictures were great (always want more photos in cookbooks). Th
Sara Ann
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this cookbook with a difference! It’s packed full of classic recipes but the secret ingredient in each one has opened up a world of new flavours and textures.

The pictures are beautiful and the recipes are clear and easy to follow.

I made my family several recipes from this cookbook and they were all well received. I’ll definitely be using this book as inspiration for my further cooking adventures.
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really like the simple layout with soft color schemes. I enjoyed the essential ingredients section and the not-so-secret kitchen tips (because I did not know a lot of these tips!). I found quite a few recipes that I will definitely be trying out! I don't drink, but I was so excited to see a drink section at the end of this cookbook!
Sheryl Hedervare
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book has some great recipes. I like that each one has a little something that you think "what is it that is different?" There are quite a few recipes that I can't wait to try.
This was an ARC copy from netgalley.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with a digital ARC of this title via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I thought this would be a cookbook similar to Jessica Seinfeld's with tips on how to include healthy ingredients into your family meals. This was different but I was pleasantly surprised. Kelly Senyei has taken familiar recipes and found a certain secret ingredient that takes the old to a new, higher level. Her cookbook is beautiful, easy to use, and full of reci
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgally
I will definitely be buying the hard cover edition of this cookbook! The recipes sound so amazing and fairly easy to make!

The pictures are beautiful and the books are broken down into Breakfast, Snacks, Soups & Salads, Pastas, Entrees, Side, Desserts, and Drinks. There are also some quick tips included in the beginning of the book.

Some of the recipes that I will definitely be trying are Vanilla Bean Drop Doughnuts, Caramel-Apple Cinnamon Rolls , Berry Breakfast Pastries, Skillet Sweet Potato Has
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for.

I requested and re
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, reviewed
I found this to be a fun and informative cookbook.
What I loved:
I loved the tips at the beginning of the book. What you should be aware of and what you should already have ready in your pantry.
I thought the photos were very pretty. It gave a good look at what the food should resemble.
I liked that most ingredient you can easily find.
Most of the recipes looked very appetizing.
I like the organization of the foods.
knowing the ingrediant to make the dish stand out and taste great.

What I thought
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is great. Lovingly illustrated the recipes are appealing and the instructions are clear. I look forward to trying out the recipes.
Jené Brown
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Drool-worthy is the only way to describe this cookbook, packed with recipes that will inspire you to get into the kitchen, stat!!! Despite having had dinner already, I had to grab some late night snacks just to make it through all the mouthwatering recipes (& those drinks, is it too late for alcohol!?!) This cookbook is jam packed with fabulous recipes, each with a twist... honey on pepperoni pizza is one delicious example! I highly recommend this book as a way to take your cooking to an excitin ...more
Carey’s Reviews
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!! Yum! My mouth is watering now that I looked through this book! This book has some really delicious looking recipes! It’s probably NOT a book for very health conscious people or anyone on a diet but for an occasional recipe, this book would be great! Even though most of the recipes had pictures, I do wish that more photos had been in the book. I tried the ‘Berry Breakfast Pastries’ and they. were. Awesome!! They also weren’t difficult to make at all!! I definitely recommend this book. ...more
Cozy Book Spot
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, cookbook
Very nice cookbook! The book is beautiful, the photos are very nice, it's very well organized and easy to read and I would make most of the recipes in this book. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei is a fun cookbook with 125 recipes each containing an unexpected ingredient to elevate the flavor or improve the consistency of the dish. Some are healthy swaps, some are unique pairings, but they are all interesting and Senyei has tested and explained why they improve the recipe.
The book is laid out well, with beautiful photographs and the secret ingredient from each recipe highlighted.

Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for th
Johanna Sawyer
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The secret ingredient is a cookbook geared toward a recipe with more flavor due to a secret. The author gives you an ingredient to add to recipe favorites such as Macaroni and Cheese, Fish tacos, or banana bread. A secret ingredient that somehow makes the flavor.....more.

What did I like? Even though most of the secret ingredients you already have on a spice rack or as a staple in your cupboard... you just wouldn’t think to pair it. Still some make absolute sense and some sound so yummy. I’ve a
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