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Wow – I can’t believe it’s already the last day of January. It seems like just yesterday that we were ushering the new year, and now it’s already going into February!

So with a new month comes a new Cookbook of the Month. But I’m having a dilemma – I can’t decide!! As much as I want to feature a dessert cookbook, my husband would kill me -l or else I would be stuck eating all of the desserts myself. (Which might not be a bad idea!) So I have narrowed it down to 2 other cookbooks that I have recently acquired, but I need your help to decide which one to go with. Please vote by leaving a comment as to which cookbook you’d be more interested in seeing recipes from.

The first cookbook I was turned on to after seeing Katerina make a few recipes from it. It is The Gourmet Slow Cooker Volume II. I am on the lookout for good slow cooker recipes, so this is a cookbook that I am excited to try out. I would have chosen this book right off, but if you have ever cooked in a slow cooker before, you will know that it is sometimes difficult to make the food look good. (Although Katerina has done a great job at making her food look great!)

The second book is the Weight Watcher’s New Complete Cookbook. OK, so it’s obvious that I don’t follow the Weight Watchers diet (and yes, I do consider it a diet even though the commercials they are running now claim that it is not a diet), but everyone can use some healthy meals during the week. I was browsing through the cookbooks at Costco, and while flipping through the pages of this book, there were actually quite a few tasty sounding recipes. And don’t let the “Weight Watchers” turn you off – it’s not all broiled chicken and broccoli – there is a wide array of recipes in this book.

So I turn it over to you to make my decision for me. Hopefully I will at least get a few votes so that I can dig into the new cookbook!!

And since it is the end of the month, I also have a review for January’s cookbook – The New Best Recipe. My favorite thing to do when researching a new book is to go onto Amazon and read the reviews. I will always start with the lowest ratings, and read my way up. There are usually not as many bad reviews, so it doesn’t take much time, but I always want to make sure that the “bad” reviews are valid. Sometimes they make me laugh – like a review for this book that criticizes it because there is not one author attached to the book. Or if people criticize the book because it was not shipped on time (which has nothing to do with the book, but with Amazon itself).

I will tell you right now that if I was only able to own 3 cookbooks, this one would be on my shelf. (Along with Dorie Greenspan’s Baking and The Joy of Cooking). If I was only allowed one cookbook, this would be the one. One complaint with this cookbook on Amazon was that there is far too much narrative leading up to each recipe. This is what I absolutely love about this cookbook. Before each recipe, they explain why they used what they used, and why other procedures or ingredients didn’t fare as well. It is more than just a book full of recipes – you actually learn something from this book. Even if I never make another recipe from this book, I can guarantee you that I will be referencing it for just about everything I make. Cooking, to me, is so much more than just throwing a bunch of ingredient together. It’s a process and an art – and in my opinion – to really enjoy it, you need to have some sort of understanding of what you are doing. I think this is why Alton Brown is so popular – he really gets into the science behind cooking, and all of a sudden, things start to make sense and you become a better cook. (Maybe I should check into getting one of Alton’s books next!)

If pictures are what you are looking for, you will be highly disappointed with this book. The picture on the cover is nice, but there are no color photos throughout the book. But there are 1000 pages and 1000 recipes, so you don’t get left with nothing! And there are some very helpful drawings that help to explain many things nicely. This book has found a comfortable, permanent spot on my shelf!

Recipes made from The New Best Recipe:

Calzones
Pasta and Rustic Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce with Meat
Lemon Cheesecake
Meat Loaf

Now don’t forget to vote for the February Cookbook of the Month!! The winner will be announced in the next few days. Also, don’t forget to check back sometime in the middle of next week – I will be having a little drawing!

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26 Responses to Cookbook of the Month

  1. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Oh, I get to be first! Yippeee!
    I vote for the slow cooker one. I need inspiration to stat using mine. Please give us some good ones! Like whatever the heck is on the cover is a GREAT start :)
    Whenever I used my slow cooker before (read: eons ago) everything looked and tasted the same – like a big blob. I know there is a slow cooker revolution going on and I want in on the good recipes! :)

  2. Brilynn says:

    I vote slow cooker as well as I just acquired one and need some tasty recipes!

  3. Nora B. says:

    I like the sound of the book The New Best Recipe since the authors take the time to explain stuff. I much prefer that because like you said, we can learn much more that way and the knowledge can carry us through to when we try other recipes.

    I vote for the weight watchers’ one, only because I don’t have a slow cooker. But I will still be happy to see what recipes you try from the slow cooker book & will enjoy it vicariously through your blog :-)

  4. glamah16 says:

    Slow cooker. I have been using mine every Sunday for the past month. I would like to see some eye candy recipies.But even if it doesnt look good, it will taste good.

  5. Melanie says:

    Oooh – slow cooker is my vote!

  6. kitchenettejen says:

    Slow cooker is my vote, too. I think I’ll pick up the New Best Recipe next time I’m at Costco – we have quite a few of the Cooks Illustrated gang’s books and love them all for the exact reason you said – you actually learn something.

  7. Shandy says:

    Slow Cooker most defintiely! Yum and the house will smell so wonderful all day! I love that you did a review on Best Recipes, and I found out that I actually own it. I’m so embaressed =D
    Shandy

  8. Emiline says:

    OHHH. Do I have to choose?
    Ughh…I’m going with Weight Watchers. Because I feel chunky today.

    This sounds like a great cookbook. I need to get on Amazon and get a new load of books.

  9. KJ says:

    I vote for slow cooker. I’m interested in getting one myself.

    I agree with everything you said about New Best Recipe. I just enjoy reading it. I’ve learned so much and picked up many tips and ideas.

  10. crumblycookie says:

    I vote for the slow cooker book too! I don’t use mine as much as I’d like, so I’d love some new ideas.

    I completely agree with your review of The New Best Recipe. (In fact, you may have seen my review of it on amazon, if you made it to the very positive reviews!) I learned so much from reading that book.

    And I’ve been looking at that Lemon Cheesecake recipe for years! I’m glad to know that it was as good as it sounds!

  11. Holly says:

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I saw your blog a little bit ago and loved it! I am glad to find a friend close to home too (and “happy valley” isn’t so bad). We’ll have to review more stuff around here.

    As for the cookbook my vote is for the new best recipe… though the slow cooker one would be good too with all the snow we are getting!

  12. Holly says:

    LOL – I just read more carefully and saw the best recipe book is from last month so I will read back. My vote is for the slow cooker for sure then!

  13. Mary says:

    Oh that’s a hard choice. Although I own the Weight Watchers cookbook and I’d be interesting in your opinions of some of the recipes, I haven’t found too many I like in it. So I guess I vote for the slow cooker cookbook. But can one of your recipes be non-dairy? The husband has a hard time with milk and I can’t eat soy. We’re quite a pair!

  14. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for this useful review.

    I vote for the slow cooker volume.

  15. JT says:

    I know it’s not part of the two, but my absolute favorite cookbook is The New Best Recipe Cookbook. I haven’t made that much out of it yet, but I can honestly say that the recipes I have made are the best versions of the dishes. I highly recommend it!!!

  16. Tracy says:

    I’m glad you reviewed the Best New Light Recipe. I have that and the only thing I’ve made is macaroni and cheese (which was very good). I’ll have to try the recipes you made. As for the narrative in the book, duh – if you don’t like that much writing, don’t buy stuff from the Cooks Illustrated gang. I’m with you — I like knowing the thinking and testing behind it.

    I could go either way on this month’s cookbook. I could use more recipes for the slow cooker, but I could also use some healthy ones.

  17. Tracy says:

    Oh! I just realized that you didn’t review The Best New Light Recipe, you reviewed the Best New Recipe. When I was reading your post about bacon on the meat loaf I was really confused!

  18. Annina says:

    Hey!
    I really like your blog and so I added your link on my one! http://www.anninasfood.blogspot.com Hope this is ok for you! I’m also a member of the Daring Bakers! :-) So… go on like this! Greetings from Switzerland, Annina (Ann)

  19. Bellini Valli says:

    I have the Weight Watchers book so I vote for the Slow Cooker. I have a slow cooker that is delegated to the back of the cupboard. I would be interested to see how food becomes gourmet and perhaps it will rise to countertop status.

  20. Kristen says:

    I vote for the WW one because I have recently been trying some of their recipes and I am really impressed :) I’d love to see how you like it.

  21. KN says:

    I completely agree with you regarding The New Best Recipe. For me, the narrative IS the reason to buy the book. Really, one of my all-time favorites! Great reviews! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Dhanggit says:

    me too i’ll vote for the slow cooker..ca’t wait to see your posts on them :-)

  23. Melanie C. says:

    I am enjoying your blog! I am going to order the best recipe cookbook–it sounds great! I vote for the slow cooker!

  24. Katerina says:

    I can’t WAIT to see what you make… the two I have made have been pretty successful I am close to graduating to making my OWN slow cooker recipes :)

  25. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Slow cooker cookbook – all the way! It is WAY too hot to turn on my oven so plugging in my crockpot has been a lovely solution, now if only I had more recipes! :)

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