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:
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!