I’ve always been into cookbooks from bloggers, or people I have some sort of connection to (celebrity chefs who I like to watch being another example) more than cookbooks from just any random person. I hesitate to admit, though, that I didn’t even know this was a blogger cookbook until it came in the mail! So as you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m super pleased to finally be able to get this review done (and also make this my debut back into blogging), as this book has been on my dining room counter for more than a few months now begging me to finish reading it – and maybe, JUST MAYBE make something from it’s beautiful pages. Not to mention it has sustained a few feline-caused scratches on it’s cover from my fe-LIONS using it (and everything else on my counter) as a launching pad.
I’ll be brutally honest, I hate figs. Always, all the time, hate figs. Not that this is any fault of the book or it’s author – and the cover art IS beautiful. But I’ve never been of the opinion that figs were pretty or photographed well, despite that they are so pervasive in the current cookbook scene.
The book is well-written, and even though not heavy on the photography side, has very beautiful pictures where they exist. I think the author does do a nice job of balancing a personal “blogger-style” voice with the more professional style of writing. There are no purposeful grammar mistakes here, folks.
And in other news, I am so pleased that there is a table of contests in the front of the book which lists all of the recipes and where to find them. I don’t have to flip to the back and know what I am looking for already, I don’t have to flip to the page where the “breakfast” or “lunch” section starts to find a list of recipes, and I don’t have to flip through every single page of the book to find something. It’s perfect! I wish everyone did this, seriously.
I’m just going to start with that I LOVE Indian food, and I am super excited to try a bunch of these recipes. I want to note, though, that there are plenty of non-Indian recipes here. This is not an Indian cookbook.
I’m definitely excited to try the Pakora, and the Specialty Restaurant Lentil Kofta Curry as far as Indian recipes go. Anything curry and lentils is a go for me. One more particular preference I have is that I really, really don’t like meat in my ethnic food. Yes, I know that’s weird. Yes, all ethic food. Please serve my curries, my stir-fries, and my tacos meat-free. Basically, if it’s not a hunk of meat (pot roast, ribs, fried chicken, chicken wings), or any kind of barbecue, please just keep it over there!
For my resident carnivores, though, the Bee-Stung Fried Chicken looks amazing. Seriously! And I know Joel will be all over it because it’s got honey and I will be all over it because it’s spicy. It’s the perfect marriage of food preferences.
I am very curious about the Feel-Better Curried Soup with Crispy Chicken. It’s got a lot more ingredients than I typically use when I’m sick (or ever), but I’m always up for trying new soups and I can freeze it for when I AM actually sick. Right? So it’s perfect. And it’s reminiscent of my OMG I’m Sick Soup which is also designed to make you feel better when you’re down and out with the flu or a cold.
And finally, for my rhubarb pie lover, the Rhubarb Raspberry Rye Crumble looks like it’ll be a big hit.
This book is FULL of good-looking recipes that I want to try, but I don’t have enough space in this review to talk about and rave about every single one of them. So you’ll just have to check it out yourself! Plus, remember, it’s got that handy-dandy recipe list right in front for you!
I do enjoy this book, and I do plan to cook out of it! However, it’s definitely a book for a certain type of cook. There are a lot of bold flavors, a LOT of ingredients in most of the recipes, and it’s written to the home cook who is very comfortable with ingredients and their kitchen.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have merit besides that. There are great stories, good writing, and some really great pictures. Even if you’re not into spending all day cooking one soup, it’s still a great book for your collection. And I have a feeling that if you tried any of the recipes in it, you would probably find a new special-occasion favorite.
Oh, and I do want to mention that there ARE simple recipes in the book like the Vanilla Espresso Walnut Butter and the Avocado Toast. And I think the Baked Eggs, North Indian Style deserve an honorable mention because they look totally delicious. Joel and I make baked eggs all the time, but this is more of a lunch or even dinner food as it is much heavier than most breakfast requirements.
Finally there are a lot of basics in the book. Like pantry staples, and things like cultured butter and clotted cream. If you are a cook who is looking to expand more into the gourmet and bold, this is an excellent resource for you!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.