Cookbook reviews

Cookbooks are some of my favorite books out there and I get them all the time from the library. My favorites are ones where the recipes are well-written, practical for my kitchen, and has pictures. That is the standard the following cookbooks will be judged on.

Would recommend

Take it or leave it

Baking Yesteryear by B. Dylan Hollis

I will admit, this was an entertaining book that takes the reader on a journey through the past. I had a lot of fun flipping through the pages and reading the stories. However, it is not very practical as an actual cookbook.

Not for me

100 Morning Treats by Sarah Kieffer

The title is a bit of a stretch, it is pretty much pastries and bread making. Although there’s nothing particularly new or unique in this book, this would be a decent choice for someone who wants to learn how to make those things. The recipes seem sound and the book is well put together. However, there is a lot of sour cream used which I personally don’t use, so it’s ultimately not for me but I imagine someone could learn a lot from it.

Dessert Person/What’s for Dessert by Claire Saffitz

These aren’t cookbooks I would go back to for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are pretty standard cookbooks in terms of ingredients. There’s butter, milk, heavy cream, etc., and those are ingredients I am actively working on coming up with substitutions for. I want recipes that are dairy free, so these would need a lot of adjustments if I wanted to make them. Secondly, they’re not really things I want to make. Dessert person does have some pretty classic recipes, but a lot of them, especially the ones in What’s for Dessert, are pretty funky. It’s very ‘Bon Appétit test kitchen’ style, fancy New York vibes. Basically, she’s taking a classic recipe and trying to make something new and giving things a twist. Where I’m at in my baking journey, I’m trying to make my ideal versions of the classics, as well as make them dairy free. I feel like once you get an idea how the original versions of her recipes are made, you can do the same adjustments Claire made except with your own desired flavors, which would pretty much negate her recipes.

Overall, there’s some great pictures to flip through, but a lot of these recipes I would pass on. The only recipes I took note of were the unabridged ones, for example the pudding recipes in What’s for Dessert, in case I ever want to make a regular pudding. I like Claire’s YouTube videos and I know what she was going for, but these books just aren’t for me.

30 Days Grain-Free by Cara Comini

Although entertaining to flip through, there was nothing revolutionary that I can’t get off the internet. One take away I did enjoy was how it used leftovers from previous meals in the next. It gave a nice continuity, and is how practical cooking is often done. I think the book is perfectly fine, but I personally wouldn’t buy it. If you find this at the library, like I did, it may spark some inspiration. However, I don’t think it’s worth adding to a collection.

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