Thursday, August 22, 2013

American Idol of Cookbooks - Round One

Here we are for the first round - who made the cut to stay on Deborah's shelf and who has to pack their bags and return tearfully home?  Okay that's America's Top Model but yeah same dif...

The Contestants -

Homemade:  Irrestible Homemade Recipes for Every Occasion by Clodagh McKenna

Mr. Food Cooks Pasta by Art Ginsburg

Christmas With Paula Deen by Paula Deen

Contestant #1 - Homemade by Clodagh McKenna - winner
I wanted to sell this book.  I really did, it struck me as yet another, "oh look at me how hipster and gourmet I am" type of tome.  Yes well, sigh....Ms. McKenna you have a place on my shelves!  I started paging through and realized wow, this is not only really, really pretty, it is actually really useful!  This is the kind of book you want to sit down on a Saturday afternoon with a cup of tea and plan to make all the cool, but not expensive homemade things!  Everything caught my eye from the recipes for homemade preserved lemons to the great recipe she got at a wedding in Tuscany (sigh) that was marinated chicken with bits of fruit and couscous.  Fresh, not expensive and definitely different from the sloppy joes and mac and cheese I make as kid friendly foods!  What won me over the most?  The preserved items section and the section on cheeses.  Great info to include in an overall great cookbook and again - it's soooo pretty :)
Here's the link -

Contestant #2 - Mr. Food Cooks Pasta - sorry you must pack your bags
Okay first off, this is not the prettiest book.  (Pretty does win points with me as style not substance as I tend to be LOL).  It is a plainer white book with a goofy Mr Food guy on the cover.  Not a lot of pics, very ho-hum to look at it. However it did  provide illustrations of every kind of pasta, it came with a very good variety of pasta dishes and sauces that seemed family friendly and the type of recipe that you get off the net and say hmmm doesn't sound too hard, let me try that for dinner tonight.  So while I recommend the book as a purchase, for me it didn't make the cut because I am a pasta prima bella - basically known for my pastas throughout the neighborhood so this guy wasn't teaching me much I didn't know already.  Sorry Mr Food - it was great knowing you but you must find a new home...(hmmm same thing I said to my exhusband LOL)
Here's the link -

Contestant #3 - Christmas with Paula Deen by Paula Deen - sorry you must pack your bags
I have a weakness for Christmas books so I had high hopes for this one.  It is a smaller in size book (although good amount of pages) and has cute holiday memories as well as very good, very easy recipes.  That being said though I marked the recipes I wanted but all in all it was easier for me to put the recipes in my recipe notebook, rather than page through trying to locate the recipes amidst the admittedly cute but memories fluff.
Here's the link -

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