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Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal Hardcover – September 10, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449427111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449427115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tara Mataraza Desmond writes about food, cooking, and nutritious eating. She has developed original recipes and contributed to media and corporations including Parents magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Specialty Publications, Clean Eating magazine, Whole Foods Market, and the Food Network Kitchens and television productions. She is the coauthor of Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet. Mataraza Desmond blogs at CrumbsOnMyKeyboard.com and stays social on Twitter and Facebook at @TaraMDesmond. For more information visit taramdesmond.com. 

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
47%
4 star
33%
3 star
20%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 15 customer reviews
Now you have 130 tried and true tested recipes to choose from in one great cookbook.
DelAnne
There is a conversion table at the end of the book, but it would have hardly made the book more expensive to have "done the math" and presented dual units.
I. Darren
The tips, tricks, background information are a fantastic education which I feel has made me a better cook.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I Do the Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Do you need a side dish for a roasted chicken? For a grilled steak? A pot-luck dinner? Many dishes for a brunch table? A new green salad idea? You will find plenty from which to choose in this book.

The recipes in this book are wide-ranging: You will find foods traditionally termed "side dishes"; main dishes that can be served in small portions; salads; pasta dishes; breads; sauces; toppings; vinaigrettes; relishes; you name it. For the most part, the flavors are modern day "American", which, in the true spirit of America, brings with it influences from the world's tables. Recipes are varied, some are outstanding, some are traditional-tried-and-true, some basic, some average. There are several worthy of adding to your list of favorites.

Within the introduction you will find "Main-Course Pairings": Lists of the dishes that go with beef, chicken, fish and seafood, lamb, pork, turkey and other poultry, pasta and vegetarian. Then the chapters will help you narrow your choices by grouping recipes into "occasion" ( brunch, weeknight, cookouts, potlucks, holiday, etc.). It seemed an odd way to compartmentalize recipes, but after many weeks of working with this cookbook, my mind is finally working with the author's system and not against it.

What I really liked about this cookbook? This is one of the few cookbooks published recently that list very exact Ingredient quantities: For example: 2 large celery sticks, chopped, (1 cup); 3 cups grated radish (about 8 oz.); 4 cups grated carrot (about 1 lb.); 1 small zucchini (about 6 oz.). You get the idea: You won't wonder about the size of a "large" onion or a "medium" peach.

What I did not like?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my new favorite cookbook. We have a CSA (community supported agriculture) share that is filled with wonderful fresh veggies. A lot of times we are scrambling with what to do with them. This book has afforded us a new way to approach our meals - start with the sides! We pick a veggie, find a nice recipe in Tara's book and then pair it with some kind of protein (if need be). We've done the kale and cannellini bean recipe, golden cauliflower with herbed breadcrumbs, sesame braised bok choy to name a few. All so tasty! And that doesn't even touch on the rest of the book - that's just the recipes. The tips, tricks, background information are a fantastic education which I feel has made me a better cook. And the stories and anecdotes. The turnip for one story brought tears to my eyes. So, thank you, Tara, for writing this. I've only had it for a month or so and am looking forward to exploring it further!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. Darren on September 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
To many sides are a bit of an afterthought, a filler, a necessary thing to serve up with the main bit of meat or fish, and boy can that attitude show. Maybe this book will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary!

In all this colourful, energetic book gives you 130 different recipes that it claims will "make the meal" - in reality it gives you a nearly limitless set of tools and further inspiration to change possibly favourite dishes that have became TIRED favourite dishes. The recipe selection is prefaced by a hefty introduction and some suggested sides to main course pairings but, naturally, you are free to add your own weird and wonderful mixes but sometimes such recommendations can fire a bolt of inspiration to a jaded mind.

Then it is really just to start cooking, taking a recipe from one of the eight logically-separated chapters. Unfortunately not every recipe has the honour of having a full-colour photograph showing the finished dish, which is a bit of a shame as even if it is just a plate of Cinnamon Challah Muffins why not show them and draw you in further? After all the quality of food photography employed is excellent so no doubt the photographer would be able to show, for example, Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese (as a bagel or bread spread) in its full glory.

Many of the recipes do, based on title alone, sound rather esoteric and perhaps something one might not have ordinarily considered, but that is the good thing about this book. It stretches the old brain cells and hopefully encourages some new thinking, although the author has carefully kept to a "sensible" level with their thoughts, so you don't have wacky items employed within a recipe "just because one can."

Our usual niggles are abundant.
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Format: Hardcover
This has been my favorite cookbook for months, and the past several weeks finally inspired me to sit down and write this review. I cooked side dishes from Choosing Sides multiple nights a week during my parents' most recent visit. They literally raved about the food. The salads and dressings were the biggest hits; they are the perfect summer accompaniment as a light, refreshing side, though I make them year round as well. I also made the chipotle black beans and the lime rice (both of which you could easily make on a work night), the cinnamon challah muffins, and the eggplant feta rollatini. Many of the flavor combinations are outstanding (such as the roasted mushrooms with crème fraiche). I agree wholeheartedly with another reviewer that the instructions and the anecdotes are a wonderful part of this book. Regarding the type of recipes, there are many quick and easy ones. There are also lots that take more time, which are really lovely for company or special occasions. I love, love, love this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Tara Mataraza Desmond writes about food and cooking. She has contributed Parents Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Publications, Clean Eating Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Serious Eats, Whole Foods Market and the Food Network Kitchens and television productions. She is the co-author of Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet, a cookbook about using smaller quantities of better quality meat. Mataraza Desmond blogs at CrumbsOnMyKeyboard.com and stays social on Twitter and Facebook at @TaraMDesmond. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter and twin sons. For more information visit taramdesmond.com.

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Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal
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