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Cook What You Love: Simple, Flavorful Recipes to Make Again and Again Hardcover – October 18, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


“The Blanchards successfully blend New England practicality with the generosity and warmth of the islands.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Married for thirty-two years, Bob and Melinda Blanchard divide their time between Norwich, Vermont, and Anguilla, where they operate Blanchard’s Restaurant. In addition to their eight successful business endeavors, the Blanchards have hosted television shows on the Fine Living Network and PBS and have been featured on the Today show as well as in People, Gourmet, USA Today, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, and the Washington Post, among other media. They are the authors of A Trip to the Beach, At Blanchard’s Table, and Live What You Love. The Blanchards can be reached at and


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (October 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400054397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400054398
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DeAnna Knippling on August 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
So...with all the free recipes online, why would I need to buy cookbooks? The authors address this question in the introduction, and I agree with the answer they quote in their book:

"Like other good books, the best cookbooks have strong voices that lure readers into unfamiliar worlds, give colorful observations about those places, and, above all, reveal a passionate interest in sharing pleasure." (Barbara Haber, food historian.)

Online recipes (not the food described, but the writing style, if that makes any sense) are usually straightforward and colorless. "Do this. Do that. Don't let this happen." The recipes in the best cookbooks, on the other hand, imply the outlook of their writers. "Do this, because it will make your tongue melt. I did that the other day, and while it isn't for everyone, it made me want to dance around naked."*

The recipes in Cook What You Love are appealing. The first section, breakfast, begins with a short essay about the joys of making breakfast in bed, so while I was reading this section, I was imagining my husband bringing me breakfast in bed. "Yes," I said to myself, "I would eat Crunchy Coconut French Toast in bed. I would eat Orange-Currant Muffins and One-Eyed Jacks and Spanish Scrambled Eggs in bed..." It all sounded good. I then asked myself whether I would cook all those recipes if it meant getting up early to do it...well, that one was harder, but I ended up with a "yes" there, too. As I read my way through the book, I realized I would cook anything in the book, just so I could eat it, and that, I think, is the mark of a good cookbook.

The mark of a really good cookbook is when it can talk you into trying something you normally wouldn't try, either because you don't care for it or it's a pain to make.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melanie C. Hurt on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read the Blanchard's cookbook in two sittings at Barnes & Noble. The photography is beautiful and the recipes are reasonably simple. I tried the Brown Sugar and Basil Bacon right away and it was a nice sweet change from what is always eaten. And there are others in the book that I am excited to try out.

One other nice thing about the Blanchard's book is that it's quite unusual. It has stories of their lives mixed right in with the recipes. If you enjoy reading or looking at cook books "Cook What You Love" makes for a delicious read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's easy to love --- or envy --- Melinda and Bob Blanchard.

They have a charmed life: a restaurant on a Caribbean island so popular that people fly to Anguilla just to have dinner there, a lovely house in Vermont for summer retreats, lifestyle books that sell and sell.

But in the end, the early motto of Motown applies: "It's what's in the grooves that counts."

That is: These "simple, flavorful recipes to make again and again" --- well, do you?

We bought "Cook What You Love" because "At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook" was very much a cookbook we turned to again and again. And not for the entertaining stories about Blanchard's Restaurant, the Blanchards' enlightened management theories and their annoyingly happy marriage --- those passages made for pleasant reading, but only once. The reason to own a cookbook is the food. And here the Blanchards shine.

Melinda Blanchard does not begin in the kindergarten --- she assumes you know your way around a kitchen and can crank out a dozen meals good enough to serve to friends. She assumes you have sharp knives and quality pans. She assumes you don't need to be told that fresh trumps frozen, that prepared foods are generally a disguised delivery system for chemicals, and warmth and friendship are essential ingredients in any dish.

As a result, Mrs. Blanchard produces stunningly straightforward recipes. You'll need fresh ingredients and a few spices. You won't need much time; nothing takes very long to make. And you won't need to stress, as dinners build around Blanchard recipes somehow seem.... relaxed.

Bonus points: great range and great editing. In about 175 pages, Melinda Blanchard not only covers hors d'oeuvres, salads, main dishes, vegetables and desserts, she presents a toothsome selection of breakfast specialties and eight recipes for kids.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`Cook What You Love' by restauranteur / authors, Bob and Melinda Blanchard belongs to an odd class of cookbooks which has no interest in teaching you how to cook French or Italian, or simply how to cook, or how to cook fast or how to cook cheap or how to grill or how to entertain or how to cook for your family or how to cook for kids (although there is a section here for cooking with kids). These books have a mysterious attraction that, if it works, makes you simply fall in love with the books, and you can't seem to put your finger on why that is.

For me, the paradigm of this type of book is those written by Jamie Oliver. Like his fellow British writers, Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater, and Tamasin Day-Lewis, Jamie's books seem to effectively communicate more of a lifestyle which includes cooking and eating, than it does simply a set of instructions on how to cook particular dishes. Part (but not all) of this can be explained by the lessons the handlers on the Food Network's `Next Food Network Star' competition shows give to the competitors. You can't be a talking head that cooks. You have to draw your audience into your world and make them want to make your dishes. The flip side of this quality is that when it doesn't work, it can really turn one off. For example, while I constantly praise Rachael Ray's shows and books, I have a hard time buying her constantly effervescent personality. On the other hand, Mario Batali's enormous confidence and force of personality on `Molto Mario' were consistently able to draw me in and really become strongly interested with his love and lore of Italian cuisines.
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