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on September 13, 2002
i felt compelled to write after reading some negative reviews. i checked this out from the library (as is my habit to do before spending any money on my own copy-much less disappointment that way) and have made already 2 recipes. they were for the broiled salmon and oven-cooked ribs. i do not lie when i say that they were huge hits...the ribs i have done twice due to popular demand. i do realize that is not a lot of testing, but 2 recipes without a hitch the first time around making them has earned this cookbook a must-have. this is not gourmet dinky food, but real good home food . the food most of us choose to eat without resorting to cream-of-you-know-what or worse several hours of gastronomic acrobatics to find that your family doesn't like it. the only reason this did not get 5 stars was due to the low ratio of recipes given the amount of text and number of pages in this book.
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on June 2, 2002
I've had so many of the recipes in this book and each one is just better than the other. They really are the Perfect recipes, I can see why Pam is so popular. I like to call this my "memory food" book, since all the food taste like I remember it tasting at its best. Chocolate Cake tastes like the best diner chocolate cake. The ribs are better than any roadhouse or bbq I've been in and they are so easy as well. I recently fed a crowd and "everyone" wanted the recipe. The oven fried chicken tastes like fried without all that messy oil! The key lime pie is my favorite and I've eaten a lot. And the peanut butter cookies and the chocolate chip cookies are better and bigger than any mall-cookie seller. Veggie lasagna pleases all my vegetarian friends and meat lovers alike. I could go on and on. I've already given this book as gifts and they have bought the book for presents of their own. Every recipe will quickly become "your" recipe." I'll never make Ceaser salad any other way again. All I can say is give me more. My only complaint is that there are no pictures.
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on June 14, 2005
I'm a busy Mom who none-the-less wants my kids to eat real food. I don't have time for mistakes and trial and error. The book explains the entire process in an easy to read and understand manner and without fail, the recipes have all turned out fabulous. In fact, they are so delicious they have earned me quite a reputation. Now, whenever there is a pot luck - I get requests. The Blue Ribbon Chili is like the filet mignon of chili - I went to a barbecue this weekend and brought the Asian pasta salad and every single person asked me to send the recipe. I just got an email asking once again. I sent them the link to the book instead ;-) I sing Pam's praises often. Now my sister, her brother-in-law and several friends are all devotees. I highly recommend this book (my primary resource) as well as Pam Anderson's "How to Cook Without A Book" - the pan sauces alone make that one a worthwhile purchase.
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on February 15, 2003
This book reads like a novel. I love the essay that prefaces each recipe. Very entertaining reading. As for the recipes, I love the pot roast. That has become a favorite. The cinnamon rolls are fabulous. And the waffles recipe is the best I've ever tried. They really do stay crispy like she promises. The only flaw is the pumpkin pie recipe. The filling was way too much for the 9" pan size recommended. If overflowed in my oven causing a HUGE mess. I live at a pretty high altitude, so maybe that was the problem too.
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on February 6, 2003
Every recipe in this book that I've tried so far has been a hit right away. The cinnamon rolls, the chocolate cake, the pumpkin pie, the ribs... everything has turned out perfectly. The cinnamon rolls and chocolate cake have even turned into regular additions at my cafe. Pam Anderson writes with a distinctive voice that makes reading her trail and error accounts entertaining as well as informative. As a cook who always wants to know why a recipe works, not just that it does, it was interesting to see on paper the same recipe permutations I tend to go through myself.
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on June 23, 2004
I loved CookSmart. As a chemist, I enjoy doing experiments at home in the kitchen as well as at work. The way that Pam described the process that she went through to find the ideal conditions for each recipe mirrors the careful manipulation and recordkeeping that accompanies a scientific experiment. I like knowing why each ingredient was chosen and what happened with other ingredients to make them less than perfect. Even if you don't appreciate the detailed dialogue that precedes each recipe, you will appreciate the results of using each perfected recipe. I tried the Chicken Parmesan, Oven-Fried Chicken, Turkey Burgers and some of the hints for perfect pie crust. All of the food turned out wonderfully and satisfied my need to occasionally prepare gourmet type food for my family. I am looking forward to trying more of the recipes!
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on September 11, 2002
There is one recipe in this book that is worth the price of the book alone -- the oven ribs. She tells you how to make ribs for a crowd with a quick rub using some spices and mustard and then you simply cook them for a couple of hours at a low heat right on the oven rack. I made them all summer and now I've printing up the recipe on cards to give out since I am asked so much for the recipe. They are simply the best ribs. You can also make them either a dry rub or "wet," like some people prefer. And what's great is that you can make them all winter too. What a great recipe.
I've also tried the pumpkin pie and boy, oh, boy, is that my favorite and only three cans too. This is "my" pumpkin pie recipe from now on. You can really tell Pam did her homework on these recipes. thanks Pam!
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on August 3, 2002
Like her previous book, "The Perfect Recipe" (another must-have by the way), Anderson has made this home-chef very happy. Really excellent recipes, and so well written - it makes cooking even more fun! I especially loved the "Ribs that Taste like you have Slaved all Day" chapter; I live in NYC and even an apartment dweller can make superb ribs thanks to Pam Anderson. I highly recommend this cookbook. It sits right next to my "Joy of Cooking" and is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
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on March 26, 2006
I am a huge cookbook maven. I have hundreds, some good ones and some were a waste of money. This is easily in my top 10 of cookbooks. I will now buy a Pam Anerson book by reputation alone. My entire family adores the Ceasar Salad. The Pasta salad combo's she has, has sent more that one friend to nirvana. We live in Malaysia and the food here is dynamite, but yes we crave good old American food and Pam is my go to girl for those needs. If you like easy recipes that you can find ingredients for, buy this book. Eat and be happy.
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on August 9, 2002
This is an excellent and high quality book. All her recipes work and taste great. This is due to the nature of this book, she has performed many tests to ensure that every recipe is PERFECT! She also gives many variations to suit every taste. I love that she give a very in depth report on how she tested the recipes. This kind of information helps me to build-up my cooking intuition. She has also perfected soem recieps that I never thought could be made well, such as homemade oven-fried chicken. Don't forget to try her fab onion rings, and the miriad of excellent green bean recipe variations. This book is a winner, do0n't forget about her other books which are also excellent.
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