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Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price Paperback – November 17, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439117616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439117613
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though best known hip-hop anthems like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," musician Coolio has proven himself something of a Renaissance rapper in his internet series Cookin' With Coolio. Here, the artist adapts recipes from his web show without sacrificing any of the slang, attitude or casual vulgarity fans have come to expect. Referring to himself in both first and third person (sometimes within the space of a single paragraph), the self-proclaimed "King of the Kitchen Pimps" teaches readers how to become a "ghetto gourmet" with basics like scallops "rap'd" in bacon, shrimp cocktail (Cold Shrimpin'), spaghetti (Bro-Ghetti), and lettuce wraps (Chicken Lettuce Blunts). Armed with garlic, onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which appear in almost every recipe, Coolio provides step-by-step instructions only slightly more (less?) difficult to navigate for the slangy substitutions (dime bags rather than teaspoons), cheeky asides (step seven in Steak Fatricia: "Pass out the sombreros and machetes"), and unnecessary expletives (Crazy Pollo Salad "easily serves 4 crazy motherf****ers"). The irreverent energy can get tiring, especially when Coolio's indulging a slight misogynistic streak (chapter four is titled "Salad-Eatin' Bitches"), but the basics are well-represented with a minimum of fuss or pre-planning.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Coolio, the multi-talented Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum selling artist, composer and actor, is one of the most popular and successful rappers worldwide. To date, Coolio has sold over 27 million records globally and has performed in concerts to adoring fans in Africa,Israel, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and throughout Europe. In the diversified hip hop industry, Coolio is one of the few rap artists who has been able to garner mainstream success and critical acclaim. His reality show Coolio's Rules,which debuted on the Oxygen Network in October 2008, featured his catering business and continued where his internet TV hit Cookin' with Coolio left off.

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Customer Reviews

Who knew Coolio could cook!
Cute Chihuahua
As soon as I started reading it, I was VERY impressed with the book - the recipes are great and easy to follow.
The recipes are actually really good, and the book is hilarious.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mindy VINE VOICE on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not a big fan of Coolio the musician, his songs were alright but the last time he had a mega-hit was so long ago. I am, however, now a HUGE fan of Coolio the chef! I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I ordered this but suffice it to say that I am very happy with it and will be buying multiple copies to give to all the gourmets in my life. They need to expand their repertoire anyway.

First off, I don't think I've ever read a more entertaining cook book in my life. The little side notes and descriptions are hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud all over the kitchen. Of course, Coolio pulls no punches so the language is rife with curse words and sexual allusions but that's part of the humor of it. The names of his dishes are funny, his cooking terms are comically weird (Dime bag of salt, droppings of hickory BBQ sauce) and the "hints" are drop-dead hilarious ("Only serve rare fish if it's incredibly fresh. It looks pretty, but like a good woman, it just might kill you.")Be sure to read the introduction and his Cool-mandments as they are funny, but they also explain his cooking philosophy and terminology.

Now the recipes themselves, they're actually pretty good. They're simple, use common ingredients and they taste delish! Best of all, there is a variety of them from meat dishes, vegetarian and vegan dishes, to desserts, seafood, poultry and salads. Many of the recipes are healthy but there are also many that aren't so have your pick. The peanut butter cookies were yummy and the spinach-your-kids-will-eat was simple and good.

This cookbook is definitely a keeper. I'll reach for it whenever I want something simple and yummy, or whenever I just need a laugh.
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I am the first to admit that I bought this book for the novelty factor, I mean, really? A rapping chef? In a word: yes! I do not own a single rap recording in any format, but as someone who values good and simple to prepare food, this cookbook is platinum. The book contains 76 recipes, and some of them are absolute standouts. "Kung Fu Chicken" (p. 51), "Crybaby Chicken" (p. 62), "Karate Meat" (p. 96), "Magical Fruit Soup" (p. 174), and "Bro-Ghetti" (p. 158) top my personal list of favorites.

The book is irreverent, is full of colorful and innuendo-laden language (not for kids), and does have a few idiosyncrasies, e.g. "dime bag" stands in for "tablespoon", etc. All of this is explained in chapters one and two. The book isn't big on illustrations, other than a very nice color insert section of completed dishes, and it doesn't go into great detail on techniques, rather gives simple, easy to follow directions. There are inserts from Coolio's assistant, Jarez, in the recipes giving useful and funny information (his advice on p. 75 regarding the advisability of drinking marinade is especially insightful and entertaining).

The introductions to the recipes, the recipes themselves, and even the ingredient lists are well seasoned with humor: "Crybaby Chicken" requires among other things three kinds of peppers and a box of tissues, while his vegetarian chili requires a fire extinguisher. Some of his more unusual recipes need a little explanation. As an example, his recipe "Peanut Butter Chicken Love" has this to say by way of introduction: "Chicken and peanut butter may seem like a strange combination, but they go together like gin and juice, biscuits and gravy, O.J.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know a lot of the people who order this are going to order it for the novelty factor.
It is novel, and it's laugh out loud funny to read. Coolio keeps his spices in dime and nickel bags and it's the first cookbook I've read that needs a language warning.

But getting past the novelty into the recipes because I love to cook, this book is full of easy to prepare good food. His stated goal is to get people eating healthier and being less dependent on fast food. With that in mind, a lot of the recipes are inexpensive and have minimal prep work. 10 minutes of prep and most of them cook up pretty quickly. So you have food that's faster than getting in your car and driving to a burger place. Most of it is a lot healthier too. Use your judgment, if it calls for a cup of mayonnaise, it might be unhealthy. The recipes use a lot of canned foods and sauces to make it quick and easy. There are some very healthy options as well that look absolutely delicious. I'm looking forward to trying the chili for my family.

There are some very tasty vegetarian meals and options.

The shrimp recipes look amazing. I've used the fork steak recipe after seeing it on his cooking show and it was a huge hit with my family. He states anyone can make a good expensive steak, it takes true kitchen skill to make a good steak with a cheap cut of meat. I appreciate that philosophy. Learning the basics of cooking can make budget cooking way better than what your friends do after seeing a gourmet show and trying with the costly things.

About cooking basics- he doesn't go into great depth but he does explain the terms and methods very well including not assuming his readers know how to boil an egg.
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