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D.I.Y. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch Hardcover – August 25, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811873463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811873468
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vanessa Barrington is a chef and author with co-writing credits on Heirloom Beans. She lives in Oakland, California.

Vanessa Barrington is a chef and author with co-writing credits on Heirloom Beans. She lives in Oakland, California.

More About the Author

Vanessa Barrington is a self-taught cook who is inspired by the fresh, locally grown produce available in farmers' markets and backyards in her Oakland, CA. neighborhood, as well as the vibrant community of picklers, jammers, urban farmers, and DIY'ers in her community.

She hopes DIY Delicious will encourage and empower readers to take back their kitchens by incorporating the basics of daily food preparation into their lives. By offering recipes for everything from ketchup, to pickles, to sauerkraut, to simple cheeses, as well as ideas and seasonal suggestions for incorporating the basics into easy, everyday meals, she hopes to inspire a new way of eating that is economical, eco-friendly, healthy, and delicious.

She is the co-author of the book, Heirloom Beans with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
I found these recipes to be super simple and easy to follow.
Shelly
In DIY Delicious you can make a plethora of fabulous, pure and tasty foods yourself, easily, and Vanessa has a knack for speaking to novice and gourmet cooks alike.
MplsMonkey
This cookbook's real strength is the wide range of things that you can make that are staples of most households.
R. Perry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:25 Mins
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth E. Crane on October 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a useful and well-written book. Vanessa Barrington provides easy-to-follow recipes, just like any good cookbook author should, but she goes the extra mile and gives the reader ways to use what's just been made. Say I make a vinaigrette. So then what? If I follow Vanessa's advice (and I really should because it is excellent), I can use it as a fish marinade, or dress a green salad, or create a grain dish, or... The mix and match possibilities for her recipes seem endless, which makes this book ridiculously useful.

Plus, the recipes themselves are pretty great. I have a family to please, one of whom is a vegetarian, so I am always looking for interesting ways to prepare beans and grains and veggies -- recipes for all three abound in this book. The way the recipes can be juggled and combined really plays into the way I fix meals: some of this for one person, some of the that for the other, with meat as a side dish. This book totally works for the way I cook.

I am a DIY enthusiast (I have a sourdough starter in the fridge, I make canned goods) but I've never made my own fresh cheeses. This book shows me how in a way that seems completely NOT intimidating. And the book itself is nicely produced, with great photos and plenty of friendly advice. It's like having Vanessa hanging out in your kitchen, showing you how it's done. I love that.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By tragedyanne on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a very attractive and appealing thing to look through. The writer seems to live this peaceful, abundant life and do all the most wonderful things we wish we could do. I can see how it could be "inspiring", as others have said. But if you're a real cook who actually wants to try making some of this stuff, STEER CLEAR.

I am a seasoned DIY cook; I regularly make my own yogurt, pasta, fresh cheese, and bread from scratch. I was excited to expand my repertoire. The first recipe I tried from this book was for Flour Tortillas. It was the darnedest thing-- the recipe called for way too much water! I salvaged it by adding a lot more flour, and they came out good, but I was really taken aback by how off the recipe was. It made me very hesitant to try another. But over time I decided that that must have been a fluke, maybe a typo, and I tried the Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers recipe.

Well, now I am officially convinced: these recipes weren't tested by anyone before they were published in this book. I should have known better than to trust it when it said to process the flour + liquids in a food processor until a dough ball forms-- 2-3 minutes. Two to three MINUTES? In a food processor? Um... But I trusted. I went ahead and tried it. IT SUCKED! There was again, way too much water in the recipe, the dough became a sticky, goopy mess that seeped into the nooks and crannies of my food processor (a HUGE pain in the butt to clean later). To fix it, I had to add a ton more flour and pulse to get the mixture to come together (this is after waiting 20 minutes for the machine to cool down-- seriously they are not meant to be run that long continuously). I kept going and made the crackers...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Perry on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book mainly for the pickles because my household can go through a quart in a ridiculously short period of time. This cookbook's real strength is the wide range of things that you can make that are staples of most households. I've been making corn tortillas once a week for about a month now. They take no time and have so much more flavor than any of the (sometimes very good) store offerings. I've also made mustards, kim chee, sauerkraut, and curtido from D.I.Y, all turning out wonderfully. The only caveat I'd have for this book is that although the instructions are clear and complete, it's no cookbook for a complete novice cook. You should know your way around your kitchen and tools before diving in.

Oh, did I mention it's gorgeous?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MplsMonkey on August 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here is one cookbook I will keep around for a long time to come!
Vanessa Barrington has obviously thought long and hard when writing this treasure. Her passion to make foods from scratch that we normally tend to buy these days, shines through in this clever, fun, simple, honest and well-written cookbook.
Some things that I have tried, with great success is: yogurt and fresh cheeses, ginger beer (yes, you can do this and it's super-easy, just be sure you use a fresh yeast (I used champagne yeast I picked up at a brewing store) and clean, plastic soda bottles, NOT the thinner plastic water bottles, as they are not intended for carbonated beverages, you'll be amazed at that one), and of course, my fave... cultured butter! (like the kind you'd find at a fine French market)!
Please allow me a word about the cultured butter, Vanessa's recipe is Super-Easy. If you've ever made whipped cream, you can make fresh cultured butter!
*I have tried using both my blender and my hand mixer, and I like the hand mixer best I believe, but if possible, put the bowl in a dry sink, since it will start to spit a bit when the buttermilk separates. Keep that buttermilk for pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc.... excellent.
~ I'll never spend money on fancy imported butter again! and I have wowed friends by bringing fresh cultured butter with Vanessa's sour dough bread to dinner parties. OK, looks like I could go on and on about making butter, and I have...but the point here is, that I never knew how easy it was to make. In DIY Delicious you can make a plethora of fabulous, pure and tasty foods yourself, easily, and Vanessa has a knack for speaking to novice and gourmet cooks alike. There's a lot going on in this book and I'm so pleased I happened upon it.
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