Most helpful positive review
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Small Bites, Big Flavor, Good Design
on January 9, 2011
Fine Cooking Appetizers / 978-1-600-85330-2
I don't entertain much, so I'm not one for cooking lots of appetizers for parties, but I do like "bite size" recipes for storing and packing into family lunches and the like. If you're looking for an appetizer cookbook, this one definitely has a lot to offer: the recipes are intuitively organized, easy to understand, and well-formatted, and most of the recipes on offer show a corresponding finished picture. The ingredients lists are well-organized, and in multi-step recipes it's always clear which ingredients are used for each step of the process.
Of the 200 recipes on offer, a lot of them are multi-ingredient dishes that are sure to impress. I suppose this is a good thing if you are looking for new things to try and don't want more of the same old obvious stuff, but I can imagine that some of these dishes might be complicated enough to put off a lot of home chefs, and may be exotic-tasting enough to put off some of the guests. There's a strong overlap of traditional comfort food, though, such as the creamy fudge (with multiple flavor variations) and the triple-shot eggnog. The pictures themselves all look absolutely delicious, and combined with the stellar formatting, this cookbook is a joy to browse through.
As an appetizer cookbook, this one really stands out for variety - among the expected savory and tart fare, there are a lot of sweet flavors as well. I think a regular entertainer would get a great deal of use out of this book. For my purposes (lunch packings and varied dinner sides), the book is slightly less useful, but I was still able to find a lot of valuable recipes here, and I do recommend this highly to others.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.
~ Ana Mardoll