Customer Reviews: Grandma's Best Comfort Food (Grandma's Best Recipes Book 2)
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on February 1, 2012
I still get cold shivers when I think about my Grandma's cooking. There wasn't a meal so simple she couldn't ruin it. Now, my mother was a different story. Although she passed away 25 years ago I still miss the great meat loaf she used to make and the "Mom's Meatloaf" recipe in this book sounds very similar to hers.

What I like about this cookbook is that the ingredients are all basic and easy to find. I hate recipes that call for some obscure ingredient like ground pansy petals from the northwest region of France.

This is a cookbook I will refer to often and if you like genuine "comfort food", you probably will enjoy it as well. I am on my way now to get ingredients for the "Death By Chocolate Dessert".
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My husband loves comfort food but he's really picky about it. He likes my family recipes very well and dislikes me experimenting.

So testing recipes for his favorite foods is always a bit chancy.

Not with this cookbook. The recipes really do taste like grandmother's cooking. They are well written and tested. I had my doubts about the chicken and dumplings because it didn't call for much liquid. It turned out to be a wonderful, thick and much like a stew with dumplings on top.

The beef stew, following the authors recipe exactly comes out with super tender pieces of beef in a wonderful broth with lots flavor and chunks of vegetables.

The chicken pot pie is perfect, and that recipe will replace my family recipe.

I wouldn't cook from this every night, but the recipes have a lot less fat in them and more vegetables than a lot of comfort food cookbooks have, and you can adjust that further very easily to adapt less salt, less fat and more vegetables. The main course recipes don't use convenience ingredients like cream of mushroom soup. Instead soups are thickened the old fashioned way with corn starch, and the seasoning calls for herbs, spices and salt for flavor.

All the meals we've tried so far have been a success.
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on February 6, 2012
The one thing I love the most about this book is that the recipes call for fresh, easy -to -find foods. No "cream of " soups, or packaged onion soup mix. It's REAL food!
The food is simple, homey and wholesome. The directions are easy to follow, and the book is laid out like an actual cookbook, not like some other e-books where each recipe runs into the next.
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on February 8, 2012
There's an introduction with some information about the author and her history, which I appreciated.

For the most part, the recipes certainly appear to be what they claim to be - comfort food, traditional food, "real" food. One exception is the "Death by Chocolate" recipe. It's a great dessert, but I don't think it suits this cookbook very well. There is no canned "cream of X" soup included, no packaged seasoning or dry soup mixes.

I was a little bit confused by the Yorkshire pudding recipe, though - I really want a good one and have looked through several (and had some failures along the way from trying them). The recipe says to put 1/2 teaspoon oil - some recipes I have call for the drippings from the roast, so I'm wondering if that's what was intended, or if some other type of oil is what she used (and if so, what type). It also doesn't say specifically how many muffin cups to prepare, but it does say 4 servings, so I suppose that's what I would try.

The instructions regarding cornstarch are, surprisingly, appropriate for the substance, indicating it should be added at the end and only enough added to thicken. This adds a vote of confidence to the book for me. As I have noted elsewhere, cornstarch breaks down after about 10 minutes of cooking. I had a few gluey, nasty disasters before I caught on, and I frequently see "add cornstarch and cook for 4 hours on low in the crockpot" or "add cornstarch and simmer for an hour."

There are a few typos here and there (masked potatoes, last 10 minutes of cooking tome) but everything is still clear and understandable.

I liked this cookbook and the recipes look like they would provide a solid foundation in some basic recipes. Having taught myself to cook without the benefit of family recipes, I know that it is sometimes hard to find recipes for the basics.

I wavered between 4 and 5 stars on this one. On the one hand, it's a good collection of recipes that appear to be from an individual's collection versus pulled off the web. It has the personal touch so often lacking. The quality is overall good. On the other, one recipe leaves me with some questions before I try it and the other doesn't seem to fit the theme.

Ultimately, the cornstarch tipped it into 5 stars. I so rarely see information on using this that coincides with my experience, and it indicates to me that I think I'd really like to eat at this woman's house.
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on February 6, 2012
This cookbook contains some very good recipes. It could be very helpful to the new cook.

It is marred by not having an interactive table of contents. I highlighted each recipe and that worked for me.

ETA- There is apparently an interactive TOC but it does not show on the Kindle Fire. The reader has to go to cover and page forward and the TOC will show.
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on February 1, 2012
This is a great cookbook, written by a very lovely lady. She has a long history of writing good quality cookbooks. I cannot believe that I never knew how to make chili the way that Marg teaches it. It is ingenious! And the chili is SO good!!! You must try it this way.

I buy a lot of cookbooks and this one is very good. I recommend it.
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Grandmothers have had many years to perfect their cooking skills and their cooking is normally very memorable. In this book you will find sweet and savory recipes that are extremely good.

The first recipe I tried was the "Pot Roast Supreme." It is slow cooked with herbs and garlic and is absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently was I used way less salt than the recipe called for and omitted the soy sauce. My advice is to add salt at the end (to the gravy) as needed to taste. I also left out the optional red wine and used shallots instead of yellow onions. Instead of using beef stock I also used water plus beef base which I think gives more flavor. Beef base is easy to find and is like a stock paste.

The Biscuit recipe in this book is also excellent and I served the biscuits with the roast. The only thing I'd caution you about when making the roast is to wear oven mitts when removing the lid during cooking. There is a lot of steam and you don't want to burn yourself. Also if you are new to making pot roast you may have to adjust the cooking temperature a bit to get the right conditions. You want the stock just to simmer for two hours. For the first half hour I was constantly turning the temperature up and down and finally settled on the right heat level which was #3 on my stove top.

If you have been looking for a recipe for "Chicken Pot Pie," this book has an excellent one. It is easy to make since you buy a frozen pie crust. You could also use puff pastry. The pie is filled with boiled chicken breast, carrots, peas and onions in just the right amounts. I modified the recipe slightly to get a more creamy texture. Instead of using 2/3 cup milk, I used 1/3 cup fat-free milk and 1/3 cup whipping cream. I also used water in place of the chicken broth and added 3 teaspoons of chicken base. The only issue I had to deal with in this recipe was that there was too much filling for the pie shell I bought. I don't know if the author has a larger pie shell but I used deep dish and it still wasn't big enough. So I froze whatever didn't fit and will eat it over rice later. Also the recipe says to cook the pie for 35 minutes but I took it out at 30 minutes and would only cook it for 25 next time. So anywhere past 25 minutes watch carefully to see if it is done.

The third recipe I tried was the "Traditional Lasagna." I followed the recipe very closely only leaving out the sugar and adding one egg, ½ cup parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon dried parsley and ½ teaspoon seasoning salt to the ricotta cheese. This made it much easier to spread over the meat mixture. The meat mixture only took one hour to cook instead of 1 ½. I also don't know how the author fits four lasagna noodles across a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I found it easier to make four layers of three noodles each. So maybe start with three noodles, top with meat sauce and cheese mixture - do this two more times then top with noodles, more meat sauce and mozzarella and parmesan on top. So I divided the meat into fourths and the cheese mixture into thirds. It looked great when I took it out of the oven and it smelled delicious and garlicky. I let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. This lasagna was so good I had two pieces!

This book is filled with recipes your family will love. I've been cooking for 37 years so understood all the cooking techniques in this book. The instructions for most of the recipes are not complicated. If you are a new cook and want to figure out some of the techniques like how to flute a pie crust you can look on youtube for more instructions. Some of the other recipes I'll eventually try include:

Spicy Pumpkin Pie - A recipe you can only use when pumpkins are in season since it uses fresh pumpkin.

Death by Chocolate Dessert - I need to figure out where to get English toffee bars

Brown Sugar Baked Beans - good for the summer

If you are serious about cooking then I can recommend this to you. The recipes do take a bit of extra time to make and you can't rush perfection. The reasons these recipes will taste so good is because you will be adding lots of love to your cooking. I suggest finding two things to do at once like maybe making cookie dough while you are waiting for the lasagna meat sauce to cook. That way you are not going to feel like you have to wait around for things to cook.

Also, the table of contents works great. I was able to quickly access any recipe of my choosing.

~The Rebecca Review
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on February 1, 2012
What a great idea. A whole bunch of comfort foods all in one book.
And, like the cover says - the recipes are quick and easy to make.
I'm so glad the author decided to put such a collection together in one easy to read, easy to follow book.
Now, all I have to do is decide what to make first.
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on October 31, 2012
I am that stereotypical busy professional that could burn water. However, this cookbook is very easy to follow and tastes like I know what I am doing. I made lasagna for my Life Group and even got complimented on my cooking from my pastor's wife, which shows that these recipes will impress someone that cooks everything from scratch.

Some other things I liked about this cookbook:

- The seasonings used are pretty consistent throughout the recipes. This is key for someone like me that had to go out and buy everything except for salt and pepper.

- Measurements are straightforward. I don't like cookbooks that say "pinch of this" and "add to taste." If I knew how to cook, I wouldn't be using this.

- Many of the recipes can be prepared first, put in fridge and then cooked later. I have done this with the meatloaf, mac and cheese, lasagna, etc. Make the whole thing on my day off or when I have time, and when I get home, I throw it in the oven. By the time I have showered, checked email, etc, a real meal is done.

- Available on kindle. I lose things and don't have room for a bunch of books. I have pulled these up on my iPhone while standing in the kitchen.

As a sidenote, I also bought this spice rack that auto-measures everything for you (one click = 1/4 teaspoon) which also saves time and less dish washing:
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on February 1, 2012
I really like the way this book is laid out, very easy to read and understand when you're like me and not the greatest cook in the world. I am always searching for different kinds of chili recipes and since that was mentioned in the description, I had to get the book. But after looking through it, I wont stop there as the chicken soup sounds like something my Grandma used to make and I LOVED the stuff, haven't had it in years, and also the lasagna recipe sounds very good and better than the one I tried to make a couple weeks ago, what a disaster. Thank you for this great cookbook, its in my Favorites category.
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