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on April 3, 2012
As a big fan of Barbone's Easy Gluten-Free Baking, I knew I had to have this book - but when I first opened it, I was surprised by the amount of space devoted to some very basic instructions - how to make bread crumbs, heat oil, chop onions and peppers, etc. That was before I read them carefully. I suspected after laughing through the onion-chopping scene in Julie & Julia that there was a right approach to chopping onions, and it probably wasn't mine. Sure enough, Barbone (a CIA - that's Culinary Institute of America - graduate), not only has taught me how to chop a better onion, but how to do a lot of other things better. I've been cooking since I was big enough to handle a mixing spoon - love the white sandwich bread recipe because it tastes just like the bread I used to bake 50 years ago - and still found I had a lot to learn. Surely anyone forced by a gluten-free diet to try to cook seriously for the first time would find the book invaluable. Great information and simple step-by-step instructions (often with pictures).

The best thing about the book, though is the recipes. They're just what we're all looking for - dishes that are kid- and non-foodie-husband -friendly, easy-to-find ingredients, clear instructions, great results. Whole sections on pasta, pizzas, burgers & sandwiches, and casseroles, as well as the usual soups, salads, main dishes, sides, and desserts. There's a lot of comfort food here - but also fun recipes for the more adventurous (e.g., Italian wedding soup, smoked mozzarella and roasted vegetable pasta, saltimbocca, rustic pies). The bread recipes have instructions with pictures for anyone who hasn't yet learned that baking really good gluten-free bread is really, really easy (much easier than wheat-based bread - no kneading involved), and there's a recipe for multi-grain bread you won't find in her previous cookbook. Not as many bread recipes, of course, and not as many dessert recipes (cupcakes, 4 cookies, brownies, rustic pies, cheesecake cups, whoopie pies (!), and a couple of fruit cobblers, none found in the same form in her Easy Gluten-Free Baking. They're enough to get anyone started, while adding new recipes for anyone who has her previous book.

Barbone's Easy Gluten-Free Baking book was what I immediately sent a nephew when I heard he'd been put on a gluten-free diet (along with Chebe Bread Pizza Crust Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 8) and a guide to gluten-free beer, of course). Now I guess I'll have to send him a copy of this book too. I'm certainly not going to send him my copy - I'm keeping it and expect to be using it frequently.
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on May 30, 2012
and best of all her stuff tastes great.

She uses flour that is easy to find, relying on the cheaper g free flours most of which I've found in a small asian grocery supply place here in town. Other stuff is easily found at my health food store and supermarket. That alone is worth a second glance, since many gluten free cookbooks have you hunting all over town for odd ingredients that languish on the shelf when you find that you don't like that recipe after all, or you waste money mail ordering or giving up altogether. When you factor in expensive ingredients and shipping costs, suddenly Elizabeth's simpler, cheaper choices of flour make a whole lot of sense, and will save you the cost of her books over and over again!

She DOESN'T have her own flour blend, which means you can quickly put together anything in the book without making a mixture ahead of time or discovering that a mixture isn't working for you. If a recipe doesn't work as well as expected (lemon bars, first book, the crust needs a tweak) then you can tweak the recipe till it works.

Updated to add, all the flours and starches she calls for are shelf stable, so if you don`t bake that often they aren`t going bad. I do low carb mostly with occaisional gluten free carbyésugary dessert treats so I don`t use up a lot of flour. This book saves me a lot of trouble just for that reason alone.

The one bone I have to pick is I'd like to see the nutrient info in a sidebar with the recipe, because gluten free involves a lot of carbs, heavily refined and the carb content can be a problem for those with diabetes or those who are using a low carb diet to control auto immune issues other than celiac. Both diabetes and auto immune disorders occur in the celiac population at a fairly high rate along with allergies.

This book expands her recipes into things like a recipe for a can of condensed soup. Till you've searched fruitlessly for one that doesn't use wheat, you don't realize how much this matters when converting a favourite casserole for example. Elizabeth provides the easiest, simplest "canned condensed soup" recipe I've seen yet, with variations to turn it into whatever you need from cream of mushroom to cream of celery and more.

Her first book was baking. It's important to reassure people that this doesn't have any repeats. At least not that I've been able to discover. Maybe the pancakes, but her first book is on loan to my daughter right now so I can't check to see. I will update this review as soon as I get it back and can compare. But if there are repeats, they are few and far between. It is new recipes. updated to add, no repeats for sure.

The chapter on pasta is amazingly good. It explains how to cook the g free pastas. HINT, it's NOT the best following package directions as she points out. I'd figured out some of the pasta tips on my own, trial and error but there are things new to me which explain how to get the most out of a very different product so I can enjoy Italian pasta classics again. And just a heads up Heartland Pasta makes the best corn and rice based g free pasta I`ve run across yet, but I`ve only eaten it in restaurants in Canada, so for fellow Canadians the Prairie Harvest corn San Zenone pasta is really good. I get it at Superstore one of the Loblaws group.

The casserole chapter has the super soup can recipe, and explains how to convert your recipes, and some useful good looking casseroles. Chicken and cheese biscuits is my next try, it looks wonderful.

A lot of gluten free cookbooks include a bunch of stupid stuff that never contained gluten in the first place and at first I worried this would be the case here again but she included recipes in the cooking section that have techniques that are useful to gluten free cooks so this part of the book isn`t a dead loss. She also wrote this for people who up to now haven`t gone near their kitchen much, doing take out or mixes. For them she includes a brief kitchen course so that new celiacs aren`t stuck at the bottom of a very steep learning curve which is now including how to cook, not just how to cook gluten free. For those reasons, this is a worthwhile part of the book.

She expands her breads, and muffins and adds some cookies, pies and other dessert type options in addition to the what's for dinner recipes.

The focus is on cooking in this book, and it's not the plonk a gfree spice into a standard recipe and voila, g free which anyone can do with their old favourite recipes. She put together some well thought out recipes that show you haw best to bread things for frying, including various fun things like pan fried rather than deep fried mozzarella sticks. She is putting old favourites and new fun foods back into the hands of celiacs. Along the way she explains good techniques and how to convert your OWN stuff.

I would still start with her baking book, then go onto this wonderful new one. HIGHLY Recommended.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I've bought a second of this one, and of her first one so I can loan it out. I don't like being without her in my gluten free kitchen! And I bought from amazon canada so it doesn't go onto my verified purchase button, but I think so highly of these cookbooks by Elizabeth that I've bought a spare so I can loan them to my daughter and daughter in law and still grab and cook as I feel like.
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on May 21, 2012
As I own the first book by this author I had no hesitation to purchase this. The recipes are easy to follow and have excellent directions. There are even pictures for step by step instructions on how to do things such as bread making, making your owm GF breadcrumbs and croutons.
There is a wide range of recipes in this book and some for baking and desserts too.
I love how much thought and care goes into her recipes and the great taste they produce in the final product.
The book is spiral bound so will sit beautiful and flat when you are trying to use it.
If you have not bought her first book then I suggest getting it too. Non GF people cannot tell the difference which makes my life so much easier especially when making food for others.
Easy Gluten-Free Baking
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on June 20, 2012
Elizabeth Barbone has created recipes that are simple yet tasty with How to Cook Gluten Free. The beginnings of the book provides step-by-step instructions on how to do simple cooking tasks as well as gives pointers and hints for when you are cooking gluten free. There is a large selection of breakfast, side dish and main course dishes as well as several desserts and bread recipes. I've previously read and tried many of Elizabeth's recipes in her first book, Easy Gluten Free Baking which have wonderful recipes that don't taste gluten free. This book has been just as helpful and has given me dozens of new meal ideas for my gluten free family.
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on April 3, 2013
Love this book along with her other gluten-free cookbook. I hate gluten-free cookbooks that contain a lot of recipes that never contained gluten to begin with. This is not the case with this book. When I made the bread from this book, my husband asked me what bakery I got it from. I think that's a sign of a great recipe.
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on February 4, 2014
A large portion of this cookbook is dedicated to educating the cook on utensils and cookware that would make your life easier in the kitchen, and "Essential How-to-Lessons". Some examples: Selecting onion size, how to dice an onion, how to caramelize onions, how to make fresh or dried bread crumbs, how to make gravy. Elizabeth assumes nothing of one's skills which makes this the perfect starter cookbook for a cook that needs to learn to cook gluten-free. She explains how to make substitutions when using your favorite family recipe to make it gluten-free. For each dish, she writes a bit about the recipe such as how to freeze meatballs and provides a picture of each dish. While there are some desserts in this cookbook, I also purchased her Easy Gluten-Free Baking cookbook. I can avoid gluten in many meals by my choices, but Elizabeth's How to Cook Gluten-free allows me to eat many more of my favorite foods by learning to adjust the recipes. There are so many gluten-free flours out there that it is hard to know which ones to use when. Both cookbooks will help me to do that. But we have found that some recipes will never be tasty or have an acceptable texture without gluten. I highly recommend this cookbook for novice and cooks just beginning to cook gluten-free.
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on March 14, 2013
This is a very practical cookbook with lots of variety. We've enjoyed everything we've made in it and I cooked from it for three weeks straight just to get a feel for GF cooking. It helped me to rethink my menu planning so that I am more efficient when cooking.
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on November 27, 2014
Great cookbook. Cooking gluten free and with diabetes can be a bit intimidating but this cookbook is packed with simple recipes using basic ingredients. My husband remembers his gluten packed years and always compares the gluten free with what he remembers and rarely does the food compare. He's happy with these dishes!
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on September 22, 2012
This spiral bound book is convenient to use and has lovely color photographs. This is a basic cookbook written for gluten-free diets. I made one recipe so far, the Easy Herb Crackers, and didn't care for them. There are some great tips for cooking gluten-free pasta and some other dishes that I hope to try.
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on April 21, 2015
This has the best gluten-free pasta recipe ! I made it for Easter for my daughter, granddaughter and myself along with regular pasta for the rest of my dinner guests. Everyone had to try it, and no one could tell that it was gluten free. And the best part was that it was just as good the next day reheated. Gluten free pasta (dry and fresh) has a tendency to break apart when reheated. I am making ravioli next with this recipe!
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