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Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen Hardcover – August 20, 2013

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Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen + Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal + Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table
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Editorial Reviews

Review

It may be the best-value weeknight cookbook around (The Boston Globe)

Kathy and Caroline reveal the answer to the often daunting question of "what's for dinner tonight?" I encourage everyone--whether a novice or seasoned cook--to explore their kaleidoscopic collection of casual recipes that are sure to satisfy any group of friends or hungry family. (Daniel Boulud)

Any book with an entire section devoted to toast for dinner has my immediate respect. Kathy and Caroline have assembled a weeknight arsenal for home cooks that's inspiring, relatable and infused with a deep understanding of the realities of family life. Keepers epitomizes the way I strive to cook every night. (Merrill Stubbs, co-founder of Food52)

Keepers is one of the smartest cookbooks to come out in recent years. From techniques learned at the International Culinary Center to daily conversations about "what's for dinner" at Saveur, these two have put together the modern day go-to cookbook. Brennan and Campion hit the nail on the head, speaking in an honest and helpful way while guiding readers through realistic expectations of weeknight planning and cooking. Anyone from those just starting to cook for themselves to newlyweds trying to find their culinary voice to mothers in a food rut will find Keepers a real keeper. (Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Founder & CEO, The International Culinary Center)

Do you need another book claiming to offer quick weeknight dinners? Well, you need this one. Keepers is highly focused -- it's dinner and dinner only, and not one of its recipes will set you back more than 45 minutes. At the same time, these two former Saveur editors make no compromises on taste or quality. Even their shortcuts -- a pack of frozen vegetables, store-bought puff pastry -- are in the service of deliciousness (in this case, a fast chicken pot pie). (NPR Guide to Great Reads of 2013)

Don't think I can face another year of boring old green beans, so I've been flipping through Brennan and Campion's great new not-too-fussy Keepers for out-of-the-box options. Tomato and Zucchini Gratin looks yummy, or - ooh! - Roasted Acorn Squash with Jalapeño-Lime Butter ... I might just have to try both. (People.com)

The best cookbook you've read all year. (Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo)

Kathy and Caroline have filled Keepers with practical advice on everything from meal planning (when was the last time a cookbook reminded you to breathe?) to shopping with kids (don't worry, it's awful for them, too). They even give suggestions for families at different stages or with kids of different ages. But my favorite section is 'Lifesavers,' which is filled with versatile sauces-aka flavor bombs-that can be made ahead, kept in the fridge for up to a week, and make almost anything taste better. Genius. (Cool Mom Picks)

Along with pantry-stocking tips, weekly meal-planning guides, and essential tool checklists, they share recipes, which are, with no surprise because of the title of the book, keepers. These recipes are trusted family and personal recipes, infused with years of experience working in the culinary industry -- and later the motherhood industry, too. They're not just delicious, but they're also tested and proved to be easy and indispensable dishes for you to add to your recipe box, making them perfect for a weeknight meal. (The Daily Meal)

Leave it to these two smart working mothers to create such a charming, practical cookbook for the home cook. Keepers is filled with delicious recipes (and plenty of good advice) that every home cook will be glad to add to their own collection of "keepers". Keepers is a keeper! (Christopher & Melissa, The Canal House)

Skillet Lasagna? Cucumber and Watermelon Salad? Yes, please. Find them in this collection of time-honored, proven dishes--from two former editors of Saveur magazine--that will become your own family classics. (Real Simple)

About the Author

Kathy Brennan is a freelance editor and writer. A winner of the Bert Greene and James Beard Journalism Awards, she was a long-time editor at Saveur, and also worked at Gourmet and Food Arts.

Caroline Campion is a contributing editor at Glamour magazine and the creator of the award-winning food blog DevilAndEgg.com. She was also an editor at Good Housekeeping, GQ, and Saveur.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609613546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609613549
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Sutton Faller on November 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of a cookbook maven, so have thought about what makes a great cookbook. Keepers gets an "A' on all five of my categories.

First, of course, it has to have well-written recipes for dishes that I would actually make. While Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook is beautiful and descriptive, realistically I'm not making too many recipes from it. Keepers on the other hand, has dozens of recipes that I will or have already made. The instructions are very clear, and the authors provide ideas for modifications. The range of recipes is impressive, and all are written with families in mind. Let me be clear though - these recipes have actual FLAVOR. My 11-year-old daughter actually licked the sauce off the saute pan that I cooked one of the fish recipes in.

Second, a great cookbook is fun to actually read. I don't just want a list of recipes - I can get that by searching epicurious.com. A great cookbook should be just like a novel - you look forward to finding the time to sit down and enjoy. Keepers is just that - it's written so well that you don't want to put it down. I "stole" three hours on a Saturday morning to read the book, and still wasn't finished. The style is casual and somehow "intimate" - like you're chatting with your best friend over coffee (or wine). Not your typical hotshot chef cookbook.

Third, a great cookbook teaches you something. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about cooking. I've had a subscription to Cook's Illustrated since its inception. But I learned a bunch of tricks from Keepers (e.g., "glueing" puff pastry to the pan sides for the gorgeous cover-photo dish - it worked!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pasta..mac & cheese and baked fish...Thats all I dared to try and cook and then this book came along and I am making-
Deviled Panko crusted Chicken
Chicken pot pie
Chicken Milanese
Fancy!!!! Yes - Chicken Pot pie can be fancy if you never ever ever baked anything except pre-made frozen meals.
I do consider myself reasonably good Indian cook but never ever got the courage to make anything other than basic pasta, mac and cheese.

I made Deviled Panko crusted chicken first - added more cayenne and black pepper - EVERYTHING cleaned out- I was shocked - If 2/3 kids and my husband likes a recipe - it is a success. I was numb when 4/4 said - "This is great!! when can you make it again" or "what else are you making?" or "chicken pot pie- please..."

I was super duper excited and shipped a book to my best friend-who cooks healthy, steamed, baked, simple recipes and is equally nervous about trying new ingredients and all.

We teamed up (always helps with motivation!!) - since we both had the same book, we decided to cook together. I went and stocked on the basic ingredients that the book uses - dried thyme/tarragon, vinegars, chicken stock etc.
My friend and I picked Chicken Pot pie for our first session - It was a hilarious cooking together. Figuring out, we have to take the dough out to thaw an hour before etc(oops!! mental note to read the recipe completely before we start to cook).
Now both are families are sold - mine cleaned out - i had to bake some fish as the kids cleaned out the potpie, leaving only a bit for dad to taste. I was told to make two pies!!! AWESOME!!

Friend and I got excited and decided on Chicken Milanese. Fennel and Shallots were new to us - We were nervous.
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105 of 123 people found the following review helpful By I Do the Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Not quite comfortable cooking? Stuck in a rut; always seem to be making the same dishes? Can't think what to make for dinner, again? Overwhelmed? Need help? Need a jump start? If so, and if these are questions you've been asking yourself, this is a cookbook you should consider.

If you are looking to add to your collection of real "keeper" recipes: Those recipes that have stood the test of time; those that are requested by family and friends over and over again; those that have been handed down through generations; those that have your name in the title; those that give you comfort just thinking about them: Well, this book may add a few "keepers" to your list, but overall, I think you'll be disappointed. These recipes are not those kinds of "keepers".

My actual rating of this cookbook is 3.5 stars. I know: I rounded it up to 4 stars--it is not a cookbook I'm going to buy, but it might be perfect for you, and I didn't want to dissuade you from taking a close look at it. My rating came with my realization that I require more from my "keepers" than these two authors who are past-editors of "Saveur" magazine. They just need their "keepers" to taste good and be quick and easy. I've been assembling my own list of "keepers" for a very long time, and I need my "keepers" to be over-the-top AND suitable for week-nights or the harried early day of a family-coming-for-holiday-dinner event. Some of these recipes fall into this category, but most are tweaks on recipes I've seen before in many other cookbooks and websites. So, I think the true value of this book depends on a mix of the experience level and the time schedule of the cook.

There are a lot of helpful tips and suggestions for the less experienced cook.
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