Top critical review
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Complicated, expensive, and not that tasty
on September 5, 2011
Let me start off by saying that I actually love to cook, so I was excited to get a book that had new, healthier recipes for me to make. I saw Rocco promoting the book on Chelsea Lately and eagerly ordered it on Amazon. However, the positive outlook waned very quickly, starting with my first trip to the supermarket. I had to go to 3 different stores to get the obscure ingredients required (and still couldn't find everything), and spent approximately $250 on new stuff. For example, whole wheat non-bromated pastry flour is $5.69 vs. $0.99 for regular. Multiply this by several different ingredients that I didn't have in my kitchen, and you can see how it adds up quickly. But I sucked it up thinking it was a necessary cost to make this plan work and lose weight.
The first thing I made was the red velvet bars, which were horrible and formed a layer of oil on top of them overnight. Pretty much every dessert was terrible and had a strange texture. Cookies were so wet that they couldn't hold a shape to bake, and the lemon bars were incredibly sour and artificial tasting. The dish I was looking forward to most was the mac & cheese, one of my weaknesses. I happily tried making the recipe from the book, and it was absolutely disgusting. I threw it all in the trash, after spending a lot of time preparing and baking it. Most of the recipes in this book require a ton of ingredients, and the steps are a bit convoluted. If you don't pay attention, you'll use every bowl and pot in the house! The steps can definitely be simplified.
In the end, I got frustrated and simply gave up. I was tired of wasting time and money to make recipes that I threw in the trash after one bite. Despite all of this, there were a few really good recipes that I'll add to my repertoire: pesto chicken pasta, rocky road oatmeal, and chicken almondine. Coincidentally, these are the simplest recipes that used the most normal ingredients. Needless to say, I wouldn't recommend this book.