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Sara Foster's Casual Cooking: More Fresh Simple Recipes from Foster's Market Hardcover – March 6, 2007


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Sara Foster's Casual Cooking: More Fresh Simple Recipes from Foster's Market + The Foster's Market Cookbook: Favorite Recipes for Morning, Noon, and Night + Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307339998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307339997
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her third cookbook, Foster, the owner of two gourmet markets in North Carolina, presents us with more of her trademark recipes; elegant, simple dishes with Southern flair. This time around she's focused on ways to prepare meals for what she calls "the way we eat today." She explains: "salads are meals, sandwiches and quesadillas qualify as a respectable grown-up dinner... and eggs can be eaten any time of the day." The recipes call for basic ingredients that are easy to keep in your refrigerator and pantry, and include plenty of tips on saving time and varying dishes. The Party Platters section includes recipes that can be made quickly with very few ingredients like Crispy Sweet Potato Chips with Caramelized Onion Dip, a simple antipasto platter with olives, nuts and dried fruit, and Warm Crab Dip. Simple Suppers, like Rosemary Grilled Leg of Lamb with Tuscan White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes have relatively short ingredient lists and also include Quick Fixes like using canned ingredients to save time. Last but not least is the "Simplest Sweets" chapter, which avoids complicated baking techniques with recipes for grilled apricots with buttermilk ice cream and lemon poached pears with lemon cream. Anyone with limited time and a real desire to cook will benefit from this solid, accessible cookbook. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sara Foster began her career as a
chef for Martha Stewart’s catering company before going on to open her own take-out business, Foster’s Market, in Durham, North Carolina. Today, Sara has a second Foster's Marketin Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as well as her own website, FostersMarket.com, where her line of products
is also available. Sara teaches cooking classes
and is a frequent guest chef for Viking and
Williams-Sonoma at culinary functions. She is also the food columnist for Cottage Living and has
been featured in Martha Stewart Living, O Magazine, and Country Living, among other publications.
She is the author of Foster’s Market Cookbook and Fresh Every Day.

Carolynn Carreño writes for Saveur and the
Los Angeles Times and coauthored several cookbooks, including Once Upon a Tart and 100 Ways to Be Pasta

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
The recipes are delicious and easy to prepare.
Wanda G. Mcknight
I would recommend Sara Foster's Casual Cooking to anyone looking to spice up their basic recipes.
J. Hart
I highly recommend this cookbook and Fresh Everyday.
T. Lai

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`sara foster's casual cooking' is Sara Foster's third book of recipes from her North Carolina `Foster's Market', and her second collaboration with West Coast culinary writer, Carolynn Carreno, who co-authored another recent `easy meals' book, `A Twist of the Wrist' with La Brea baker, Nancy Silverton. Since I liked Silverton's book, and I believed Foster's second book, her first with Carreno, was better than Foster's first book, Carreno appears to be a major contributor to the works to which she contributes.

The title and collaborator may give one the impression that Foster's book has a lot in common with Silverton's book, but it does not. While Silverton's book is oriented toward preparing food at home, Foster's book continues her journal of recipes from her market. And, while the title of the book suggests `easy' preparation, I would leave it at `easier than her previous books'.

Foster's books, and her personal history, have much in common with Ina Garten. Both were Martha Stewart collaborators, and both ran (and Foster still currently runs) catering businesses in upscale neighborhoods. There is also a lot in common in their selection of recipes; however, Garten has thoroughly transplanted her comfort zone from the commercial to the home kitchen. Thus, Foster's recipes all seem to be just a bit more highly polished and a bit more suitable for fancy entertaining, in spite of the `casual' rubric.

Ms. Foster starts with the seemingly obligatory `things you need in your pantry' chapter, which is a good read, but always irrelevant. The best course is the great advice from Mahdur Jaffrey, who recommends just acquiring what you need for the recipes you cook and learn, and stock up for those recipes only, adding things as you learn new recipes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Hart on April 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have really enjoyed Sara Foster's Casual Cooking. As a newlywed and a career woman, I am always trying to find new, simple recipes to make for my husband and myself after a long day's work. So far, I have tried two recipes: Pan-seared sea scallops with corn coulis, and Mom's pepperoni english muffin pizzas. The english muffin pizzas, while a well-known and easy recipe, were delicious, and allowed me to add new spices to a basic dish. I do not have much knowledge of which spices to use, so it was good to "spice" up my meal with parsley, basil and oregano. My husband was happy to taste something other than salt and pepper! The sea scallops with corn coulis made me feel like a real cook. I loved cooking with wine and fresh seafood. The dish turned out to be lovely. I enjoyed the cream sauce and corn with the golden brown seared scallops. I never would have had the confidence to try this recipe without sara's simple and easy explanations. I am looking forward to trying the chapters about "anytime eggs" and "pasta and noodles". Eggs are my favorite, and it will be so fun to try new variations with prosciutto and salsa sides! Also, I have been looking for a good Alfredo sauce recipe and a nice creamed corn recipe for Thanksgiving. I think I will finally be able to get it right this year with "Judy's creamed corn." That should make my sister, the "family chef", very happy. I would recommend Sara Foster's Casual Cooking to anyone looking to spice up their basic recipes. There are lots of new dishes to try, and great, easy directions for those cooks who have wanted to make their own sauces, marinades and sides, but have never had the resource to do so. This cookbook gives you the ideas and simple explanations. Have fun and go for it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Westbrook on April 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
These recipes are perfect for entertaining, especially when you want a dish that's out of the ordinary, but not too time-consuming to make. The Warm Crab Dip, served with thin baguette slices, was a hit with our dinner guests. My family also liked the Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding, served warm and topped with whipped cream. It was rich and comforting on a cold, rainy spring night. I'm looking forward to trying the Heirloom Tomato Tarts. The recipe directions are clear, the ingredients are easy to find, and the combination of cheese and tomatoes is hard to resist!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kristin R. Rubino on April 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought Sara's book after watching her prepare grilled eggplant stuffed with ricotta and basil on Martha Stewart's Living program. After trying over two dozen recipes in this book, I can honestly say it is one of the more practical cookbooks I own. Reading it will inspire you to visit your local farmer's market again and again.

This book is definitely geared for beginners and/or folks who savor a fresh, home-cooked meal in the amount of time required to call in a pizza order. Save your French Laundry cookbook for the snowy weekends and pull this one out at the end of a hectic work day.

Although the recipes are simple, the finished product (sans the pizza muffin) is sophisticated. I love to entertain, and these recipes are perfect for impromptu socializing.

Lastly, the entire chapter dedicated to eggs will certainly cause you to rethink leaving home for a gourmet brunch!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Seashore on April 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In reference to a couple of previous reviewers, Casual Cooking is definitely different than Sara's previous two cookbooks, but I assume this was intended. The first two cookbooks are full of wonderful recipes from Foster's Market; while they are definitely accessible to cooks of almost any experience level, some of the recipes are more time consuming than what you'll find here in Casual Cooking. In this new book, I think Sara has done a great job of putting together a collection of extremely easy and quick weeknight-type recipes that still pack much of the flavor and variety found in her previous books. If you want a book that's exactly like her previous two books, this may not be the cookbook for you, but my advice? Try this one anyway -- the recipes and format may be more basic, but the delicous meals and accompanying beautiful photographs are purely "successful Sara" once again!
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