on November 10, 2006
Let's get back to basics. I work full time and can't spend all day reading cookbooks and deciphering recipes. I have a personal rule: if the ingredients can't fit on one page, count me out. Stonewall Kitchen Favorites is so user friendly it takes the stress out of cooking. Take the rack of lamb with walnut-rosemary crust. Everyone in my family loves lamb but I usually don't dare to serve anything but a plain lamb chop.
The rack of lamb is so easy, there is no fear. And the incredible photographs are inspiring because you don't have to be a genious to achieve these results. Most of the recipes have variations which are a lifesaver because, let's face it, even with lists we all sometimes forget things at the store. The four cheese macaroni gives you so many options that if you have never heard of one ingredient you are sure to find another one you like. I never knew how to properly prepare mac and cheese without a mix but this is a real treat that has a gourmet flair and will also satisfy even the pickiest eater. The Coq au vin recipe is similar: a dish I love but have always been afraid to undertake in my own kitchen. Stonewall Kitchen provides a very easy map to elegant eating. All in all, the recipes are unique and delightful while the instructions are so user friendly it is like having a coach in the kitchen answering my questions as they arise!
on October 6, 2006
What a wonderful cookbook. Every glossy photo will have you salivating for more! This book has a balanced collection of recipes for every diet. There are meaty dishes, fabulous seafood dishes, vegetarian dishes and most of them seem pretty light. The dessert collection is small but very appealing. I have to say the best part of this book is the simplicity of the recipes. Nothing too intimidating but still adventurous. Highlights:
Chocolate Crepes with Tangerines and Dark Chocolate Orange Sauce
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Roasted Salmon with peas and edamame beans with a raw pea pesto
Salmon and ginger cakes with Orange-Miso dipping sauce
Walnut Pancakes with carmelized bananas
This cookbook is a great addition to any cookbook collection.
on November 10, 2006
Just like in their last book, the folks at Stonewall Kitchens have done it again! Only this time, the photos are even more stunning. This book updates what basically amounts to all of my favorite dishes (for real - and none that I don't like - how did they come up with this list?) with fresh ideas and modern ingredients, and the photography is breathtaking . . .I get hungry just looking at it! I've gotten to the point where every time I have someone coming over for dinner, I just open Favorites . . .there's always something perfect for the night, and everything is interesting enough for company.
All the headnotes are entertaining and informative, and the recipes are completely approachable. MUST TRY: Almond-Crusted Challah French Toast, Classic Oyster Stew, Four-Cheese Macaroni, Rack of Lamb with walnut-rosemary crust, and any of the chocolate recipes (the brownies are PHENOMENAL). I'm trying the turkey recipe for Thanksgiving. There are also all sorts of fun party ideas (trios of devilled eggs, cream cheese, burrito party, etc.) that I keep using again and again. And lots of good tips, without the hoity toity cheffier-than-thou attitude that many cookbooks adopt these days.
My new favorite cookbook, for sure!
on August 29, 2006
They've done it again! The folks from Stonewall Kitchen have taken time-off from making their gourmet jams and specialty foods to create another first-rate cookbook. It's hard to believe that so many old favorites can be dressed up with new twists. If you think your Grandma's meatloaf can't be improved: buy this book. If your Mom's recipe for roasted chicken is all you ever make: buy this book for a delicious surprise. If you're into classic cooking with up-dated, easy-to-follow recipes: buy this book. If you're a fan of Stonewall Kitchen's take on traditional food: buy this book for their versions of these favorite recipes. Or if you just want to feast on beautiful photographs of food and food presentation: buy this book. Just don't let Grandma see it.
on December 11, 2006
The owners of Stonewall Kitchen specialize in updated versions of comfort food, adding condiments, preserves and spices to jazz up these American favorites, so Stonewall Kitchen Favorites is packed with seemingly familiar dishes spiced with new flavors and approaches. Here's a Chopped Greek Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing or a Spaghetti Carbonara with Basil Swirl. Even the lowly Waldorf Salad receives jazzy embellishment. Any who like the familiar favorites but desire more variety will find this a fine pick, packed with color photos throughout.
Diane C. Donovan
on August 2, 2007
I just received the book last night and immediately sat down to look through it. I liked what I saw. The recipes don't seem daunting, the ingredient lists aren't lengthy or esoteric, the techniques are simple, and, my favorite feature, most recommend what I like to call "go-with's," i.e., a suggestion of what to serve with the featured recipe, usually some other recipe in the book and not just "chicken," or "roast beef." My only complaint, and the reason I gave it only four stars, is that the would-be beautiful photographs are way over-exposed and bleached out. One photo in particular, of a roast tenderloin of beef, seems oddly saturated after-the-fact with a deep red, making the meat undesirably artificial looking. Such a shame in such a nicely layed out volume.