83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2013
From Scratch has renewed my enthusiasm for nutrient dense eating. I was beginning to get discouraged with cookbooks like Nourishing Traditions and the cooking blogs I was finding because the recipes often overwhelmed me with lots of steps and strange ingredients and always seemed to miss some vital piece of information necessary for the success of the dish. From Scratch does not assume you know anything about preparing whole foods. In a concise fashion, Shaye teaches you what basic ingredients you should have in your home, how to find them for a reasonable price, how to organize things for a busy life, and how to prepare simple yet tasty dishes.
My one complaint is that sometimes I wish I could have it both wonderfully simple (which it is) and more detailed. For instance, most of the recipes that have an animal protein are either chicken or beef since that is what most people can find and buy for a reasonable price, but doesn't have many fish recipes. I love that each recipe has at least one picture, often more, and that you never have to turn a page (or scroll down) in the middle of making a dish. From Scratch is by far my favorite cookbook ever!
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2013
I've been a fan of the blog, and was so excited for this cookbook! My husband and one of my 3 children are strictly gluten free, and I would say that I will still use the vast majority of the recipes. What I also love, is the fact that Shaye is a mom to young children, so she is a real inspiration for the rest of us busy moms to make a traditional whole foods diet really work! She shows us how easy it really is to find whole healthy foods, make broth, brew kombucha, etc. And perhaps most importantly, the food is delicious!
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
If you're in the 18-30 age range, odds are making your own broth, soaking grains or beans was not something you learned in your mother's kitchen. This book is clear as day and those with limited culinary skills would benefit greatly from it. Believe it or not - it's also probably a huge financial investment - as it will give you the tools to prepare foods yourself, instead of buying them prepared or half way prepared. I now know that I can make bakery-quality artisan breads with very little time out of my day and with very little effort. Goodbye, $5 loaves from Panera. I have been on a journey of cutting out processed foods, hydrogenated oils, MSG, and highly refined sugars for a while now...and this book has been a major catalyst for knocking out the rest of the problem foods I continued to rely on. I have enjoyed pouring over many-a-cookbook, but this one has proved to be the most educational and yet simple to follow. The icing on the nutrient-dense cake? It's hilarious. The last thing you expect to read after a recipe is "so you can sneak a spoonful or two when no one is watching." Fabulous job, Shaye. Thank you for helping change our generation into one that knows, craves, and loves real food.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2014
1. I adore that this is a Christian sister who is homesteading and sharing her precious recipes.
2. I've learned a couple new ideas and recipes. We ADORE the mock Lara bars.
3. Definitely encouraging and gave me a new "umph" for cooking traditional foods, which is one of the things I was looking for in a cook book.
1. Not detailed enough. With all of the wonderful quality ingredients that we are utilizing, we should have more specifics; for instance, what are the yield amounts in most of the recipes? There are steps in certain recipes that are just randomly left out, I'm ok with this because I am one of those oh, we'll improvise kinda gals, but I couldnt give this book to someone who doesnt have creative freedom in their cooking.
I like the cook book. I was hoping for more diverse recipes, not just recipes piggy backed off of Nourishing Traditions. If Shaye and I were close friends, I would say KUDDOS you created a great book, but I would also be on the phone with her asking for more specifics.
Far from EXCELLENT, but simultaneously wonderful for a young mother of two, who is homesteading!
60 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2014
I've had this cookbook for about 6 months and it has very quickly become my favorite cookbook. Every recipe I have tried has been very tasty. Some have complained about the fact that several of the recipes seem to be "repeats" from Nourishing Traditions, but I actually appreciate having some of those recipes freshened up, enlivened, and made more accessible (such as the Korean Beef-- never would have thought to make it the NT way, but with ground beef? We eat it almost every week!) I appreciate that just about all the recipes in this book are very accessible and practical for busy homesteading families such as ours; they don't call for exotic ingredients, and most of the ingredients are things we can grow ourselves or obtain from local farms. I really can't say enough about how delicious these recipes are!
I would have given a 5-star review, were it not for my one big complaint: the writing style of the book. It's great to have an upbeat style, but I honestly found many of the comments preceding each recipe to be downright foolish. In several places the author takes the Lord's name and/or His attributes in vain, which is very upsetting and is a bad testimony. I know this is an issue of taste and style, but I strongly feel that several of the pre-recipe comments are immature, crass, senseless, and irreverent. This is the reason I cannot recommend this book to friends or purchase it for others as a gift (at least not without a big disclaimer and a bottle of white-out!)
Another complaint I have is all of the numerous spelling and grammar errors, and the lack of recipe yield information. The spelling errors are rampant!
So, my summary: excellent recipes and information, tainted by the overbearing use of frivolous, irreverent, immature comments that would have been better left out or toned way down.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
I love the cover, I love the concept. However, as a pretty seasoned scratch cook myself who loves a really good practical new cookbook, it was actually a bit confusing to follow at times. I'm used to improvising, and have many years of experience in the kitchen. I did find I had to cross reference (go to another recipe) to get a clarification on a few recipes (i.e "Super Easy Sourdough Loaf"...What? No kneading? Should it resemble normal bread dough? I had to add another cup of flour to resemble bread dough...most other recipes knead their sour dough....head scratch moment!). I found myself second guessing the author often. So, it's a sweet cookbook and I don't mean any harm here, but I think she should have added more details in the directions (i.e. consistency expectations, substitutions of an ingredient if applicable...). I do have this proped up on a cookbook holder in the corner of my kitchen because the cover is lovely.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2015
After reading through some of the more negative reviews, I wanted to put in my 2 cents and hopefully set the record straight. Shaye isn't a professional cook nor does she claim to be. If you're looking for a cookbook from someone from the Food Network or runs a restaurant, then go buy one of their cookbooks and don't complain about Shaye's. For a woman who isn't a "professional" cook or photographer, this is a beautiful cook book and done very well.
You need to understand what this cookbook is about: it's about helping those who wish to cook with whole foods, with ingredients that aren't processed and come as straight from the ground as possible. It's the backbone for starting a whole new lifestyle and not having a lot of experience in it. For someone like me who has slowly made the transition into this kind of lifestyle, it is overwhelming at first to try to do it on your own. "From Scratch" helped me take the plunge and feel secure in the fact that the author has years of experience in doing this. The experience alone definitely counts for something! she took the time to describe and teach what to stock in your pantry and otherwise, she describes what they're good for and how to use what you have. I dove in and put my entire weekly menu together straight out of her cookbook: everything from snacks to dinners and in-between. This cookbook made the change so easy, as I knew whatever recipe I chose was good to go with whole foods and nutrients.
I've made the whole wheat bread, Cowboy Pie, Peanut butter and cocoa nut truffles, Scalloped Potatoes, the fruit bakes, and the Spiced meatball soup with Cabbage, and right now I'm in the middle of making the stuffed peppers with parmesan. All have been amazing and so easy and my husband and I are already feeling the positive effects in our bodies from eating whole foods compared to the sugar, white flour and processed foods that weigh you down and make you feel lethargic.
This is how the most seasoned (no pun intended ;) ) prairie/homestead wife cooked back in the old days and they were fantastic cooks. They didn't need fancy ingredients or equipment either! If you're looking for a down-home, whole food cookbook from a wholesome person with a passion for this lifestyle who can help you get started, this cookbook is it.
Follow her blog and get the cookbook! Her second one is coming out sometime and I can't wait!!
-Katie Hoffmann, Belle Fourche, SD
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2015
This book was a joy to read and really made me rethink my pantry. I've been trying to incorporate healthier foods into our routine and I found this book inspirational - it helps take the "scary" out of jumping into the deep end of the pool otherwise known as "cooking healthy". My ONLY complaint with this book is that the recipes do not include yield / number of servings. There's only me and my husband, so it would be nice to know how many servings the recipes make so I can adjust accordingly and not be wasteful. I'm sure I'll be making my own notations as I cook through the book for future reference. I love the pictures, love the conversations at the beginning of each recipe and I LOVE that each recipe is only a handful of ingredients I can easily find. Also adore the fact that many are cooked in a cast iron skillet. I seriously can't wait to try them all. Well, except for the Simple Pea Salad... my husband won't come within a 100 feet of anything with peas.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2013
Finally a Real Food cookbook like Nourishing Traditions, but with easy recipes and beautiful pictures. This is a cookbook that you will use over and over again. Full of fabulous, nourishing recipes.
23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
This cookbook is now my favorite! As a stay-at-home mom of 3 littles, it is refreshing to have a "handbook" on how to cook delicious, nutritious food for my family. And all the recipes are simple and use NORMAL ingredients. I love the section at the beginning that tells how to stock your kitchen. I had MOST of the items but not all. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to feed their family real food - not processed junk. Going on my list of things to buy as gifts :)
EDIT: While I LOVE the content, the book is FALLING APART less than 2 weeks after I bought it. A whole section of pages fell out today. Pretty disappointed in the craftsmanship of the book. Though again, I love the content so I had to keep it at least 4 stars (though I subtract my 5 star review).