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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Time in the Making
I'm a huge fan of the Epicurious website. I've been using it since 2004 when I first married, and I've often wondered why Epicurious had not compiled a cookbook showcasing their best recipes. Epicurious was originally a database of recipes from Bon Appetit magazine and Gourmet magazine but has expanded to include a lot of other culinary talent. The recipes are ranked by...
Published 22 months ago by bakerbronte

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So far, not impressed - getting better
I'll update again after we try a few more dishes, but so far we're not doing so well.

We first made the Chili con Carne - it was the flattest, most boring chili we had ever had. We ended up adding more liquid, more beans, a LOT more salt, and spice just to make it resemble proper chili. This was, perhaps, what they would think chili was in Norway, but not in...
Published 15 months ago by Wendy & Jeff S


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Time in the Making, October 31, 2012
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I'm a huge fan of the Epicurious website. I've been using it since 2004 when I first married, and I've often wondered why Epicurious had not compiled a cookbook showcasing their best recipes. Epicurious was originally a database of recipes from Bon Appetit magazine and Gourmet magazine but has expanded to include a lot of other culinary talent. The recipes are ranked by users from 1 to 4 forks, based on the percentage of users who would make the recipe again. This little book is a compilation of more than 250 of their 4 fork (read: highest ranked) recipes.

The book is organized seasonally into 4 chapters: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season is then subdivided into the following sections: breakfast; starters; mains; sides; sandwiches and breads; desserts. I like the seasonal organization but I think I would have preferred the book organized exclusively by the listed subdivisions. I find it easier to navigate a cookbook when all breakfasts are categorized together, all cakes are categorized together, etc., instead of cakes being organized into sping or fall menus. The recipes have a special tag on them to indicate when a reader submitted recipes is being featured.

The book is around four hundred pages and is a flat spined paperback. It needs a cookbook stand or some other aid to stay open on its own. The photography in the book is certainly eye-catching and pretty much guarentees that you will give in to a nine pm random urge to run to the market and purchase the ingredients for double chocolate layer cake (page 385). There is not a photograph for each finished recipe but there is a very generous number of photographs.

In case I wasn't clear, this is a compilation of greatest recipes--not new material. I love having a volume of their finest four fork recipes at my fingertips. I don't think I've ever had a four fork recipe from Epicurious fail me. This volume includes everything from Tom Colicchio's thanksgiving turkey to Vermont maple bread pudding with walnut praline. Some of my favorite recipes from the Epicurious website that have been featured include salmon cakes with lemon yogurt sauce,cinnamon crumble apple pie, and mahogany chicken.

Each recipes has a small headnote to introduce the recipe or make a note about the authorship. There are frequent sidebars helpfully telling you when it is appropriate to make the recipe ahead (a real time saver during the holiday season!). Many recipes have a small blurb with an Epicurious user quote describing their success with the recipe (I could personally do without this).

I think this book is long overdue. I was ready for a huge hardcover twice this size and will happily purchase it when it is released as I have a feeling Epicurious will find other opportunities to publish cookbooks after this one. I would actually give this book 4.5 stars if given the option. It is a terrific book with just a few flaws. I am going to put this book on my shortlist as a possible present for newlyweds this holiday season.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Organized and Curated Best Of, November 1, 2012
I'm a big fan of epicurious and internet recipes isites n general. But there are times when you just want to reach for a book and have the permanence and elegance of your favorite recipes in one spot. I suppose I could print out various epicurious recipes I've enjoyed and put them in a binder and make notes in the margin, but that wouldn't look as good (this is a handsome and tastefully designed book), nor would I benefit from the brain trust of epicurious that created this. Plus I like the idea of supporting the site, which has provided me with so many lovely meals.

This is a big book with tons of recipes. Most appealing to me so far are pea salad with radishes and feta, asparagus and hearts of palm salad, and grilled caesar salad.

In addition to being organized by season, you can also look up recipes by occasion (ex. fast meal on a weekday, something to wow guests, and holiday occasions). This is clearly a well thought out and carefully curated collection. I'll try to update as I try more recipes. Bon apetit!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So far, not impressed - getting better, May 30, 2013
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I'll update again after we try a few more dishes, but so far we're not doing so well.

We first made the Chili con Carne - it was the flattest, most boring chili we had ever had. We ended up adding more liquid, more beans, a LOT more salt, and spice just to make it resemble proper chili. This was, perhaps, what they would think chili was in Norway, but not in the West.

The gnocchi with lemon sauce, spinach and peas looked like a great idea, but was simply not very good. The sauce should be more rich and robust. The more I ate, the less I liked it. Ended up eating a reheated pancake to get the taste out of my mouth.

I'm drawing a blank on the third item we made, but I remember commented that it was also boring.

Maybe we just picked some bad ones... will try a few more.
Great photos, but only of half of the dishes. I don't like making recipes without a photo of what it's supposed to look like.

UPDATE: Bumping up to 3 stars. Tried two more recipes since the initial disappointments - a Peruvian chicken and a cherry/chocolate cookie. Both were delicious. Will have to keep experimenting!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Holiday Hit, November 23, 2012
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I work in a library and I brought this book home for some holiday cooking ideas. I found 9 recipes right away I wanted to make. I did wind up making 4 of the recipes for my family and friends this Thanksgiving and I loved how they all turned out. So did the guests! I am now going to buy the book to add to my recipe book collection. I will soon be making the other 5 recipes! I made Tom Colicchio's herb-butter turkey, Brussels sprout hash, Spiced pumpkin layer cake, and the Cinnamon crumble apple pie! The other recipes I am anxious to try are Eggplant Lasagna with parsley pesto, Sweet potato puree with smoked paprika, Wild mushroom-potato gratin and Beets and caramelized onions with feta.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite cookbook for main courses and sides, January 7, 2013
I use Epicurious constantly to find recipes, so I was really looking forward to this book. I have a ton of cookbooks for desserts and baked goods, and some solid cookbooks for basic things (The Joy of Cooking is great for this). I was hoping to find recipes for main courses and side dishes in this book, and wanted them to be interesting and sometimes a bit challenging. I'm pleased that this book fits the bill.
Organization of recipes: the recipes are organized by season. While this can be annoying if you have a specific course in mind and want to see all of your options ("desserts" for instance), I enjoy this feature because it encourages me to cook in-season. In-season, fresh ingredients will definitely affect the final product for the better. On the other hand, if you have a specific ingredient that you're wanting to use (like butternut squash), you can use the index. There are also many pictures (really gorgeous pictures at that) which makes browsing the book fun, and finding good recipes very easy.
Quality of recipes: I've tried a handful of these recipes so far, and each one turned out perfectly. Epicurious is a very good website, and the recipes that make up this book are the top-reviewed ones on the website. It's no surprise, then, that they're really good. One feature that I appreciate is that the editors included some of the top suggestions that reviewers left on the website, such as subbing beans for meat in a certain dish or ways to turn a side dish into a main course. These notes save me from sifting through the hundreds of reviews on the website.
Variety of recipes: I'm a meat-eater who is married to a vegetable-lover, and we've both found multiple recipes that we can't wait to try. I've found a few great recipes with duck and lamb, and my husband made a really great Moroccan stew with butternut squash and chick peas. There's also a good range of simple weeknight meals and complex weekend meals.
My one qualm with this book is that it's paperback, which makes it hard to put on the counter while you prepare the recipe. I would prefer a hardcover book, or even a binder setup, which would both allow the pages to lay flat while I cook. It's an easy fix to put a paper weight on one side, but it's annoying.
Overall, a wonderful book that I highly recommend.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomplicated, yet polished, December 2, 2012
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I have used the epicurious website for many years, and I use it a lot. I am a simple cook, and would not venture into any recipes that looked sophisticated in the slightest. When this cook book showed up in my sister's mailbox in NY, I realised that somehow I had ordered it by mistake. Especially as I usually order from the Amazon UK website, living in Scotland as we do. However, it was a happy mistake because reading through it, and now having tried a few of the recipes, I really love it. The recipes that have been chosen are not really difficult, they don't require me to buy some kitchen tool I don't already have, and I don't have to travel to London to get some specifically required ingredient. Although there are a few of those recipes too, the majority look familiar and greatly improve the meals I make, and I am not a natural cook. I feel happy that I can prepare most of these recipes when we're having guests, and just as happy to make them for just the family. I think that epicurious, having finally made the jump to print, have made a pragmatic and functional kitchen resource. Well done! ~ Mrs.Frederick-Hoyne, Sanquhar, Scotland
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes, March 4, 2013
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Puma "ritar" (Wheaton, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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I always love getting recioes from the Epicurious website, so it's great that it's available in book form. The sections are separated into seasons; I would have preferred that they be seperated into food categories (appetizers, salad, etc).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good collection, strange order, December 23, 2012
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So far I have made two entrees from this book--the brisket and the Moroccan lamb. Both were superb. I am not enamored of ordering the book by season, but the recipes are good. Worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a blessing, March 31, 2013
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RICHARD LACEY (NEW YORK, NY, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Epicurious Cookbook: More Than 250 of Our Best-Loved Four-Fork Recipes for Weeknights, Weekends & Special Occasions (Kindle Edition)
As a lifelong cook/chef, I've consulted epicurious online for years, collecting countless recipes, so this hard copy is a blessing -- I hope Volume One of several!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cookbook!, March 30, 2013
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Cookbooks are a dime a dozen. This one is a cut above, both in imagination and accessibility for the home cook. It's not a 'Gourmet Meals in 30 Minutes' compilation, but rather a series of attainable recipes for the non-professional who enjoys presenting fine food, using readily available ingredients. The "Do Ahead" hints that accompany many of the recipes are a real help in co-ordinating meals, when time is a factor in a busy schedule. If you have a passion for good food, this book is worth the investment.
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