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on April 11, 2007
"Gourmet" and "Toaster Oven" in the same title? You bet! I usually don't review cookbooks unless I feel they are special enough to encourage others to purchase them, and this one I recommend highly.

My family has downsized but my cooking enthusiasm has not and I am entertaining more often but with smaller guest lists. Heating up a gas oven for a small quiche to feed four seems a waste of energy (the planet's and my own) and time (my large toaster oven takes four minutes to reach 400 degrees: my oven, almost 15.) Also, with most recipes in the book serving 2-4, there is not the problem of reducing larger recipes and the resulting dreaded calculations. Quality ingredients well combined and engagingly presented replace long grocery lists and too many leftovers for a small family, singles, empty-nesters and the diet conscious (I mean, who of us really wants that chocolate cheesecake that serves 8 sitting temptingly in the 'frige after a dinner for 2-4?!)

The book itself is a quality paperback, large enough for lovely photos, a brief description of the recipe and suggestions, as well as print that is easy to read.

Well organized, with a good index, the book is divided into five sections, (as well as an informative description of toaster ovens and their features) which makes finding a recipe quick and easy. And, sit down for this, there are even wine suggestions for many of recipes...from toaster-oven cooking! Too cool.

The recipe chapters are: Breakfast, Lunch, Appetizers and Sides, Dinner and Tea and Goodies. Short lists of commonly available ingredients make it easy to take a basic recipe and imagine many substitutions for variety and what is available in your larder.

The Herbed Oven-Fried Chicken, Quiche Lorraine, Artisan Whole Wheat-Walnut Loaf, Banana-Walnut Muffins, Savory Cheesecakes (yup, that's what I said), Turkey, Tarragon, and Apple Meatloaf, Chocolate Lava Cakes...if I have to pick "favorites" these are just super. Yes, you can probably find similar recipes in your cookbook collection, but again, you don't have to do the arithmetic. I guarantee that no one will associate that toaster oven sitting innocently on your kitchen counter as the source of these lovely dishes. And you don't have to tell them, you know.

Of course, you will have to re-think baking pans, casserole dishes, etc. for these smaller amounts, but I have found some lovely and very useful such items on sale in most all places that carry cookware. Besides, if you are a true "foodie" imagine how happy your friends and relatives will be to have something new to give you for birthdays and holidays! And, think of all the room you can free up in your kitchen (large baking pans and huge casseroles can be stored under the bed with those "extra cookbooks"...well, it works for me!)
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on March 28, 2011
This book is on heavy paper so it will stand up to constant use. The recipe's are for mainly 2 portions. The ingredients are all available at any grocery store.
The recipis are really easy to follow and don't use tons of ingredients yet still the results are delicious and seem gourmet yet still easy to execute. The personal pizza's are wonderful, including the home-made crusts, and are as (excuse the pun), easy as pie to make.

Having made many recipe's from this book, I would give it 10 stars if that were posible.

By the way, if anyone is interested, this book has many pictures and your results will look just like the pictures, in the book. I have made the banana nut muffins twice now, that's what's on the cover, and they look just like pictured.

This book is a jem and knowing what I know now, I'd be willing to pay double for it!

I hope the author comes out with an additional toaster oven cookbook!
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on March 19, 2006
As an empty nester and avid cook, this book is perfect. Very tasty recipes without making huge quantities. The author has done her research and deserves credit for filling a rare niche

in this cookbook category. Shhh, don't tell my away-at-college children, but they will be receiving a copy of this book along with a nice toaster oven for Christmas. This is a cookbook everyone could use for fresh ideas, from Anzacs to Yogurt Baked Chicken with wine pairings suggested for many dishes. I wish I had thought of it first.
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on January 9, 2013
I gave this book a 5 star rating as it totally complements my new Beville toaster over! The recipes that I have tried have all turned out perfectly. Plus they can be converted to double if you would like to use your large oven and are feeding a crowd. Couldn't be happier with my purchase! Will recommend!
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on January 4, 2013
I wanted a book that would help me make better use of my combination counter top oven. The recipes are really good and the portions are perfect. I plan to makes good use of this book in both my full size oven and my countertop. Although my goal is to not use the big oven if I don't have to.

The author suggests use of a food processor in many of the recipes which, if you have one, encourages the use of an appliance that often sits on the counter unused in many kitchens. If you don't have one, consider getting a small 3 to 7 cup model. They are affordable, take up less space and very quickly become indispensable on a daily basis.

I'm happy with this intelligently written recipe book.
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on December 27, 2006
Excellent set of sophisticated recipes downsized for small servings & simple execution. If you take the next year to practice each recipe you'll be well on your way to gourmet-hood! For example: Authentic English "High tea" scones.
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on January 7, 2013
I gained a brand new respect for my toaster oven when I received this book entitled: THE GOURMET TOASTER OVEN! I had no idea the possibilities and capabilities I had in my kitchen. This adventure is going to liven things up a bit, too, and the big electricity-guzzling oven can take a needed rest.
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on December 14, 2011
This has lots of recipes for one or two people. There are also very tasty. Simple to make not much mess. Has meals from breakfast to dinner and between.
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on May 11, 2015
Lynn Alley has written several cookbooks, and this one is my favorite. The recipes are interesting and varied, suited to many different food tastes, and they live up to the title as being both simple and sophisticated. There are many color photos that add to the ideas for presentation. Simple refers in this case to the use of fresh ingredients, other ingredients that one usually would have on hand, and quick preparation. Sophisticated refers in some cases to the combinations--scallops and pancetta, for example--but mainly to ideas for baking and serving the items. There are many ideas for serving and presentation (including good wine recommendations), and I think readers will appreciate suggestions for using a toaster oven in a variety of ways.

There is one important point to take note of when considering this book: the recipes are intended for a large toaster oven (12-14-inch depth inside) with convection heat. If possible, I would recommend getting hold of the book prior to buying a toaster oven. The author provides a lot of good advice about features and size and how to compare different models. I already have a smaller oven (without convection), so I need to make a few adjustments when I use some of the recipes, or simply make them in my regular oven. (In general, it’s necessary to add 25 degrees to the baking temperature if you don’t have convection too. As many bakers know, convection is especially good for cakes and breads, but you can also do without it perfectly well.)

Thus far, I have tried the granola, carrot cake with lemon glaze, coffee cake muffins, yogurt-baked chicken, and oven-fried chicken. Most of the recipes are for 2 servings; some are for 4. All of these recipes were excellent, and I was especially pleased to see that there was some attention given to lower fat (especially in the carrot cake and muffins) and less salt than usual. Many of the baked items have no salt at all in the recipes, and the flavor and texture are still excellent. Some readers found it unusual that buttermilk is called for in several recipes. Personally, I love using buttermilk, because it helps to lower the fat overall and gives great taste to baked goods.

I would recommend this book very highly but not unconditionally. One has to be prepared to adapt the recipes slightly if you don’t have, or don’t want to buy, a large toaster oven. Some recipes include the use of a food processor, but nearly all of them can be made without one. It's certainly simpler if you do have one though. Also, this is a book that I think suits cooks who like to experiment and add their own touches to recipes. The ingredients are quite simple, and the recipes work fine as is, but if you like to add or change them a little, this book will provide plenty of inspiration for simple and sophisticated meals.
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on February 8, 2014
This title showed up as a "recommendation" by Amazon after I'd purchased my Breville Smart Toaster Oven, not very long ago. It is an invaluable cookbook, exquisitely suited to my purposes, since it sizes the recipes for one or two people. Open it anywhere, there is a recipe waiting to excite your taste buds. I READ the book twice through, made a grocery list, and tried the recipe for yogurt baked chicken with thrilling success. Scones will be tried soon. I even made up a recipe of my own for a casserole in my new LeCreuset tarte tatin pan.....due to inspiration derived from Lynn Alley's advice.

It is easy to navigate my Kindle copy by using the "go to" feature to access the contents. This title stays near the top of my cookbook collection, now that meal prep using its toaster oven recipes is so much fun. I highly recommend it.
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