Top positive review
151 of 157 people found this helpful
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!)