23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes (Hardcover)
If you're a novice cook looking for an uncomplicated Italian cookbook or if you're looking for straight-foward meals with an Italian flare, the recipes here will meet your needs and expectations. Most of the ingredients are readily available at your neighborhood grocery; the language is direct with easy to follow instructions and explanations; and De Laurentiis is honest in presenting the fact that a number of the recipes in the book are "not for dieters." The book really does contain simple and very good to delicious recipes.
The book's downfall (and the reason for my 3-star rating) is in the design and layout. Though the book is printed in a sans serif font with decent use of white space, as another reviewer indicated, some of the recipes are printed in reverse or in very light colors, such as white on light green or light green on white, making them difficult to read and making it hard to keep your place while cooking. For anyone with low vision, the recipes on these particular pages will be totally inaccessible. Fortunately, a majority of the book contains somewhat better contrast, though still it is gray on white, not black and white.
The glossy cookbook does not lack for photos--unfortunately, very few are of food and even fewer are of the dishes themselves. That would be the food dishes, not the dishy cook. Of De Laurentiis, photos are plentiful. Some photos are your typical, glamorous, "My dentist loves me" vogue shots but much of the photography has an odd, voyeuristic quality that one would not anticipate in a cookbook. The style makes the book feel a little obsessive and frankly a little creepy. De Laurentiis' B-movie, 'What's that noise behind me?' pose on page 237 made me wonder if that's what Nancy Drew looks like in the kitchen.
Recipes, thumbs up. Book design and photography, thumbs down.