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This review is from: The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life (Hardcover)For reasons unknown to me, I can't stand watching the Food Network. Although I've cooked all my life and my friends insist that I should like it, it just grates on my nerves.
So, it would be natural to understand that I did not know who Ellie Krieger was when I saw her have a food segment on my local noon-day news. I always stop what I'm doing during this daily 5 minute soundbite because it usually features recipes of interest to me. However, this time it was different. From the moment they said the title of the book, THE FOODS YOU CRAVE, and then the display of 3 dishes that Ellie had pre-made, I was SOLD!!! I came to amazon (where I buy all my books), read some reviews and ordered it that day. Two days later, it arrived.
Now, some back story: I've cooked my entire life and was raised on a dairy farm where calories were not even known. Fresh milk, cream, eggs, beef, pork and produce came from our land. I learned to cook at my grandma's knees but the dishes I learned were for people working outside 10 hours a day. In the course of my 55 years, I kept packing on the pounds and packing on the pounds until a year ago, I weighed 280 pounds...on a 5'5" frame! Blessed with no health issues, I still realized that enough was enough and before I got diabetes or high blood pressure, I needed to lose weight. I joined a gym, hired a personal trainer to teach me to exercise safely, followed the Campbell's Soup "Soup for Life" diet change plan (available on their website) and 1 year later, I've lost 100 pounds and kept it off! I went from a size 2X to a size 14!!!
Now, that said, because of my former eating habits and love of cooking, I had amassed over 500+ cookbooks that consume an entire 20' wall in my kitchen. They are old friends and can't be parted with but many of the recipes are so excessive with regards to calories that only when company is coming will I make any of them any longer. I've taken to having a moratorium on buying cookbooks and now find recipes On-Line that are healthier and more calorie conscious.
So the very fact that I ordered yet ANOTHER cookbook, after a self-imposed ban, is saying something. I had no idea what to expect when the book arrived, but felt that if it didn't live up to what I saw Ellie make, I could give it away.
I made myself a cup of coffee, sat down with the book in a cozy chair and began reading. I soon made another cup of coffe, and then another...and also got out my sticky tags that I mark cookbook recipes with for future use.
THREE HOURS LATER...I had flagged FORTY-FIVE recipes that weren't "Hmmmm, these might be interesing", but "WOW! I've GOT to try these recipes, now!"
And I did the most revolutionary act toward this cookbook that I've ever done: I could not/would not try any other recipe in any other book or website until I had made ALL 45 of the ones I tagged!
It's been one month to the day that I ordered the cookbook. All I can say is, "What a life changing book!" I've also ordered 6 other copies that I've sent to friends that are personal chefs, retired and budget-conscious, and my 20-something daughter. Each and every one of them agrees with my initial assessment and we constantly email or call each other saying, "Did you try this one? How about that one?"
I started a weekend by trying the following from Friday through Sunday: New York Breakfast; Vegetable Cheese Strata, and finally Peach French Toast Bake. My entire family was home and usually, we grab a bagel or a glass of juice or piece of fruit for breakfast. This time, everyone sat down, ate their fill and remarked...HOURS LATER!!!...how they were STILL full and weren't hungry. That was a miracle enough, right there.
I then made from the same time span: Lemon-Chicken Soup with Orzo; Curried Butternut Soup; Mushroom Barley Risotto, and the astonishingly flavoured Sage-rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw (everyone's favourite by far; I've made it three weekends in a row).
In the months time, I've made 38 of the 45 recipes and there isn't a one that has disappointed or even needed tweaking. Yes, I'll make the French Toast bake using a different bread or different fruit but I'll keep the ingredients and portions the same. And when it's just my DH and I and no kids, I cut the recipes in half and he takes the left-overs to work the next day.
And the BEST news?! I've lost an additional THREE pounds this past month and yet eaten like a QUEEN! This one single cookbook has become my default setting for each meal that I make and I can't think of cooking without it. In fact, to make sure that when my DH and I travel, I've downloaded each single recipe that I've made onto a website and WORD so I'll have access to them from my PC or a website if I'm traveling without my laptop.
I've never met a cookbook I didn't like but THIS one ranks as my All-Time personal favourite and I look forward to many dog-eared corners and sauce-splashed pages for years to come!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 1, 2010 8:16:45 PM PDT
'Congrats on your weightloss! I don't have a lot of cookbooks, but I do have a lot of family recipes. I grew up on a farm, and there's just something about farm wives, they make sure everyone is well fed. Thanks for the great review, I'm off to order the book!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2010 12:00:49 PM PDT
Pie Grrrl says:
DaisyDo: from one Farm Girl to another, you'll love this book! It's been 2 years since I bought it and I've kept the weight off and am still making great food from scratch every day! I don't believe in fake food or fake sweeteners; I want the REAL thing, only I needed to know how to make it healthy. I hope that you enjoy cooking from it as much as I do.
Posted on May 7, 2010 8:19:11 AM PDT
Cindy Lynn says:
I was partially sold on this cookbook before reading your review, but after I read it...I'm hooked! And a kudos to your descriptive writing style :) I enjoyed reading about the coffee drinking, page tagging, multiple copy ordering, and wall o' cookbooks! Thanks for taking the time to write a review. I'm off to purchase a new cookbook....
In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2010 3:18:49 PM PDT
Pie Grrrl says:
Hi, Cindy Lynn! Well thanks for the kind words! I may not be able to dissect a book or CD as some professionals can do, but I speak from the heart! Since writing about the book 2.5 years ago, I've given away 5 more copies of this original book and those people have gifted their friends and adult children with copies of their own. No one likes to diet; it makes you feel sad and left out. That's why I enjoy this book so much; you can cook healthily for your friends and family but no one feels as if they are eating cardboard or rice cakes. I hope that you enjoy using this book as much as we have, these several years. :)
Posted on Oct 5, 2010 7:48:18 AM PDT
B. Holloway says:
I really enjoyed your review of this book, and can totally sympathize with your cookbook addiction. I reached a goal of losing 80 lbs. in June of 2009 (down from 207 to 127); in the intervening year+, I've maintained but I'm struggling with four or five pounds that keep creeping back on and off and freaking me out, partly because its stress eating, partly because I'm bored with the food habits I got into to lose the weight. I will buy this book! Thanks!
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