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Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans Paperback – August 6, 2013
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“Bake and Destroy is like a party on every page. Natalie Slater doesn't shy away from over-the-top, knock-your-socks-off recipes you will find yourself making again and again.” ―Julie Hasson, author of Vegan Diner
“[Natalie] does it all with a sharp wit and a punk-rock, can-do attitude that has become her signature and inspired people all around the world.” ―CakeSpy.com
About the Author
Natalie Slater is the creator of bakeanddestroy.com with more than a half-million hits a month. She was the winner of the Cooking Channel's "Perfect Three Contest" and has served as a judge on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. She resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and son.
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I also love the way the book was bound. It stays open to the page you want, without having to hold the edges down with a weight, or bending the heck out of the spine. Thank you to the publisher &/or author for that attention to detail. Very important when you've got your cookbook lying on the counter & you're trying to read the recipe' with dough all over both hands. Nice touch!
I really enjoyed just reading this cookbook. The author is very witty and her book was definitely not a dry, boring read. She has little intros to each recipe that alone are worth the cost of the book.
But it's her thinking outside of the box that impressed me the most. She talks about how she came up with ideas for certain recipes as well as things she changed from other recipes. She really makes my brain go into overdrive when I think about food. Her recipes sparked my imagination and made me start to be more creative with my cooking.
This is seriously a five star book. I am extremely happy with it and I will definitely be drawing ideas from it for years to come. I'm not a vegetarian, but I will wholeheartedly recommend this book to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
But I feel as if this should also get a cautionary warning: This is NOT a cookbook for a brand new chef or to pick up after a long day when you just want to eat something vegan, healthy and easy. (For that I'd recommend anything in the "Happy Herbivore" series of "Vegan with a Vengeance"
The challenge for the novice Vegan is that, while MS Slater is an excellent chef and really knows her stuff - she is not a corner-cutter and many of her recipes involve complex (and sometimes needless) steps. Her breakfast "Honky Tonk French Toast" recipe calls for baking a loaf of banana bread first (Yikes!); a snack recipe for a vegan pig in a blanket ("Pretzel Dogs of the Dead") has you making your own pretzel dough that has to rise in four steps that take over an hour and her "You Don't Know Jack Hash" involves multiple steps one of which involves sauteing a single ingredient for ten minutes THEN moving it to cook for over an hour in a slow cooker and THEN putting it in the fridge overnight. (This is recipe is actually really worth it - but I admit I skipped the slow cooker part and just cooked it very slowly in a skillet over low heat).
On the plus side her recipes are worth the extra steps and some of her more eccentric combos are really quite tasty (Her French fry tacos are far more delicious than they sound) and an experienced chef will know when to cut some of the needless steps she requires.
For those looking to expand their vegan repertoire and some creative things to really show off at the next pot luck or bake sale (So you can happily stick it to the meat-eaters who sneer and ask "Is this Vegan?" as if you had brought a plate of grass clipping for everyone to eat!)this is a winner.
One BIG annoyance and I'm not sure if this is just the KINDLE version - no list of recipes in the Contents! SO for us Kindlers we have to scroll through every single recipe in a chapter to get to the one we want. Uncool to the max.