- Series: Food52 Works
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (October 18, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399578005
- ISBN-13: 978-0399578007
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead (Food52 Works) Hardcover – October 18, 2016
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“A gift for the time-harried, food-particular cook: a shopping and cooking plan for meals that can be prepared in advance to carry you deliciously through the week. It’s not only the recipes that are inspiring, but also the organizing rambunctiousness and confidence-embuing enthusiasm of the authors. Rich in ideas and hand-holding pointers, this is a book that makes itself immediately indispensable.”
“I want to hug this book! It’s like one long pep talk from your best friends who know everything about good food and always keep their cool in the kitchen. Amanda and Merrill guide you through the process of making beautiful home-cooked dinners—from menu planning to grocery shopping to reheating leftovers. They make an intimidating challenge (orchestrating five meals, plus brown-bag lunches, for a week) seem not only doable but also somehow even serene. I’m so inspired by this book—it’s a treasure trove of Amanda and Merrill’s genius.”
—Joanna Goddard, founder of A Cup of Jo
"It occurred to me that the book had a certain Marie Kondo quality to it: the life-changing magic of planning your week."
— New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
— New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
— WSJ Magazine
Favorite Cookbooks of Fall 2016
— Los Angeles Times
"Hesser and Stubbs are steeped in practical home cooking, both professionally and personally, and they know what they’re talking about."
— New York Times
"Food52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have hit upon a brilliant idea: Just because weekdays are frantic affairs, doesn’t mean weeknight dinners have to be. It’s a rescue plan that involves weekend cooking and then weeknight repurposing. Planned leftovers. It’s genius."
— San Jose Mercury News
"You will forget all about GrubHub as soon as you delve into this photo-driven book that divides the chapters by base dishes, to be made over the weekend, with a foolproof formula of how to stretch them over the week in a variety of innovative ways. With grocery lists and timelines to accompany each week, cooking ahead has never been easier or more delicious."
"It’s a self-help book masquerading as a cookbook, through which Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the multitalented and very successful entrepreneurs behind the Food52 recipe repository and lifestyle website, try to help you live a better life."
— Lucky Peach
". . . will keep you cooking smartly and happily."
— Los Angeles Times
"An excellent concept, well-executed. Brava!"
— The Kitchn
"From the founders of one of our favorite food websites, this is a meal-planning book that feels far more modern and sophisticated than the usual meal planners."
— The Record
"Divided by season and by the authors, it's a beautiful book with food you want to eat. The seasonal plans give you everything you need to set yourself up well for the week, with grocery lists and cooking timelines. They also share clever tips and tricks."
About the Author
Amanda Hesser is the co-founder of Food52 and was previously a writer and editor at the New York Times. She wrote the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener. Her last book, a Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard Award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twins.
Merrill Stubbs is the co-founder of Food52 and has written for many food and lifestyle publications, including the New York Times. She cut her teeth in the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston before she worked with Amanda Hesser on The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
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Top customer reviews
Edit to my previous review: After using this cookbook for several weeks I find my grocery bill has significantly decreased, and I'm not wasting food that I had bought, thinking to cook and ending up throwing it out, because I left it sit in the refrigerator too long.
I read about this book on a blog and thought it was an awesome idea. My husband and I have been trying to do more prep on the weekends since the weekdays are so busy and also try to find some new things to make instead of the easy standbys. We tried out one of the winter recipes and went a little nuts and followed everything exactly the first time through figuring we could freeze whatever was leftover. We followed the grocery list (thankfully we had quite a few things on hand already)- some of which is not the easiest to find in all grocery stores. I definitely suggest if you're going to be doing any of the fish recipes, load up at Costco/Sam's otherwise it gets very pricey very quickly.
Following the recipes and the weekend cooking itself. Well, this particular menu said it would take 3 hours. Ok, I figured it might be closer to 4 our first time through. No. We are both fairly adept in the kitchen and it took us both working nearly 5.5 hours. That's completely insane. All I can say is it better be good. I tasted some of the stuff (the lime ice cream is to die for) and the pork tastes pretty good. I'm skeptical about some of the other stuff.
In summary, some of the things that bugged us:
- Much quicker, less effort ways to accomplish the same result. For example, it would have been much easier to crockpot the Garlicky Beans and the pulled pork than just letting them sit on the stove for nearly 3 hours taking up valuable space. Heck, the green rice probably could've been accomplished the same way. Thank goodness I had an ice cream maker because checking on something in the freezer several times an hour for a few hours is just annoying. Or, here's a thought, just buy lime sherbet if neither of those ideas appeal to you.
- Prepping. I think this is where a lot of our time went. It would have been really nice if there was a list on one page how everything had to be prepped without digging into the recipes. For instance, we went through a ton of limes but I only zested a squeezed a few for one recipe. When it was time for the next, I had to go back, pull everything back out, etc. (that happened on 3 or 4 separate occasions over the 5+ hours). It would have been nice to just do it all at once. Same thing happened with pretty much all the produce. For the pork, I could've had the butcher cut it and prepare it which probably would've shaved off 20 minutes. Ditto for the fish. Since I didn't feel like carrying around the whole book grocery shopping, we just took a picture of the list and went. Even a sub bullet under each one with how they'd be prepared in each recipe would be helpful and maybe even referencing the recipe. Oh, and make sure you have good kitchen knives and that they're sharp.
- Descriptions. I disagree with what some other reviews say that this is good for newer/novice cooks. It most definitely is not. I'd say between the two of us, we're in the solid intermediate range of cooking skills and there were some things in the book that didn't make much sense at all and had us falling back on what we already knew to wing it. Fortunately, we've worked with most of the ingredients that were in this first round of recipes before but if you had never used shallots, serrano peppers, or poblanos then (or even know the difference between those), then this book will be a challenge. I won't even get started on what the heck they were trying to describe with the fish tents or something. If the description is long enough to be a gigantic paragraph that needs to be re-read at least 6 times- please provide a freaking picture. I still have no idea what it was supposed to look like and gave up and did it my own way.
- Time. I don't know where the cooking times came from but everything literally took double the time the book called for. Pork stayed on for almost an additional 1.5 hours to reduce down (ahem...a crockpot could've done this). The fish had to cook waaaaaay longer than called for and by this time it was getting super late so I just finished it by lightly broiling to make a nice crust.
All in all the recipes look good and have some decent ideas but cooking for 6 hours on the weekend is probably more time than I would've spent cooking prior to this. This was no exaggeration in the least. I'm willing to give it another go now that I know what to expect but sheesh, one more weekend cooking spree like this last one and I'm going to call this a failed attempt.
**********UPDATE AFTER FULL WEEK************
After going through the full week and adding all the time up, I think we'll just pick and choose which recipes we want and plan on doing only a couple days' worth instead of a full week. I will say, it was a huge relief to have everything planned out for that week and maybe just putting together a few ingredients for a salad (by the way, the watercress salad with the lime dressing was so simple but very fresh, bright, and delicious). I keep remaking this dressing just to have around now.
Most of the recipes were good. The fish was a bit of a disaster and the way they had you place the lime slices on them when baking created a super bitter, lime rind taste that was nearly impossible to cover up. So yeah...won't do that again.
It was nice to have lunches that I wasn't "meh" about or were the same boring thing. The pork tacos and pickled onions (another staple I will be keeping around) were very, very good.
We will definitely keep using this cookbook but given what we learned in the first go-around, we're definitely going to adjust how we do everything and insert our own shortcuts when going the long way around is totally unnecessary.
This book teaches you how to cook, not just recipes. I can now look at ingredients and make many quick meals or if them innerspring of feeling the need to purchase items only for one recipe.
The recipes themselves tend to be things I never would have dreamed to make. --It's not just another cookbook filled with duplicate recipes with one slight change to them (ie another spaghetti recipe or one more chicolate chip cookie recipe).
I love how I buy pretty basic ingredients and have enough food for a week of dinnersband a few lunches.
You have to be ok with trying things you've never had before; but if you're up for me things. You'll love this and learn a lot. No expensive kitchen gadgets needed, and eat seasonal items more. Fabulous book!!
-Like other customers, I wish it had a prep section at the front of each menu, instead of having to search through each recipe for what I would need to do to.
-Also, why are the recipes not in order of the date you will need them? It seems like it could be a simple change that would make things easier as you a reading through and prepping
-Some of the ingredients were hard to find and I'm in a large city (DFW), so I can't even imagine if I were in a small town trying to make these dishes
I like this, but I kind of wish it had been written by The Kitchn instead, because they seem to be more thoughtful when putting things together.