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Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving Hardcover – September 28, 2010
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I have not tried any of the recipes yet but found several to bookmark with the intent to do so soon. These are not ordinary home canned type recipes and some have ingredients that may not be in the local grocery store. However, this is a book of food gift ideas with people who love to cook in mind, so something out of the ordinary or that itself becomes an ingredient for a creative cook is what would be appreciated.
The author includes a suggested list of tools and equipment, most of which are things that many cooks would already have. (I personally have never owned a food processor and have yet to find a recipe I couldn't make without one.) There is a chapter devoted to decorative packaging and another of tips and techniques for preserving and dehydrating.
The book is organized by types of food: sweet preserved, savory preserved; smoked, cured and dried, baked, confection and chocolate, drinks, no-cook gifts, and make-a-gift kits. Recipes include Moroccan Spice Blend that can be sprinkled on food or used as a rub for meats, a S'Mores Kit that includes homemade marshmallows and graham crackers, Rosemary-Parmesan Crackers, Chipolte Chile Candied Pecans, Rhubarb Compote, Meyer Lemon Curd, and Apricot-Bourbon Mustard, plus others for mustards, dried vegetables and fruit, biscottis, jams, jellies, chutneys, and pastas.
My only criticism is that the book could have provided source information for the various containers they used in their creations. It is not hard to find canning jars, but some of the smaller glass bottles with the swing tops are difficult to find.
Each recipe comes with Gift Giving Tips about how to wrap and present the delicacies and includes text that you can use on the Gift Card that tells about the treat. My family's favorite recipe is the Toasted Coconut Marshmallows, which by making homemade are so much better than the store bought variety. And we absolutely love the smell of the coconut toasting in the oven -mmmm!! Gifts Cooks Love definitely lives up to its name, and is just a pleasure to look through the stunning photographs and come up with ideas that my foodie friends would love!
Scrumptious is the word that comes to mind. I have yet to make anything from the book. There will be plenty of recipes that I will try out. In perusing the book, the recipes all seem quite easy with readily available ingredients and instructions that have wonderful cooking tips. My only criticism is I found one recipe that called for corn syrup. I am the enemy of corn syrup. It is the cheapest cooking ingredient around with evil lurking about-just think fat. Unhealthy and unnatural.
That said, I am rather enticed by the thought of making dried porcini mushrooms and panforte.
What I believe that sets this book apart from other gift giving recipe books is the the presentation of the final product and ideas for gift baskets. You could give someone a smores basket, making your own chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows, or how about an Italian basket, with pasta, sauce and mushrooms.