Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
What a disappointment.
on November 17, 2013
My wife was diagnosed celiac over five years ago, so we aren't new to gluten-free baking and cooking. As the primary cook in the house, I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, approaches, and the like when it comes to preparing gluten-free meals. Having read the reviews here and looked over some of the recipes on the author's site, I thought this book would provide some good, easy alternatives for when I don't have the time or energy to put together a more complex or involved recipe.
I thought wrong.
It's not that the recipes in this book are bad, per se, but neither are they good. Textures are off, flavors are bland, and many of the baked goods come out tasting largely the same. In addition, there are occasional ingredients that plain get me scratching my head. I'm not sure if they are there to add to the flavor profile, serve as some sort of binding or moisturizing agent, or simply got put in because the author likes them. Each of those are fine, but if you are going to have non-typical ingredients, then it would be nice to know if they are essential to success or something that can be left out if they are not to your preference.
Generally, almost every recipe I've made from this book has ended up with my wife and I looking at one another and saying, "So, if we want it to taste good/hold together/be lighter next time, we should probably..." The thing is, you CAN cook & bake gluten-free fairly easily, with satisfying results. It just takes a decent amount of hunting and experimenting. I had hoped the author of this book had done that, thus saving me a bit of trouble (it's certainly marketed that way), but I was wrong.
If you are just embarking on gluten-free cooking and aren't expecting much or wanting to invest a lot of effort, this book is a good starting point. If you have any experience with cooking gluten-free, though, this is not a book you will miss. My only regret is not using it enough to realize this before my return window closed.