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Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook Hardcover – November 8, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Susan Spungen, the founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living, knows her cooking. Recipes, her collection of 100-plus formulas for home cooking, is deceptively unassuming; cooks at all levels of skill and sophistication will find it a source of superior, easy dish making--and instruction. Arranged by cooking techniques, the recipes include basics and old favorites like Pan-Seared Striped Bass, Rosemary Focaccia, and Herb-Crusted Lamb, as well as reworkings and "newer" dishes like Peanut Noodles with Mango, Baby Back Ribs with Coffee BBQ Sauce, and Pancetta Chicken with Lemon Fries. A section on sweets offers the tempting likes of Saucepan Brownies, Caramel Apple Tart, and Lemon Curd Cheesecake. Spungen's accomplishment is to provide a well chosen collection that readers will turn to again and again. Her small volume is thus more useful than many of its larger cousins, which seem overdone by comparison. Spungen's stint at the magazine has also undoubtedly attuned her to the importance of the visual, and each recipe is accompanied by a color photo of the dish in all its simple glory. With a forward by the very Martha herself, the book deserves wide kitchen circulation. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author

Susan Spungen was the founding food editor and editorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia from its launch in 1991 until 2003. She wrote a bimonthly column called "Easy Entertaining" for the magazine until June 2004, and helped launch MSO's first all-food title, Everyday Food. She is coauthor of the best-selling Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook. She lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; First Edition edition (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060731249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060731243
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,314,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book has received quite a bit of high praise (NY Times gave it a glowing review) and it's easy to understand why: the book itself is beautiful and the recipes are fresh, really delicious and not too complicated. It is readily apparent that Ms Spungen was once an employee of Martha Stewart, as aside from Martha penning the book's forward, you can see the "MS Esthetic" throughout the book. This unfortunately includes a typeface that is really too small and it makes the book a tough read. I assume that I'm like most people in that I read a recipe carefully (OK, sort of carefully) before cooking and then refer back to it a dozen times on the fly while in the kitchen. (And no, I'm not yet of an age where I need reading glasses!) But having to stop and fumble around until I can read detracts from all the book has to offer. That said, this is one of those cookbooks that makes a terrific wedding shower gift or housewarming gift to someone in their first apartment: the recipes will become workhorses in anyone's repertoire, but while you're at it buy them a magnifying glass too.
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Format: Hardcover
Susan Spungen has penned a wonderful and clever collection of recipes in her new solo book effort. Her inventive way of catagorizing the recipes along with the beautiful photography makes this a useful and very inspiring book.

Her professional pedigree is clearly excellent, but it is her creative and artistic eye, her user friendly directions and clear discriptions that make this one a keeper. I look forward to her next book!
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Format: Hardcover
So... I didn't have any interest in this book for a long time because the title "Recipes" seemed boring and a quick skim through didn't make it look like it would add much to my collection. Well, then I found it used in great condition cheap and gave it a try lately. I have made several things and all have been very good/excellent. The Thai cole slaw is rediculously good/addictive, for example. The one that frankly surprised me the most was her rosemary foccaccia version. The dough is really sticky/loose. Doesn't seem like it would come out. Usually my instincts are pretty right on stuff like that and I make adjustments and end up with something that works. This time I didn't, I just stuck with her instructions, figuring I'd get a bit of a mess. WOW, it was delicious, great texture, great taste, even looked good enough to photograph. These recipes are really well tested - trust them. Highly recommended, even if you've got a pretty serious collection.
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Format: Hardcover
`RECIPES, a collection for the modern cook' by former `Martha Stewart Living' Editorial Director for food and entertaining, Susan Spungen is the answer to my question over what Miss Susan was doing with herself since her name disappeared from the `Martha Stewart Living' masthead. Miss Spungen was one of the very few `Martha Stewart' staffers who commonly appeared on `In Martha's Kitchen' when it ran on the Food Network before Ms. Martha went into the slammer. Since Ms. Spungen was obviously had talent in converting information about food into good magazine features, I expected her name to pop up somewheres. Well, here it is, as the author of a book with either the most unoriginal or the most clever of titles for a cookbook since Apicius.

Spungen was the very first person to hold the food / entertaining lead at `Martha Stewart Living', so it is reasonable to believe she had a lot to do in creating the style of the magazine article and book writing and design, especially as Ms. Spungen's first vocation was that of an artist and visual design student who was lured into the culinary world by part time jobs, leading to a pastry chef under Mark Strassman at Pino Luongo's `Coco Pazzo'.

Whenever I open a general `celebrity chef / author' cookbook with no more than about 120 recipes, I really expect something unique in order for me to distinguish it from the 100 or more other books I have reviewed with roughly the same description. What is it about these 120 recipes which make them better than all those other books' versions of many of the same dishes.

The tidbit I find here which sets it apart from many other books is the fact that many of the things I really respect about `Martha Stewart Living' cookbooks really come from Spungen's approach to culinary writing.
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Format: Hardcover
this book is so delicious. everything i've tried has been perfect and a huge crowd pleaser! i give this book as a gift to all my foodie friends. two thumbs way up.
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