Top positive review
56 people found this helpful
on April 24, 2015
This book is life-changing. My husband said I'm being hyperbolic by saying that, but it's true. When we got married, he was capable of making instant mashed potatoes (blech), Hamburger Helper (Lord, help us all), and frozen pizza. Fast forward 6-7 years--he ordered this cook book after hearing about it on NPR. I started coming home from my shifts at the hospital to savory soufflés, the most perfect pulled pork, fish tacos with fresh salsa, french onion soup, and on and on. He is a science guy and has enjoyed reading WHY certain cooking methods are used. I'm happy to have good food to eat and to see him explore a new hobby he enjoys so much. We rarely eat out anymore because we always have such good food at home.
It really has changed our lives, including both how we eat and how we survive as parents of young children. Sometimes we feed the kids early, then put them to bed so we can have a glass of wine, cook together, and catch up with each other. Ruhlman described near the Bacon Arugula Salad recipe how cooking together strengthens relationships, and I have to agree. I love the nights we stay in and try a new recipe or revisit a favorite one.
There are still some recipes that we haven't tried in the book, but others we use weekly or seasonally. Some of them are a little more involved (fried chicken and pan fried pork chops which both require brining), while other things we've picked up from that book are so simple yet so profound. Like how to scramble eggs. It's just a small change or two, but the result is astounding. Roast chicken. Who knew it could be so easy to cook a chicken and then come up with a delicious pan sauce for that chicken? We make it weekly. The coq au vin is "my" recipe that I like making, and while it feels fancy, it's actually quite simple and doesn't create a ton of dishes for me to clean up after. That is a WIN in my book.
The ONLY thing I haven't been extremely impressed with are some of the baking recipes. Cakes, cookies, etc. I've only tried a few of the recipes, and while they aren't bad, I prefer to find those types of recipes elsewhere.