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on December 30, 2014
Of the ~100 or so cookbooks that I own, this is my favorite one. The recipes are delicious and the menus are inspiring and flexible. She provides detailed steps but more than what to do, she tells you what you are trying to make happen. For example in her lemon cream recipes, she gives the instructions and then describes what the cream should look like. "When you run your finger through it on the back of a spoon, it should leave a clean line that holds its shape even when you tilt the spoon." Or in another recipe. "They will seem a little underbaked because of the chocolate shards." On top of that she gives notes at the beginning of some of the recipes recommending what can be done ahead of time, what order you should cook things in and throughout the recipes she tells you what kind of things might go wrong and how you can adjust for them. She also provides the inspiration or origin for many of the recipes, not usually my favorite thing, but the way she does it is interesting.

I always feel like I have this kind and fabulous chef standing in the kitchen with me giving me instructions when I am cooking from this book. The pictures are beautiful and the seasonal organization is helpful without feeling rigid. Most important though, the recipes are fantastic especially in the context of comforting meals you plan to prepare at home. They are the right level of fancy, something that will make your family (and guests if you have them) happy and satisfied.
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on February 8, 2017
I'll start by saying this is my favorite cookbook. I have made about 25 of the recipes so far and all but 3 of the 25 have been wonderful. The other 3 were just fine but were good enough to try again, perhaps my skills got in the way. I have made it most of the way through the fall and winter recipes because of the time of year and am very exited for the spring and summer seasons to get here. I have the good fortune to live in the Bay Area so I have access to top notch ingredients year round.

The recipes themselves do not require difficult to acquire ingredients and many of the techniques are similar between recipes. They do tend to be prep heavy and use plenty of dishes and utensils, but nonetheless the results are so good, I'll wash a few extra pots and pans for the food. The book is set up in menus of 3 or so dishes, but I find often the main dish is plenty for my wife and I, maybe if we had guests I would make the accompanying dishes, but really haven't found the need to. I halve most of the recipes because she has them designed to feed six.

I already have her AOC cookbook on my wishlist for when I finish working my way through this one. Thanks Suzanne! You are awesome.
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on April 2, 2015
LOVE this cookbook! For me, cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, which I adopted from my father. I bought him this book for Christmas a few years ago, and we have absolutely loved every recipe we've tried. He even went as far as to say that I made a better beef pot roast with Goin's recipe than his mother (a phenomenal home-style, self taught cook), which makes this book one of the best gifts I've gotten him! Goin makes cooking delicious, flavorful food fun, with easy-to-follow directions and tips. While the recipes we've tried have been more on the time consuming side (2+ hours), and some with not your every day ingredients, the effort is well worth it. If you love to cook and try new things, you need to get this cookbook.
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on December 9, 2014
I can't rate this cookbook highly enough. I typically make one or two of Goin's meals a week and, yes, they do require some prepping and planning ahead, but I can't stress enough that it is so very worth it. Here is what makes this book so magical: you just follow the recipe and you end up with chef-quality food. Seriously. I've spent a lot of time and money making complex recipes before (and since) and the end results were disappointing. I've made 13 different recipes so far and most of the time after the first bite, I thought, "Wow. I made this?!" Of course I still purchase other cookbooks and experiment, but when I have a little extra time and want a sure thing, this is the one I reach for time and again.
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on September 7, 2014
I started with having her Short Ribs recipe and making it myself...yummy....so glad I got the book; takes me back to 11 yrs. ago when we lived in LA and went every week to Lucques; looking forward to trying all the recipes; lots of work but well worth the time and effort!! Your friends will love you and beg to be invited to dinner !! Found Lucques olives at Bristal Farms and Marcona Almonds, so able to start with those as appetizers just like at the restaurant !!!
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on October 12, 2011
This book is perfect for someone who can turn out a decent meal, but wants to make a dinner people will rave about. Not weird, exotic food--just a little different and bursting with flavor. It's October, squash season, so last night I made the Kabocha Squash Risotto with Radicchio, with grilled veggies and the last of the tomatoes on the side. It was creamy, crunchy, satisfying and yet not bloating all at the same time. I've made most of the recipes, and they've all been anywhere from simply delicious to knock-your-socks-off. My San Francisco based daughter consults the book before shopping, then hits the Embarcadero Farmer's Market to make either an entire menu or just a couple of dishes for a semi-regular Sunday dinner party she and her friends put on. It's food you know, freshened up with a California instant face lift. Yum! And one other great feature: this book actually STAYS OPEN when you lay it on the kitchen counter. No more propping the pages open with a sugar bowl or can of tomatoes (or one of those fancy-schmancy cookbook clips). Kudos to the publisher and Ms. Goin!
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on November 12, 2014
This book is chock full of great recipes. The first weekend after I received it I made a whole meal as listed in the book. It was so, so good. I've been scoping out the next things I want to make. I love that it is separated by season. It gives great ideas and even if I don't want to take on a whole menu, I can pick and choose from a variety of fabulous recipes. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love to cook and don't mind spending a decent amount of time in the kitchen.
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on July 31, 2011
Always inspirational. As an intermediate cook, whenever I am stuck for a dinner menu, I always pick up this cookbook and read it. I like the simple passion and thought behind this book and her work. The recipes that I have tried - like the buttermilk dressing - work. Of all my Californian cuisine cookbooks, this one will not date. I hope that she comes up with another cookbook.
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on April 23, 2009
Oh, boy... Where to begin? This book makes me want to jump on a plane and take a quick mini-vacation to sunny L.A. just so I can try Suzanne Goin's cooking.
I found this book by accident (while reading my favorite cooking blog) and I'm so glad I did. It happened around St. Patrick's Day and what a happy coincidence... this book includes a St. Patty's Day menu. I prepared the main course (Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley-Mustard Sauce) as well as the dessert (Chocolate-Stout Cake with Guiness Ice Cream) twice in a week and a half (it was such a hit the first time that we had more people over, just so we can make it again + this time around I also made the Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese, Currants and Pine Nuts for a vegetarian in our group).
This book is all a good cookbook should be... The recipes are well-thought through with stunning photography. Very inspiring although... most of the recipes are a little time-consuming. But this shouldn't put off any of you, home amateur gourmetes. This book is well worth it...
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on January 2, 2014
I can't really afford to eat at Suzanne Goin's restaurants very often. However I now have the opportunity to bring her elegant cuisine to our house for friends and family. Her recipes are sophisticated but don't depend on complex "cheffy" skills to accomplish. Living in Southern California, I look forward to following through the year with her seasonal local ingredients.
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