Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
The format may be throwing some people
on November 8, 2010
Ok - let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Tyler - his recipes have gotten me through more holidays and family dinners than I can count. The thing I love the most about his food, while it isn't fussy and overdone, is that it works as a great basis for the cook to build off of. I have printouts of his recipes from Food Network that have handwritten notes all over them, adding ingredients or changing cooking methods or times. His recipes really are accessible, fun, and inspiring. Because of this, I could not wait to get his new book...and at first, I was a little underwhelmed.
The book, physically, is not a nice, glossy, jacket-wearing cookbook. The book is bigger than his other books and the cover has this odd, ribbing to it. (think of one of those moving, image pictures) Also, the cover art is really more subdued than his other books - so, I think there is a lack of excitement when people get a hold of the book. It is different.
Also, I think some people are thrown by the format of the book too. It is not just a regular cookbook, with a tiny little narrative, if any, over each recipe and full of nothing but recipes. This book is more personal. It is more casual. I think he was going for the FEELING of a comfortable, casual family dinner here. There are more stories. The recipes are more casual. Even the narrator's voice is more familiar and friendly. This isn't a cookbook, it is a book about his personal relationship with cooking for the people he cares about and his favorite recipes to do that with. So, WAY different than the other offerings he has. Once I realized that, this was less like his show and more like being in the kitchen with him, rummaging through his recipe card file - I got it.
And boy am I glad I did. The turkey meatloaf is amazing, as another reviewer said. The recipes are not overly fussy or complicated, though some do require a little more time than others. In his typical fashion, he made me eager to cook from the book - if I could just get off the couch from reading it like a novel.
So, here is the scoop of the poop - if you are looking for a regular, Tyler cookbook - then this might not work for you. You would do better to get another one of his books. If you are looking for a friendly experience that brings home what cooking really means - not impressing or astounding people - but bringing people together to enjoy each other's company and making your family and friends feel at home...this is a good book to start with.