I own hundreds of cookbooks. That sounds worse than it is, considering my age :) I don't really read most, I just search for recipes that sound good and follow them. Some don't include any useable recipes, but are good for sparking ideas. I generally ignore the forward to the book as well as most of the text other than the recipes. I'm sorry, but to me that's all a cookbook needs to be. A resource, or a reference.
My experience with In the Small Kitchen was quite different. The book states this cookbook was written by the creators of Big Girls, Small Kitchen. I had never heard of their blog before, and I purposely avoided it until after reading the book so I'd know if the book could stand alone if you were not already a fan. After reading the book, then exploring their website, I realized that the authors' experience with blogging has turned them into masters of short stories. I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading this book as a book and not just as a cookbook. The book stood very well without prior knowledge of the authors or their website.
Things I enjoyed most about this cookbook: *The book begins with a list of basic essential equipment. You'll be surprised at how little you really need until you see it explained as well as they did. I'm channeling my inner kitchen minimalist! *Many of the recipes serve just 2 people. They can be easily doubled or more, but are a great starting point. *All of the recipes call for easily accessible ingredients, even if the results are far from ordinary
The first recipe I tried from In the Small Kitchen was Swiss Chard Frittata. The recipe serves 2, but it was easy to cut in half and prepare in a small single serving pan. I love Swiss chard, but it never occurred to me to use it in a frittata. The recipe also called for sun-dried tomatoes, another favorite ingredient. Along with the eggs and Parmesan cheese, this turned out to be one of my favorite breakfast recipes. Ever!
The Soy Honey Baked Tofu was also a big hit for myself and friends. It serves 2 to 4 and the leftovers freeze well, though you probably won't have any. I've tried about 8 recipes so far, including the homemade ketchup which I really enjoyed. I've not been disappointed with anything so far.
There are a lot of meat recipes in this cookbook, which I don't do. But there aren't so many that I would turn this cookbook down as a vegetarian.
I feel that this is one of the better cookbooks in my collection. I've also bookmarked their blog and look forward to more fresh ideas from the authors.
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