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107 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars inspiring recipes, but not always complete, January 7, 2009
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This review is from: Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets (Paperback)
The recipes in this book are amazing. I cook largely with seasonal food from farmers markets, and this book offers creative ways to make great seasonal dishes. It also has some wonderful vignettes about different farmers markets the author has visited.

Unfortunately, the recipes, as wonderful as they are, are often incomplete. I've had this book for a month now and have cooked out of it maybe 15-20 times since I got it. I'd say over 3/4 of the recipes have some step missing.

For example, when making a tart, she describes how to cook the vegetables, and then how to make the egg mixture, but doesn't describe how to combine them before popping it in the oven. I'm sure most chefs know how to do this, but I wasn't sure, so I had to go online to figure out how a tart is prepared. Answer: put the vegetables on the bottom of the tart shell and pour the egg mixture over it.

There are many omissions of the sort I describe above, and I usually have been able to go online to figure out how a "typical" tart is made, or bread pudding, etc. I'm not sure if these omissions are due to the fact that this is common knowledge among other, better chefs, or whether the book was written hastily without much testing. In either case, it's actually been a bit of a headache for me.

That said, I again must emphasize how amazing the food in here is. Last night I made an asparagus and mushroom bread pudding which was unlike anything I've ever made before. She has creative ways to cook wonderful veggies like fennel, chard and endive, which I would never had thought of using epicurious or allrecipes websites.

I think based on other reviews, I am going to check out her "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," which seems like it might be for more novice chefs, and may also have been more thoroughly tested.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 8, 2010 11:02:54 AM PDT
I have Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and I adore it. I've never felt like there are any steps missing from the recipes, so maybe you should try that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2011 12:36:27 PM PDT
Sea Monster says:
I'd confirm the user-friendliness of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I checked it out of the library for a test run and really enjoyed the recipes that I tried from it. There was a great range of recipes, from incredibly simple to incredibly complex, and with flavors to suit just about every palate. If I'm remembering this particular cookbook correctly (I checked it out of the library 2 years ago), it includes an entire section near the front that describes every basic technique or process for the novice chef, including even such things as how to cut properly with a knife!
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