Monday, June 02, 2014

Review: Kitchen Confidence

About the Book:
A young food star and new mom, Kelsey is an invaluable friend in the kitchen to everyone settling into their first kitchen of their own. Her recipes, which are broken down into simple steps, teach readers how to cook, highlighting key tools and basic techniques everyone should know. And yet her flavors are anything but basic; Kelsey gives everyone the confidence to start with the 2.0 version of a recipe instead of the boring standards. For example, she makes her house pilaf with quinoa instead of rice, and her addictive fruit salad is a savory first course instead of a lackluster dessert. 

     With 100 recipes and 60 color photographs, Kitchen Confidence brings home all of the energy and spirit of the Cooking Channel show of the same name, making it an excellent handbook for newlyweds, recent college graduates, and those discovering their kitchens for the first time.

My Comments:
This is an attractive cookbook with a lot of mouthwatering pictures.  It is printed on high-quality glossy paper and uses attractive fonts and colors.  It is definitely the kind of cookbook that makes you pick it up and look at it.

The description made me think the book was aimed at novice cooks, and it does have some sections that would be helpful to those just starting out.  Kelsey Nixon includes sections on pantry essentials, kitchen organization, essential equipment and essential techniques.  However, I find some of  her "staples" to be more specialty items than things to keep on hand--for example sriracha sauce, capers, heavy cream and brie.  
The recipes themselves too seem a bid complex for someone who was not used to cooking.  The macaroni and cheese recipe calls for scalded milk but it doesn't tell how to scald milk.  On the other hand it gives very clear directions on how to make risotto.  As the description above indicates, this isn't a book of basic recipes but rather one that gives simple directions on how to make somewhat fancy food.  As such I think many of the recipes call for ingredients that are not typically found in the average kitchen, though most are available at the average grocery store.  Some call for equipment above the basic level, though your average bridal shower and wedding gifts generally provide most of the equipment.  The above-basic equipment includes immersion blenders, food processors, and stand mixers.  

I'll be trying a recipe or two and will let you know how it goes.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via the Blogging for Books program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  Grade:  B.

You can read about the author and see the first pages of the book here.

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