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    $18.95 $8.98
    1. Get Togethers: Rachael Ray 30
    $16.50 list($25.00)
    2. Paula Deen & Friends : Living
    $13.57 $11.70 list($19.95)
    3. Being Dead is No Excuse : The
    $22.05 list($35.00)
    4. The New Best Recipe (With Free
    $19.77 $15.60 list($29.95)
    5. The Party Planner
    $19.77 list($29.95)
    6. America's Test Kitchen Live!:
    $21.00 $20.50 list($35.00)
    7. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
    $157.50 $156.89 list($250.00)
    8. Grand Livre De Cuisine
    $28.35 $14.25 list($45.00)
    9. Preston Bailey's Design for Entertaining:
    $22.40 list($40.00)
    10. The Gourmet Cookbook : More than
    $20.37 list($29.95)
    11. Cover and Bake (With Free Issue
    $21.00 $17.95 list($35.00)
    12. Lidia's Family Table
    $21.00 list($35.00)
    13. Barefoot Contessa Family Style:
    $26.40 $23.78 list($40.00)
    14. Cakes to Dream On : A Master Class
    $30.00 list($50.00)
    15. Bouchon
    $21.00 $16.48 list($35.00)
    16. Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas
    $21.45 $19.91 list($32.50)
    17. Serena, Food & Stories : Feeding
    $16.47 $10.22 list($24.95)
    18. Emeril's Potluck : Comfort Food
    $22.05 $11.50 list($35.00)
    19. Live, Love, Eat! : The Best of
    $23.09 $22.50 list($34.99)
    20. Kosher By Design Entertains: Fabulous

    1. Get Togethers: Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals
    by Rachael Ray
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1891105116
    Catlog: Book (2003-12)
    Publisher: Lake Isle Press Inc
    Sales Rank: 670
    Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic
    Simple is a good thing. As someone in his twenties, I don't like a cook lavish meals for my friends. Ray's book is good. It has a lot of fun in it. It's like the written version of Ray's Food Network show.
    I tried the tuna burger with the cocnut/white chocolate bars. I liked mixing the menus, instead of following them completley. Fun and easy foods that you'll love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
    I love this cookbook. It is simple and delicious. It makes a beginner like me into a Grade A chef with little effort. My family raves about my meals all the time. I can't wait for the next book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars a little too simplistic
    Not my favorite cookbook. I love Rachael's show, and I don't own any of her other books, but I thought for sure I'd love this one. Way too simplistic for above-average cooks, in my opinion. Few photos and even fewer inspired ideas. I am reluctant to try her other books now.

    3-0 out of 5 stars SORRY RACHEL BORING
    Im sorry Rachel Cookbook is Boring and doesnt inspire you to cook..Recipes Im sure are good however you didnt put any love into this book...feels slapped together...

    5-0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WINNER!!!!!!
    As before, I was NOT disappointed Rachael's latest book. Her technique and enthusiasm comes thru clearly, as it does on her show. I LOVE being able to make something in about 30 min.. even if it takes ME 31 min or so (I don't chop as fast)!! BUT!!! being retired does not mean I have more time to spend in the kitchen..if anything I have LESS.. So being able to put together a meal quickly works great for me and my (also retired) husband. THANKS FOR THE LATEST EDITION of your collection of recipes and cooking techniques. WE LOVE your show and watch it all the time. You have an infectious smile... Can't wait for the next cook book ...I AM SURE one is in the works!!!!! ... Read more


    2. Paula Deen & Friends : Living It Up, Southern Style
    by Paula H. Deen, Martha Nesbit
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743267222
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 72767
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    3. Being Dead is No Excuse : The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral
    by Gayden Metcalfe, Charlotte Hays
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401359345
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-16)
    Publisher: Miramax Books
    Sales Rank: 752
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of social and cultural insights throughout
    Southern life and death receive close inspection and a healthy dose of humor in Being Dead Is No Excuse; The Official Southern Ladies Guide To Hosting The Perfect Funeral.. Traditional Southern recipes for casseroles, relishes, and 'funeral and wake food' dish up a healthy (or unhealthy, at times) dose of authentic Southern cooking and observation mixed with a pinch of humor. Plenty of social and cultural insights throughout.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Yankee View
    "Being Dead is No Excuse" by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays is very funny, charming, and perhaps more accurate than some might like to admit.I admit it, I am a "Yankee," (Though to a true Northerner, a Yankee is from New England, and one who eats apple pie with sharp Cheddar cheese for breakfast!), but I am highly familiar with funerals and preparations for "a good send-off."Metcalfe and Hays have written a funny, touching book that has aspects (and aspics!) that are applicable anywhere in the United States.However, this otherwise excellent book has been marred by sloppy, sloppy editing, as is too common any more.One thing, the hymn is "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past," not "Oh God....."And some of the recipes, which are mostly Southern classics (and rightly so!) lack crucial information as to pan sizes, or yields.If you're not going to cook from this book, no problem, but many of the recipes are so appealing, that it is really unfortunate that they were not edited better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gayden, you still got it!
    My family has known Gayden Metcalfe's family all my life.I even went to school with Gayden's daughter.This wonderful book is pure Greenville, Mississippi.I think it would surprise many to know that most of the tongue in cheek stories and commentary are much more fact-based than anyone outside the Delta would guess. My favorite has got to be the difference between Episcopalians and Methodists.Having grown up on the Methodist side of the battle, I have to admit she's dead on in her description of our Campbell's mushroom soup-based funeral fare.I was so happy to see that Daddy had picked up a signed copy for me from McCormick's when I was home to visit last week.It's a wonderful triumph for Greenville, Gayden, and the Owen family salutes you.Cheers!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THAT'S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE SOUTH !

    Forget Scarlet, Zelda, and Tallulah, they pale beside the ladies of the Mississippi Delta who are dedicated, determined, and (pun intended) deadset on seeing the dearly departed off in style.

    "Being Dead Is No Excuse" is laugh out loud funny, true, and chock full of recipes for must-be-served dishes at after funeral receptions.Tomato aspic with homemade mayonnaise tops the list that includes Aunt Hebe's Coconut Cake and Virginia's Butterbeans. Those who doubt the import of a table groaning under countless casseroles will learn that "Nobodyeats better than the bereaved Southerner.We celebrate weddings, christenings, birthdays, and just about every milestone in life with food.But every southerner knows that death cooking is our very best."

    Now, it's not only the food, but it's also the presentation. For Southern ladies, polishing silver is a form of grief therapy thus the serving pieces will be immaculate.In addition, linens are required."We do not want Mildred to go under with paper napkins."

    Metcalfe forthrightly addresses the vanity often ascribed to Southern women by describing an older lady who passed away and wanted to be "laid out" as she looked during the happiest days of her life - when she was a waitress.Thanks to the craftsmanship of the local undertaker she appeared in her coffin in waitress uniform with ruby red lips and the same color hair.

    Then there is Lavinia, the former wife of a philanderer.Not wishing to be outdone at his services, she made a Botox appointment, bought designer duds, and hired a King Air private jet which she directed to buzz the church.There wasn't anyone with ears who didn't know "someone" had arrived.Then, Lavinia strode smartly down the aisle stage-whispering, "I don't want anybody to know I'm here.....I just came for the children."

    Greenville, Mississippi native Metcalfe hasn't missed a beat in relating the rollicking rites and rituals necessary for the Southerner's final goodbye, including the frequency of their visits to the local cemetery."We won't forget you just because you've up and died," she writes."We may even like you better and visit you more often."

    Few will forget "Being Dead Is No Excuse."

    - Gail Cooke

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Near Perfect Funeral
    Having just laid to rest my 96 year old Aunt Jewel the very day the review came out about "Being Dead is No Excuse," I knew things were really OK and she was sent off in good stead, not just with the Lord but in good ole Mississippi Delta style.The family having all gathered for visiting and telling funny stories about Aunt Jewel, along with friends for the after funeral socializing, prepared to feast.I should add that being Baptists, there was no official alcohol present...!However, there were cakes, fudge, brownies, chocolate pies, banana puddings, Coca Cola cake (my personal favorite), lemon icebox pies, then the casseroles, deviled eggs, fried chicken, potato salads, chicken salads, congealed salads,lasagne, iced teas (both sweet and unsweet)Cokes and diet Cokes, and other beverages.I was saddened, however that there were no pimento cheese finger sadwiches or even pimento chees sadwiches cut on a diagonal with the crust removed...so sad.As a matter of fact, there was no pimento cheese of any sort. I felt that we owed someone an apology for not having the PC sandwiches but didn't know who to apologize to, so I just let it go. The night before there wwere deviled eggs, potato salad along with the best darned bbq chopped Boston butt you could ever sinkyou teeth into.
    I loved my Aunt dearly and am proud to say we sent her on her jouney in style.
    We read the book review the afternoon of the funeral and laughed til we cried and wished Aunt Jewel could have been there to enjoy all that magnificent Southern cuisine and laugh with us.It acutally made things a little easier and a lot more enjoyable.
    If you want to go in style but are of the Northern persuasion, feel free to come to the Mississippi Delta to die...we won't mind very much...it's a Southern thing you know.You really should get this book, it's a hoot and it's Southern...! AND, Being Dead is (Really) No Excuse.
    ... Read more


    4. The New Best Recipe (With Free Issue of Cook's Illustrated)
    by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $22.05
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0936184795
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: America's Test Kitchen
    Sales Rank: 1077
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    Book Description

    With The New Best Recipe, we invite you into America’s Test Kitchen where you will stand by our side as we try to develop the best macaroni and cheese, the best meatloaf, the best roast chicken, the best brownie, and nearly 1,000 more best recipes for all your favorite home-cooked foods.

    Behind this book is a deeply felt understanding of how frustrating it can be to spend time planning, shopping and cooking only to turn out dishes that are mediocre at best. With The New Best Recipe in hand, you will have access to a wealth of practical information that will not only make you a better cook but a more confident one as well. In fact, as long as you follow our instructions, we guarantee that these recipes will work the first and every time.

    We have also included 800 illustrations showing you the best way to do almost everything from how to carve a turkey and beat egg whites properly to how to frost a layer cake and set up your grill. Also, get valuable information on how and when to splurge on that expensive knife or baking pan and when the basic model will do just fine. We also explain the science of cooking since understanding the science of food can help anyone become a better cook.Complete with recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, The New Best Recipe ... Read more


    5. The Party Planner
    by David Tutera
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0821261657
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-27)
    Publisher: Bulfinch
    Sales Rank: 9032
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    Book Description

    David Tutera is a highly regarded event designer whose clients have included Elton John, Barbara Walters, Star Jones, and Susan Lucci. He is also the host of a new one-hour, twice-daily program on the Discovery Channel, Party Planner with David Tutera, that debuts in January 2005. On the show, Tutera lends his expertise to people looking to throw an unforgettable party on an everyday budget. Tutera brings a fresh, original twist to holiday parties while retaining time-honored traditions. He demonstrates novel and affordable--yet utterly sophisticated--approaches to special occasions, holiday and cocktail parties, and dinner parties.

    In this heavily illustrated book of the same name, each chapter covers a different party that will also be aired on the show. Tutera emphasizes addressing all five senses--the taste, the look, the sound, the scent, and the touch--of every event. Also included are "Tutera Tips" for invitations, entertainment, decor, menu ideas, table settings, and floral arrangements.

    David Tutera is already a noted name, but THE PARTY PLANNER will bring his reputation and signature approach in entertaining to a broad new audience. ... Read more


    6. America's Test Kitchen Live!: The All-New Companion to America's Favorite Public TelevisionCooking Series (America's Test Kitchen)
    by Cook's Illustrated, John Burgoyne, Daniel J. Van Ackere, Carl Tremblay
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0936184825
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
    Publisher: Boston Common Press
    Sales Rank: 3613
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    7. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
    by Ina Garten
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609602195
    Catlog: Book (1999-04-06)
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 53
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Lauren Bacall gets cranky when Barefoot Contessa, an East Hampton specialty food store/institution for more than 20 years, is sold out of Indonesian Ginger Chicken. She can now thank her lucky stars that exuberant owner Ina Garten has written The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and included this recipe. Ms. Bacall is sure to be pleased to discover how easy it is to achieve such fantastic flavor. Simplicity is something of a bottom line at Barefoot Contessa. "Food is not about impressing people," Ina Garten says. "It's about making them feel comfortable."

    Aimed at the cook who intends to entertain, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook draws on Garten's experience as a caterer, as well as her knowledge of what customers really want to eat when they arrive at her shop. She has culled her favorite recipes and has included timesaving tips, always striving for ease and simplicity. Neither cooking nor entertaining should be a chore, according to Ina Garten, and her lovely cookbook is a case in point.

    This is an intensely illustrated cookbook that shows the foods to best advantage (and makes it a lovely gift book). Presentation counts for a great deal, and Garten's food styling adds to any food platter. But just as relevant are photos that bring in the spirit of fresh, locally grown produce. There's the local poultry producer proudly holding a laying hen in case anyone should wonder where the eggs come from.

    Starting with appetizers, Ina Garten isn't afraid to include such basics as hummus and guacamole: she knows from experience that her versions make a profound impact. There are French Onion Soup and Corn Cheddar Chowder, Baked Virginia Ham and Salmon with Fennel, Roasted Carrots and Caramelized Butternut Squash--and then one killer dessert after another. Included, too, are some breakfast specialties. Any upscale bed and breakfast could have this book in the kitchen and get rid of all others.

    This isn't a cookbook about getting outrageous with food. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is about warming the hearts and souls of your guests with familiar food raised to a gourmet level. --Schuyler Ingle ... Read more

    Reviews (145)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Used To Hate Cooking...
    Before I found The Barefoot Contessa I hated cooking. Even after building a new home with a large, beautiful, functional kitchen, I wasn't interested. In fact my oven didn't get used for the first two months. Then a friend recommended Ms. Garten's book and I liked it because it looked pretty on my countertop. Since the day I opened it, my husband says I'm a changed woman.

    My first attempt at a recipe was Parker's Split Pea soup, which is as delicious as my mother's (sorry, mom) and sooooo simple. If you can use a knife to chop veggies you're 90% there. The Rosemary Whitebean soup (use FRESH rosemary or don't even bother) enticed my neighbor to ask about the aromas she could smell from her yard. I then moved on to recipes that required more focus but are easily followed like Filet of Beef Bourginon (my husband's all-time favorite) and Swordfish with Tomato and Capers with Parmesan Smashed Potatoes served at a dinner party for eight (something I never would have even considered a year ago) where a guest inquired about whom I used for a caterer! Overall, extremely well written and simple to navigate your way through each recipe. Ina's side column notes are helpful personal touches, like why to use Kosher salt instead of table salt. (I had never even heard of such a thing...) The biggest rewards are hearing guests rave about MY cooking and, of course, enjoying the incredible food in my newly-discovered kitchen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ava Gardner would have approved!
    This lavishly illustrated volume containing many stunning full-color photographs of finished dishes as well as locally grown produce strives for elegant simplicity and proves that good food need not be complicated. The dishes described are not difficult to prepare and require no special expertise or equipment. The author provides clearly written recipes that call for widely available ingredients. She knows that even standard dishes can benefit from fresh thinking and encourages inventiveness in the kitchen. This book would make a lovely gift for anyone who likes to entertain simply, naturally, and with style.

    Another book that I highly recommend is Sonia Uvezian's masterpiece, "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen," which has to be one of the greatest ethnic cookbooks ever written. It too inspires innovation and brims with magnificent recipes suitable for entertaining that have consistently brought me raves from both family and guests. Uvezian's recipes for hummus with red pepper paste and for pomegranate wine punch are just two of the hundreds in her book that will bring you fame as a cook.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice recipes, but impractically rich
    There's no doubt that Ina Garten's recipes are almost universally delicious. Every single item I've tried from this book has been a hit.

    A big but, however: These things taste so great because they contain WAY more fat and sugar than the everyday versions of the dishes. This is standard practice in the restaurant/catering industry, but there is a reason that gravy at your favorite restaurant tastes so much different from your grandma's. Granny didn't load hers up with a cup of whipping cream on top of a heavy butter/flour roux.

    Where the standard "Joy of Cooking" recipe for an item might call for whole milk, Ina uses heavy cream. Where Fannie Farmer wants 2 tablespoons of butter, Ina uses half a cup. Please explain to me why mashed potatoes need heavy cream, butter and sour cream.

    I'm far from a dietary scold, but this book has to be used as for special occasions only. Live on a day-to-day diet of these recipes, and you're going to end up looking like their author.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Barefoot Contessa is the BEST!
    With an extensive cookbook collection, it is rare for me to make more than one or two recipes out of a single cookbook. This book would have to be the exception to that rule. I would highly recommend this book to any of you. I have a large family, the recipe sizes do not intimidate, and do not require doubling for our family gatherings. Ingredients are high quality, and fresh. I have made the Pecan Squares and taken them to work, handed out the recipe to nearly everyone. The Maple Oat Scones have been made approximately a dozen times, and are always a hit! Veggies roasted in the oven? Incredible. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!
    This is definitely a must have for any kitchen or coffee table. The recipes are delicious!! The pictures are beautiful. She is absolutely awesome!! ... Read more


    8. Grand Livre De Cuisine
    by Alain Ducasse
    list price: $250.00
    our price: $157.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2848440007
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
    Publisher: Harry N Abrams
    Sales Rank: 26607
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    An Alain Ducasse Book

    World-renowned French chef Alain Ducasse believes that food arouses all the senses. In this sumptuous book, he takes us on a culinary journey for both eye and palate. Here he shares the culinary experience, knowledge, and love of ingredients he has refined over the past 25 years.

    Today, Ducasse feeds his passion for cooking through restaurants all over the world and a professional-level cooking school. He is now ready to bring his know-how and enthusiasm to American professional chefs and experienced home cooks, providing 700 recipes from French and Mediterranean cuisine that incorporate 100 basic ingredients and use 10 major cooking styles. Each dish is described in full, with recipes for accompaniments included; complete instructions for plating the entire dish are given as well. An appendix offers an encyclopedia of ingredients as well as basic recipes (sauces, stocks, and so on). Illustrated with more than 1,000 photographs and original drawings, Grand Livre de Cuisine will be an indispensable reference-and inspiration-for years to come. AUTHOR BIO: Alain Ducasse is regarded throughout the world as one of the most prominent French chefs. Along with three gourmet restaurants, Restaurant Plaza Athénée in Paris, Le Louis XV in Monaco, and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York, he has also created more than 15 new concept restaurants worldwide and a professional-level cooking school.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Serious cooks only need apply -
    First and foremost this is a cookbook for serious cooks/chefs. No compromise in the ingredients or the techniques required executing the dishes. The recipes are very detailed and very complicated, and, as with many chef cookbooks, it assumes you know how to cook! Don't be in a hurry to produce the dishes, read many times, absorb the essence/idea of the dish and then you should go!

    I've just started 'wading' through it and expect to be checking out the ideas here for a many weeks (I read most cookbooks in a day!). I have been waiting for this book for over a year (when the English translation was supposed to be published), and expect it be my new cooking/ideas reference.

    For someone seriously into cooking this book is worth every cent (dollar?), especially with the amazon price! There are some translation/execution errors but to be honest anyone who knows how to cook and is used to Haute Cuisine style cookbooks can work the problems out fairly easily. And it is more usable than the more expensive (though interesting) Adria's El Bulli book.

    I give would probably have given it 4 1/2 stars if it was an option, but it gets 5 for the shear quantity and quality of ideas, and the photography is superb.

    1-0 out of 5 stars High Priced Baloney
    In theory, this is a wonderful book.However, unless you know
    French and have been cooking for a hundred years, you might want to think twice before shelling out this kind of money.The translation is AWFUL, with some recipe cmponents being translated two ways in two different places.There are hundreds of instances where the translation is simply WRONG.If you read French, you can sometimes puzzle it out.

    The index is also inadequate.There are multiple components to many dishes that really could/should be stand-alone recipes. Yet in this encyclopedia, it is impossible to find these components without having memorized the main dish's title.

    The pictures are wonderful.There are lots and lots of wonderful recipes in here, but somebody should have turned this over to some English speaking chefs and recipe writers before letting it hit the streets.

    Big disappointment, and for what is probably the most expensive cookbook ever, it shouldn't be.

    Buyer beware. ... Read more


    9. Preston Bailey's Design for Entertaining: Inspiration for Creating the Party of Your Dreams
    by Preston Bailey
    list price: $45.00
    our price: $28.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0821227653
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-11)
    Publisher: Bulfinch
    Sales Rank: 10640
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    PRESTON BAILEY'S DESIGN FOR ENTERTAINING is the ultimate sourcebook of inspiration for creating the perfect ambience for any major party or event. Bailey guides the reader through the planning process from large decisions- picking a theme, setting the mood, and transforming the space to fit the vision for the event-to the details such as flowers, lighting, and table settings that all come together to create a unique environment. Full-color photographs of events including Melissa Rivers' wedding and the launch party for Oprah's O Magazine showcase the spectacular results of his approach. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and inspiring
    The photography is gorgeous, the ideas are inspiring - overall, a solid portfolio of some of the best designing in the world. It not only provides a glimpse into the over-the-top world of haute couture weddings and fetes, but also provides details and inspirational ideas for anyone. A can-do attitude combined with a book that is well written, beautifully conceived and flawlessly executed. Well done, Mr. Bailey.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
    It was exactly as it said...a resource for creating the party of your dreams. If you're the type of person who thinks buffalo wings is a party staple...it's not for you.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Too much!
    I was very disappointed. Beautiful photographs of garish subjects that the average person couldn't possibly duplicate made it almost ridiculous. I love museums and that's what this book reminded me of. You can look, enjoy and appreciate but can't take it home and use it. Thumb through it at a store and save your money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
    If you would like to see the finest design work done in NYC,
    get this book. His sensibility to detail is astounding!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Elegant
    Preston Bailey's book is simply beautiful and elegant. I had seen snipets of Melissa Rivers' wedding on television and in print, but the pictures in the book really bring it to life. I never knew so much could be done with flowers and fruit, until I bought this book. It is a real treat! ... Read more


    10. The Gourmet Cookbook : More than 1000 recipes
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $22.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618374086
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co
    Sales Rank: 22
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    Amazon.com

    When Gourmet magazine opened shop in 1941, it addressed a small epicurean audience. In those days, fine dining was French, seafood specialties always seemed to include cream and sherry, and game made the meal--or so the magazine preached. The bill of fare has changed since then, and fine dining now includes dishes from the world's four corners, commanded by a broad, food-aware audience. Over the years, Gourmet has chronicled all this, changing to reflect a wider, more democratized food scene that has also, paradoxically, raised the bar on what's expected of the average, too-busy cook. The Gourmet Cookbook is the most comprehensive of the magazine's recipe anthologies--a mega-tome offering more than 1,000 formulas drawn from Gourmet since its birth.

    The statistics are indeed impressive: more than 100 hors d'oeuvre recipes; an equal number of vegetable dishes; 200 desserts--21 chapters in all, touching all courses and including stops at breakfast and brunch specialties; breads and crackers; plus sauces, salsas, and preserves. Included are recipes from Gourmet contributors like James Beard and Jean-Georges Vongericten, and hundreds of sidebars like "Salad Greens Primer" and "Blind Baking," all useful and informative. There are classic dishes like onion soup gratiné, gefilte fish, corn fritters, and peanut butter cookies; "new classics" such as fried calamari and spaghetti alla carbonara; and the "modern," including oatmeal brûlée with macerated berries and grilled lobster with orange chipotle vinaigrette--"every recipe you'd ever want," says the text, something of an understatement.

    Cooks should know, however, that this is not a basic cookbook, despite its Noah's ark of formulas. Rather, it's a Gourmet cookbook, which means that, notwithstanding some rudimentary recipes, the focus is on the stylishly up-to-date (which is not to deny the excellence of the formulas), resulting, often, in refinements. Thus its recipe for mac and cheese calls for dijon mustard and panko; its beef stroganoff requires cremini mushrooms; its grilled chicken calls for brining; and so on. Recipes can also run to over 450 words, and require unusual ingredients. (A list of sources is provided.) Of all its chapters, those for sweets are the most immediately attractive.

    For all the praise, though, there's one major goof. The recipe titles are printed in a light butter-yellow color, making them almost illegible. For many readers, this will be a deal-breaker; others will find it merely annoying.Should you own the book? For dedicated cooks and foodies the answer will be, How can I not?--Arthur Boehm ... Read more


    11. Cover and Bake (With Free Issue of Cook's Illustrated)
    by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0936184817
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
    Publisher: America's Test Kitchen
    Sales Rank: 2853
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    12. Lidia's Family Table
    by LIDIA MATTICCHIO BASTIANICH
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400040353
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-23)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 147
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    13. Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family
    by Ina Garten
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 060961066X
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-29)
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 125
    Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Ina Garten, who shared her gift for casual entertaining in the bestselling Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Parties!, is back with her most enticing recipes yet—a collection of her favorite dishes for everyday cooking. In Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Ina explains that sharing our lives and tables with those we love is too essential to be saved just for special occasions—and it’s easy to do if you know how to cook irresistible meals with a minimum of fuss.

    For Ina, the best way to make guests feel at home is to serve them food that’s as unpretentious as it is delicious. So in her new book, she’s collected the recipes that please her friends and family most—dishes like East Hampton Clam Chowder, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, and Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. It’s the kind of fresh, accessible food that’s meant to be passed around the table in big bowls or platters and enjoyed with warm conversation and laughter.

    In Ina’s hands tried-and-true dishes are even more delicious than you remember them: Her arugula salad is bright with the flavors of lemon and Parmesan, the Oven-Fried Chicken is crispy without excess fat, and her Deep-Dish Apple Pie has the perfect balance of fruit and spice. Barefoot Contessa Family Style also includes enticing recipes that are memorable and distinctive, like Lobster Cobb Salad, Tequila Lime Chicken, and Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash.

    With vivid photographs of Ina cooking and serving food in her beautiful Hamptons home, as well as menu suggestions, practical wisdom on what to do when disaster strikes in the kitchen, and tips on creating an inviting ambience with music, Barefoot Contessa Family Style is the must-have guide to the joy of everyday entertaining.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Comfort Foods
    I loved this book's theme/subtitle: to make all your guests feel like family. The beautiful format and layout, as well as the photos, makes this a cookbook to be treasured. Many of the recipes are simple, basic ones that many of us already have, which is why I gave this four stars instead of five.

    As usual, every recipe I have tried has been a success (Turkey Lasagna, Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, Shrimp Scampi, Rice Pudding, Mustard Vinagrette). I especially love the simple ingredients and the non-fussy style of the cooking. The recipes please my family and myself and keep my time in the kitchen at a minimum, which makes me very happy.

    Although I did not garner as many new recipes from this cookbook as I did her other two, I would not hesitate to give this as a wedding shower gift to a novice cook.

    Looking forward to Ina's next cookbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks
    Of the three Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, this one is my favorite. Ina Garten's recipes are particularly great for parties, as the vast majority of them are relatively easy and not terribly time consuming. I made a number of these dishes for a New Year's Day party; the turkey lasagne, Buffalo chicken wings and rum raisin rice pudding all got rave reviews from my guests. I also made the shrimp scampi as a quick after work dinner for my husband and myself; it was absolutely to die for. Hands down the best scampi I have ever tasted, at home or in a restaurant. As in her earlier books, most of Garten's desserts and baked goods are heavy on the cream and butter, but most are fabulous. If you're looking for Cooking Light, this book ain't it. But if you're willing to splurge when company is coming, this is really a terrific cookbook.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not the best of the three
    I've had this book for over a year and have only cooked a few recipes from it. Today I stopped and asked myself why, considering I use her other two books almost religiously! A couple things I figured out

    1) many of the recipes while they are simple, they require last minute sauteing or preparation while your guests are there. I think that's why her other books are great for entertaining -- the recipes allow you to spend time with your guests.

    2) much of the book is taken up by recipes which you probably already know how to make (sauteed carrots, tomato mozzarella and basil salad, sauteed spinach, mashed potatoes, rosemary polenta, roasted winter vegetables, mashed butternut squash).

    3) I'm a vegetarian, and many of the recipes are not vegetarian friendly.

    There are DEFINITELY great recipes in this cookbook, and if you own Ina's other two books, definitely get this one. If you are buying your first Ina Garten cookbook, go for one of the other two.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy, kid friendly recipes that will knock your socks off!
    This is my all time favorite cookbook. I use it again and again. For my family, friends, company, and kids. I've given out many of the recipes to those who've tasted the foods I've made.

    These recipes are easy, not too many ingredients, big, colorful photos of the finished dish on each page.

    The foods are broken down into sections, i.e., breakfasts, desserts, kid meals, etc...Easy to find something quickly to make!

    My favs have been the broccoli/bow tie pasta dish for kids, the birthday cake and the flag cake. Both my kids love to help in the kitchen, and I always give them a job to do while cooking. They love this book and all the recipes I've made from it. You will NOT be disappointed in this one!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ina is the best!
    I love all the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (and I have them all!) I think I like the Family Style one the best and have made the most recipes from it. I can honestly say that I usually use one or two recipes from a cookbook (and I have many), but I've used at least a dozen recipes from this book. My favorite was linguine with shrimp scampi. Her recipes just make sense. I have never had one NOT turn out. I would recommend this book (and both the others as well) to anyone. I can't WAIT until her French cookbook comes out in November. ... Read more


    14. Cakes to Dream On : A Master Class in Decorating
    by ColettePeters
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $26.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471214620
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-27)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 4968
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    Book Description

    A beautifully illustrated, step-by-step guide to the sophisticated art of cake decoration–from one of the world’s premier cake designers

    Master cake decorator Colette Peters has developed a large and tremendously dedicated following among serious home cooks and professional cake bakers who love her magnificent, whimsical cakes. In Cakes to Dream On, she presents an astonishingly beautiful new array of her original cake designs, including Homage to Dr. Seuss, Rainbow Carousel, Colorful Cloisonné, Floral Inlay, and Bridal Brocade cakes. She includes more in-depth instructions and explanations of techniques than ever before, along with templates and insider tips on sugarwork, gumpaste, fondant, brushwork, and piping. More than 150 color photographs and a gorgeous full-color interior make this book a wonderful gift as well as an excellent kitchen resource.

    Colette Peters (New York, NY) is the owner of Colette’s Cakes. Her creations have appeared at royal weddings and major diplomatic functions, including White House events. She is the author of four books, including Colette’s Birthday Cakes and Colette’s Cakes: The Art of Cake Decorating. She recently won the Beaver Creek International Culinary Classic: The Wedding Cake Challenge, which will be televised on the Food Network. ... Read more


    15. Bouchon
    by Thomas Keller
    list price: $50.00
    our price: $30.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1579652395
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
    Publisher: Artisan
    Sales Rank: 87
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    Book Description

    When Thomas Keller imagined opening a second restaurant in Napa Valley, next door to his French Laundry, he envisioned a place serving food that excited him in a different way from the food at the French Laundry. He craved food that was less complicated, and a place that was more casual, where he could go every night after work. And that was how Bouchon was born.

    Bouchon cooking is about elevating to elegance the simplest ingredients, because the best food isn't necessarily what is served at white-tablecloth restaurants, and the best meals--as most chefs will tell you--don't require the most expensive ingredients or lots of them or lots of steps. The only thing that's required is that you care about all the stages of the process--the slow browning of sliced onion for an onion soup, the proper cutting of the potatoes for a gratin, the right amount of salt on a raw chicken, how long you cook a pot de crème.

    All the emblematic bistro dishes are here, interpreted and executed as they've never been before. The confit of duck, country-style pâtés, soupe à l'oignon gratinée, steamed mussels, steak frites, gigot d'agneau, all achieve the impossible: they get even better.
    ... Read more


    16. Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun
    by Ina Garten
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609606441
    Catlog: Book (2001-03-27)
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 185
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    "A good party is not about the food," says Ina Garten, "it's about the people." That may be true, but her Barefoot Contessa Parties! will ensure that your next party is a fabulous one, regardless of your guest list. Garten, author of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and a monthly column in Martha Stewart Living, has been catering since 1978. So who better to put together a collection of entertaining theme parties? She's included everything from drinks and hors d'oeuvres to dessert and coffee, as well as notes about what "surprises," atmospheres, venues, and table decorations lend themselves to each. Because she likes to attend her own parties (and who doesn't?), almost every recipe is make-ahead and remarkably uncomplicated.

    From casual get-togethers, such as the Pizza Party--which includes recipes for Caesar Salad with Pancetta, California Pizzas that your guests can assemble themselves, and Ice-Cream Sodas--to the elegant Academy Awards dinner--where your guests will enjoy Raspberry Vodka, Rori's Potato Chips with Caviar Dip, Smoked Salmon with Mesclun, Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic Roasted Potatoes, and Chocolate Ganache Cake--Garten's parties are well thought out and well organized. Divided by season, you'll look forward to Summer's Outdoor Grill, which starts with Real Margaritas, followed by Endive and Avocado Salad, Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa, Spaghettoni al Pesto, Tomato Fennel Salad, and Peach Raspberry Shortcakes for dessert. Autumn brings beautiful menus like the one where you cook with your guests and end up with a feast of Potato Pancakes with Caviar, Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, Rack of Lamb, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, and Apple Crostata. Winter's menus bring soul-warming food, such as Seafood Chowder, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, and a recipe for possibly the world's best Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Spring offers menus such as the Sunday Breakfast, with a main course of Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs, and the Jewish Holiday Party, with Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls.

    Filled with funny party anecdotes, a bit of Ina Garten history, and clever hints and tips to help guarantee the success of these recipes, this collection, subtitled "Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun," delivers on every count. --Leora Y. Bloom ... Read more

    Reviews (56)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally! A cookbook for the rest of us!
    I love to cook and bake but I run screaming from complicated recipes. This cookbook contains simple recipes for really great-tasting food. It is uncomplicated and the adjoining photographs are simple and elegant. Never have I found a cookbook where page after page I have found recipes that I actually want to try.

    I made the ceasar salad the first day I bought the book, the sour cream coffee cake the second. Both turned out fantastic! Tomorrow I shall conquer the delicious-looking rugelach.

    The book is touted for parties but don't let that fool you. These are great recipes for simple family dinners as well as large parties. The book is also sprinkled with Ina Garten's advice and past experiences.

    I thank Ina Garten for this wonderful new cookbook - but moreover, my husband thanks her!

    3-0 out of 5 stars More of a lifestyle than a cookbook, but fun to look through
    This book has gorgeous photos and is fun, but it's not really designed for a regular person's life. Garten's idea of parties, which she writes in the introduction, are mostly small gatherings. This means that the book isn't very helpful for larger groups.
    There are some tips on organizing the party, but not as much I would have liked, such as a timeline of how when to prepare things. Of course, when you are only doing a small party this isn't as important, but even for the tea for 25 she doesn't tell you how you should store things or what you should make first and last.

    My major complaint would probably be the cost of the recipes. Wow. This book is about how we might like to entertain our closest and dearest friends if we had a vacation house in the Hamptons and a BMW (oh wait...). So, really the book is about an ideal lifestyle most of us just wish we had.

    It's a fun read and has some interesting recipe ideas, but is not all that practical.

    5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful!
    All of Ina Garten's books are great. Recipes are easy to follow, ingredients readily available, and dishes always get rave reviews. I use her recipes on an almost daily basis. Many great ideas for enteretaining also. All 3 books are must haves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    I love Ina's shows and books and have found that the recipes always turn out just as they should. This is the second Barefoot Contessa book I have bought and although I haven't made quite as many recipes from this one as I have from Family Style (I just got Parties!), I can tell already that this one is a winner.
    So far I've made the Spinach Gratin & Apple Crostata, both to rave reviews. ANyone who tells you that her books are not value for money is totally nuts. All of her recipes are totally dependable and keep me coming back again and again.
    Please try he Family Style. It's magnificent!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Gives you what you expect. Nothing More. Others are Better
    This is Ina Garten's second of three cookbooks and the one most closely patterned after the flagship work of her mentor, Martha Stewart. It presents ideas and recipes organized for small scale entertaining at home. As such it is no match for Stewart's 'Entertaining' volume, to which I would direct you if you need to plan any serious parties with more than eight guests.

    Garten's first book was simply recipes from her catering business. They were probably the best she had. This book adds value to a simple collection of recipes by organizing courses into party menus designed for sixteen different family and close friend occasions. The third book seems to be composed of leftovers.

    The choice of events to celebrate is a bit quirky in that traditional occasions such as Christmas, Graduation, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Mardi Gras / Carnavale, and St. Patrick's Day are not included. Rather, ten out of the sixteen are 'moveable feasts' in that the menu is appropriate to just about any occasion. Some are limited by season such as 'Outdoor Grill' and 'Canoe Trip', but many are generic indoor excuses to have a good time, such as 'Sunday Breakfast', 'Pizza Party', and 'Fireside Dinner'.

    Unlike Stewart's book, there is really not much serious advice on how to organize for parties. Much of it is common sense plus clever ideas for special events, such as the idea to pack picnic portions in Chinese takeout cartons.

    Garten has the advantage of claiming with full justification that her recipes are all specifically developed and test to work in a small party environment, as she has been in the catering business doing just this thing for many years. On reading her recipes and seeing many of them done on her Food Network TV show, I believe almost all of these recipes are simple and short in prep time, if not very cheap. The few recipes which take more than a page of large type are the baked goods. As Garten says herself, many are more a matter of 'assembling' than they are of cooking.

    Next to books from publishing house Alfred A. Knopf, cookbooks from Clarkson N. Potter have the most distinctive style. Where Knopf's books tend to follow the sedate style of Julia Child's classics, Potter's books for Stewart and Garten go for lots of large, glossy, very good photographs. Following the maxim that one eats with their eyes before their mouth, this may even help sell cookbooks with it's appeal to the visceral. Unfortunately, a rational look at the content versus the price suggests this book is a bit short on value. I will give Garten credit for referring to recipes in her earlier book rather than filling pages in this book with repeated recipes. I may be visually challenged, but photographs in cookbooks rarely create a positive impression and often create a negative impression if they are poorly done. In this book, I think they are a wash. They are too caught up in being artistic to give great value to the culinary, but they are not bad photos, so, they do nothing for my appreciation of the recipes.

    At $35 list price for sixteen menus and about eighty new recipes, I say this is only a modest value for the cost. The tie-in to the TV show adds some value, but not much. I would recommend Sheila Lukins' book 'Celebrate' as a serious resource for family gatherings. I already suggested Martha Stewart's book as a better source for larger events.

    I recommend this book to any Ina Garten fans plus anyone who already has the other volumes recommended in this review, and simply needs more ideas. Professional caterers are an obvious choice. The book delivers the expected content in an attractive package. Nothing more. ... Read more


    17. Serena, Food & Stories : Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
    by Serena Bass
    list price: $32.50
    our price: $21.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1584793473
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-12)
    Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
    Sales Rank: 9695
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    Book Description

    When chic Manhattanites absolutely must throw an amazing party, there's only one name programmed into their speed dials: Serena. With a client list that includes Sigourney Weaver, Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, and Iman, the woman knows how to host a gathering. It's no wonder New York magazine called her company, Serena Bass, Incorporated, "the best food in the city, hands down."

    In Serena, Food and Stories, the fabulous Ms. Bass shares 100 choice recipes, from Guadalajara Hash for brunch, to Chicken Curry Tea Sandwiches, to a mouth-watering Italian buffet. Organized into menus for 11 occasions, large and small, the focus is on ways to make guests feel both well fed and welcome. Part entertaining cookbook, part dishy memoir, this fun read includes charming anecdotes about Serena's family, friends, husbands, and her one faithful companion, Ruby-her little Westie. Between Serena's infectious, highly social vibe and the to-die-for dishes, it'll definitely keep home cooks-and their hungry pals-turning the pages. AUTHOR BIO: London-born SERENA BASS is a high-profile caterer based in New York City. In addition to her successful catering business, she is the namesake behind Serena, the bar/lounge in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel, which she opened in 1999 and has since sold. This is her first book.
    ... Read more


    18. Emeril's Potluck : Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude
    by Emeril Lagasse
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0688164315
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
    Sales Rank: 529
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    Amazon.com

    Emeril Lagasse needs no introduction. TV chef par excellence, and author of eight other cookbooks, he's become something of a one-man industry. Emeril's Potluck, concerned with "comfort food with a kicked-up attitude," follows the MO of his other books--easy, attractive recipes (in this case 150-plus of them) presented in a voce that will be reassuring to some, while all-too-familiar to others. If Potluck seems even more mechanically formulaic than the other books, it nonetheless contains many valuable recipes for a full range of dishes and drinks. Among these, Cajun Quiche, Oven-Poached Salmon with a Pink Grapefruit and Tarragon Sauce, and Slow-Cooked Pork Roast with Barbecue Sauce are representative and worthy. The drink section shouldn't be overlooked and contains recipes for the likes of Milk Shakes for grownups, which include kalúa, and the nonalcoholic mango lassai. Two casserole chapters offer easy treats like Mexican Breakfast Casserole and Risotto and Mushroom Casserole. Desserts like Deep-Dish Banana Pudding with Chocolate Sauce are satisfyingly no-frills. The guiding--perhaps, nominal--idea is that the dishes are perfect for gatherings, picnics, and tailgate parties, but they're also suitable for everyday enjoyment. Readers should also note that many of the recipes require Emeril's food products--for which online sources are given, but no descriptions. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more


    19. Live, Love, Eat! : The Best of Wolfgang Puck
    by WOLFGANG PUCK
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $22.05
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375508910
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-29)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 73181
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Wolfgang Puck's enthusiasm for good food could light up several small cities, and you'll find the proof on the pages of Live, Love, Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck. In 150 of his favorite recipes Wolfgang Puck demonstrates why and how flavorful food and fun can't be separated from each other--certainly not in his kitchen.

    Consider the ubiquitous guacamole recipe. Puck calls his version California Guacamole. His ingredients are few, the flavors marshaling around roasted whole garlic, which adds to the whole an underlying sweet and mellow deliciousness. It's an act of elevation and restoration for one of the grand treats of the Southwest. Puck is a master of the respectful tweaking of familiar recipes and ingredients in favor of rejuvenation and flavor. The lowly chicken comes to mind. Chicken pot pie becomes Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Puck replacing the traditional crust with delicate dumplings. With Spicy Chicken Pizza (the chicken is marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and minced jalapeño chilies) Puck takes this Neapolitan standard on a side trip to Mexico. Viener Backhendl, Austrian fried chicken, meets Asia by way of panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs. And so on.

    Live, Love, Eat! has chapters devoted to appetizers, soups, salads, pizza and pasta, seafood, poultry, meat, accompaniments, and desserts. This is a richly illustrated book showing what results look like and how they get there. A final chapter, "Basics," is worth the price of admission.--Schuyler Ingle ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wolfgang Delivers More Than I Expect. Sound Cooking
    On the face of it, Wolfgang is unquestionably one of the best-known names in the world of culinary celebrities. To the great general public, he is probably the only name and face to outshine Emeril Legasse. But, the celebrity of both men seems to be based more on media exposure than on sound culinary achievements. While chefs such as Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Daniel Boulud, and Tom Colicchio are less well known, their reputation with foodies is soundly based on culinary achievement, even if only known through their writings and reputation through media reviews. Puck's reputation to the world at large is based primarily on his position as caterer to the Academy Awards and other high visibility Hollywood events. He has a fairly large network of successful restaurants, including some middle end chain style establishments. I have always had the suspicion that he stole some thunder from Chez Panisse in the popularization of 'California Cuisine', especially since Jeremiah Tower, the self-proclaimed inventor of this movement looks down his nose at Puck in his book 'California Bites'. Similarly, Tower buddy Jim Villas, not known for having any California stripes, thinks little of LA's Puck while praising New Orleans' Lagasse. Lastly, Wolfgang has gone the budget route in lending his name to a low end line of cookware, competing with Martha Stewart's everyday ware rather than with Emeril's high-end All-Clad lines.

    So does Wolfgang have real chops in the kitchen?

    The evidence of this book is that his written cuisine is at least as good as Emeril's, his teaching approaches the quality of Jacques Pepin, and his creativity with the fusion of Latin American and Oriental cuisines with European concepts appear no less tasty than those of Norm Van Aken. The only thing the book lacks is that little twist most celebrity chefs give their books nowadays. The twist here is simply that it is from Wolfgang Puck.

    The good things about this book are:

    1. Listing of all recipe names in the Table of Contents. This feature automatically makes a good cookbook more valuable, especially a mid-sized celebrity chef book like this. This fits the best use of the book as a resource for finding dishes for entertaining to fit a particular theme or taste.

    2. The emphasis on the sensory queues to the progress of cooking rather than on blind timings. All good chefs repeat this principle, but Wolfgang puts it front and center. This is a central skill of the professional chef whose work would be simply impossible if she worked by time with half a dozen dishes fired at a saute station at the height of service. It is also one of those professional tricks which should be learned by the home cook. The problem of the amateur is that while the recipe may have been written using a gas range and a zinc clad copper saute pan, the cook at home is probably using an electric range with a Teflon coated aluminum pan. And that is just one of the variables.

    3. Puck's chapter on basics is first rate, including very useful pictures at all the right places. It covers all the usual techniques for artichoke surgery, but it also includes recipes for court bouillon, puff pastry, and fish stock. I am of two minds with material like this. There are books which include a few pages of worthwhile material and try to give the impression that this is all you need to know, when people such as Jaques Pepin and James Peterson have written whole books on this subject and have not exhausted the subject. So wouldn't the author have been better off devoting this space to more recipes? On balance, I think Wolfgang did us a service and his material here makes me want to seek out his earlier books to find more of the same material.

    4. Wolfgang's recipes are a pretty fair mix of the traditional, such as the oft repeated Pasta Puttanesca and the chicken pot pie, to the trademark neuvo Pizza with smoked salmon and caviar.

    On the negative size, Wolfgang's English writing seems to have the same Austrian accent as his speech. I'm really surprised that a publishing house such as Random House couldn't supply a copy editor to smooth out some of the more mangled wordings. Also, the subtitle of this volume is 'The Best of Wolfgang Puck', but it doesn't make clear whether that means the best material from his earlier books, the best recipes from his restaurants, or the best material from his TV shows. This is a small matter, but it would have added value to the material.

    As someone, like Wolfgang, of Austrian background, I am often disappointed that the second most prominent Austrian-American (after Arnold Schwarzenneger) who also happens to be a famous chef does not do a book of Austrian food. But, this book is no slouch. I would recommend it to anyone who has few cookbooks and is looking for an entertaining menu resource or simply for a wider variety of recipes. It is just slightly pricy at list price for 125 recipes, so look for it at a discount. For foodies, this book gives good value in honing one's pantry ingredients and prep skills.

    As other reviewers have noted, these are not quick or easy recipes, but they are worthy of anyone with the time and interest in improving their cooking skills.

    2-0 out of 5 stars You would have to LOVE the work nuveaux cuisine requires
    to be able to enjoy this cookbook, because,

    ONE, All the recepies are much more complicated versions of classic dishes that I have prepared in the past .... ie. I tried to fry the spaetzle dish to a golden brown ... good luck ...

    TWO, Some of the recepies just don't even cut it as far as taste is concerned...... I have for years made Salmon tartare from an old Russian recepie so I was pleased to try the Tuna tartare in this book ... but .. even sticking to the ingredients ... there was a lot left over after the party ....

    I think this book and the recepies would be great in a kitchen where you have more than 1 cook preparing the meal ..... sorry ,,,,,...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad overall but too elaborate for household kitchen
    In this cookbook, Wolfgang Puck brings together all his favorite recipes and dishes from his famous restaurant. The cookbook is divided into different sections such as Appetizers, Soups, Pasta etc. The sections helped me find what I was interested in cooking that day, without having to do too much searching.

    I thought that this cookbook was very nicely laid out and the design was beautiful and tasteful. Some of the recipes were also interesting and made a nice presentation when cooking for friends.

    Now that I¡¦ve told you some of the good things about this book, here was one thing that I didn¡¦t like about this cookbook: I think the recipes lean towards the elaborate side of cooking things. Most of the meat dishes take more than 30 minutes to cook without the preparation time and require extra steps that I normally would not take for everyday cooking just for myself. Most of the time while I was cooking I felt that there would have to be an easier way to do some of the steps. It would be best not to follow the instructions blindly and do a little modification when cooking with this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy Ways to Cook at Home Like a Great Chef
    I eat at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe in Evanston a lot, and have been to the Spago in Chicago for a special occasion. I love the food at both places. But I never thought I could cook Wolfgang's great food at home until I picked up this book and saw how simple he makes it. His instructions are really easy, and he includes step-by-step photos to show you exactly how. And the finished food pictures look mouthwatering and aren't fussed up like lots of cookbooks. I've made several of his chicken dishes, all delicious, and some incredible soups. My family went crazy over the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and his garlic mashed potatoes. The cheesecakes are the best ever. And his chocolate cupcakes with the warm melting centers are [super].

    5-0 out of 5 stars WOW - Easy to Follow and Great Tasting Recipes
    I am a stay-at-home mom, so I look for cookbooks that are easy to follow. Even though my girlfriend recommended this book, I was hesitant to buy it because I figured Wolfgang's food would be much too hard and fancy to make. But she was right, the recipes were easy and had really cool step-by-step photos. I have made his Chicken Pot Pie, Fettuccine Wolf-fredo, and Potato Salad so far, and they were all outstanding. My husband said jokingly that he is going to kiss Wolfgang for making his wife into a good cook. I definitely think this book should be in every home kitchen. ... Read more


    20. Kosher By Design Entertains: Fabulous Recipes For Parties And Every Day
    by Susie Fishbein
    list price: $34.99
    our price: $23.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1578194474
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: Mesorah Publications, Limited
    Sales Rank: 10183
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Susie Fishbein has done it again! A new cookbook with all the elegance and flair of the original best-selling Kosher by Design, with more magnificent photography, great ideas and an array of fabulous recipes! Each recipe is simple yet elegant enough for any Shabbat, holiday, party or everyday meal. In addition, Susie reveals the secrets of successful hostesses. From an outdoor picnic to a formal anniversary dinner, Susie knows how to make your guests feel at home.

    Kosher By Design Entertains features:
    Over 250 brand new recipes and 200 stunning color photographs
    Triple-tested recipes ensure accuracy, ease of preparation and elegant presentation
    Nine different party formats complete with menu suggestions
    Tips on creating the perfect ambience
    Special Passover index
    Resource and Buying Guide ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book and Lots of Good Ideas
    The only problem I have with this cookbook is that I look at it and the food is beautiful. My own results will (usually) please the ones doing the eating, but they sure aren't going to look this good.

    I notice in the opening of the book she refers to her creative team to set a mood, set a table, accessorize it, and given us room for inspiration. I guess that's it. I don't have a creative team. I notice a couple of times she covers the table with something for her husband. Yes, it looks great, but the old man probably wouldn't notice any difference if it were covered with yesterday's newspaper.

    But what you really want out of a cookbook is the recipies. And what you really look for in recipies is something that sounds good, but which you are probably going to just use as a place to start as you add/subtract things that you like better. And I've got to say, I got some great ideas here. I have tried everything I want to use, but I will.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MOVE OVER MARTHA!
    Move over, Martha...there's a new cook on the block!

    Kosher by Design Entertains is definitely not your typical Kosher cookbook. There are over 250 innovative, inspired recipes, including Tri-Colored Matzo Balls, Mexican Gefilte Fish, Seared Duck Salad, Roasted Eggplant Soup, Balsamic Braised Brisket with Shallots and Potatoes, Hazelnut and Honey Crusted Veal Chop, and Triple Chocolate Explosion. Wow! Susie Fishbein obviously loves to use the best ingredients available to make elegantly simple, yet innovative food that wows the eye as well as the palate.

    Kosher By Design Entertains is jam-packed with magnificent photography that is so mouth-watering, it may even inspire you to rush right into your kitchen and start cooking! There are fabulous photo spreads for nine different party themes, each for a different occasion with a different format, e.g., a baby shower (dessert buffet), engagement party (cocktail party), anniversary party (formal dinner) and housewarming (buffet). The creative and eye-catching presentations have been designed to inspire you to adapt the details to your own entertaining needs.

    If you are looking for some delicious twists to update your traditional Passover menu, look no further. The Passover Guide at the back of the book lists 70 recipes, along with substitutions and modifications, that are appropriate for Passover. Recipes are designated as meat, dairy, pareve and gebrokts.

    She includes suggested menus for other Jewish Holidays, a Resource Guide for unusual kosher ingredients, and a Buying Guide for the cooking tools and housewares that are photographed throughout the book.

    Fishbein is an everyday cook who loves to share her passion for cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Remarkably, she is mostly self-taught. However, chefs from three famous restaurants worked with her in her own kitchen to develop some of the recipes for this book, providing a fusion of Italian, French and Asian cultures.

    When I spoke with Susie recently to interview her for a Passover article on my website Gourmania.com, I asked her for some simple suggestions for an elegant, hassle-free Passover Seder menu, plus some of her favorite recipes (you can find the recipes below on my website).

    "I don't like to have 17 dishes on the table," she replied. "I prefer a lot less food and like to choose dishes that don't cause stress. I know there will be kids at a Seder and they love my green Shrek-style Spinach Matzo Balls. They can be made in advance, which is perfect."

    I asked her what she would suggest as a main dish. Without hesitating, she said, "Rib Roast with Melted Tomatoes is outstanding. It tastes best when served fresh, so it would make an ideal main course for the second Seder, Sunday evening. The hasselback potatoes also taste best fresh from the oven."

    I asked about her Roasted Beet Salad. Susie said "Not one person in my family likes beets. Not one person left a drop of this salad over when I served it and it was requested the very next night! You can easily make it in advance."

    Without a doubt, "Kosher by Design Entertains" belongs in every Jewish kitchen! It is an outstanding resource for elegant entertaining with ease.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Transforming kosher cuisine
    Susie Fishbein is transforming the way we look at kosher cuisine and putting it on par with any other gourmet food. This is an entertaining cookbook first filled with fabulous recipes and fun party ideas and a kosher cookbook second. Besides her own recipes, the book has those from top restaurant chefs as well. The book also has a much appreciated food resource list for unusual and hard to find items.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best
    Usually when I buy cookbooks, I read them try maybe 1 or 2 items and then they collect dust.But this one hasn't left my counter since the day I bought it.I highly recommend purchasing this book; and not only for the food- but the table settings are brilliant

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book has been better than therapy!
    Like most guys, I never know what to give as a gift.So when my mother's birthday approached, I felt that old tightness in my chest.Then I happened to see this new cookbook.It inspired me. So - I gave it to Mom and I think it made up for all the lousy gifts I gave her over the years - starting with that toad when I was five! She calls me almost daily to tell me what new recipe she tried.And I get invited over to taste test everything now!Thanks, Susie Fishbein.A therapist couldn't have improved things to this degree! ... Read more


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