Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cookbook Spotlight: Kitchen Sense


Have you seen my cookbook shelves? They're groaning under the strain of too many books.

Ok, let's be honest: there's no such thing as too many cookbooks. Just too little bookshelf space!

I'm slightly addicted to cookbooks, a substance abuse problem shared by many of you, I'm sure.

Despite the lack of space (poor cookbooks, I've had to begin stacking them on top of each other), I keep getting more. I love reading them, I love trying out new recipes.

So when Cath contacted me last month to ask if I'd be interested in joining 25 of my closest food blogging pals to try out a new cookbook...well, what do you think?

I got my copy of Kitchen Sense: More than 600 Recipes to Make You a Great Home Cook, by Mitchell Davis, and like a lot of others, noticed the lack of photos. As in...no photos at all.

Look, I understand including photographs in a cookbook requires a certain amount of cost and effort. And I appreciate that effort...if I'm making an unfamiliar recipe, I want to know what it's going to look like!

So...I'm often put-off by cookbooks sans pictures. But I wanted to be fair, and started reading through Kitchen Sense.

What a pleasant surprise: I really got 'into' this book.

I confess...I rarely read all the extra 'stuff' in cookbooks; the foreword, the intros, etc. I just don't have time for that!

But this book? Well, it felt as though I were talking with a friend; Mitchell's writing style was conversational, and personal.

I enjoyed reading the little stories attached to each recipe, the meaning or inspiration behind it.

I skipped over the seafood section, as we really don't do fish in our house, but I fairly thoroughly devoured the rest.

The problem, as I related to Cath, was picking which recipe to make!

Matt and I found so many things we wanted to try, we had a hard time narrowing it down to one. Yes, I plan to work my through many more, but we just have the time.

I let Matt choose which dish we would make, and he decided he was in the mood for Italian meatballs, which we would then turn into a meatball sub.

The usual suspects for meatballs, ground meats (we used equal parts beef and pork), eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, herbs, and so on.

(so simple, a kid could make it!)

We fried them in oil, then simmered them in tomato sauce.

This cookbook is about 'home cooking' for an extremely broad definition of the term, so there are very few surprises or completely novel dishes.

But everything we've looked at has been a very good example of the more-or-less every day dish is represents. These are no exception.

Moist, flavorful, with a good texture. They hold together well, without being tough.

As it happens, Matt prefers a spicier meatball, but he can doctor the sauce to the same effect.

This could easily become our standard meatball recipe, should we ever need a standard meatball recipe.

Stop by A Blithe Palate and Weekend Cookbook Challenge to see what everyone else thought about this book.

And Cath? Thanks so much for including me in this!

Blog Party #12 has been announced, and we're celebrating a full year of appetizers and cocktails with a Passport Party. For July, we're traveling to our favorite places by way of the kitchen, with bites and drinks from our favorite countries. Entries are due Thursday, 20 July--early is always good--and I'll post the round-up 22 July. Hope to see you there!

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6 Thoughts for food:

At 9:34 AM, Blogger BNA said...

Great review!

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, BNA!

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous cath said...

Sweetie, thanks so much for joining! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No, thank you for allowing me to join in!

And I can't wait for next weekend!

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Jasmine said...

Hi Stephanie!

I'm slowly going through the other participants' posts. The sandwich looks great! I have such a softspot for meatball sandwiches :)

Lovely post.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Jasmine!

Matt really likes meatballs, but I've never been a fan of them. And since I no longer eat meat, he doesn't get them too often.

You can bet he enjoyed this one!


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