Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wrapping Up Perfect Vegetables, and Up Next

December 15th snuck up on me. My failure to love America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated books in the past had me a bit wary of Perfect Vegetables at the start, but this month has passed quickly, with few outright failures, several wonderful successes, and a whole list of recipes that I still want to make.

Standouts were the Greek-Style Potatoes, Assertive Greens with Bacon and Onion, and the Wilted Spinach Salad with Feta, Olives, and Lemon Vinaigrette. I could eat a dinner of just those three things, and be a happy, happy girl.

Perfect Vegetables is a keeper. I wasn't wild about every single recipe, but the ones I loved, I loved more than I thought I would. I mean, we're talking about vegetables here. How great can vegetable recipes be? Turns out, very. Plus, this book brought much-needed diversity to my vegetable repertoire. I expect that this book will be open on my counter often. Braised Fennel with White Wine and Parmesan looms in my horizon. mmmmmm

Up Next is Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. I know I hated So Easy, but I've actually cooked a good number of recipes from TFYC in the past, and liked most of what I had. I get the sense that Ellie put everything she had into that book, and had run out of good ideas by the time she hit So Easy. So, let us not judge poor Ellie, based upon So Easy.

Matt once teased me that cookbooks are my friends. As long as cookbooks aren't my only friends, I'm A-OK with that statement. ha! Following that analogy, though, Ellie is the sweet friend who nudges you to lose weight by asking you to join a gym with her, because she needs it. As I mentioned previously, I've turned into a treat-eating psycho with no off-switch this holiday season, so in the interest of cooking from a more health-minded book, my choice was between this or The Essential Eating Well Cookbook, which I dread getting around to.

A few of my go-to recipes come from The Food You Crave (Ellie makes a kick-ass pork tenderloin), but I'll focus mostly on recipes I haven't tried yet.

This is your second chance, Ellie. Don't let me down.


  1. Treat eating psycho, huh? :-)
    Glad you found a keeper & good luck with the next one. (Amazon currently has two books enroute to Chez Cher- I am in SO much trouble...)

  2. Ha! Alot of books are my friends! Looking forward to the new book :)

  3. Ooh, which 2 books are you getting, Cher? I believe Santa bought me a few. YES!

  4. I just wanted to say "hi" - I found your blog through your comment on Tipsy's blog. I, too, have a toddler who will eat no meat or veg, so I feel your pain.

    The last time I thumbed through The Food You Crave looking for a recipe just so happened to be the day that I came down with the stomach flu, so I'm really hoping you post some great reviews that will make me want to pick up that book again. :)

  5. Hi to you, too, Tori! Frustrating trying to feed them when they won't even try the food, huh? Stomach flu is definitely not a good association to draw to anything, much less, a cookbook. Fingers crossed for good recipes!

  6. I've long been a fan of ATK so I'm glad to hear Perfect Vegetable made a convincing case for you. Hopefully immersing yourself in healthy eating cookbooks will help to offset some of the holiday treats! I know I need help this year too. ;)

  7. Perfect Vegetables sounds like a cookbook I need on my shelf. Glad you liked it and am looking forward to hearing what you have to say about The Food You Crave.

  8. Interesting and good to hear. I don't have any ATK books, but I do subscribe to their website and I liked their show when I lived in the US. Since most cookbooks focus too heavily on meat I think it's great to have a book which focuses on veggies. I may have to consider this one.