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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: Taste of Home Recipes Across America


Title: Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation
Author: Taste of Home
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 12th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Reader's Digest

★★★★

Three and a half stars, rounded up.

Taste of Home is perhaps best known for its delicious and not-so-complex meals to enjoy in your kitchen. Taste of Home: Recipes Across America includes 735 recipes spanning from coast to coast. This book is divided by region, and has a wide variety of recipes including dips, entrees, drinks, and so much more.

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This is a pretty sturdy collection of recipes that any cook would utilize as a reference were it on their shelves.

+I really enjoyed that this book was divided by region as opposed to course or ingredient. I tend to personally look for broad topics like "southern food" as opposed to something specific, so this worked perfect for me. In addition, it helped to fuel a little bit of home pride when I got to my region, the Midwest.

+When I buy a cookbook, I have to be able to see what the end result will look like. Fortunately, this Taste of Home collection has a lot of pictures for its recipe, which gives the cook a bit more of a guide to look to while they're cooking. Not to mention the pictures themselves were great looking, making even simple or even unappealing dishes look delicious.

+So many of these recipes sounded good to me, that I bookmarked dozens to come back and prepare. Recipes such as Lobster-Stuffed Beef Wellington, Chorizo-Stuffed Turkey Breast with Mexican Grits, and Concord Grape Pie intrigued me, and sound delicious.

-+That being said, a lot of these recipes are repeats, having been previously posted in either Taste of Home magazine or online. So they might have sounded delicious and looked it too, but it will be a bit of deja vu to regulars of Taste of Home. Contrarily, if you don't save recipes from online or magazines, this is a great collection to keep them all together.

-+ Part of this book's charm is that it's peppered with fun facts and tips about the various cities and regions of America, correlating with the recipes. I'm not up to date on a lot of such Americana, so a lot of these facts were fun or interesting to learn. However, I can't vouch their accuracy, based on one "fact" about Wisconsin. Sheboygan, Wisconsin is known for their delicious brats, served on a hard roll as opposed to a usual bun, butter, and often with two sausages in one bun (double brat). The fact states that ketchup is a common Sheboyganite ingredient. But my girlfriend is a Sheboyganite, and if I even thought about putting ketchup on my brat, she would put me in a Chicago Bears jersey and drop me off in Green Bay for such a crime. Much like a Chicago style hot-dog, putting a ketchup on it is a mortal sin to most*. (*apparently, it's a debatable topic. Wisconsin politics, am I right?)

-I also found that some of the recipes in here were taking up space of recipes that could be more useful. Some basic things- like banana splits, ham sandwiches, and peanut butter-fluff (fluffernutter) sandwiches- don't need recipes.

All in all, I'd put this book in my collection, since I'm not a regular Taste of Home reader and love the concept of a regional division. However, it did have a few issues that the reader should take note of.

Thank you to Netgalley and Reader's Digest for my copy.

2 comments:

  1. This book sounds really great, I love that it's separated by regions! I'm not much of a cook (as you well know), so I think that would be very helpful for not only learning how to cook, but also what recipes are traditional to each region. I also love that you said it has lots of pictures, as one who learns better by seeing rather than just reading, this would definitely be a plus in getting me to pick it up.

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    1. You'll learn to cook, dear. You'll learn.

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