Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Cookbook Round-Up [Double Review]

Title: Fine Cooking Thanksgiving Cookbook: Recipes for Turkey and All the Trimmings
Author: Fine Cooking Magazine
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 4th 2012
Source: Netgalley & Taunton Press


3.5 stars, rounded up.

Fine Cooking Thanksgiving Cookbook is a handy guide for all things Thanksgiving, and it is the kind of book that is definitely useful to have at hand when you're preparing a holiday meal.

One thing that I really appreciated about this book is all of the non-recipe advice also included. It includes tips on how to plan ahead, how to do "turkey math", and how to avoid common cooking disasters such as a cracked pie crust and burnt turkey drippings.

There was a good variety of different recipes, each paired with easy-to-follow instructions to ensure that even an inexperienced cook can understand them. There are also pictures included, which is a plus for me since I don't use cookbooks that don't have them.

While the above mentioned tidbits are positive, I also found that some of the pictures looked really outdated and grainy. I understand that these recipes are not new, but when I'm getting a new cookbook, I'd expect things to be updated a bit. It kind of took away from the book, to be honest. On the other hand, some recipes seemed a bit too simple to bother including, like shrimp cocktail and crudité. Maybe that's just because I was raised with a chef, though. So take that with a grain of salt.

Despite these flaws, there are definitely some recipes in here that I will be trying, among them Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Pie, Sauerkraut & Rye Bread Stuffing, & Turkey Soup with Ginger, Lemon, and Mint.

All in all, this is a convenient and helpful cookbook that offers tips for new cooks and old cooks alike, and is definitely worth a gander or two. Thanks to Netgally and Taunton Press for my copy.

Title: Let's Talk Turkey . . . And All the Trimmings: 100 Delicious Holiday Recipes, Tips, and Ideas from America's Top Magazines
Author: Hearst
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 23rd 2012
Source: Netgalley & Open Road Media/Hearst


Three Stars.

Let's Talk Turkey is a compilation of recipes taken from a variety of American magazines. This is a nifty little collection that takes all of the most needed and utilized recipes and keeps them together in one volume, which lessens the hassle of leafing through old magazines thinking "I know I saw it somewhere."

This book has a lot of tips and troubleshooting for how to host the perfect holiday. Let's Talk Turkey offers instructions on how to perfectly carve your turkey, helpful microwave cheat sheets, recipes for what to do with your leftovers (if you have any- I know my family doesn't!), and even a small section on how to decorate your table for the occasion. I found these tips really helpful, since I'm not the most artsy person around.

There was a good sampling of recipes here that vary from old classics to modern favorites. However, to me personally, there wasn't anything too new to try. This might be a great collection for others: there's a lot of dishes, easy to follow steps, and pictures that look tasty. I did see a few things I'd try making such as Cocoa-Spice Turkey and a sourdough stuffing.

This is good for someone doing their first Thanksgiving, or who is looking for new classics to add to their roster, but if you've been doing this for awhile like me, it's a limited resource.

Thanks to Netgalley & Open Road Media/Hearst for my copy.


  1. Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Pie? That sounds so good!

  2. Thanksgiving is so much pressure -- glad you got some good tips. I need to learn how to carve a turkey -- I always make a huge mess of it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics