cookbook review: Home Cooked

Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook is not for beginner cooks.  The cookbook specializes in home cooked, from scratch meals.  Many of the recipes have multiple parts – for example, some require homemade stock or thing that have been previously pickled.  The results are delicious, but there is definitely a time investment involved.

Prepare to spend hours making the stocks, pickled veggies, etc. and stocking them up.  Once those are done, the recipes still take a long time to make – several of them  require 1.5 hours.  It would be hard for working parents who have school-aged children to make these recipes on a regular basis.  However, it is plausible for stay-at-home parents or people without children to make and enjoy these recipes.

If you can swing the considerable time commitment, home made meals are, of course, better for you.  The recipes in this book are, for the most part, heavy.  By heavy, I mean that they’re stick-to-your-ribs type meals – lots of meats.  Some of the meats may be harder to find for most people.  Where I live, it’s a little harder to find lamb and duck.

I’ve been trying to make more and more foods from scratch rather than buying the store-bought stuff.  Making my own homemade bread and crackers gives me a certain amount of satisfaction (“I made that!”), but there’s also the added benefit of knowing that there aren’t harmful chemical preservatives and artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup in the food I’m putting on the table.

If you don’t have 1.5 hours or so for dinner every night, you could cheat.  You could buy store-bought stock, pickles, bread, etc., but then you miss out on all the benefits of the from-scratch home made meal.

For me, this would definitely be a weekend book for when I’m feeling ambitious in the kitchen.  It’ll be a nice resource for when I’m retired and own my little farmhouse and have time to make everything from scratch.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


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