Thursday, April 7, 2011

AFR: Cookbook Review

I missed the deadline once again. Here's my recap anyways! I decided to follow CVL's template this time.


Layout
Is the layout clear?
I felt as though it was clear and easy to understand.
Are you able to easily tell the ingredients apart for the instructions and the notes?
Yes.
Are the instructions easy to follow?
Fairly. Sometimes I felt as though it moved too quickly.
Are the recipes numbered or is the section labeled?
Each section is broken down by recipe type.

Aesthetics
Does the cookbook feature photos?
Some, similar to V'con. I'd like to see more.
If yes, is there a photo for every recipe?
No.
Do the photos of the recipes look like the actual results?
They are slightly done up, but overall realistic.
What kind of paper is the book printed on?
A nice, thick print.
How is the quality of the photos?
Good.

Recipes
How many recipes are in the cookbook?
I have no idea how many haha. You definitely feel as though there are enough, though.
What kinds of recipes will you find in this cookbook?
A lot of ethnic recipes. This book really explores Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and so many other cuisines, giving you lots of experience with spices.
Is there a theme to the recipes?
That they are low in fat.
Are the recipes complex or simple? would they be good for seasoned cooks and/or beginners?
I felt as though the recipes were, for the most part, for beginners. Some were meant for more experienced cooks but I think someone that had prepared a few meals before would have no problem with the book itself.

Ingredients and supplies
Are the recipe ingredients easy to find?
For the most part. Some of the ingredients I was not able to find, but it was overall easy.
Are there any items that stand out as being expensive or specialty?
Not really. The book is surprisingly cost-effective...this isn't a selling point but I found it to be.
Are there particular appliances that will be required such as blenders, juicers, dehydrators, ect?

I believe a blender was frequently used for recipes. You could definitely be fine without one though.

Information
Does this cookbook provide additional useful information?

Lots of cooking tips and introductions to new ingredients.
What additional information beyond recipes does this cookbook include? Is it easy to follow?
Basic information for low-fat cooking.

Notes:
I really enjoyed cooking from this book. The recipes are so creative and the combinations that Isa creates are truly refreshing. I will continue to cook from it (and hopefully post!) as well as recommend this book to friends. I did enjoy it more than Veganomicon. I felt as though the majority of the recipes (whereas with V'con it was only some) are inexpensive, require only easy to find ingredients, and are, of course, low-fat. My first main concern with this book, however, is that so many recipes use oil. There are many other cookbook authors that use no added fats in their cooking, and while I suppose this is low-fat and not fat-free cooking, but those recipes weren't terribly low-fat. My second complaint, although I guess it is really only a comment, is that there are no low-fat desserts offered. I think everyone participating had a comment about this, I just thought that Isa should have come up with some, if not only a few, to make the cookbook itself more comprehensive. Again, the majority of her other dessert specialty cookbooks utilize oil, and I'd prefer to minimize that (and I know I'm not alone).

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