Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Three Cheers for Martha!

Martha Stewart's Everyday FOOD is a great magazine. The recipes are straight-forward, the ingredients are readily available, and the results are almost always satisfying. Her new cookbook Everyday FOOD: Fresh Flavor Fast is a collection featuring 250 "easy, delicious recipes for any time of day".

Since space for our ever-expanding cookbook collection is at a premium, I've begun using my library to screen possible additions. It took a couple months to reach the top of the hold list, but it was worth the wait. Over the past couple weeks, I've tried three recipes: a chicken entrée, a vegetarian pasta dish, and a dessert. All were very well-received.

First we tried Peanut-Crusted Chicken Breasts. The recipe called for unsalted peanuts, but I couldn't find them and used unsalted cashews instead. Delicious! This will become one of my 'go to' dishes. The recipe can be found here.

Next up was Farfalle with Arugula and White Beans. Again, I substituted a couple of ingredients - spinach for arugula and pine nuts for walnuts. This dish was very good, but a little bland. The recipe called for a "generous amount" of salt in the pasta cooking water (some reserved water is used in the sauce), but I probably wasn't generous enough. Walnuts may have been a little more flavorful than the pine nuts, too. This recipe is also available online.

Finally, our Mother's Day Dessert...The Lemon-Ricotta Tart was rich, but not too sweet or lemony. You'd never guess such an elegant dessert was so simple to prepare. Margaret plans to make it again for her AP Lang class. This recipe is also available on Martha Stewart's website.

Everyday FOOD: Fresh Flavor Fast is very well done. There is a wide variety of recipes, the directions are clear and concise, and there is a picture of each dish - a big plus in my book! However, since so many of the recipes available online, I doubt I will purchase the book. Instead, I will spend more time browsing Martha Stewart's website.


Book Psmith said...

I do like Everyday Food...I have one of their cookbooks and copy recipes from my mom's magazines...their recipes have been a mixture of hits and misses for me but find that tweaking them a little can make them keepers. I agree with you that their cookbooks are very well done. Smart idea to check them out through the library first...nothing irks me more than to have a huge cookbook with only a couple of recipes that are keepers. BTW, I am finally reading The Home-Maker...JoAnn, you were so right, from the first pages I have been drawn in by the intensity of the story and look forward to getting a couple of uninterrupted hours to read after all are in bed.

Kals said...

The Lemon-Ricotta tart has just made me very hungry! :D

JoAnn said...

Book Psmith -Getting cookbooks from the library is a new development for me. I seem to be hearing about good ones all the time lately, so the library is a good way to take a closer look.

So glad you're enjoying The Home-Maker... such a powerful book. I'll be looking for your review.

Kals - That tart was delicious... only two small pieces left over.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I like their little magazines. I didn't know there was a cookbook. I agree with you on checking them out from the library. It helps with the budget as well as the shelf space.

JoAnn said...

Margot - There may even be multiple cookbooks. We tried one more Everyday FOOD recipe last night that I'll be sharing sometime next week - another hit!

Booksnyc said...

wow - everything looks delicious! A good friend of mine swears by MS Everyday Food - I will have to check out the website the next time I am looking for some dinner ideas!

JoAnn said...

Booksnyc - Martha hasn't steered me wrong yet! Have fun browsing her website.