Journal

Review: The Chopped Cookbook

It’s unusual for me to post multiple blogs in one day. Let alone multiple book reviews, but the way I review cookbooks, they go pretty quick. I could try out a few of the recipes before I review them, but I’m typically pretty good at knowing what I will like and what I won’t. I also know what in my opinion will look like it is complicated to make and what isn’t. As a general rule, when I try to make new recipes, they might not always look like the pictures, but they look to be pretty close so I think I made it right.

I’ve never watched the show Chopped on the Food Network. To be fair, my husband and I don’t get any TV channels. We dropped our cable subscription about a year ago and just never even bothered hooking it up to an antenna to get the local stations. My sister watches a number of shows on the Food Network and has told me about them. It’s probably a station I could get interested in since I love to cook and bake. The show Chopped has always intrigued me. While I like to experiment in the kitchen, I never deviate from recipes too far. I don’t always bother to measure out seasonings or sometimes I’ll give something an Italian flair or a bit of Mexican pizzazz. I don’t think I would be comfortable taking a basket of random ingredients and trying to make something out of it though. I don’t have the knowledge of what flavors compliment one another or how to make a basic sauce off the top of my head. So for those of you who can cook that way, I’m impressed!

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From the back cover: 

Never again let the question, “What’s for dinner?” stump you. The Chopped Cookbookfeatures secrets for combining pantry staples to make exciting meals.

If you’ve ever looked into your fridge, hoping for inspiration to strike, let The Chopped Cookbook help you shake up weeknight dinners. Just as each basket on Chopped has many tasty possibilities, so, too, do the contents of your refrigerator. By showing you how to spin your favorite ingredients into 188 fun, doable, and delicious recipes—including go-to guides for making salad dressings and pan sauces, four-ingredient market baskets that can go in many tasty directions, and ideas for ways to reinvent pasta dinners—the culinary masterminds at Food Network set you up for mealtime victory every night.

This is one of those cookbooks where the good far outweighs the bad. First of all, just flipping through the book, the pictures were quite drool-worthy. I found myself looking at those more than the recipes themselves. If I made fish that looked like some of those pictures I might actually eat it and forget it was fish (I detest seafood). Beyond the pictures though, the recipes were made up primarily of things that I either currently have in my pantry or commonly would at some point (some produce for example or other staples such as rice or particular kinds of meat). I can appreciate this in a cookbook. Since I enjoy trying to new recipes, it can get expensive to go out and buy things that I need for just one meal. But a cookbook that utilizes the same grocery list for most of it, that I can appreciate.

One downside of the book, for my slightly pickier palate, it was hard to find a lot of recipes that look like they will appeal to me. That is something I have a hard time with a lot of cookbooks that might not be as true for other people, but this is one of those books that I wish had more recipes that would appeal to me.

And after that one negative thought, here is another positive: There are a handful of recipes that seem as if they came straight from the show. There is a picture with a few items in it and following it are three easy recipes using those items. I loved these pages. I also found a couple of tables about sauces quite helpful as well as instructions on how to create your own.

While I might not be cooking a lot of recipes out of this book, it had definitely earned a spot amidst my cookbooks. It met my expectations and has given me some new ideas to try out in my own kitchen.

For more on this book, please check out the following link:

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**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

 

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