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Friday, November 12, 2010

Cookbook Review - In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite, By Melissa Clark

I recently received a copy of In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About The Food You Love, by Melissa Clark.
The chapters are as follows:
Chapter 1 - Waffling Toward Dinner
Chapter 2 - The Farmer's Market And Me
Chapter 3 - Learning To Like Fish
Chapter 4 - It Tastes Like Chicken
Chapter 5 - I Never Was A Vegetarian
Chapter 6 - Things With Cheese
Chapter 7 - My Mother's Sandwich Theory Of Life
Chapter 8 - Better Fried
Chapter 9 - Holiday Food
Chapter 10 - My Sweet Tooth And Me
Chapter 11 - There's Always Room For Pie (and Tarts)
Chapter 12 - Lessons in Imbibing
This cookbook has no photographs. (If you've read my past cookbook reviews, you know I'm a big fan of photographs because I like to see how the finished dish should look.) Also, there are no tips or substitutions for unusual ingredients that you may not be able to find at local groceries. An example would be the Orange Blossom Water called for in the Creme Brulee French Toast With Orange Blossom Water. The recipe looks fantastic, however I had to google "Orange Blossom Water Substitute" because I've never seen this item in the store. Some recipes do, however include substitutions for vegetarians. Each recipe does, however come with a story, it could be childhood memories or how she came about developing the dish.

Some recipes that I look forward to trying:
The Mysterious David Dares Pancake, page 22
Creme Brulee French Toast With Orange Blossom Water, page 25
Spicy, Garlicky Cashew Chicken, page 122
Crunchy Noodle Kugel A La Aunt Martha, page 302
My Mother's Zucchini Latkes, page 313

About the author:
Melissa Clark writes about cuisine and other products of appetite. After brief forays working as a cook in a restaurant kitchen, and as a caterer out of her fifth floor walk-up, Clark decided upon a more sedentary path. She earned an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, and began a freelance food writing career. Currently, she writes for such publications as the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart. She also just finished a cookbook with essays based on her popular New York Times Dining section column, A Good Appetite. Entitled In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite, it will be published in September by Hyperion.

In addition, Clark has written 29 cookbooks, many of them in collaboration with some of New York’s most celebrated chefs including Daniel Boulud (Braise), David Bouley (East of Paris), Claudia Fleming (The Last Course), and Bruce and Eric Bromberg (The Blue Ribbon). A book of dessert recipes, The Perfect Finish, written with White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, is forthcoming this June. Her collaboration with chef Peter Berley, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, received both a James Beard award and Julia Child Cookbook award in 2000. Clark was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she now lives with her husband, Daniel Gercke, their toddler daughter Dahlia, and their formerly cosseted cat.
In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About The Food You Love, by Melissa Clark is currently available at,, Barnes and and your local book seller.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given this cookbook to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you:
(A) Photos, photos & photos!
(B) Unusual ingredients should have easy-ish to find substitutes!

cardiogirl said...

I am extremely surprised that a cookbook -- these days -- would be published without photos. And I've never heard of Orange Blossom Water. I'm sure I would have used orange juice and then the recipe would have sucked and I would have never opened the book again.

Sound Proud International said...

a cookbook without a picture seems to be so incomplete. the picture gives the readers ideas on how it should look after you are done cooking the recipe. :P

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