Cooking in Real Life: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day

Simon Element. Mar. 2024. 288p. ISBN 9781668002155. $35. COOKING
Heuck, New York Times cooking contributor and former social media assistant to Ina Garten (who provides a foreword), offers her first cookbook. Seeking full flavor from a few familiar components, her approach is uncomplicated, yet results are rewarding. Concise introductory material includes just six ingredients in the “Pantry Primer” and a tight “10 Tools for Better Cooking,” making this an unintimidating work for even beginning cooks. However, don’t mistake this for uninspired fare. For instance, spaghetti with sweet-corn pesto is a fun riff in which corn is sautéed with garlic, then pureed with olive oil and parmesan to make the pesto. Helpful notes throughout inform with tips, substitutions, how to use leftovers, and how to prep in advance or cook for a crowd. Chapters begin with snacks and drinks and proceed through desserts. In the breakfast and brunch chapter, don’t miss the decadent Hummingbird Pancakes with caramelized pineapple and pecans. Dressings, sauces, and “extras” round out the beautifully photographed recipes. For planning assistance, use the handy menu suggestions in the back, ranging from “Cozy Winter Dinner” to “Summer Grilling.”
VERDICT Heuck’s excellent debut cookbook is recommended for all public libraries.
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