Saturday, November 02, 2013

Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventerous Cook


Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: the Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook
by Aida Mollenkamp

This is one of those cookbooks from which everyone will be able to come away with something.  Beginner cooks will find helpful the way Aida explains basic techniques and even shows how to prepare some items with color step-by-step photographs.  Experienced cooks will like her slight variation on the usual favorites.  For the more adventurous Aida includes what she calls "riffs", which are variations on her standard recipe.

All of her recipes are well labeled for difficulty, number of servings, serving size, hands-on time, and total time.  There are plenty of side notes with helpful information such as if something can be made days ahead of time and substitutions.

I recently made the Pecan Date Scones for a brunch to honor one of the library's wonderful volunteers that was leaving us.  The recipe was very well laid out, easy, and - judging by everyone's comments - delicious. The hint of nutmeg in the scones is perfect for fall.  I have bookmarked several more recipes to try.

One thing that I really like about this book is the section on what to do with leftovers or a surplus of something.  For those of you who grow zucchini there is a recipe for Summer Squash Salsa.  I recently found myself with quite a bit of leftover pork roast so I plan to make the recipe for Pork Carnitas.

Aida Mollenkamp can be seen on her show Ask Aida on the Food Network and on Food Crafters on the Cooking Channel.  Keys to the Kitchen is her first book.  I look forward to her next book.

For the beginners:
How to Cook Everything: the Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food
by Mark Bittman

DVD:
Good Eats With Alton Brown

A Moveable Feast: With America's Favorite Chefs

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