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America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook  This thread currently has 755 views. Print Print Thread
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Brighid45
Monday, July 16, 2007, 5:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

INFJ
Kyosha Nim
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My roomie K works at the central library in our county. She has one really great perk with her job--she usually gets a deep employee discount on books, dvds and cds, as well as first chance at all discarded books and purchase 'mistakes'.

Last Friday she brought home one of the 'mistakes'--a ring-bound copy of The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. (America's Test Kitchen is where Cook's Illustrated magazine comes from.) I pored over it all weekend, and the only word to describe it is--WOW. Just WOW. Excellent recipes (most easily converted to BTD compliance), tons of 'here's how to do it' explanations that are simple and easy to follow, plenty of beautiful photographic illustrations, and all kinds of tables--roasting times, brining times and formulas, cuts of meat and their origin--for all kinds of food. Also there's a terrific section on slow-cooker and pressure-cooker recipes. The emphasis throughout the book is on good quality fresh ingredients and simple procedures to bring flavorful and nutritious meals to the table--exactly what we're all looking for, yes?

It is expensive--$40USD (we lucked out and got ours for $20)--but it is a huge tome that's worth every penny. This should be on every BTDer's shelf. Check it out at your local bookstore or library.


Everyone is entitled to his or her informed opinion. --H. Ellison
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Peppermint Twist
Monday, July 16, 2007, 6:03pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Gatherer; iNfj; BTD/GTD aficionado; lost 97 lbs
Kyosha Nim
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Briglet, have you seen the PBS cooking show series, "America's Test Kitchen"? It, too, is fantastic. They go through a LOT of experimentation so that, by the time a recipe makes it to the show, it is absolutely wonderful. They also do comparison tests of some kitchen gadgets and things, as well as doing blind taste comparison tests of different products.

Anyway, I think the companion cookbooks for the series would be great to have because, like I said, they test and test and TEST all the recipes until they really get them right. Not sure if the book you have is one of the ones that corresponds to the recipes seen on the PBS series, but imho, you are right: anything from "America's Test Kitchen" is fabulous!


"If you are on one of Dr. D's diets and it isn't joyful, you aren't doing it right." - moi

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Edna  -  Monday, July 16, 2007, 6:07pm
Edna  -  Monday, July 16, 2007, 6:06pm
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Peppermint Twist
Monday, July 16, 2007, 6:12pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Gatherer; iNfj; BTD/GTD aficionado; lost 97 lbs
Kyosha Nim
Posts: 11,136
Gender: Female
Location: Florida
Age: 53


"If you are on one of Dr. D's diets and it isn't joyful, you aren't doing it right." - moi

my Facebook page

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Edna  -  Monday, July 16, 2007, 6:30pm
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Brighid45
Monday, July 16, 2007, 9:40pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Yes, this is the same group that does the show on PBS. Cooks Illustrated is the magazine they put out. I highly recommend both the series and the magazine. You not only get the best recipe possible for the item you want to make, you get the reasons why it's the best recipe. They also test equipment and ingredients, which is great when you're looking for a new pie plate (they recommend plain old glass Pyrex plates available in most stores) or red wine vinegar (Spectrum Naturals Organic Red Wine Vinegar), for example.

I often use my old copies of Cooks find good recipes worthy of converting over to BTD compliance. With very few exceptions (and those were mainly due to my own ineptitude), they were spectacularly successful.


Everyone is entitled to his or her informed opinion. --H. Ellison

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Edna  -  Monday, July 16, 2007, 9:41pm
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Melissa_J
Monday, July 16, 2007, 10:14pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sa Bon Nim
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I love their publications, and the tv show. If you sign up for email notifications on their website, you can occasionally get offers for half price cookbooks, CI's annual edition, etc.


Type O+ blogger, secretor afterall. Gluten intolerant. With two gluten intolerant sons:  A+ Secretor 10 yo (also fructose intolerant and slightly egg allergic), and  O- 7yo.
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Brighid45
Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 5:09pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Great point Melissa--their website rocks Love the email notifications too. I'm working on building a library of their publications for reference. I use their recipes more than just about any other group or author.

The thing I like about how ATK does things is that they 1) take a favorite recipe, one that at least most North Americans know well; 2) they state the desired result (crispy pan-fried chicken, tender savory pot roast, perfectly stir-fried rice and vegetables, etc); 3) they experiment with methods and explain what worked and what didn't--and why; and 4) they give you the final best recipe, which is always written in clear, concise and simple terms, mapped out step by step with excellent line drawing illustrations for methods that might be difficult or unfamiliar. Along the way you often get tips on the best ingredients to use (blind-tested by the staff themselves) or best equipment to buy (tested right in the kitchens). So you get the science and the art of cooking--the best of both worlds! Understanding the chemistry and creating the subtle mystery that makes for delicious and nourishing food is one of the most satisfying and delightful accomplishments, and it's available to anyone who wants to take the time to learn, experiment and enjoy. ATK is an excellent guide along the way, imo.

Okay, off my soapbox now.


Everyone is entitled to his or her informed opinion. --H. Ellison
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zola
Sunday, July 22, 2007, 8:18am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The back of Cook's Illustrated has beautiful, original artwork on the back cover. I'm having 2 framed for my kitchen. (This is the magazine by the Folks that do America's Test Kitchen).

There are over a dozen color drawings of heirloom tomatoes and the other with 10+ kinds of apples.

It's a great magazine full of useful stuff. I also own some of their books - find yours on sale at Costco!  No regrets!  


It is so pleasant to explore nature & oneself at the same time, doing violence neither to her nor to one's own spirit, but bringing both into balance in gentle, mutual interaction.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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Brighid45
Sunday, July 22, 2007, 3:23pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

INFJ
Kyosha Nim
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I love the illustrations on the backs of the magazines too I think you can get the posters at the ATK website too. There's one for chile peppers, another for unusual summer squashes, potatoes . . . all gorgeous pen and color wash drawings, very elegant.


Everyone is entitled to his or her informed opinion. --H. Ellison
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