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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beat This! Cookbook - Ann Hodgman




Released March 2011

www.hmhco.com

Technically, this isn't a new cookbook. Beat This and Beat That have made the rounds before. If, like me, you missed them, Beat This! Cookbook is a must-have. If you're looking for healthy, look elsewhere. If you're looking for recipes that will impress your guests, you'll find many winners here!

The cookbook is laced with humor from start to finish. I spent more time chuckling than I think I ever have reading one of Alton Brown's cookbooks (another must-have collection in my opinion.) Many times, I was mentally high-fiving the author for being so completely right. When talking about how brownies are best when cooked "custard-like," I call it "mooshy" but same difference. I haven't tried her brownie recipe yet, mainly because Alton Brown has a killer recipe with tons of melted chocolate that I think is the world's greatest, though her recipe is similar so I'm betting just as awesome.

The roast chicken recipe is fabulous. It's one I've been using for years (stuff the cavity with lemons) and that and my beer-can-up-the-butt chicken are family favorites. She also has recipes for things like Brussels sprouts, lentil soup, bread, meatloaf and much more. Every recipe looks intriguing, others I'd tweak just a bit. One is the Brussels sprouts recipe. I've made them for years using the heavy cream that she uses, but toss in bacon pieces and nutmeg and even those who claim to hate them will munch away.

 What makes Beat This! Cookbook so enjoyable is that Ann Hodgman comes across as a friend sharing her dearest recipes. The writing is honest and amusing. I had to read it twice. Once for the comments and the other time to actually look at the recipes and pick out the ones to try. As soon as it is out in stores, I plan to get a copy for my cookbook collection. It's just that good.

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