Tuesday, March 10, 2020

30-Minute Cookbook for Beginners: 100+ Recipes for the Time-Pressed Cook

30-Minute Cookbook for Beginners is a tutorial guide and recipe collection for streamlined food-prep using simplified ingredients. Due out 17th March 2020 from Callisto on their Rockridge Press imprint, it's 176 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats (ebook available now). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

The book has a logical and easy to follow format. Chapters 1-2 cover the background meal planning and ingredient buying for a weekly menu (including a pantry staples lists and tools and supplies) as well as a very general beginner-accessible discussion of the time-saving and streamlining techniques. The author also includes some logical pointers about containers, ingredients, and supplies. The recipe chapters are arranged thematically: breakfasts, snacks and sides, sandwiches salads and bowls, meatless mains, seafood, poultry, pork and beef, and desserts (in 15 minutes or less). There is no included nutritional information, although special dietary information is included (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy, etc).

The recipe chapters include a surprisingly varied selection of different world cuisines: Italian, American, Asian, and more.

The recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. Measurements are given in US standard only. Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and cooking directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store. The book also includes a short author bio, and a metric conversion chart, but lacks any index or general ingredients index.

My one small quibble with the book is that the recipes are mostly not photographed. There are some photos, and they're clear and attractive, but they only represent about 5% of the recipes included in the book.

Four stars. This would be a nice selection for a young person living on their own for the first time, or anyone who has the desire to learn to prepare tasty food simply. This would be a nice skill-building cookbook for a young kid with adult supervision.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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