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The America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook

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Everyday home cooking is one thing; dinner parties and holiday get-togethers quite another. Planning and logistics are complicated. Unless your spouse is a master chef and you have infinite kitchen space, you have to think through everything to avoid a personal meltdown. America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook dissolves the stress of preparation by focusing on every element o Everyday home cooking is one thing; dinner parties and holiday get-togethers quite another. Planning and logistics are complicated. Unless your spouse is a master chef and you have infinite kitchen space, you have to think through everything to avoid a personal meltdown. America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook dissolves the stress of preparation by focusing on every element of the occasion; from the overall themed menus to individual recipes for appetizers, main courses, sides, desserts, and drinks; make-ahead instructions; tips about shopping and supplies; time budgeting and temperature issues; and more. The best way we know to make you part of the party.


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Everyday home cooking is one thing; dinner parties and holiday get-togethers quite another. Planning and logistics are complicated. Unless your spouse is a master chef and you have infinite kitchen space, you have to think through everything to avoid a personal meltdown. America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook dissolves the stress of preparation by focusing on every element o Everyday home cooking is one thing; dinner parties and holiday get-togethers quite another. Planning and logistics are complicated. Unless your spouse is a master chef and you have infinite kitchen space, you have to think through everything to avoid a personal meltdown. America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook dissolves the stress of preparation by focusing on every element of the occasion; from the overall themed menus to individual recipes for appetizers, main courses, sides, desserts, and drinks; make-ahead instructions; tips about shopping and supplies; time budgeting and temperature issues; and more. The best way we know to make you part of the party.

30 review for The America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I'm going to go ahead and add this as a book I've read, even though I don't normally do so with cookbooks. I practically have this memorized. My son's favorite thing to do almost every day is to sit down on the couch with me, this book, & his dinosaur blanket and "read" this. We look at the pictures and he says "Mmmm" or "Gock", depending on his preference. Also "Ball" for meatballs and tomatoes. I've made five or six of the recipes with great success, and honestly, if G damages it & I have to p I'm going to go ahead and add this as a book I've read, even though I don't normally do so with cookbooks. I practically have this memorized. My son's favorite thing to do almost every day is to sit down on the couch with me, this book, & his dinosaur blanket and "read" this. We look at the pictures and he says "Mmmm" or "Gock", depending on his preference. Also "Ball" for meatballs and tomatoes. I've made five or six of the recipes with great success, and honestly, if G damages it & I have to pay for it at the library, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Fellow library workers, I did not just say that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I've always loved looking at beautiful cookbooks, especially ones that have beautiful, mouth-watering illustrations, and recipes that are not too complicated or time consuming. This is my first experience with ATK's Cookbooks, and it's all that I look for in a cookbook and more (some recipes are a bit more involved and/or take longer to prepare.) The book has (51) different complete menus for every occasion, special occasions and holidays included. There are about (250) different recipes all toge I've always loved looking at beautiful cookbooks, especially ones that have beautiful, mouth-watering illustrations, and recipes that are not too complicated or time consuming. This is my first experience with ATK's Cookbooks, and it's all that I look for in a cookbook and more (some recipes are a bit more involved and/or take longer to prepare.) The book has (51) different complete menus for every occasion, special occasions and holidays included. There are about (250) different recipes all together. What is great is that there are seasonal recipes with lighter dinners, cold soups etc. for summer entertaining, and more substantial meals in fall and winter months. All the recipes are for 8-12 people, and the idea is that you can prepare these dishes ahead of time so that when your guests arrive, you can spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with your guests. There are several things I like about this book, especially if I were to give it as a gift to someone just starting out. At the beginning of the book there is a section on cookware and tools to make your life easier in the kitchen. (with all the gadgets now available, this can be very confusing when you are a novice in the kitchen). Every menu shows what can be done in advance and when, but they leave it up to you to actual do the implementation, and there is even an emergency substitution list that is terrific if you've run out of an item. I also liked the sections on Quick Preparation Tips and Clever Serving Tricks and Clean-Up Ease. Last minutes appetizers and Easy Desserts were also great. All this plus simply gorgeous, glossy illustrations, and this book will be one that you would be proud to display on a coffee table. Some of my favorites (all of the desserts make me drool) which I plan to try are: Elegant Salmon Dinner - Israeli Couscous with caramelized fennel and spinach New England Cod and Potato Dinner Tomato and Mozzarella Tart (made with sheets of frozen pastry puff) Mushroom Pasta Supper Beef Tenderloin Dinner - potato and fennel gratin Individual Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes served with ice cream Lemon cheesecake with hazelnut crust Lemon Tarts (to die for) Oatmeal fudge bars Cranberry upside down cake If you aren't familiar with ATK's Cookbooks, you must check them out!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is a beautiful book as well as helpful by America's Test Kitchen. The beginning of the book lists items you may need for a well stocked kitchen. They explain how the kitchen items are used. They have a section on quick tips that make your food preparation easier. Also there is an emergency substitution list which is wonderful for the items you may have forgotten to pick up at the store. The rest of the book is full of menus divided up by the season. Each menu includes at least one picture w This is a beautiful book as well as helpful by America's Test Kitchen. The beginning of the book lists items you may need for a well stocked kitchen. They explain how the kitchen items are used. They have a section on quick tips that make your food preparation easier. Also there is an emergency substitution list which is wonderful for the items you may have forgotten to pick up at the store. The rest of the book is full of menus divided up by the season. Each menu includes at least one picture which I find extremely helpful in a cookbook. Each recipe includes a small paragraph on why the recipe works. I love the little explanations. They are both helpful and informative. My daughter and I chose a Fall menu, Farmhouse Chicken Dinner. We chose this one as we thought it was one of the easier menus in the book. Our menu consisted of Rustic Breaded Chicken with Brussels Sprouts, Honeyed Goat Cheese with Spice Walnuts and Figs, Herbed Barley Pilaf, and Autumn Pear Crumble. We found the chicken, the goat cheese and the pear crumble to be delicious and fairly easy to prepare. We had to substitute apples for the figs in the goat cheese recipe which was a suggestion made by the cookbook if figs were not available. We thought the pilaf could have been more flavorful if chicken stock had been used in the cooking process instead of water. The chicken was soaked in a brine which I had never done before and was very tender and juicy! I will be using that recipe again! The recipes in the menu were a nice compliment to each other. I am not a beginner cook. I would say I am a everyday household cook. The menu took us all afternoon to prepare, a good 5 hours. The recipes all have several steps. There are some things that could be done a day ahead of time which they have been kind enough to point out in the book. I do wish there had been a timeline in the book telling me what I should be working on and in what order. The recipes are just listed and not necessarily in the order of how you should prepare them. At one point I had two things in the oven and needed to put a third item in there at a different temperature. The recipes were lovely but if I had been making this for a dinner party, I would have missed all the fun. These are recipes that will keep you in the kitchen. They are very involved. There are many other recipes I wish to try out of this cookbook but I don't think I would tackle a full menu again. I was exhausted after making a full menu. I enjoyed many of the recipes in this book and all the helpful tips. If you love being in the kitchen for hours on end, you may like this cookbook. I think this is a cookbook for the serious entertainer or advanced home chef.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gaylin Walli

    It's beautiful. That was The Chef's first thought. The recipes chosen to grace the pages were solid, well thought out, and accessible to any cook of average talent. The home cook who enjoys cooking, as opposed to simply cooks to put food on the table won't find ground breaking recipes but they will learn solid techniques with ingredients that are, with only a few exceptions, easily obtained at the average grocery. they may even be pushed a little to try new things. That's a big plus. Where this It's beautiful. That was The Chef's first thought. The recipes chosen to grace the pages were solid, well thought out, and accessible to any cook of average talent. The home cook who enjoys cooking, as opposed to simply cooks to put food on the table won't find ground breaking recipes but they will learn solid techniques with ingredients that are, with only a few exceptions, easily obtained at the average grocery. they may even be pushed a little to try new things. That's a big plus. Where this cookbook fails is in its ability to teach people about timelines and judging how to maximize prep and oven space for whole meals. One concession they do make is to offer up parts of tasks that can be done in advance. However what this cookbook really needs, needs desperately, is a clear set of instructions on the order of cooking for each recipe in this meal. The meals are lovely and tasty, but even the average cook will have considerable trouble rearranging the meal's preparation in a way that keeps them out of the kitchen for hours. No meal in this book should take several hours to cook and yet, if the cook attempts to make any meal without careful consideration of times and things like oven space, they will find themselves with oven traffic jams and not enough space over the course of many hours. Why? Needlessly if the recipes were ordered properly. More's the pity. This book is gorgeous. A timeline would have fixed the main problems quite easily.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This is in many ways exactly the book I want out of something called a 'menu' cookbook - collected, coherent menus; seasonal arrangements; scaled-up quantities for groups of 8 (for routine 'having a few friends over') or 12 (for holidays and parties). There are some menus that are vegetarian, and plenty of menus for particular events (game-day party food, Thanksgiving gathering, etc). I love that they have a game plan for each menu (do these steps a day ahead, do these steps day of, this step ta This is in many ways exactly the book I want out of something called a 'menu' cookbook - collected, coherent menus; seasonal arrangements; scaled-up quantities for groups of 8 (for routine 'having a few friends over') or 12 (for holidays and parties). There are some menus that are vegetarian, and plenty of menus for particular events (game-day party food, Thanksgiving gathering, etc). I love that they have a game plan for each menu (do these steps a day ahead, do these steps day of, this step takes such and such amount of time). I rated it five stars, but there's one thing I'd really like to see in a next addition: a few menus for 'oh god I'm entertaining people with dietary restrictions'. I'd be cool if this were just an index with pointers to other recipes through the book! I have a few vegetarian friends, several who are celiac or GF, a smattering with food allergies. When these folks are coming to visit, that's when I most NEED help.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tlwinky

    Great meals, easy outline for each to make the menu as stress free as possible, divided into seasons and special occasions- I liked everything about this book (my family did, as well!) I always check out cookbooks from the library because, usually, cookbooks offer a few great recipes but then kind of flop- but I like this one so much that I bought it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley

    I wanted to make so many of these first time perusing this and I wasn't even hungry! Even without making the entire meal, I can see several potluck dishes in the making. I think I will have to get a copy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    CharityJ

    I'd consider this a reference cookbook. Includes list of must-have kitchen equipment, tips/tricks, and common cooking snafus with how to troubleshoot and fix them. Beautiful photos, good classic food with relatively easy recipes and explanations of what makes them work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    Library a Request, I enjoyed this so much I'm going out to buy it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I really loved this book--I've yet to make anything from it, but based on my other America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, I've got faith that the recipes will be excellent.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    Deliciously good ideas. Apparently I should add this to my library since I've read it 3x!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    A good resource if you like to entertain, this book has 51 menus, 10 for each season of the year which offer 8 servings each, and the remaining 11 for parties of 12. Each menu has recipes for a main dish (one in each category is vegetarian), appetizer, 1 or 2 sides, and a dessert. Occasionally there is an "Even Easier" suggestion for a quicker substitute for one of the non-main dishes. A "Game Plan" is given for each recipe, so that you can plan your preparation of items usually over the course A good resource if you like to entertain, this book has 51 menus, 10 for each season of the year which offer 8 servings each, and the remaining 11 for parties of 12. Each menu has recipes for a main dish (one in each category is vegetarian), appetizer, 1 or 2 sides, and a dessert. Occasionally there is an "Even Easier" suggestion for a quicker substitute for one of the non-main dishes. A "Game Plan" is given for each recipe, so that you can plan your preparation of items usually over the course of 2 days. Unfortunately, even with this, for many of the menus there is still quite a bit of prep that must be done on the day of your dinner. For the most part, these are not quick or easy recipes. The mains & desserts frequently have many ingredients &/or many prep steps. Most ingredients used are fairly standard & easy to find. The book also has twenty one "11th Hour Recipes" for everything but main dishes, which are quick & simple to put together. This makes for rather dry reading if you enjoy reading cookbooks, but also presents some tips and techniques which are helpful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janis

    Solid 4.5. Wish Goodreads rating scale was 1-10. Picked this up at our local library sale. So many delicious recipes of dished I’ll enjoy preparing, serving, (and eating)! Picked up a few good tricks, too. Can’t wait to make so many of these recipes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I love how this book is arranged in the form of menus! Lots of inspiring recipes and concepts for your next dinner party. Each menu explains what can be made ahead for easy planning.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Sowinski

    Nice for entertaining or planning an event. I'm more of a taco bar kinda person though.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Phillips

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz Fisher

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  20. 4 out of 5

    emily

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daren Tobert

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  23. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Gendy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Montz

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carol Fischer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Simpson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  30. 5 out of 5

    daniel x shasha

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