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Old 12-26-2006, 11:57 PM   #1
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America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Hi,
I got the ATK Family cookbook for Xmas. It has 1200 recipes that were tested in their kitchen. Don't know if I should keep it or bring it back for another one. Has anyone used this cookbook that you would recommend it

or

can you recommend any others that I might exchange for at my local Borders book store.

thanks,

mack

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:38 PM   #2
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Is there something wrong with the book you were given as a gift, or are you just in the mood to exchange something?

I've been watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS for years, and although I find their destruction of perfectly good food to make a point about how certain dishes can be screwed up to be offensive, and their claim that their recipe is the absolute best debatable because "absolute best" is arbitrary, I find their recipes are very good, and extremely well tested, which you can't say about every cook book out there.

My advice: Keep the cookbook, and if you absolutely, positively HAVE to exchange something, exchange the cotton underwear your grandmother gave you for a thong!
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
I find ... their claim that their recipe is the absolute best debatable because "absolute best" is arbitrary
Yes it is, but if you notice, they generally say something along the lines of "we have found this to be the best". The key word being "we". They are not trying to claim that what they say is the end all be all. They are just saying that they tried a number of different things and here is what they liked best.

I have a few of their cookbooks and I think they are great. Have you looked through the book yet? You should be able to tell, just by flipping through, if you want to keep it or exchange it. Do the recipes appeal to you? Do they use ingredients that you want to use? Are the techniques ones you know how to do or want to try? Do you like the layout of the book?

I would keep it, but that is just me because I know I like their stuff.
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:32 PM   #4
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I ould vote keep it. I have one, have used some of their recipes, found them pretty good, thou I feel they slant more to a New England style of cooking.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Elf
I ould vote keep it. I have one, have used some of their recipes, found them pretty good, thou I feel they slant more to a New England style of cooking.
Yeah, well, natch.

I have the book that is the companion of the 2003 ATK series. My brother made the Scalloped Potatoes with Wild Mushrooms (page 219) for Christmas dinner. Spectacular! I have never been a fan of scalloped potatoes, but these were absolutely wonderful!

Lee
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Old 12-27-2006, 06:57 PM   #6
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I haven't seen this one in particular but I'd keep any ATK or Cooks Illustrated publications I received if I didn't already have them. The ones I've got are excellent, as is the Cooks Illustrated magazine.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:01 PM   #7
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thank you for your imput. I was just wondering if this is indeed a cookbook with good recipes that others have tried on the website. It is one thing for the authors of their own cookbook to say it is good, and another thing entirely for the rest of you who use it to give it good marks.

mack
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:19 PM   #8
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Have one or two of their books and have received their magazine for many years.

And they have a lot of good ideas. They tell you honestly how they tested the recipe and what their pitfalls and successes were. And many of their 'failures' were ideas I might well have tried had I not read the piece.

Have not purchased the recent book, but am trying to keep my compulsive cookbook buying under some degree of control. Am a cookbook junkie.

In my opinion, their recipe directions are sound.

Are they the best? Well that is a matter of individual preference. But I like their approach to cooking.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:25 PM   #9
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what are other cookbooks that all of you like from the recipes you have tried and like. Which cookbook and which recipe(s) in that cookbook did you try and love?

mack
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:55 PM   #10
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I find it highly ironic that you would trust ATK to influence your "cookware" selection (AC SS) but don't trust their recipes.

The thing I like about the ATK cookbooks (no, I don't agree with all of the recipes) is the explanation of the steps they went through to reach their final recipe. You can learn a lot from that. I have a couple of their books - don't agree with everything ... but I've learned a lot that I can apply to other dishes.

I've got a few shelves of cookbooks ... Joy of Cooking is #1 on my "if I only had one cookbook" list, anything by Julia Child, Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet).

We've discussed this again and again before ... you might want to spend a little time reading the previous posts in the "Cookbook" forum....
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