Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it stands alone quite well.
This book is useful for those who have a tight budget and need to do much of their cooking instead of eating out. Containing over 50 recipes covering everything from breakfast to dessert, it is a great companion to the kitchen. The recipes range from hardy to light, and useful shortcuts for those with time constraints are included.
You might think that listening to the audio version of a cookbook is like listening to someone read out loud the encyclopedia on mathematical theory. Well, not this one! I quite enjoyed giving this book a listen and I picked up several tips for my cooking too. I enjoy my kitchen time and I am one of those cooks that sees recipes more as guidelines or suggestions than specific orders.
I learned some key things about quinoa, one of my favorite grains. All this time, I had not been rinsing it before cooking it, so it always had a hardy flavor that did not work well with everything. Rinsing removes a coating so the flavor is not quite so earthy. Also, I didn’t know to give it toss in some olive oil and briefly (perhaps for 1 minute) saute in the pot before adding the water and let simmer to its wholesome, fluffy goodness. So the book is well worth the time just for this nugget of info.
The opening discusses the difference between name-brand foods and store-brand (or no-name brand) foods. Usually, there is little to no difference in the food itself (though the packaging can be quite more extravagant on big name brands). Factories are paid to create and package foods, and the packaging is the thing that changes for many dried, canned, and frozen foods. This is something I have heard before (even from my dad who worked at an olive factory before I was born) but it was nice to have it confirmed here.
Over all, between the shopping tips and the cooking tips, this is a little jewel of a cookbook for those living on a shoe string budget, or simply want to save money in the food department. Many of the recipes were simple to follow with a minimal ingredient list so this would be a great book for those just starting out on their kitchen adventures such as college students.
Narration: Tiffany Williams did another great job with this audiobook (she also narrated The Cast Iron Cookbook). She maintained a steady enthusiasm through out the book without sounding bored no overly caffeinated like some car salesmen. The recipes were read in a clear, easy to follow voice. It was like having my own personal cooking coach in the kitchen.