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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-01
- Reviewer: Staff
In this follow-up to their bestselling Back in the Day Bakery cookbook, Cheryl and Griffith Day give fans more of the down-home recipes that have made their Savannah, Ga., bakery a destination. Bursting with more than 100 recipes, the Days serve up another heaping helping of baked comfort food in the form of Southern classics like buttermilk biscuits, Coca-Cola cake (served here with a Coke-infused chocolate icing), lane cake, and a luscious Georgia peach pie, in addition to Southern riffs on, e.g., the banofee pie, a British classic that incorporates bananas, toffee, and chocolate, modified here to include a crust made from graham crackers and pecans. Though the Days are wordy at times, the narrative is instructive and warming. The inclusion of crafts like a marshmallow chandelier and a “keepsake cake topper” seems jarring rather than jovial, the only off note. This is a terrific sequel, and fans of Southern baking (not to mention baking in general) will want to add it to their collection.(Mar.)
Cooking: Comfort from scratch
Aficionados of the popular first cookbook from Savannah bakers Cheryl and Griffith Day knew without a doubt that love was an active ingredient in every single recipe. Their second collection of “scratch-baked” delights, Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love, makes sure that “love” is front and center in this new array of sweet and savory treats that range from breakfast biscuits, muffins and biscones (a marriage of biscuit and scone) to cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, breads, rolls and crackers. Sandwiched in among the more than 100 recipes are the Days’ creative how-tos for making flavored syrups, yogurt parfaits, a tiered Celebration Cake, Ciabatta Rolls and some wild and crazy make-it-yourself projects like a marshmallow chandelier or vintage linen Snack Pockets. One look at the custardy Spoon Bread, Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting, Sweet Potato Lemon Bread or the Key Lime Short Bread Cookies and it’s desire at first sight, then comforting love at first bite.
Lots of cooks and cookbooks promise dishes that are easy, quick and delicious—but not all of them serve up the goods. Lorraine Pascale, #1 best-selling cookbook author in the U.K. and international fashion model, really makes good on what she promises in her third book, Everyday Easy. Her goal is to offer busy people tasty, quick-to-get-together main courses with sides included, made with accessible ingredients that will impress your family and friends, like Chicken Cacciatore with Harissa over pasta, Salmon Saltimbocca with Gremolata Potatoes and Butternut and Sweet Potato Lasagne—all on the table in under 35 minutes. She’s added recipes for canapés (try the irresistible Pancetta and Parmesan Puffs), cocktails, snazzy starters, snacks, soups, salads, bread and desserts to round out everyday or festive meals. Pascale’s cooking instructions are detailed and supportive, and almost every recipe is enhanced by a luscious photograph—of the gorgeous food, not her gorgeous face!
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Ruhlman’s How to Braise: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook, the second in Michael Ruhlman’s single-subject series after How to Roast, is a lyrical (yes, cookbooks can be somewhat lyrical), practical ode that could have been called “Praising Braising.” It’s his favorite of all the fundamental cooking techniques, and he considers it a metamorphosis, a way of truly transforming food. As in all his many cookbooks, Ruhlman’s discussion and instructions, with tips and insider info, are meticulous and inspiring. You get all the braising details you’ll ever need, from the three musts—salting, searing, simmering—to the delicious nuances that variations in seasoning and choice of simmering liquid offer. The recipes are outstanding, beginning with iconic Braised Lamb Shanks with Mint Gremolata and classic Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs, then on to Hot and Sour Braised Duck Legs, Osso Buco, a quartet of braised veggies and a marvelous Mexican Pork and Hominy Posole. The photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman are fabulous, step-by-step and the done deal, done to perfection.