HACK YOUR CUPBOARD by Alyssa Wiegand


Make Great Food With What You've Got
Age Range: 12 - 18
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This compact cookbook offers young adults affordable options for feeding themselves on their journeys to independence.

The first of four sections aims to build culinary confidence in the novice cook, interspersing recipes (for example, avocado toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, and chocolate chip cookies) with food-preparation principles, safety, and techniques (such as tips on knife handling). Recipes in “Dorm Room Dining,” most requiring only a microwave oven and access to a refrigerator, range from variations on ramen noodles to gourmet popcorn crowd pleasers for feeding hungry friends. For those living with roommates, the third section offers heartier, more complex, but still budget-conscious choices (e.g., bean chili and options for using a rotisserie chicken) and includes practical tips on shared-kitchen etiquette. The final section, “First Solo Kitchen,” presents more sophisticated dishes, including bruschetta, risotto, braised pork, and lemon pound cake. As the recipes progress in complexity, photo-illustrated culinary techniques are introduced—e.g., caramelizing onions, deep frying, and braising. The lively, colorful layout packed with useful tips is a plus, as are the plentiful hacks, simple variations that accompany most recipes. Recipes geared to impecunious students honor today’s dorm life and shared-housing realities. Each section includes annotated lists of ingredients and kitchen tools required. Reliance on processed foods is limited. There are vegetarian options but fewer for vegans.

Breezy but thoughtful, a timely, practical resource for newbie cooks. (index, blank pages for notes, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5415-7854-8
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Zest Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2019