Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Marion O. Celenza

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0979195334
Publisher: Marion O. Celenza

A fourth cookbook from food enthusiast Celenza.

There is guaranteed to be something for almost everyone in this 430-page cookbook with a cornucopia of recipes. In addition to a generous helping of breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and casserole recipes, there are over three dozen complete dinner menus that are organized into seasonal categories. Also included are sections on grilling, dressings, sauces, gravies and dips. There's an informative chapter on cheeses, listing a variety from 14 different countries with a description of their flavor, texture and how they are best served and used. (The author states that a staggering 650 different types of cheeses have been documented.) Some recipes are accompanied by bits of the author's history, amusing food-related anecdotes and/or helpful hints as to cooking techniques, presentation and serving suggestions. The author's warmth is palpable; readers will feel like they’re being instructed by an old friend. In addition, Celenza includes healthier alternative ingredients for many of the recipes. Interspersed are photographs of the author's family and friends breaking bread together at various occasions, as well as a sprinkling of charming black and white drawings and simple graphics. There are a handful of color photographs of varying quality of some of the completed dishes. The recipes are well-written, concise and easy to follow, and Celenza takes care to include details and extra “finishing touches.” Other helpful sections include a listing of necessary cooking utensils, refrigerator and pantry stock suggestions, baking equivalents and measurements. Celenza good-humoredly advises her reader to check on the freshness of their pantry and refrigerator stock: “...And we haven't even touched upon the freezer. The snow on some of those packages has formed an arctic tundra.” Celenza's love of tradition, food and family and their inextricable links to each other is evident as is her delight in creating something special to share with others.

A delicious offering warmed with sentiment and topped with humor.