Recipes for the adventurous home cook looking to take their meal from ordinary to exquisite.

Donovan (Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors, 2006) and Gallin have a mantra: “Cooking a great meal can be just as easy as cooking a crappy meal!” While their cookbook won’t transform that quick weeknight mac and cheese into a multi-course masterpiece, it will allow wannabe chefs to whip up mouthwatering dishes guaranteed to impress guests. The book is divided into two parts: “The Basics” lists must-have ingredients to keep on-hand and provides simple cooking tips, from softening butter to storing appliances, but “The Recipes” is where the fun begins. Snacks, small plates, soups and desserts are all on offer, ranging from Savory Blue Cheese Shortbread to Pistachio Ice Cream with Strawberries and Balsamic Syrup. The recipes may sound exotic, but each has been tested by volunteers with no culinary training. The language is straightforward and free of confusing cooking terms, and the most complicated piece of equipment required is a food processor. Recipes are often followed by detailed instructions on how to “Make it ahead,” suggestions for side dishes to “Serve it with,” or alternate ingredients for cooks looking to “Change it up.” Some recipes, however, may be too lackadaisical for even the laziest of gourmets—e.g., a recipe for Basil Leaf and Goat Cheese Wraps that instructs readers to set out the ingredients then direct "diners to take a basil leaf and wrap it around some cheese.” A collection of easy-to-follow recipes that demystifies gourmet cooking.


Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-57344-653-2

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Viva Editions

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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