Customer Reviews for

The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes + Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

A Great General Cookbook

This is a cookbook from an unusual source. The author attended and cooked at Deep Springs, a two-year college program that only admits 12 students each year that is also a working organic farm and cattle ranch in the high desert of the Sierra Nevada. This is a general ...
This is a cookbook from an unusual source. The author attended and cooked at Deep Springs, a two-year college program that only admits 12 students each year that is also a working organic farm and cattle ranch in the high desert of the Sierra Nevada. This is a general cookbook with more than 500 recipes plus lessons in life skills, from the proper way to wash dishes to how to make homemade soap.

The recipe chapters include breakfast dishes, breads, lunches, beans, vegetables, all kinds of meats and seafood, salads and dressings, pasta, soups, sauces and relishes, all kinds of desserts and sweet treats, plus chapters on kitchen tips, menus, and cleaning (washing dishes, getting out stains, etc.). There are some illustrations and antecdotes throughout, although no photographs but somehow the absense of photos fits with the down to basics, commonsense approach of this cookbook.

In reading through the recipes and instructions, they seem to include enough information for novice cooks as well as the more experienced. The only recipe I tried so far was the buttermilk ranch salad dressing which was wonderful. I also appreciated the tutorial in the salad section of the cookbook on how to properly prepare greens and toss a salad, along with suggestions for ingredient combinations. This is the kind of good, basic background information that can be found throughout the book. I also like that the recipes call for fresh ingredients readily available in my local grocery store.

There are so many recipes I'm looking forward to trying, including the glazed meatloaf, green chile enchiladas, sweet potato bread, black bean chili, cayenne-rubbed chicken with potatoes and garlic, and a fresh salsa recipe that seems very easy to make. Although I am a somewhat experienced cook, I tried to look at this cookbook from the view of a novice and there really isn't anything intimidating in it. With a good combination of traditional recipes along with those that have an updated twist in the ingredients, I think it would be a welcome addition to any kitchen as a go-to general cookbook that would get a lot of use.

posted by Books_And_Chocolate on July 26, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Odd Sample

I often decide to purchase a book based on the free sample. Well, the sample for this book is 116 pages long on my Nook and doesn't offer a single recipe! That is really not helpful.

posted by 12161625 on March 13, 2013

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    A Great General Cookbook

    This is a cookbook from an unusual source. The author attended and cooked at Deep Springs, a two-year college program that only admits 12 students each year that is also a working organic farm and cattle ranch in the high desert of the Sierra Nevada. This is a general cookbook with more than 500 recipes plus lessons in life skills, from the proper way to wash dishes to how to make homemade soap.

    The recipe chapters include breakfast dishes, breads, lunches, beans, vegetables, all kinds of meats and seafood, salads and dressings, pasta, soups, sauces and relishes, all kinds of desserts and sweet treats, plus chapters on kitchen tips, menus, and cleaning (washing dishes, getting out stains, etc.). There are some illustrations and antecdotes throughout, although no photographs but somehow the absense of photos fits with the down to basics, commonsense approach of this cookbook.

    In reading through the recipes and instructions, they seem to include enough information for novice cooks as well as the more experienced. The only recipe I tried so far was the buttermilk ranch salad dressing which was wonderful. I also appreciated the tutorial in the salad section of the cookbook on how to properly prepare greens and toss a salad, along with suggestions for ingredient combinations. This is the kind of good, basic background information that can be found throughout the book. I also like that the recipes call for fresh ingredients readily available in my local grocery store.

    There are so many recipes I'm looking forward to trying, including the glazed meatloaf, green chile enchiladas, sweet potato bread, black bean chili, cayenne-rubbed chicken with potatoes and garlic, and a fresh salsa recipe that seems very easy to make. Although I am a somewhat experienced cook, I tried to look at this cookbook from the view of a novice and there really isn't anything intimidating in it. With a good combination of traditional recipes along with those that have an updated twist in the ingredients, I think it would be a welcome addition to any kitchen as a go-to general cookbook that would get a lot of use.

    24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Best new cookbook in years

    I like his commonsense approach. Whether you've been cooking for years or are just beginning it all makes sense. No talking down or over your heads. The receipes I've tried so far are tasty and pretty easy. Today, it was the Chili con Carne....a great bowl of red! Glad it's on my nook so I can carry it wherever I go. Now I want it on paper to share with my kids.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Nice

    Enjoyed stories and recipes. Very well written. This will probably become one of my favorite books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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