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San Francisco Book Review -Nothing says "comfort food" like a warm, satisfying casserole. There's often a stigma attached to this type of dish -- a suggestion that it doesn't take much skill to put together a casserole, or that it's simply a jumbled-together collection of leftovers -- but Tiffany Collins's new book, 300 Best Casserole Recipes, seeks to prove the naysayers wrong with a compendium of delicious recipes ideal for beginners and advanced cooks alike. Collins explains in the introduction how the casserole's image took a hit in the 1970s when families began turning to canned ingredients over fresh, in an effort to save time and money. A nationally recognized culinary professional, Collins has responded with a cookbook that takes the casserole in a number of interesting and creative directions. This hearty collection includes both classics you probably remember from your childhood, as well as thoroughly modern creations. There are sections brimming with recipes for every occasion, including breakfast,
brunch, and dessert, and chapters devoted to appetizers, side dishes, and healthy choices. There's even a Kid's Stuff chapter aimed at pleasing even the most finicky eaters.While more photos would have been nice -- and a Chapter Index is sorely lacking -- overall, 300 Best Casserole Recipes turns out much like the celebrated dish itself: hearty and satisfying.