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Publishers WeeklyDeeds and Snyder (The Mixer Bible) create a user-friendly guide with something for everyone-and every occasion. Arranged by meal category (from appetizers to desserts), chapters begin with indexes showing the everyday version of a recipe, which is generally simpler, with fewer ingredients and a shorter prep time, followed by the entertaining spin. Almost all ingredients will be easy to find, with pancetta and fennel about as exotic as it gets. Readers will appreciate the lavishly-illustrated design as they whip up appetizers like Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallop Skewers (or its entertaining counterpart, which includes a South Seas Salsa). A little more hands-on time and a few ingredient changes transform Italian White Bean Soup with Pesto into Tuscan Bean and Barley Soup with Crispy Pancetta; whereas Pizza Bianca dresses up for entertaining with chard and chorizo. Meats, poultry, and seafood are well-represented here, with Braised Short Ribs getting an optional stout braising and horseradish cream, and an everyday Arroz con Pollo becoming Chicken, Sausage, and Seafood Paella for a special occasion. Vegetables are not the stars here; readers seeking creative uses for broccoli or kale should look elsewhere. But simple ingredients, clear instructions, and loads of photos make this a useful addition to the cook's shelf.
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