This well-photographed, tremendously useful book from the popular 112-year-old magazine mirrors many changes in American cooking and eating in the past decade or so. Start with the notion that the public wanted and needed a (not inexpensive) step-by-step cookbook: "We've been hearing for the past four or five years about culinary illiteracy," says Susan Westmoreland, the magazine's food director and head of the large team that put the book together. "But there's an interest coming back." Why? "We want to be competent at everything we do," she observes, "and one of those things is taking care of your family."
The book's approach assumes: 1) supermarket shopping, and 2) a mostly non-urban reading public that includes young mothers as well as the folks who've subscribed to Good Housekeeping for 30 to 40 years. Good Housekeeping has discovered that today's homemakers, who often hold down jobs as well, are probably different from their mothers: They're afraid of roasts (and therefore need to be taught) but also want to stir-fry and grill (so those instructions are needed too). And they're willing to experiment with ethnic flavorings but are not likely to mail-order ingredients (nevertheless, a small source list is provided).
This book includes information on just about everything a home cook needs: equipment, food safety and storage, solid recipes-the works. There are even unexpected but highly useful non-recipe driven photographs, like what a portion size looks like and how to set a proper table. A glossary takes the reader from "al dente" to "zest" and includes both simple ("simmer") and more sophisticated ("eau-de-vie") terms. Not all the recipes have step-by-step photos, but enough do to promote basic cooking confidence. After she looked at the book in search of pictures for this week's front page, the Food section's art director was so encouraged she bought it on her way home.
The triple-tested recipes, for both gas and electric stoves, range from American standards to ethnic foods made familiar by restaurant eating (think quesadillas, bouillabaisse, Italian seafood salad).
Detroit Free Press
With more than 1,000 recipes and 1,800 color photographs, The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook is "not be missed - this book is fabulous," says Kitchen Glamour's Toula Patsalis. The photos are practical and instructive, showing how a dish should look at key points in its preparation. This is great for beginning cooks.
With more than 1,000 recipes illustrated by 1,800 photographs, this is a good deal at $30 from Hearst Books.
This is a good, basic, contemporary update of the kitchen primer, the basic one-book library of recipes, but with a lot of photos to show you how to do things. Think "wedding gift" for the bride and/or groom who likes to cook.
Adventures in Dining
This is the largest full-color Good Housekeeping cookbook ever published, with over 1,000 recipes and 1,800 photographs, giving step-by-step how-to information on every aspect of food. The test kitchens of Good Housekeeping Institute guarantee that all the recipes are top notch: appetizers, meat, fish and poultry, pastas and breads, vegetables, soups and desserts. Nutritional information, menu-planning, food history, equipment and cooking charts are also included. Once you start cooking with this book, you'll wonder how you managed without it.
Charleston Post Courier
An encyclopedic soup-to-nuts cookbook with 1,000-plus recipes and 1,800 photographs, it lives up to the tradition of being an American classic begun by Good Housekeeping in 1903. Updated to cover such '90s food as bruschetta and biscotti, a constructed Layered Crab Salad and The Ultimate Lobster Club Sandwich, The Good Housekeeping Cookbook still takes care of all the basics, from how to make buttermilk biscuits to how to roast a turkey. Edited by a familiar Charleston name, Susan Westmoreland, it will very probably become a kitchen staple.
Read an Excerpt
EXCERPT: Shortcakes may look fancy, but they're simply biscuits or cakes dressed up with sweet, juicy fruit and thick whipped cream. Be sure to serve shortcakes right after they're assembled.
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 16 to 22 minutes
Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 pints blueberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds peaches (about 6 medium), peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold margarine or butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1. In 3 quart saucepan, mix lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in blueberries and 3/4 cup sugar; heat to boiling over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 1 minute. Stir in peaches; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in 9 tablespoons margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Stir in milk just until mixture forms a soft dough that leaves side of bowl. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 6 to 8 times, just until smooth. With lightly floured hands, pat dough 3/4 inch thick.
4. With floured 3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out shortcakes. With pancake turner, place shortcakes 1 inch apart on ungreased large cookie sheet.
5. Press trimmings together; cut to make 8 shortcakes in all. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon margarine; brush over shortcakes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake 16 to 22 minutes, until golden. In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to soft peaks. With fork, split warm shortcakes in half. Spoon some fruit into each; top with cream, then more fruit.
Plunge peaches into pan of boiling water for 30 seconds. With slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl filled with ice water to cover; cool. With fingers or small paring knife, slip off skin. If desired, rub peeled peaches with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Each serving: About 610 calories, 8g protein, 89g carbohydrate, 27g total fat (10g saturated), 45mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium.
Copyright 1997 by The Hearst Corporation and Carroll & Brown.