December 8, 2009

Cookbook Review: Real Simple - Best Recipes

Recently Real Simple asked if they could send me their newest cookbook to review. As a long time reader of their magazine - basically since day one - I was happy to accept!

When the editors of Real Simple magazine decided to publish this cookbook they had two requirements: the recipes must be easy and they must be memorable. I would say that they have succeeded.

As soon as I cracked open my copy of Real Simple - Best Recipes and started turning the pages, I immediately wanted to run to the kitchen and start cooking. The recipes are fresh, contemporary and require less than 10 ingredients and the huge, mouthwatering photographs that accompany each recipe are inspiring!

I was immediately attracted to the recipes for Deep Dish Polenta Pizza, Roasted Chicken, Apples and Leeks, Wheat Berry Salad with Bacon and Stewed-Vegetable Gratin. Warm weather recipes include Chicken and Peach Salad and Salmon and Fennel with Roasted-Lemon Vinaigrette.
The Easy Ice Cream Cake, which uses pre-made ice cream sandwiches, sounds like a fun, summertime dessert. More sophisticated desserts include Apricot-Coconut Cake, Roasted Apple and Walnut Tarts and Boozy Clementines with Pound Cake, which I'm making this weekend.

Though the book does sometimes rely on store bought ingredients (canned broth, rotisserie chicken, frozen pierogies, refrigerated pizza dough, frozen pie crust) it also calls for an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit and grains in its recipes.

In almost every chapter there is an "At-a-Glance" guide to popular vegetables, how to interpret the labeling on chicken, cooking advice for common cuts of lamb, beef and pork, and what to look for when buying fish. The book concludes with practical advice: Meat cooking temperatures, Menu Suggestions and nutritional information for each recipe.

If you're the kind of person who loves to cook delicious, uncomplicated, beautiful food, but who doesn't have the time or the inclination to spend hours and hours in the kitchen, then Real Simple - Best Recipes is a cookbook that you'll love. Pin It


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Great review Loulou, now what is the name of the dish on the front cover? That looks tasty mmmm

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Mmmmm! The salmon with fennel sounds wonderful. I love that magazine too.

Jennifer said...

Glad you liked it, thanks!
That is Golden Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives.
Here's a link:

It has always been a favorite of mine. I extended my subscription for a couple of years and had it sent to France when we first moved, but then it became too expensive. I try to pick up a copy or two each time I go back to the States.

Amanda said...

Loulou, whenever I go to France I take all my magazines from "Martha Stewart living" with me for one of my sister who adores Martha. I won't be able to do that anymore since I will only be able to bring so much with 2 suitcases and weight limits. Like you, a subscription to France was too expensive so the websites will do from now on.

Jennifer said...

The new weight restrictions drive me crazy because I like to buy books (mainly cookbooks!) when I go to the States.
Luckily the websites for many magazines are great, but it just isn't the same thing.