I can’t remember the last time I shared my thoughts on a newly released cookbook with you. I used to be all about them until I calculated the amount of time I was spending too much time perusing a plethora of books, all to try recipes I may or may not like (or not work out for me for that matter) and then spend an additional day putting an attractive post together for you to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong…I love cookbooks! I have a beautiful collection, growing by the week, and love flipping through pages and pages of stories, recipes, and delicious pictures. Having them as reference for my own growth and research is one thing; reviewing it for this space is another. Until it’s not! I can’t tell you how many books have come across my desk I want to tell you about but just can’t get to for whatever reason. Surely, if a food blogger friend has worked hard enough to be recognized and gets their book published, I’m all about it and will share it with you! I mean, our path to publishing is a bit harder and more challenging than a restaurant chef or TV personality (a full-time one anyway). The plug is so necessary and super helpful.
But there are certain books I just can’t ignore and talk about. Some just really catch my attention for odd reasons. Today’s sharing which I’m totally tickled by, brings out the wanna be canvas artist in me. Picture Cook: See.Make.Eat, by Katie Shelly (Ulysses Press, 2013) is the most atypical cookbook I’ve seen to date. It’s not a kids’ book as the title could suggest. Rather, it’s a whimsical approach to the most basic instruction on how to make some of the more classic and American dishes; like tacos. No line-by-line instructions or method, no formal ingredients list, no pictures, no real text. Just a single color page with not-so-perfect illustrations. But, with an astonishingly easy step-by-step guide to making your creation. Or achieving a technique such as cutting an onion.
But there are certain books I just can’t ignore and talk about. Some just really catch my attention for odd reasons. Today’s sharing which I’m totally tickled by, brings out the wanna be canvas artist in me. Picture Cook: See.Make.Eat by Katie Shelly (Ulysses Press, Nov. 2013) is the most atypical cookbook I’ve seen to date. It’s not a kids’ book as the title and cover could suggest. Rather, it’s a whimsical approach to the most basic instruction on how to make some of the more classic American (or not) dishes; like tacos. No line-by-line instructions or method, no traditional ingredients list, no pictures, no real text. Just a single color page with not-so-perfect illustrations designed by Shelly herself. In contrast, the concept offers an astonishingly easy step-by-step guide to making your food.
The single common aspect of the book’s layout is in the portioning of sections: breakfast, soups & stews, hefty meals, sides & salads, sauces *& dips and so on. You get the picture.
The book starts with a legend so you are familiar with the course of action you should take. Follow that and you’ll be just fine and quite relieve in following along so simply. Recipes like chai, which I love and have had readers express not figuring out how to make, appeal to even myself who makes mine from scratch. There’s just something uniquely special about being elementary, but in an adult manner, in cooking. They say less is more. And simple is classy.
If you loathe cutting onions the way I do, do yourself a favor and show your eager-to-cook friends this page and have them all over slicing and dicing. I trust the pictures will will invigorate them to chop away in tears while you’re busy making pesto!
And how timely that I’d just get my hands on this book and come to this Pesto Sauce recipe page after having just published my own garlicky pesto recipe. If you had any questions on how it all should look on your counter, well here you have it! Easy.
Now this nutty quinoa intrigued me the most because after teaching a class at LivingSocial where our main course had the red variety and a lot to students had never even attempted it, I thought this was a perfect graph I could have had with me to hand out!
The book wraps with drinks and desserts which no book would be compete without. I found it entirely too fitting to include the image of the affogato, which I’ve yet share here on Flanboyant Eats. So in a slightly cheating manner, I here now offer you a recipe! Much easier than I could have ever presented it to you; and much quicker! Plus you can hold Katie accountable for your results!
Writing a cookbook is a lot of work. There’s no doubt that even with a pictorial book where written text and instructions are absent, there was recipe development and testing involved. I just love the simplicity and unpretentiousness it gives readers and home cooks. It eliminates the potential intimidation factor I know most experience when cracking a cookbook for the first time. As verbose as I am, I know making sense of so much text in a traditional book would probably discourage someone just getting started.
Makes a great gift. For anyone. Ant it’s only $18.95, hardcover. Definitely a fun addition to any collection.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself. B-