In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite

As I browsed through Melissa Clark’s 150 recipes, I found a few that looked worth trying.  In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite offers  her stories of eating her way through life, from famous restaurants to  her family kitchen – along with recipes.  Clark, who writes a food column for the New York Times, starts her culinary adventure book with inspiration I often emulate…

“The first best thing about adulthood is being able to order three desserts for two people.  The second is having breakfast for dinner whenever the urge for pancakes pulls harder than pork chops.”

Each recipe has a personal story, and sometimes the recipe is familiar, e.g., “the mysterious David Dares pancake,” which turned out to be one of my favorites – Hawaiian David Eyre’s German pancake with lemon butter.  The one page introduction to this pancake has her mother cooking Sunday specials, with the reason behind her misnaming the dish.

Twelve chapters of recipes include vegetables, fish, chicken, sandwiches, cheese…but, of course, I headed straight for the desserts in “My Sweet Tooth and Me,” and “There’s Always Room for Pie (and Tarts).”  Some recipes mix unlikely ingredients – lemon curd with rosemary; others are too much trouble (unless you have an ice cream maker) – “Ridiculously Easy Maple Walnut Ice Cream.”   One I did make, with the salt but without the pepper – Kate’s Impossibly Fudgy Brownies – from Kate Krader, editor at Food and Wine magazine. Tastes like fudge.

With a mix of her own as well as famous resources, Clark’s book offers a variety of “food you love.”  The one page introductions are not always as interesting as the ingredients in some of the fare, but you can skip those, and go right to the table of contents or the handy index.

I check out any cookbook from the library before committing, to see if it’s worth buying, but it’s hard to find a cookbook I do not like…