I saw The Food Network Magazine 1000 Easy Recipes cookbook showcased on QVC and I immediately requested it from my local library.
When I picked up the book, the library staff mentioned how impressed they were when they browsed the recipes, so I was looking forward to diving in.
When you initially flip through the book, you immediately notice the stunning photos; pages and pages of detailed, full-color photographs illustrate how the finished dish looks.
The first part of the book highlights a few chosen recipes to consider for specific menus. Menus like Pizza Party, Thai Dinner Party, Tex-Mex Night, Autumn Dinner Party, Farmers Market Lunch, Vegetarian Night, Cozy Winter Supper and Family Picnic to name just a few.
I was really looking forward to checking out some of these recipes: Ginger crackles, maple walnut trunks, bell pepper pasta salad, veggie burgers, popcorn, oat walnut thins, and peanut butter mousse. Yum.
The book is separated into main chapters with sub-chapters:
- Appetizers & Snacks: Crostini, Dips, Tea Sandwiches, Nachos & Potato Skins, Chips & Party Mixes
- Breakfast & Brunch: Smoothies, Pancakes Waffles & French Toast, Eggs & Bacon
- Main Dishes: Soup, Kebabs, Burgers & Dogs, Panini, Pizza & Pasta
- Salads & Sides: Tossed Salads & Slaws, Potato & Pasta Salads, Beans & Grains, Veggie Sides
- Drinks & Desserts: Cold Drinks, Hot Drinks, Cocktails, Brownies & Cookies, No-Bake Desserts
As the book sub-title “super fun food for every day” suggests, it’s all about putting together uncomplicated, quick family meals: Grill a burger, throw together some salad veggies and you’ve got dinner.
Make no mistake, this is not your average instructional cookbook, I suppose you could say the “recipes” in the book aren’t even recipes – for each type of dish, there are dozens of variations, each with only a simple paragraph “description.” The concept is very similar to Mark Bittman’s “Kitchen Express” cookbook.
While there are a thousand recipes in the book and a few tips scattered here and there, there are no instructions for basics like roasting a whole chicken or peeling a fresh artichoke. No one is holding your hand as you braise a beef chuck roast or make your first creme brulee.
For that reason, this book might not be the best choice for a beginner; although, I suppose it could be a helpful companion cookbook if the newbie also owned a copy of something more detailed (I highly recommend Cook with Jamie or the Essential NY Times Cookbook as cookbooks for beginner cooks.)
The Food Network Magazine 1000 Easy Recipes cookbook motivates a lot of experimentation in the kitchen, but does it go overboard with so many variations for one type of food? Sure, you will probably never need 7 pages of crostinis or 40+ kebab variations, but at the same time, it is inspiring and interesting to read their flavor combinations.
Bottom line, I don’t recommend buying The Food Network Magazine 1000 Easy Recipes cookbook, unless of course you are a big collector and must have every cookbook ever published.
If you are wise, you’d just grab a copy from the library to browse through first. Then find your favorite recipes online at the Food Network web site or just jot down a few notes from a few favorites as the recipes are so short and sweet.
This cookbook seems more like of a novelty, which isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that personally, I can’t envision myself referring back to it again and again as I would with a more “mainstream” cookbook.
A Couple of my favorite recipes (found online) at Food Network:
- Spicy Papaya Guacamole
- Veggie Burger
- Cheeseburger Potato Skins
- 50 panini recipes
- Ravioli with Sage Walnut Sauce
- 50 Potato Salads
I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks, which means I’d rather put my own spin on a recipe than follow it exactly. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.