Saturday, January 5, 2013

Return to Sunday Dinner - Book Review

Return to Sunday Dinner by Russell Cronkhite is a cookbook that makes me wish I had more money to buy groceries and more time to cook. The recipes in it sound delicious, but "30-Minute Meals" this is not. Many of the recipes require kitchen tools that I don't own (although what better excuse to buy them than to cook these meals, right?) and some of the recipes involve ingredients that I am just not a fan of. I think you have to be a bit of an adventurous eater for this cookbook.

I also always assess cookbooks and recipes for how easy it might be to turn the recipes gluten-free. Most of the recipes in this cookbook would be easily convertible, but there are still a lot (mainly the desserts) that I just couldn't figure out conversions for. Do they make gluten-free cake flour? I can't fault the book for this issue because the cookbook, obviously, is not meant to be gluten-free. But since my blog deals with gluten-free food, I just thought I would address this for those readers who are looking for gluten-free stuff.

Now that I've got all of that out of the way, I really did enjoy reading the recipes in this cookbook. And it's more than just a cookbook. The title, for instance, refers to family Sunday dinners that the author and his family, as well as many families all over the world, partake in. Coming from a small family, I was unfamiliar with the Sunday dinner concept. To me, Sunday dinners are just like any other weekly dinner, except I have more time to cook it. I also like using Sunday nights as my prep night for the week - pick out my clothes for Monday, do my nails, chill out and relax during my last few hours before the workweek begins again. But reading this cookbook made me want to host our own Sunday dinners either with family members or with friends. And maybe not every Sunday. Maybe just one Sunday a month. Or every other month. But I would love to host a dinner and bring people into our home and share food with them more often than we do right now.

If you do Sunday dinners or host a lot of dinner parties and are willing to go in-depth with your cooking, then this cookbook is for you. Each "chapter" is themed and offers recipes for side dishes, an entree, and a dessert. For instance, Butter Steamed Broccoli, Sunday's Best Roast Beef w/ Pan Gravy, Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Cloverleaf Rolls, Glazed Baby Carrots, and a Chocolate Cake. It's a complete meal in each of the 20+ chapters! You also get a little history about the dishes and food in America at the beginning of each chapter, which I really liked. And some of the chapters include make-ahead tips to make cooking a little bit easier on you.

I read this cookbook on a Kindle, and I don't know if it's just the digital version, but there were some typos and not that many pictures. I like it when my cookbooks have multiple pictures so that I can really see what the dishes are supposed to look like (and make sure that I'm making the food right).



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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