Monday, October 5, 2015

Good and Cheap - My First Book Review

I like KickStarter, not as much as I used to, but still like them.  Was perusing there one day some time ago and came across a project where the creator says you can eat well, in New York City area, for $4 a day....  Intrigued I read on, and eventually backed.

The project, and cookbook, is called Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4 / day.

Before we go much further, must admit I haven't truly made anything from the cookbook yet, though will soon.  For the most part, all of the recipes are for four people, and, well, I'm only one people (person).  Guess I could put on some weight and eat like four people, but let's not and say I didn't.

First, really like the book, so much that I bought their Second Edition, even before cooking anything!  Her second edition contains even more recipes, and is also more cost effective (i.e. cheaper) than the first physical book, so it's a win-win.

One thing I wish were done different, but this is just me, is that she did the cookbook using primarily "standard pantry ingredients", as well as things specific to the recipes.  As a single person, living in an RV, this is not easy to achieve, but doable.  I think have about the same amount of space in RV as a typical New York apartment.  If the internet is correct, NYC apartments (Manhattan area) are 100 square feet, so guess there's no reason I can't have the pantry ingredients.

The wonderful things about the Cookbook, and there are plenty, follows.  Can also get the first edition FREE as a PDF download, on the Kickstarter page.

One thing Leanne really does well is explain things.  In beginning of the book she writes about pantry basics, and describes some of her thoughts on these basic necessities, stuff I haven't seen in other cookbooks.  But, I'm not a cookbook expert.

The tips Leanne writes about are also invaluable, such as things to do with chicken eggs, chicken skin, and thinking about seasonal fruits and veggies.  Very well put together with a different and nice way of doing things.

Recipes...  Most of these look very easy to do, look super tasty, and generally don't take much time, or effort to accomplish properly.  Her recipes run the gamut from smoothies to banana pancakes, deviled eggs, popcorn (yes, popcorn and different uses), and spice oil.  She includes lots of different ones from entrees to encores to preludes.

In the book there are several sections that specialize on different things.  She has a full page or two describing how to cook dried beans (for those who haven't), talking about different spices and aromatics, and oatmeal.  I found these parts quite interesting and informative.

Speaking of oatmeal, another nifty thing she does, eloquently, is focus on one thing, like oatmeal, and then give different ideas on how to spice it up.  This is so the kids, or whoever, don't say, "OH, oatmeal again?!", with a sarcastic tone.  Other things she does this with are beans, popcorn, smoothies, and a few others.

Not all recipes are my thing, nor do I have all the ingredients she uses, though this is a really good, down to earth, cookbook.  It seems like the average person can use this book to live really well on the cheap with only a few ingredients.  And, as an added bonus, no Ramen noodles were used, that I saw.

When, and/or if, she comes up with another cookbook, or anything else, I will definitely support her again, and will recommend this to others!

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