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Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review - Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It and Other Kitchen Projects

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It and Other Kitchen Projects is a new book by freelance food author Karen Solomon.

This is just a lovely primer on making things from scratch that are normally convenience or grocery store purchases. Because they are made from scratch, they combine unexpected flavors for gourmet goodies that would make wonderful gifts.

The photography of the colorful food is gorgeously photographed. The recipes and techniques are well explained.  It's separated into clear chapters by type of food and well indexed at the back as well the table of contents in the beginning.

I was going to do a chapter by chapter breakdown, but there are a lot of chapters with a few recipes in each one. This book covers a lot of cook-ahead things for stocking your fridge, freezer and pantry.

Highlights for me include instructions for making your own masa harina and your own hot dogs with more information on how to turn those two things into corn dogs completely made from scratch.  A wonderful curry powder recipe, corned beef and how to smoke your homemade corned beef to make pastrami, how to roast coffee beans in a heavy skillet, homemade chocolate/hazelnut spread, and how to make different kinds of non-dairy milk including a recipe for horchata.  With some homemade sodas and icy sweet treats this book is just great. The sodas are yeast carbonated which is one of my favorite ways to make soda pop.

It's easy and inspiring. My daughter has pages marked for recipes she wants to try.  A wonderful cookbook for people who are really getting into making things themselves and the DIY lifestyle.

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