Kitchen Matrix by Mark Bittman

9780804188012Mark Bittman, in my opinion, is the Godfather of cookbooks. I was so excited to see he had a new cookbook because he’s a great teacher to learn from, his recipes are simple, easy, and foolproof, and he brings out the joy in me as a home cook.

Kitchen Matrix is the basic blueprint for cooks to expand upon basic recipes they have mastered. Within the 304 pages there are over 700 recipes based on basic recipes that are mixed in a variety of ways so that you can get more out of one dish. For example, Bittman illustrates 12 ways to use tomatoes in a dish ranging from appetizers such as tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and mint, to fancy tomato soups as the main course. All in which are made with simple, fresh ingredients.

Bittman is a great storyteller which is why I am always enveloped in his headnotes for recipes. I am obsessed with reading the headnotes as much as I am making the recipes because I know there will be a great story from which the recipe originated, and it gives me inspiration for my own recipe development.

The recipes in the Kitchen Matrix covers the usual categories: Drinks, appetizers, soups, sandwiches, meat, vegetables, etc. No dish is left unturned, and Bittman provides you with plenty of options to put a spin on any classic dish.

I enjoyed all the recipes, even those ones where I was unfamiliar with the ingredient. The majority of the recipes are 30 minutes or less to prepare, while there are some they may take up to 1 hour to prepare. The ingredients used in the book are readily available in your home pantry or at your local grocery store.

Overall, I highly recommend buying a copy of Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix. It’s great for mastering basic dishes as well as inspiration for future dishes.

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Book Review: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

9780385344821Disclosure: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Mark Bittman is one of my favorite cookbook authors, so I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to review The VB6 cookbook.

If you’re unfamiliar with VB6 (vegan before 6), it is a dietary solution Bittman came up with after being diagnosed as a pre-diabetic. He lives a vegan lifestyle until six in the evening, and after six he allows himself to indulge in his guilty food pleasures–in moderation of course.

The VB6 cookbook is the follow-up to Bittman’s VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health For Good. It consists of 350 vegan recipes which are flexible for those new to a vegan lifestyle. A great example of this is his steak su poivre with mushrooms recipe. It was an easy recipe to prepare and perfect for someone like me because I like the healthiness of the vegetables in the recipe, however, the carnivore in me appreciated the steak as well.

If you’ve ever read a cookbook written by Bittman, you will quickly see his passion for food and cooking, and that he is extremely passionate teacher on the subject. Before you get to the recipes, Bittman makes sure you are knowledgeable in cooking techniques and ingredients, and this book is no different. If you’re not familiar with the vegan diet, like I was, you will know the proper foods and dietary restrictions before you reach the first recipe chapter.

The recipes in this book covers every category from breakfast to dinner to dessert, and are relatively easy to make; however, if you lack a decent supply of spices and vegetables, you will find yourself making frequent trips to the grocery store.

Because Bittman’s cookbooks have such beautiful photography and picture tutorials, which is why I wish I would have seen more of them in this book. However, the quality of pictures are still on a level of perfection on Bittman can achieve.

The great thing about The VB6 cookbook is that it takes away every stereotype about the vegan diet. You can make a dish of nothing but vegetables and still have it come out as a 5 star steak dinner. This book is great for both vegans and non-vegans alike.