Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review - Kate Gosselin's Love Is in the Mix, Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin’s Love Is in the Mix: Making Meals into Memories with Family-Friendly Recipes, Tips and Traditions


Kate Gosselin

Category: Cookbook: Celebrity

Synopsis: Kate Gosselin, of the “Jon and Kate Plus 8” reality television show, shares family recipes and traditions.

Date finished: 19 October 2013      

Rating: ****

I didn’t expect anything fantastic here, and I pretty much got what I expected. The recipes were straightforward fare—the kind of food I grew up on and tend to still cook. Other than calling for organic ingredients, the recipes don’t pay special attention to the current food fads—gluten-free, vegan, paleo, low fat, low sodium, low carb, etc.—and for that I say, God bless Kate! I’m so sick of those trendy specialty cookbooks that treat diet as a disease to be cured.

There was much criticism on Amazon for this book being full of recipes where you “open a can and dump stuff in.” I don’t think these folks are being fair. Sure, there are some canned tomatoes and beans, but unless you’re canning your own garden tomatoes or have all day to cook a pot of beans to use in another recipe, this seems perfectly legitimate to me.

The recipes use a lot of pork, a lot of eggs, not much spice, and emphasize vegetables. She includes recipes for snacks like guacamole and hummus; lots of main dishes, side dishes, and soups; and plenty of sweets. The recipes are easy to follow, if a touch over-explained. There is also a portion of the book (probably about one-third) devoted to family traditions and tips for feeding a large family. While I didn’t find this part as much fun as the recipes, it wasn’t as inane as I’d feared it would be.

My main complaint is that the photography isn’t necessarily professional. But, in the acknowledgments in the back I found out that one of her twins took the photos, so I softened on my critique. (Not that I’m entirely sure I’d let my thirteen-year-old [or thereabouts] be in charge of photography for my book…)

I was also bothered by the fact that the photographs of the dishes don’t reflect the ingredients or preparation instructions in a large number of the recipes. So, beware!

Also beware that the recipes are scaled toward the large family and will need to be scaled back for a smaller one. (Or, I’m sure Kate would tell you, freeze the excess for a busy day when you don’t have much time to get supper on the table.)

All-in-all, I enjoyed this cookbook, and I will try a few of the recipes. I think this would be a good book for kids learning to cook. The recipes are quite simple and easy to execute.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

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