This is the first cookbook I’ve gotten to review. I don’t cook all the time, but I enjoy doing it on occasion — I end up making a big mess in the kitchen, which is why I get to do it so infrequently. I’m NOT good at creating my own recipes, though — that’s why I need cookbooks (and sites like Allrecipes.com).
The problem with many cookbooks is that they assume you’ve got all these different spices and ingredients, or can get them at a moment’s notice. That’s where they lose me, more often than not.
Not this cookbook. LeAnn Bird’s effort really is pantry-friendly. She’s included basic recipes, including sauces and glazes – even home-made tortillas. But she’s also included things like gazpacho and shrimp ceviche — things that will impress the neighbors when you invite them over. And with some of the recipes in this book, you’ll want to invite them over for a Mexican feast.
Of special note in this book is the list of ingredients on page 3. Bird gives you a list of everything you’ll need to cook what’s in the book, so that your pantry is ready. I don’t live in a metro area, but I’ve been able to find everything on this list locally. I really have enjoyed the book, especially the chimichanga recipes. I’ll be making those often, I can promise you. I’m looking forward to making my own peach salsa as well. That’s something that I’ve always bought in the store; now I think I can make it myself, and it will probably taste even better.
If you spend a lot of time in Mexican restaurants, or if you’ve ever walked down the Mexican food aisle in the grocery store and wondered how to use a lot of the stuff on the shelf, this is the cookbook for you. I know I’ll be getting a lot of use out of it.