My Cooking Journey: Arlene's Simple to Lavish

Arlene Levin. Apele, $35 (240p) ISBN 978-0-9904676-0-1
This prototypical home cookbook represents an array of American comfort food. Levin has spent her entire married life as an enthusiastic home cook and entertainer. She's won some local awards in Illinois for items such as her Pumpkin Apple Muffins and has an extensive collection of family favorite recipes, coupled with the expected set of pretty photographs of food, as well as some useful guides to pantry staples and equipment. She has organized those recipes for readers into familiar sections like poultry and desserts, made some notes about the speed of the recipes, and tried to provide some sentimental context: one recipe is one of her daughter-in-law's favorites, another is the first dish her husband made for her when they were dating. While these notes are pleasant diversions, readers won't learn about technique or even the overall quality of the recipes, as Levin has no professional experience to make her recipes trustworthy. While this might be fine for readers just seeking a conventional American cookbook, they will likely pass it over in the sea of American cookbooks that also cover theory and technique at the hands of experts. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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