Review: The Frugal Foodie Cookbook
The world of foodie-journalists clacking away at their laptops is a tight-knit group made up of passionate and talented people. That said, it always warms my heart to see a fellow food blogger publishing a book. It happened for gal-pal Jaden Hair with her 2009 release The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. And no one has parlayed blog-to-book better than Julie Powell who added a second hyphen “to-movie” with the smash Julie & Julia based on her best selling book.
Also transitioning from blogger to author are the gastro power couple of Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small. The two met in 2005 at the University of Pennsylvania where Small dazzled the pretty brunette with Bananas Flambé on their first date. Subsequent dates (most spent cooking) soon led to the blog Two Fat Als in 2006. Four years later Adams Media tapped the two for publication with The Frugal Foodie Cookbook.
Frugal Foodie teaches readers how to break bread without out breaking the bank with inspired recipes that average less than $7 a serving. Gems like Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Panzanella, Apricot Brandy-Baked French Toast and Better-than-Chesapeake Crab Cakes keep the mundane at bay. And don’t worry wayward lovers, Alex includes the recipe for his heart-stealing Bananas Flambé as well.
Kaufman and Small intertwine the recipes with brief but revealing glimpses into their lives together. The characters of their romance do not just include prosciutto and garbanzo beans but bipedal characters like Alanna’s college roommate Jacqui who served as the inspiration for a muffin with “almost every ingredient we could imagine adding to muffins.”
Apparently the sweet tooth is a big part of their world as they dedicate four chapters to sugary treats: Muffins & Cupcakes, Cookies & Bars, Cakes & Pies and More Desserts. There are also a number of savory-sweet dishes to chose from including an amazing number of recipes that include figs.
The Frugal Foodie Cookbook is perfect for anyone who wants to dine like a gourmet but lacks the equity. If I had a criticism of this book it would be that I found the index a bit limited but clearly that doesn’t stop the recipes from tasting great. It is the perfect gift for that aspiring foodie in your circle of friends.