Monday, October 7, 2013

Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie Stiavetti


One of my passions other than my family, books and movies is cooking. I love to cook, and the more difficult the recipe the more I want to challenge myself to make it.  I also have learned how to fix a recipe if it is not as tasty as I think it should be. Enough with tooting my own horn. Cooking is relaxing for me. No matter how stressful a day at work might be I  like coming home and putting together a nice meal for my family.

I have been a member of Netgalley for awhile now and gotten some amazing books to review. It never occured to me to look through the cookbook section. When I saw this I thought "Who doesn't love Mac and Cheese?" I was very excited when I was approved for this title. There are a ton of recipes in this collection, but for the most part they are not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting twists on a classic favorite, there are a few recipes, but for the most part this is more of a pasta cook book. Pasta salads and soup are just a few recipes that I was not expecting.

As much as I love to cook I am a very picky eater, and there are some cheeses that make my stomach turn just at the mention of them. This being said I didn't find a recipe that I was willing to rush out and cook. I really wanted to have pictures of the finished product so I could show off my cooking skills.

What I did really like about this book was all the great information at the beginning. Before you get to all the recipes there are sections on cheeses, pastas, and even the best cooking tools to use in certain situations. I'm a little weird and I always like to know how things are made. The beginning of this is all about cheese and how it is made even on the microscopic level. I enjoyed reading the science that went into cheese making. There is a lot of information on cheese in this book which can be very helpful. How to buy cheeses, and the proper way to store cheese to maximize flavor was one I will keep with me.

Of course the same care has been taken with pasta. There is plenty information as to how to buy and store different types of pastas, and even why to choose premium dried pastas. Along with the pasta info there is a small section as to what tools you might need to make these recipes. The other big thing that I really liked about this book was that each recipe had alternate cheeses that you could use that would make the dish just as good. There are also wine and food pairings at the end of each recipe. I haven't found a recipe that I have been willing to try yet, but I like that I have options as to how to make it and what is recommended to serve with this dish.

Well for not making any of the recipes I really did have a lot to say about this book. I will give this a solid 3 out of 5 stars just for the useful info this book contains. I can easily use this as a cooking reference for future recipes. I also have not given up on thumbing through these recipes. I do like to change things to make them more appealing to me and my family so maybe I will make a few changes to some of these and find a new cheese/pasta favorite. I hope to feel adventurous one day and pull this back out and boldly go where no cheese has gone before. (I couldn't end this without at least one cheesy one liner) :-)

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