Spiral-bound: 664 pages
Publisher: Better Homes & Gardens; 16 Spi edition (March 1, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (357 customer reviews)
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I've faithfully purchased Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks since the 1980s and overall the BH&G cookbooks have been solid references. I also purchase Betty Crocker cookbooks as I learned to cook with Betty. Between the two cookbooks I find plenty of basic but varied recipes. Of the two BH&G cookbooks tend to slant more towards modern home cooking while Betty Crocker tends to lean more towards baking and desserts. I'm happy with both cookbooks as they both fill their niche.The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 16th edition, has headed back towards more mainstream recipes than it's predecessor which ventured off to some of the more exotic recipes. I like the 16th edition as every cook needs to have a good cookbook filled with basic (foundation) recipes you can depend on for daily cooking.Some of the recipes you will find in this cookbook include:Bacon-Cheddar-Stuffed MushroomsAll-American Cheeseburger SoupBeer Can ChickenOven-Fried Parmesan ChickenFish TacosBaked Fish with Variations (A Make It Mine recipe)Oven-Baked Pork Chops (8 to Try recipe)Mashed Potatoes (A Cook's Secrets recipe)Buttermilk PancakesFruit Coffee CakeFritataRed Velvet CupcakesMaple, Apple and Cheddar PieThe Make It Mine recipes take a key ingredient and suggest variations using the key ingredient.The 8 to Try offers another key recipe with 8 variations using the key ingredient.The Cook's Secret's recipes offer key tips and color photos showing how to prepare the recipe for maximum flavor.The cookbook comes already organized and ready-to-go. Some notebook style cookbooks do not do this and you have to figure out how to insert the binder tabs and pages inside the cookbook.
I've been using the 11th edition of this standard cookbook for nearly 15 years, and was anxious to look at this updated edition. It is a decent update, and a solid choice if you only want one cookbook on your shelf. But the format is feeling a bit dated, and there are plenty of other general-purpose cookbooks that could easily replace this one (Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and the "New Family Cookbook" from America's Test Kitchen come to mind).Below are some points to consider, whether you are buying your first "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook, or updating from a previous edition:* Format: The hardcover, 5-ring binder format is still the same as it has been from years. For me, this is kind of an inconvenient format...pages are a little harder to turn, getting stuck in the rings, discouraging casual browsing. Part of the problem is that there are a LOT of pages given the size of the cookbook. Everything just seems a bit too cramped. The good thing is that if you have some favorite pages from an older edition, you can easily add them to the new book. I also like the tabbed sections that most cookbooks lack.* Organization: The tabbed sections are organized in alphabetical order, as opposed to many other cookbooks where sauces, soups, salads, and appetizers are near the front, with main courses in the middle and desserts near the end. This is fine, I guess, because the BHG cookbook seems to be more of a reference manual than a fun-to-read cookbook. Looking up recipes is sometimes tricky. For example, I wanted to find a recipe for guacamole. So, I went to the section called "Appetizers & Drinks". The tabbed divider further organizes that section by listing subcategories. So, I went to the "Dips & Spreads" heading and looked for guacamole.
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