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9 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compensates for its flaws in a big way, 18 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
I'll be frank and admit I don't love the narrator's voice. Each recipe is preceded by a bit of personal history, which is sometimes charming but often a little over the top. (It might be relevant to know I never read the author's blog and bought this book purely because I thought it looked promising.) The author has a very effusive writing style, which makes a lot of it appear somewhat contrived. The little stories are also mostly about her childhood, her domestic life and her family, which is fine, but does not hold all that much interest for me.

All the recipes are gluten free. The author had a brief spell of gluten intolerance which led her to experiment with gluten free flours and recipes. She found she actually prefers the taste of gluten free baking so she kept it up. The introductory chapter contains a number of recipes for gluten free crusts, used in tarts throughout the book.

Encouraged by her enthousiasm and curious to try this for myself, I set forth to the bio store and stocked up on the likes of rice flour, buckwheat flour and quinoa flour. Several experiments later, I can confirm I most certainly do not prefer the taste of gluten free baking. I threw in the towel after particularly vile tasting zucchini muffins.

However, despite all that, I would still rate this book 4 stars. I find myself steadily working my way through the book, always happening on something I'm tempted to try. The gluten free flours are easily replaced by regular flour and most of the recipes lend themselves to a lot of customising. She has lots of lovely ideas (such as a savoury tarte tatin with tomatoes, a pesto whipped up with walnuts and ricotta ...) which you can easily build on and inspire you to be more creative yourself. She clearly loves food and every recipe is well thought-out.

Aesthetically it's also a very pleasing book. The pictures are good, very bright and colourful, guaranteeing a good mood. The book is practical as well, as it stays open on the page when cooking.

All in all, I would say this probably is not the best book for someone only just learning to cook, but would definitely recommend for someone with a little confidence in the kitchen looking for a fresh take.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 27 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
Not just the recipes, but the book itself. It's just gorgeous, laid out beautifully and a real pleasure to read. And the recipes are innovative, delicious, not overly fussy to make, and more to the point, healthy. Brilliant, and I would recommend it to anybody, if you're gluten free, then this book's recipes will make you feel you're really not missing out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 6 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
Great and lovely book. Contains stunning photographs and delicious recipes. Specially good if you are following a gluten free diet. I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL!!, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
IT WAS A GIFT FOR MY DAUGHTER AND SHE IS REALLY DELIGHTED WITH IT. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL BOOK, WITH REALLY GOOD PICTURES AND THE RECIPES ARE SIMPLY FANTASTIC!!!!!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and interesting recipes, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
I have many baking books but think this is one of the best - recipes not too fussy, all that I have tried so far taste delicious, really light yet intense flavours. Author uses non traditional flours - amaranth, rice,millet, etc so you need to be prepared to stock up on all these before using the book, but that's the only downside!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a book to read and enjoy, 3 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
I like the the way it is writen, it makes you enjoy cooking and eating. Most of the ingredients are vegetarían.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very talented photographer and health-savvy cook., 15 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
I have such a crush on this book. It's so attractive and hard to keep my mitts off! Just made the buttermilk, poppyseed & quinoa pancakes to great applause. And because they are nutritious (ie NOT full of marg, white sugar and white flour), there's no guilt attached.

You'll learn how to incorporate wholegrain flours such as quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet into your baking without your taste buds objecting. This isn't easy to do, so she's obviously a very clever and capable cook. And a seriously talented artist.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carves a niche, 18 Feb. 2013
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I. Darren (Fi) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
If you buy this book, you might want to save it until you have a little bit of quality time on your hands. You will be all the richer for it.

Here the reader is taken on a semi-romantic, whimsical first-person tour back to the author's childhood in France in order to understand a little about her enthusiasm for all matters culinary. Sometimes such portraits tend to appear quite desperate, quite self-justifying in nature and rather playing to the "I am, I am" tendency of the author. Yet, cleverly, it just works on this occasion and adds a layer of genuine enjoyment, a bit like a good chocolate filling on top of a superb cake. The cake would be great without it, but when it is with it... wow!

This book has been created with love and enthusiasm - it shows. At the start there is an overview of the author's ingredients and her reasoning behind them and this is quite a telling, interesting look behind the scene. The reader learns just how focussed the author has been on the choice of ingredients, remaining open to trying new things that might at first glance go beyond the grain. For example the author mostly will use gluten-free flours. Not through any specific medical reason but solely since she discovered

that the wider variety of flours and wheats that often remain "unknown" through the use of regular flours. It was not just a question of switch X for Y, but experimentation and dedication to make the most of what is at hand. It IS worth reading this text (often one tends to skip over or read superficially when you get to the 20th version of a basic ingredients list) as the information is cunningly presented so it seeps into your brain through a form of osmosis. A similar overview of cooking equipment is presented in a similar, fun way too.

A number of basic recipes appear throughout the book which can, of course, be either a good standalone dish or a great dish for further customisation and building upon. The author makes frequent recourse to these throughout and that could be a good clue that they are worth learning and learning well in their own right. Every great building needs good foundations.

Even though this is not a "teach yourself cooking"-style of book, the amount of educational knowledge being imparted other than "just" recipes is astounding as it does not read like, or feel like, a typical text book. The advice is often short and to the point, such as the information given for "basic cooking techniques" but you get the message and sufficient advice to focus on your tasks.

After what is, in fact, a fairly lengthy introduction when you consider the page count (but it didn't feel that long) it is time to look at the main recipes. Here they are split into several sections - breakfast and brunches, lunches, dinner and desserts - there is further sub-division within each chapter based around a topic or a theme. In many ways this is a book that should be read from cover-to-cover rather than dip in and dip out. Naturally you might not focus intently on each recipe until you are then ready for them, but you get a greater overall feeling for what is achievable as well as a lot of additional knowledge and inspiration at the same time.

Much of the styling and heritage for the recipes comes unashamedly from the author's French roots, yet this is not a de facto French cookery book. Maybe a sort of discreet Fusion of French styles and a wider international focus would be a fairer description. Naturally enough, one might find a few decidedly French dishes there too.

The quality of photography is excellent it is works as a great compliment to the book. Strangely enough, this book would still be great without the pictures - they do add a certain something but the book feels so complete that the pictures feel (and this is not a criticism) as padding. Many recipe books feel hollow without pictures, yet this book has so much going on that you tend to forget that..

Each recipe is written fairly simply and is easy to understand, even though many of the recipes can be rather complex or involved. Fear not. The author's writing style means that even an interested, but relatively unexperienced cook could work patiently with these recipes without much of a problem. The more experienced cook will perhaps use the book for more inspirational and practical purposes, yet still get a lot out of it.

The book concludes much later (it is a large book) with an index. Unfortunately YUM cannot give an opinion on the quality of the index - itself a fairly important thing as if there is a bad index you curse the book often during use! - as we received an electronic copy of the book for review. But if the index takes after the rest of the book there shall be nothing to worry about. One can imagine that the physical book could be a great coffee table book when not being used in the kitchen. It gives that impression, but sadly we couldn't say for sure...

Overall. A great book that manages to carve a little unique corner of a very crowded marketplace and manages to be engaging, dynamic and of interest to a reviewer who sees dozens of similar books each week. The casual purchaser might not appreciate just how much of a difference a good, challenging, unique book can be when the "subject" is by no means that unique.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow!, 9 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life (Hardcover)
everything is well done, the recipes are nice to see and easy to do
only one information is missing: where to by fabrics and dishware shown in the pictures...
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La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life
La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life by Beatrice Peltre (Hardcover - 10 July 2012)
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