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Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead Hardcover – 18 Oct 2016

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (18 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399578005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399578007
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 3.3 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A gift for the time-harried, food-particular cook: a shopping and cooking plan for meals that can be prepared in advance to carry you deliciously through the week. It s not only the recipes that are inspiring, but also the organizing rambunctiousness and confidence-embuing enthusiasm of the authors. Rich in ideas and hand-holding pointers, this is a book that makes itself immediately indispensable.
I want to hug this book! It s like one long pep talk from your best friends who know everything about good food and always keep their cool in the kitchen. Amanda and Merrill guide you through the process of making beautiful home-cooked dinners from menu planning to grocery shopping to reheating leftovers. They make an intimidating challenge (orchestrating five meals, plus brown-bag lunches, for a week) seem not only doable but also somehow even serene. I m so inspired by this book it s a treasure trove of Amanda and Merrill s genius.
JOANNA GODDARD, founder of A Cup of Jo
"It occurred to me that the book had a certain Marie Kondo quality to it: the life-changing magic of planning your week."
New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
New York Times
Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016
WSJ Magazine
Favorite Cookbooks of Fall 2016
Los Angeles Times
"Hesser and Stubbs are steeped in practical home cooking, both professionally and personally, and they know what they re talking about."
New York Times
"Food52 co-foundersAmanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have hit upon abrilliant idea: Just because weekdays are frantic affairs, doesn t mean weeknight dinners have to be. It s a rescueplan that involves weekend cooking and then weeknight repurposing. Planned leftovers. It s genius."
San Jose Mercury News
"You will forget all about GrubHub as soon as you delve into this photo-driven book that divides the chapters by base dishes, to be made over the weekend, with a foolproof formula of how to stretch them over the week in a variety of innovative ways. With grocery lists and timelines to accompany each week, cooking ahead has never been easier or more delicious."
"It s a self-help book masquerading as a cookbook, through which Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the multitalented and very successful entrepreneurs behind the Food52 recipe repository and lifestyle website, try to help you live a better life."
Lucky Peach
." . . willkeep you cooking smartly and happily."
Los Angeles Times
"An excellent concept, well-executed. Brava!"
The Kitchn
"From the founders of one of our favorite food websites, this is a meal-planning book that feels far more modern and sophisticated than the usual meal planners."
The Record
"Divided by season and by the authors, it's a beautiful book with food you want to eat. The seasonal plans give you everything you need to set yourself up well for the week, with grocery lists and cooking timelines. They also share clever tips and tricks."

About the Author

Amanda Hesser is the co-founder of Food52 and was previously a writer and editor at the New York Times. She wrote the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener. Her last book, a Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard Award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twins.
Merrill Stubbs is the co-founder of Food52 and has written for many food and lifestyle publications, including the New York Times. She cut her teeth in the test kitchen at Cook s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston before she worked with Amanda Hesser on The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children."

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book - you don't have to adhere to the game plans and indeed I do not because I cook like this a bit anyway - however the recipes are wonderful and I just love the whole attitude of the writers and I am really enjoying what they are inspiring me to make already.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting but a novice cook would struggle. There are sausages you make yourself and that sort of thing and there is an assumption that you have a butcher and greengrocer rather than a supermarket. The ideas are good, but you would need more confidence in the kitchen than I've got to make it work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book! It has completely changed my life! It makes weekday meal planning simple but most importantly super delicious. I feel like I have stepped it up a level in my cooking since getting this book as the recipes in themselves aren't just perfection, the authors also provide great advice along the way. Lovely lovely cook book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would not buy again ..not my style of cookery book and very different from previous food52 books
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews
150 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Cookbook EVER! 20 Oct. 2016
By J. Slezak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the concept of this book. Being widowed for the past 2 years, I found myself dreading managing meals every evening. Eating healthy became a chore and I would find myself snacking on junk food because the labor of daily cooking for myself and no one else was a reminder every day of my loss. I love the fact I don't have to come up with a shopping list and in one single day of just a few hours I have complete HEALTHY meals for the rest of the week. So far the recipes are delicious, lots of flavor. I am happily anticipating cooking my way through all 4 seasons. This is the cookbook I have been searching for my entire cooking life.
Edit to my previous review: After using this cookbook for several weeks I find my grocery bill has significantly decreased, and I'm not wasting food that I had bought, thinking to cook and ending up throwing it out, because I left it sit in the refrigerator too long.
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Far So Good! 4 Nov. 2016
By MCJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am off to a great start with the book. I have cooked parts of two menus. The menus make massive amounts of food, we don't eat dessert, and there are just 2 of us, so I've been only making a few of the recipes at a time and halving them. The recipes I've made so far (rosy chicken, roasted applesauce, spicy pork, pickled onions, coleslaw with lime dressing, etc.), have been really really good. It's also been a good learning tool for me - I do not tend to prepare food in advance, except soups and braises, so the practice of also preparing (and correctly storing) salad components and sides has been terrific. Spending several hours on the weekend cooking is a bummer for me, don't get me wrong - but taking the anxiety/agony of meal planning/shopping/cooking/cleaning out of the equation on busy weekdays really changes things for me, and makes me glad I took the time. The limitation for me for this book is that not all of the menus appeal, but if you can flexibly move across menus and pick and choose components, there are a lot of good ideas.
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly a beginner's cookbook, time estimates completely inaccurate, descriptions need work. 16 Jan. 2017
By Frita Bandita - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read about this book on a blog and thought it was an awesome idea. My husband and I have been trying to do more prep on the weekends since the weekdays are so busy and also try to find some new things to make instead of the easy standbys. We tried out one of the winter recipes and went a little nuts and followed everything exactly the first time through figuring we could freeze whatever was leftover. We followed the grocery list (thankfully we had quite a few things on hand already)- some of which is not the easiest to find in all grocery stores. I definitely suggest if you're going to be doing any of the fish recipes, load up at Costco/Sam's otherwise it gets very pricey very quickly.

Following the recipes and the weekend cooking itself. Well, this particular menu said it would take 3 hours. Ok, I figured it might be closer to 4 our first time through. No. We are both fairly adept in the kitchen and it took us both working nearly 5.5 hours. That's completely insane. All I can say is it better be good. I tasted some of the stuff (the lime ice cream is to die for) and the pork tastes pretty good. I'm skeptical about some of the other stuff.

In summary, some of the things that bugged us:
- Much quicker, less effort ways to accomplish the same result. For example, it would have been much easier to crockpot the Garlicky Beans and the pulled pork than just letting them sit on the stove for nearly 3 hours taking up valuable space. Heck, the green rice probably could've been accomplished the same way. Thank goodness I had an ice cream maker because checking on something in the freezer several times an hour for a few hours is just annoying. Or, here's a thought, just buy lime sherbet if neither of those ideas appeal to you.
- Prepping. I think this is where a lot of our time went. It would have been really nice if there was a list on one page how everything had to be prepped without digging into the recipes. For instance, we went through a ton of limes but I only zested a squeezed a few for one recipe. When it was time for the next, I had to go back, pull everything back out, etc. (that happened on 3 or 4 separate occasions over the 5+ hours). It would have been nice to just do it all at once. Same thing happened with pretty much all the produce. For the pork, I could've had the butcher cut it and prepare it which probably would've shaved off 20 minutes. Ditto for the fish. Since I didn't feel like carrying around the whole book grocery shopping, we just took a picture of the list and went. Even a sub bullet under each one with how they'd be prepared in each recipe would be helpful and maybe even referencing the recipe. Oh, and make sure you have good kitchen knives and that they're sharp.
- Descriptions. I disagree with what some other reviews say that this is good for newer/novice cooks. It most definitely is not. I'd say between the two of us, we're in the solid intermediate range of cooking skills and there were some things in the book that didn't make much sense at all and had us falling back on what we already knew to wing it. Fortunately, we've worked with most of the ingredients that were in this first round of recipes before but if you had never used shallots, serrano peppers, or poblanos then (or even know the difference between those), then this book will be a challenge. I won't even get started on what the heck they were trying to describe with the fish tents or something. If the description is long enough to be a gigantic paragraph that needs to be re-read at least 6 times- please provide a freaking picture. I still have no idea what it was supposed to look like and gave up and did it my own way.
- Time. I don't know where the cooking times came from but everything literally took double the time the book called for. Pork stayed on for almost an additional 1.5 hours to reduce down (ahem...a crockpot could've done this). The fish had to cook waaaaaay longer than called for and by this time it was getting super late so I just finished it by lightly broiling to make a nice crust.

All in all the recipes look good and have some decent ideas but cooking for 6 hours on the weekend is probably more time than I would've spent cooking prior to this. This was no exaggeration in the least. I'm willing to give it another go now that I know what to expect but sheesh, one more weekend cooking spree like this last one and I'm going to call this a failed attempt.

**********UPDATE AFTER FULL WEEK************

After going through the full week and adding all the time up, I think we'll just pick and choose which recipes we want and plan on doing only a couple days' worth instead of a full week. I will say, it was a huge relief to have everything planned out for that week and maybe just putting together a few ingredients for a salad (by the way, the watercress salad with the lime dressing was so simple but very fresh, bright, and delicious). I keep remaking this dressing just to have around now.

Most of the recipes were good. The fish was a bit of a disaster and the way they had you place the lime slices on them when baking created a super bitter, lime rind taste that was nearly impossible to cover up. So yeah...won't do that again.

It was nice to have lunches that I wasn't "meh" about or were the same boring thing. The pork tacos and pickled onions (another staple I will be keeping around) were very, very good.

We will definitely keep using this cookbook but given what we learned in the first go-around, we're definitely going to adjust how we do everything and insert our own shortcuts when going the long way around is totally unnecessary.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does more than helping me meal prep! 5 Feb. 2017
By Jacq W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love cooking and reading cook books. I have bought a lot of them and have received several as gifts. What I noticed about myself though, is that I will read these cookbooks mainly just for inspiration, but I don't use them to follow recipes to a T. Also, many of the recipes in those cookbooks are not things that one would usually prepare for a regular meal, but more for a party or a special occasion. Usually, these recipes require ingredients that you normally don't use, and that really discourages me from whipping up the recipes. My husband and I both work and do not really have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen on weeknights.

I stumbled upon A New Way to Dinner when I was browsing for something that would help me prepare food more efficiently. I read the reviews and thought to myself, "This is exactly what I need!". I ordered myself a hardbound copy of the book, waited patiently for it to arrive in the mail, then gave myself a few days to read through some of it. It's wintertime when I got my book so I started with the first batch of recipes in the winter section. I still got the bit feeling of discouragement when I was looking at some of the ingredients (e.g. oxtails, which I have never cooked before that weekend) but I told myself I'd stick to them because the recipes call for a week's (and some lunches) worth of meals. My husband also found it easier to help me because he knows what exactly needs to be done, not like when I would usually make a recipe up based on what we have in the fridge/freezer/pantry. Preparing and cooking the meals turned out to be a great quality time for him and me.

All the dinners we had were so good! The meals were huge so I was able to take some for lunch at work to share with my coworkers. Even our big boss loved the oxtail! In addition to helping me prepare meals ahead, I also loved that the recipes taught me how to explore and use unfamiliar ingredients in several different ways. I have never heard nor used Farro before, but after having it that week in several ways, I think I can think of other ways to use it. The idea of cooking oxtail was very intimidating to me, but after having the recipe from this cookbook, I want to cook them again! I am looking forward to our next set of meals to prepare! :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this book and think the whole idea is great 18 Feb. 2017
By Nancy Ruocco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book and think the whole idea is great. My only problem is the ingredients I can't find. (north suburbs of Chicago). Otherwise, terrific.
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