There is so much I like about Everyday Food: Great Food Fast it’s hard to know where to start. For one thing, it’s the kind of book I wish I had written, filled with delicious recipes that don’t take forever to make. And it’s just what’s needed by all my friends who don’t know where the kitchen is in their own homes. The recipes are culled from the popular Everyday Food magazine, published by Martha Stewart Living. They not only teach how to cook, but how to use ingredients and how to shop and eat seasonally. Eating seasonally is one of the keys to eating well, not to mention economically.

Most of the recipes are healthy ones. With detailed information about how long each recipe will take to prepare and cook, this book should help dispel the myth that getting dinner on the table is a long and arduous business. Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph so you can get a sense of what the finished dish will be like. Even an accomplished cook will find little tidbits here to learn from. I liked the suggestion of making a quick sauce from olive oil, parley and garlic and how to make Creamy Corn Soup using just corn, butter and a pinch of salt and all the hearty yet vegetarian recipes like Baked Ravioli and Warm Quinoa, Spinach and Shiitake Salad.

I do have a few quibbles. Call me a purist, but I don’t approve of overcooking risotto (please don’t cook it for 30 minutes!) or adding to half and half to Spaghetti Carbonara. Also, a number of the soups have heavy cream in them that really don’t need it (such as the Potato-Leek, and Creamy Parsnip). I like that there is nutritional information for the recipes but I don’t understand why it was put in the back of the book, instead of with the recipes themselves. But these are all minor complaints. Most importantly the recipes are straightforward, appealing, easy to make and generally pretty good for you.

Creamy Fettuccine with Asparagus
Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Total time 30 minutes

1/4 cup pine nuts
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
3/4 pound fettuccine
(or thick strand pasta)
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thirds
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill leaves

1. In a small skilled over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fettuccine until al dente, according to the package instructions, adding the asparagus during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water;drain

3. Return pasta, asparagus, and reserved pasta water to the pot. Toss with the goat cheese, mustard, dill and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Reprinted from EVERYDAY FOOD by Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2007 Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Cook by the Book: Everyday Food Great Food Fast 7 March,2007Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor