The Accidental Gourmet Weekends and Holidays
Festive Meals for Family and Friends
From the authors of The Accidental Gourmet Weeknights come 52 elegant Saturday company dinners, 52 comforting Sunday family suppers, and 23 holiday feasts.
In The Accidental Gourmet Weeknights, Sally Sondheim and Suzannah Sloan showed time-pressed cooks how to redefine their relationship with their kitchens and create stress-free, fuss-free family meals every weeknight of the year. But Sondheim and Sloan know that feeding family and friends on weekends and holidays, when expectations are higher, can be equally challenging. In The Accidental Gourmet Weekends and Holidays, they now complete the year by giving home cooks everywhere a foolproof way to put a delicious meal on the table every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday, even with limited time and resources. The secret? Sondheim and Sloan have redesigned old-fashioned home cooking to fit perfectly into today's often hectic, fragmented lifestyle in an easy-to-follow format that allows cooks of all levels to achieve spectacular results. The taste that used to take grandma days to prepare can now be on the table in a matter of hours.
Every meal is composed of main, side, and dessert dishes that have been carefully chosen to complement one another, take advantage of seasonal ingredients, minimize kitchen time, and maximize enjoyment. Each menu comes with a convenient, comprehensive, and organized shopping list and a step-by-step countdown to ensure that dinner gets to the table in the right order and at the right temperature.
Having a dinner party on Saturday night? Serve roast capon with a dark cherry sauce, accompanied by herbed asparagus; hearts of palm salad with tarragon dressing; and chocolate-glazed, custard-filled pound cake. Or how about salmon steaks crusted with pepper and served with orange sauce, accompanied by sherried carrots, a bean sprout salad, and a frosted chocolate-mint cake? A family gathering on Sunday evening might offer maple-glazed ham steaks with a creamy potato casserole, green beans in a tangy mustard sauce, and a strawberry-rhubarb crisp or a chicken and vegetable stew, sour cream muffins, and apple dumplings. There are also special, sumptuous meals for holidays and celebrations.
No matter the occasion, The Accidental Gourmet Weekends and Holidays is the one book that will guarantee a memorable meal every time.
Paired up again for their second Accidental Gourmet title, Sondheim and Sloan expand on their attempt to make home-cooked meals accessible to all, focusing on special dinners for weekends and holidays. This volume lays out 127 meals, each with at least three components: a main dish, sides and dessert. The dishes, which often have cutesy titles like Rambunctious Ravioli Soup, Rapscallion Salad, Boisterous Bread and Disorderly Dessert, employ familiar cooking techniques and ingredients available at mainstream grocery stores. Accessibility and ease are the strengths of this cookbook. Each meal is presented in step-by-step fashion with a shopping list and a checklist of staple foods, a list of necessary kitchen equipment and a countdown of ordered cooking steps to ensure that all the components of the meal will be ready and hot at the same time. According to the authors' introduction, all of their meals can be prepared in less than a few hours. The recipes are targeted to emulate the dishes that"used to take our grandmothers days to prepare" and, as such, are unassuming--no fusion cuisine here. Good ol' American cooking is emphasized: gelatin makes a frequent appearance in desserts, for example, and cheese and cream are often added to vegetable side dishes. That said, Sondheim and Sloan do integrate fresh fruits and vegetables into every meal and encourage lavish use of flavor enhancers such as fresh herbs, wine and liqueurs. While this cookbook may not push or inspire an advanced or curious cook, it does a terrific job of breaking down good home cooking into simple steps, making tasty dinners accessible to even the most hurried families.
Accidental Gourmet Weekends
Unfortunately, the preview of this book, and it's companion, weekdays, did not really give a flavor of the books. I was unfortunately enticed to buy both. This too, is simply as terrible cookbook. Please see my review of weekdays, I was unable to return this book due to policy of all sales final, forcing me to thumb through. Do not waste your time.
I deleted both from my library.