Back-of-the-book blurb: Bite Me provides the answer to the most commonly asked question, “What’s for dinner?” You won’t need an army of sous chefs, a pantry of guava paste or a blowtorch to turn a bag of groceries into a satisfying meal. Here are 175 dependably delicious, rigorously tested recipes created for the urban and suburban, the aspiring and well-seasoned home cook. Bite Me speaks to more than just your stomach; the creation of food is intimately tied to the world outside the kitchen – family, art, music, movies and pop culture are constant sources of laughter and inspiration.
She Is Too Fond of Books’ review: When was the last time you laughed as you leafed through a cookbook? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Cookbooks tend to be utilitarian, offering recipes and techniques; or inspiring, offering beautiful photo spreads or perhaps a travelogue to accompany a regional menu. But entertaining? It’s generally up to the cook to supply the laughs, either via kitchen mishaps (I speak from experience), or the fun of a dinner party (again, I speak from experience).
Bite Me is different – fun and funny, full of do-able recipes from apps to desserts, iconic photos, laugh-worthy captions and sidebar text, even a suggested play list of more than a dozen tunes to cook by. I met the authors, sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat, at BookExpo America, and definitely clicked with their humor, double entendre puns, and the way they embrace cooking as a task that should be both savored and enjoyed to the fullest. They sent me home with a orange tote proclaiming “Bite Me,” which I bring to the grocery store when I’m feeling particularly put out by this task!
I was struck by the gorgeous close-up photos of the completed dishes and the frame-worthy images that introduce each section. This iconic image begins “Spoon Me,” a collection of 14 soup recipes. My picks from this chapter include Roasted Carrot Soup with Candied Pistachios and Moroccan Spiced Chicken Soup. Andy Warhol never had it this good when he was creating his iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans images!
We’ve marked recipes from “unDress Me” (salads), “Crave Me” (Pasta and Rice), and ”Gobble me” (Pasta and Rice) to try before summer’s end. My son and I perused “Join me” (brunch) and made the Berry Burst Muffines with Crumble Topping after blueberry-picking a few weeks ago. I chuckled at the faux personal ad shown at the top of the page, he followed the straightforward 5-step directions, and we all enjoyed these muffins (secret ingredients include sour cream and lemon zest … that’s the only tease you’ll get). We tipped some of them upside down for the photo – these muffins are definitely bursting with berries!
Peppered throughout Bite Me are quirky “Bite Me Bits,” such as:
Did you know that “go hang a salami” and “I’m a lasagna hog,” read the same spelled backwards?
You can try to impress your family with the trivia from these “Bits,” but they’re sure to be impressed with the meals you serve. Recipes use readily found ingredients, employ simple techniques, and produce tasty dishes. The fun you’ll have planning the meals is an extra bonus.
Bite Me is recommended for new and experienced cooks who enjoy a blend of sassy and sweet. Check out the Bite Me Cookbook website to see samples of the Bite Me style, and to order the book. As noted above, the Pinky Swear Press edition is available now from Chapters Indigo; Bite Me will be published in the US by Kyle Press in the fall of 2010.