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Beat This! Cookbook

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Do people take one bite of your food, moan with delight and beg you for the recipe? Do they exclaim, "Out of this world!" and "Beyond perfect!" when they taste your cooking? When you cook from BEAT THIS!, they will. In a book that has become a classic for its unique combination of irresistible recipes and hilarious prose, Ann Hodgman throws down the gauntlet, with more tha Do people take one bite of your food, moan with delight and beg you for the recipe? Do they exclaim, "Out of this world!" and "Beyond perfect!" when they taste your cooking? When you cook from BEAT THIS!, they will. In a book that has become a classic for its unique combination of irresistible recipes and hilarious prose, Ann Hodgman throws down the gauntlet, with more than 100 recipes that she guarantees to be better than anyone else's. Recipes include: Apple Crisp, Baking Powder Biscuits, Beef Stew, Blueberry Muffins, Caramels, Chicken Salad, Clam Chowder, Deviled Eggs, Fudge, Fried Mushrooms, Gingersnaps, Guacamole, Lemon Squares, Lime Sorbet, Molasses Cookies, Onion Soup, Pesto Torta, Plum Pudding, Potato Salad, Shrimp Salad, Spaghetti Sauce, Sugar Cookies, Tomato Soup, Vinaigrette, White-Chocolate Raspberry Pie, and Whole-Wheat Bread.


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Do people take one bite of your food, moan with delight and beg you for the recipe? Do they exclaim, "Out of this world!" and "Beyond perfect!" when they taste your cooking? When you cook from BEAT THIS!, they will. In a book that has become a classic for its unique combination of irresistible recipes and hilarious prose, Ann Hodgman throws down the gauntlet, with more tha Do people take one bite of your food, moan with delight and beg you for the recipe? Do they exclaim, "Out of this world!" and "Beyond perfect!" when they taste your cooking? When you cook from BEAT THIS!, they will. In a book that has become a classic for its unique combination of irresistible recipes and hilarious prose, Ann Hodgman throws down the gauntlet, with more than 100 recipes that she guarantees to be better than anyone else's. Recipes include: Apple Crisp, Baking Powder Biscuits, Beef Stew, Blueberry Muffins, Caramels, Chicken Salad, Clam Chowder, Deviled Eggs, Fudge, Fried Mushrooms, Gingersnaps, Guacamole, Lemon Squares, Lime Sorbet, Molasses Cookies, Onion Soup, Pesto Torta, Plum Pudding, Potato Salad, Shrimp Salad, Spaghetti Sauce, Sugar Cookies, Tomato Soup, Vinaigrette, White-Chocolate Raspberry Pie, and Whole-Wheat Bread.

30 review for Beat This! Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Markus

    Yes, as a matter of fact, I have read this whole book. And yes, it's a cookbook. But it's not just a cookbook. Plus, okay, I might have skimmed some of the ingredients. But that's not the point. The point is, this is one of those cookbooks that talks to you. Rants at you, more often than not. Which I love. "Why are people always so proud of their brownie recipes? Katharine Hepburn, for example. If there's anything I'm sick of -- besides the way she always says she's a regular perso Yes, as a matter of fact, I have read this whole book. And yes, it's a cookbook. But it's not just a cookbook. Plus, okay, I might have skimmed some of the ingredients. But that's not the point. The point is, this is one of those cookbooks that talks to you. Rants at you, more often than not. Which I love. "Why are people always so proud of their brownie recipes? Katharine Hepburn, for example. If there's anything I'm sick of -- besides the way she always says she's a regular person and not an actress -- it's reading about how sinful her brownies are. Actually, Hepburn's is the dullest brownie formula there is." Which is true. I came up with a brownie recipe that really is awesome, and I named it "NOT Katharine Hepburn's Brownies." Because it's based on her recipe, but then there's a secret ingredient called AMAZINGNESS. Okay, actually the secret ingredient is way more chocolate than Hepburn included. Because Ann Hodgman is right when she says that if you want to improve a recipe, "just double the chocolate and add some bacon." So, yeah, this book is quite conversational. And irreverent. The recipes are in alphabetical order, rather than being organized by type. "I think it's more fun to read a cookbook with all different kinds of recipes jostled together, just as I prefer bookshelves where books like Betsy, Tacy & Tib are snuggled between The Interpretation of Dreams and A Field Guide to the Mammals of North America." Which means that you'll find a recipe for brownies followed by a recipe for -- oh. Bubble stuff. Huh. "Okay, it's not food....but the corn syrup does provide quick energy to your lawn when your children spill this on their way to the backyard." The premise of this collection is that these recipes are not dishes you'd want to serve and eat every day, for the simple reason that your arteries would harden audibly in less than a week. (Hodgman is a big fan of butter, as well as the aforementioned bacon.) These are the recipes you haul out for special occasions. They're really good, they're easy to follow, and yes, they're fun to read. I can personally vouch for the corn bread, the deviled eggs (which I made frequently before my son went vegetarian and my husband became allergic to vinegar, which happened in the same month and yes I'm still bitter), and the pecan pie (which I'd never made in any form before trying Hodgman's recipe, but which was one of the few desserts my husband could still eat without dying after the Great Adult-Onset Allergy Storm Of 2002 struck our home). I can also guarantee that, unless our current economic situation hit you so hard that you were forced to sell your sense of humor, you will enjoy reading this book even if you never cook at all. It may even inspire you to go spend some time in the kitchen, just for fun. Because as Hodgman makes clear, anyone can have a good time cooking. Look at this awesome recipe her own daughter came up with at the tender age of 5: Plain Dough Sugar Raisins Any fruit Cookit Talk about short and sweet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    TheGeekyBlogger

    Review from NetGalley This is a re-issue of a great cookbook with updated quips, recipes, and antidotes! Book releases March 15, 2011 What I Loved: I have loved every version of this cookbook but haven't been able to find a copy in awhile. When I saw that another version was coming out with tidbits from Elizabeth Berg, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. The book did not disappoint. This is not a typical cookbook---oh don't get me wrong it is full of great recipes---but i Review from NetGalley This is a re-issue of a great cookbook with updated quips, recipes, and antidotes! Book releases March 15, 2011 What I Loved: I have loved every version of this cookbook but haven't been able to find a copy in awhile. When I saw that another version was coming out with tidbits from Elizabeth Berg, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. The book did not disappoint. This is not a typical cookbook---oh don't get me wrong it is full of great recipes---but it also full of humor, stories, and it feels like a county cookbook you would buy from the local 4-H Club. Word of warning though that unless you have a metabolism that allows you to eat whatever you want and maintain a beautiful figure, these recipes are more for the special occasions where good old fashioned home cooking is called for! If you are one of those people that can eat whatever, whenever please don't tell me--I want to continue liking you! Recipes on my list: Apple Crisp Bacon Deviled Eggs (reminded me of a friend of mine0 Blue Cheese Dressing Brussel Sprouts Fudge Gingerbread Pecan Pie Pecan Puffs Roast Chicken Some of the fun things in this book to give you a glimpse at what to expect: What I Liked: All around this had many more recipes that I might try but it also gave me ideas in the back of what to do with left overs, how to measure, and just what things really mean. That useful information can be used with any cookbook that you have! Complaints: None Why I gave it a 4.5: Really a great cookbook that I will be buying and putting on my shelf! Who would I recommend it too: People who love good old fashioned recipes that you can serve to family and friends! Author Website: http://www.kitchendaily.com/bloggers/...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Poiema

    I have the older, 1993 version of this cookbook. I remembered checking it out from the library many times during the 1990s, so when I saw it for sale on a discount book site, I ordered my own copy. It's paperback, not the nicest quality for kitchen duty. The author is irreverent, sometimes funny and sometimes obnoxious ---but never boring! Her personality adds spice to the recipes, for sure. Here are a few examples: "I think quick rolled oats are sissies" "I don't want to sound l I have the older, 1993 version of this cookbook. I remembered checking it out from the library many times during the 1990s, so when I saw it for sale on a discount book site, I ordered my own copy. It's paperback, not the nicest quality for kitchen duty. The author is irreverent, sometimes funny and sometimes obnoxious ---but never boring! Her personality adds spice to the recipes, for sure. Here are a few examples: "I think quick rolled oats are sissies" "I don't want to sound like THE BAD FOR YOU COOKBOOK here. I'm not telling you that you HAVE to use lard. I'm just saying it makes the best fried chicken. Same with the MSG. No one is MAKING you use it! But as long as you're using lard, for God's sake, you might as well use the MSG too." You can tell from the last quote that it's a little dated; everyone I know avoids MSG like the plague! Although lard is coming back into vogue. . . The recipes I've used from this book are all very, very good. I love the English French Toast, the Northern Cornbread, and the fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Oh, and the Caramels are worth the price of the book. As you can see from this short list, it's purely American food but the recipes are written in a quirky fashion. I liked it well enough to buy the companion volume, too, called _Beat That!_

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Pictures of Recipes? Nope. Not a single one. Commentary on Recipes? Yes Nutrition Facts? No Recipe style? Classic American. Any keepers? I just can't with this book. In this day and age, I don't know how a cookbook gets published without pictures. We don't even get a glossy color insert in the middle showcasing some of the recipes. Without pictures, I'm not sold on why your recipes for X is better than the way I've been cooking X for years. I don't doubt some of these recipes migh Pictures of Recipes? Nope. Not a single one. Commentary on Recipes? Yes Nutrition Facts? No Recipe style? Classic American. Any keepers? I just can't with this book. In this day and age, I don't know how a cookbook gets published without pictures. We don't even get a glossy color insert in the middle showcasing some of the recipes. Without pictures, I'm not sold on why your recipes for X is better than the way I've been cooking X for years. I don't doubt some of these recipes might be good, but I'm totally uninspired to actually attempt any of them. Oh, and the alphabetical arrangement of recipes was quite annoying .

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily M

    This is a hoot to read, and while I've only tried about half of the recipes, they're all yummy. This author is definitely of the double-the-butter-and-add-bacon school of thought, which is why they taste good. Right now, we're in a mid-30's healthy kick, so I don't reach for this as much as less indulgent cookbooks of late. But it's worth it for the 2 or 3 times a year I do get it out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    SLEEP, READ, EAT, REPEAT!!!

    I'm keeping one recipe out of this book. Priceless almond triangles... hope they turn out good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sims

    Great recipes and great wit: What more could you ask for?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lize

    It's not that the recipes are bad--I tried a couple and found them both good. It's that the author was touted as HILARIOUS! but I just find her incredibly ANNOYING. Plus, the recipes are arranged every which way, with clam chowder on one page and cinnamon rolls on the facing page, for example, which I'm sure is fine, but not what I prefer. Plus, she arrogantly insists her recipes for each item are the absolute best, but I'm already terribly fond of my own versions of several of them (like my cho It's not that the recipes are bad--I tried a couple and found them both good. It's that the author was touted as HILARIOUS! but I just find her incredibly ANNOYING. Plus, the recipes are arranged every which way, with clam chowder on one page and cinnamon rolls on the facing page, for example, which I'm sure is fine, but not what I prefer. Plus, she arrogantly insists her recipes for each item are the absolute best, but I'm already terribly fond of my own versions of several of them (like my chocolate fudge icing) and feel no desire to try hers. Plus, she includes that stupid Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe. PLUS, she wants me to bake my own graham crackers, and insists I will be "sad" if I do not. (I gave away Mark Bittner's cookbook because he wanted me to make my own vinegar--you're not going to fare any better, sweetheart.) And no, Ms. Hodgman, not EVERY recipe is improved by adding bacon. I cannot tell you how tired I am of hearing that. My husband doesn't eat pork. What the hell am I supposed to do? (I'm glad I ordered this because of a catalog recommendation and it did not come from a friend. That would have been awkward.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elhara

    Aside from reading, I am lucky to find myself enjoying yet another interest. Cooking. Many of us start out wearing the "feeding family hat", like it or not. It took me a number of years to have the time needed to up my status of possessing only basic culinary skills. I knew I was only placating my family's hunger pains. TV shows like early Martha Stewart and many show episodes of The Food Network played a huge role in bettering my meal offerings while still entertaining me; as did so many wonder Aside from reading, I am lucky to find myself enjoying yet another interest. Cooking. Many of us start out wearing the "feeding family hat", like it or not. It took me a number of years to have the time needed to up my status of possessing only basic culinary skills. I knew I was only placating my family's hunger pains. TV shows like early Martha Stewart and many show episodes of The Food Network played a huge role in bettering my meal offerings while still entertaining me; as did so many wonderful cookbooks. Beat This! Cookbook This is a cookbook that I wished I had owned in my early cooking years. Ann Hodgman takes a lot of the work out of finding the best recipes for many of the foods we all enjoy and call comfort. Her side notes, margin writings and charming anecdotes add to the upbeat flavour, pardon the pun, of this fun and very doable cookbook.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    With a family of six I am always looking for new recipes to try and the Beat This! Cookbook, which is about to be rereleased, sounded promising. While the style is certainly readable with Ann Hodgman's warmth and humor, I didn't find any recipes that particularly suited me. Many of the recipes require a lot of prep and ingredients (including some not available in Australia like Corn Syrup). Neither were any of the recipes particuarly original, I felt that they could have come from my mothers pre With a family of six I am always looking for new recipes to try and the Beat This! Cookbook, which is about to be rereleased, sounded promising. While the style is certainly readable with Ann Hodgman's warmth and humor, I didn't find any recipes that particularly suited me. Many of the recipes require a lot of prep and ingredients (including some not available in Australia like Corn Syrup). Neither were any of the recipes particuarly original, I felt that they could have come from my mothers pre cholesteral 197O's cookbooks - particuarly with so many recipes calling for 2 entire sticks of butter. There are a few good hints and tips however, and I most likely I will try her Caramelised Bacon recipe because I love bacon and can't resist. Beat This! is unlikely to appeal to the health concious or busy mother, but may provide a solid collection of recipes for those who enjoy cooking or are looking to improve their culinary skills.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I normally wouldn't write a review for a cookbook since you usually don't sit down and read a cookbook word for word, but I consider Beat This! a humor book as well. I originally recieved it as a galley, but as I got into it, I knew I had to buy my own copy (the Caremelized Bacon recipe is probably worth the price alone!) In the internet age, it's so easy to Google any recipe you need, but Hodgman has made this one worth the price for two reasons: her writing is witty AND practical, and she's go I normally wouldn't write a review for a cookbook since you usually don't sit down and read a cookbook word for word, but I consider Beat This! a humor book as well. I originally recieved it as a galley, but as I got into it, I knew I had to buy my own copy (the Caremelized Bacon recipe is probably worth the price alone!) In the internet age, it's so easy to Google any recipe you need, but Hodgman has made this one worth the price for two reasons: her writing is witty AND practical, and she's gone to the trouble of finding "the Best" of each type of recipe. I also appreciate that she doesn't use far-fetched ingredients and tools that the common shopper would have trouble tracking down. A really great buy, and I'm going to look into purchasing any of her other books!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rose Ann

    This edition is simply not the equal of the original edition. I made the meatloaf -- I'm always searching for the perfect meatloaf recipe! -- and it was truly awful. Wanted to try the brownie recipe -- but the first instructions are to beat the eggs and sugar for FIFTEEN MINUTES?? Hello? No brownies are worth that investment of time! So I am glad that I checked this out of the library, instead of buying it on Amazon, as was my first impulse.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeri Paull

    I have the original edition of this book, and it is stained, dog-eared, torn and notes are written all over; all indicators of a well loved cookbook. I make the cornbread stuffing every Thanksgiving and the beef tenderloin every Christmas. Every recipe I have tried is a winner; and I've tried most of them. Hodgman is hilarious in addition to being an awesome cook, and I am so happy that it has been reissued so I can start giving it as gifts again!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    If you're looking for "the best" version of a particular recipe, try this cook book. A lot of the recipes look delicious, but some are a little too long and involved for me. I guess you do have to put some effort in to get the best results though. I made the roasted chicken - easy and yummy! Lentil soup is next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erica Olson

    I'm sure Ann Hodgman and I are going to be friends, if only we meet! I hope she'll cook for me. Hodgman is a witty, passionate writer. OK, this is just a cookbook . . . but it's one I buy for newly married couples, people setting up housekeeping, etc.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Another cookbook to return to - here Elizabeth Berg (a favorite author) claims on the cover it is her favorite cookbook because it tells stories - yes! The best kind of cookbook. Cookbook, we will meet again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Too bad this was written in 1993. It was a fun read, but the references are lacking (addresses? Phone numbers?!). At any rate, as usual, the best sounding recipes would take forever...but it was fun to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    A fun to read cookbook with good recipes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    A fun cookbook to read. If nothing else, read it for the brownie recipe.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Ann Hodgeman is so easy and delightful to read- I laugh out loud as I read her cookbooks because not only does she make a mean recipe- she is a funny, witty writer.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Delightful NPR review. I'd like to be able to write a cookbook that sounds as readable and funny as this one (haven't seen it, though).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Has my FAVORITE brownie recipe ever.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Maybe this would've been more interesting to me when it was published 11 years ago, but overall I found it rather lackluster.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I want to move next door to Ann. I have used this cookbook since it came out the first time. Awesome recipes and makes me laugh out loud.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carol D

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bhrugesh Ravani

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marilla

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dawne

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