About this book: (from the publisher) Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…
… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.
Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouth-watering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.
This book is Jane’s perfect recipe for making a wonderful life complete with friends, loving family, and moments filled with good food, good times, and, of course, Good Taste.
About the author: A former journalist in the UK and a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York, Jane Green is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including Falling. She has been published in more than twenty-five languages and has more than ten million books in print worldwide. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and their blended family.
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Reflection: There’s nothing like fall, with holiday entertaining just around the bend, to make me want to curl up with a beautiful new cookbook. Lucky for me — and now also for you, if you choose to take my recommendation — I found just the one. Though the cover depicts a springlike scene, this is actually the ideal cookbook to savor now, dreaming of the gatherings you may have in the upcoming months when outdoors is less inviting and staying indoors with friends and good food is altogether appealing.
I spent many a pleasurable hour reading this book cover to cover. I thoroughly enjoyed Jane’s stream-of- consciousness narrative, the snippets of story interspersed amongst the recipes. I felt I wasn’t reading a cookbook so much as an almost whimsical journal documenting family and friends and food. Oh, and I loved the photos too as delightful snapshots of hearth and home.
Good Taste is just the right size as well, not encyclopedic. You know the kind I mean, those thick tomes you keep on your shelf for use as a reference more than anything. (Although even that not so much nowadays with Google literally at our fingertips.) Another thing I loved about this cookbook? It’s one of those in which every recipe, or very nearly every, is not only enticing but seems eminently doable. With ingredients that not only appeal but are quite likely to be staples in my fridge, freezer, or pantry. Jane’s credo is, after all, simplicity. Goodness, absolutely, but done easily enough to fit a family lifestyle — a philosophy that suits me perfectly.
Good Taste also sent me searching my shelves to see if I happened to have an unread Jane Green novel there, and I did — one from a few years back, Tempting Fate (which, if memory serves, I won in a She Reads giveaway. Thanks, She Reads!) I so enjoyed reading that novel (which had a fair number of kitchen scenes) in conjunction with Jane’s cookbook. It seemed fitting, somehow, and amped up my pleasure in both.
As for the recipes themselves, I’ve already tried a handful (five, at last count), all to good review. And as promised, they are both simple and tasty.
This book stays on my keeper shelf. I recommend it to you. What’s more, I recommend it as a Christmas gift. It would make a lovely addition for that woman you know who loves cooking and reading in equal measure. Depending on your recipient’s taste in fiction, you might even consider gifting a Jane Green novel to go along with it.
Thanks to New American Library for providing me a copy free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: In reading Good Taste, I discover that Jane and I share a penchant (bordering on obsession) with using up leftovers creatively and efficiently. She writes,
“I throw nothing away. Everything goes back in the fridge and is reconstituted somehow. When, days later, I am forced to throw away stale rice and sour food, it is always with a heavy heart. And nothing makes me happier than finding a recipe to reuse something I think I’ve had enough of.”
Me too. How about you?