Thursday, August 24, 2017


This week, my review is on a cookbook with a title that does't, in my opinion match the inside of the book. And one with a cover so very plain, I thought it was a temporary cover. It's appears not to be. In this respect, the title matched the cover.

A Guide to Everyday Cooking and Eating
by Karen Mordechai

Note: I added the black border to the cover so it would stand out 
from the pink background of my page. ~ Lisa

The second book in the seasonal cooking series by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers, Simple Fare: Fall and Winter is a richly illustrated resource, focused on market-driven cooking. It consists of 65 elegant, streamlined recipes for classic dishes, including Roasted Carrots over Smoked Ricotta Toast; Turkish Poached Eggs and Yogurt; Black Rice Bowl with Hummus, Shishito Peppers, and Buttermilk Meyer Lemon Dressing; Braised Beef Ribs and Beetroot; and more. Detailed instructions for preparing alternative flavor profiles are included for most recipes, allowing readers to easily adapt based on the ingredients at hand. Accented by unforgettable photography that showcases Mordechai’s minimalist style, Simple Fare is an oversize, distinc­tively designed kitchen essential.


The most simple thing about SIMPLE FARE is the painfully plain cover that is a dirty pink color with large black lettering. For a $35.oo paperback, it is my opinion they would have used an eye catching cover.

The photos in this book start off very minimalistic. Readers will see photos of cr癡me, and salt, as well as roasted garlic, and roots, all on white plates. The photos do become more colorful. Indeed, so vibrant and artistic they would be beautiful framed. However, many now contradict the SIMPLE FARE title, using edible flowers, and other foods or garnishes that everyday people would never consider “simple”.

As for the preparation of the dishes, there are many in the 65 featured recipes that would be simple enough to make. However, not all of the ingredients can be easily found in your local grocery store (At least not in my area of the United States East Coast).

 If you are looking for something out of your normal, everyday eating habits, or if you want to host an impressive meal at a gathering, you may be pleased with the fare you’ll find between these pages. . . Rose Grain Porridge, Daal, Burnt Carrot Toast, Congee, Cilbir, Black Radish Salad. Or fix more commonly known dishes like . . . Cinnamon Toast, Roasted Beef Bowl, Roasted Vegetable Soup, Simple Roast Chicken, and Churros.

I won’t argue the thought, and work that went into SIMPLE FARE. Author Karen Mordechai had a vision and saw it through. Not to mention she had already published SIMPLE FARE: SPRING AND SUMMER, with equally lackluster cover, to a surprising fourteen 5 star reviews. But I will go on record as saying, I found this cookbook left a lot to be desired. 

I'm not fond of giving low star reviews. I feel every author gives a piece of themselves when they share their work with us. That being said, I was very disappointed in, and a bit surprised by just how much this cookbook didn't live up to it's title.
You can go to Amazon and check out samples in order to form your own opinion.

About the author

Author, photographer, and founder of Sunday Suppers and the product line IL. Karen’s work is regularly featured in Food & Wine, Bon App矇tit, Martha Stewart Living, the New York Times, Real Simple, and many others. Her first book Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings has received global acclaim, was a number-one-selling book on Amazon, and was voted by the New York Times Book Review as one of the top cookbooks of the year.

Karen resides with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles and works in Brooklyn and California.

September 15

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. That cover wouldn't get my attention (and I sure wouldn't pay $35.00). Wow! Happy Thursday.

  2. When I was in the midst of my major cooking years I very often purchased cookbooks with a hefty price tag. But I don't think that I would have given this one a second glance all because of the cover. I know that sounds shallow and perhaps a bit snibby, but with the vast assistment of cookbooks available today, there HAS to be something to lure you in. This one wouldn't have coaxed me to pick it up sorry to say. I used to feel that one great and unusual recipe that I would want to make in a book more or less made the book worth purchasing. That is probably how I ended up years ago with sooooo many. I parted ways with about 800 cookbooks prior to moving to our retirement home. I had no place for anywhere near that amount in our new house and I honestly could purge again from what I thought I HAD to keep. I could live without all but 10 at this point I do believe. I'm now into painting and crafts that I need real sea glass for. I would be glad to trade cookbooks for seaglass with anyone right about now.

    I love this Thursday feature Lisa. A great idea.

    Cynthia B

    1. I would love to have been around when you were letting go of those cookbooks!

      I'm still on a search for sea glass, and shells for you. What about stones and pebbles?

  3. Thanks for sharing your post, Lisa.

  4. I love your Cookbook reviews. When I am book shopping, covers are EVERYTHING! I wouldn't give this book a second look, and would be more likely to move it out of the way to get to something else. I can't think of another instance where a cover is more important than on a Cookbook. What were they thinking here?