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Cookbook: Better From ScratchAuthor: Ivy ManningPublisher: Weldon Owen


Contrary to popular belief, you can actually make most items found on the shelves of the grocery store. Most of it came from a kitchen once upon a time before it made its way into your pantry. Ivy Manning's Better from Scratch dives into the world of making such food from scratch, including chocolate-hazelnut spread (AKA Nutella), dill pickles, and marshmallows. The photos are simple and beautiful, but mirror the simplicity of the recipes themselves. Each recipe clearly breaks down steps of achieving everything from homemade bacon to potato chips. Who knew you could make your own horseradish? Okay probably most people, but still.

Recipe I Tried: Granola x3Granola can be quite expensive and honestly, I end up picking my flavors according to the prettiest packaging. This idea is what led me to try Manning's Granola recipe- making it from scratch would allow me to control sugar content and crunch factor. The secret is the rice puff cereal, something I had never before considered when my homemade granola came out heavy and without a satisfying crisp. The addition of freeze-dried strawberries added beautiful color and awesome flavor, making for an ideal holiday gift for neighbors and friends.

Recipe I Want to Try: Marinated LabneLabne is all the rage right now; it's a super-strained lebanese yogurt that has an almost cheese-like texture. Maybe I was pulled in by the beautiful olive oil filled jar, but the round balls of labne, covered in za'atar spice, dipped in beautiful oil called my name. It wasn't necessarily something that I buy normally from the grocery store, but the idea of making it from scratch and serving it to guests sounded like a showstopper.

Takeaway:This book is not for those who are impatient and low on spare time, but instead for cooks looking for a back-to-basics kitchen staples workbook. If you are looking to control sodium and sugar levels in basic food items, this book is a way to do it!

You can purchase Ivy Manning's Better from Scratch on Amazon.

Please be advised that the cookbooks featured in Cooking Light’s Cookbook Review Series do not necessarily meet Cooking Light nutrition standards.