Review: The Frugal Foodie Cookbook

October 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm

The world of foodie-journalists clacking away at their laptops is a tight-knit group made up of passionate and talented people.  That said, it always warms my heart to see a fellow food blogger publishing a book.  It happened for gal-pal Jaden Hair.  Heck, she’s in New York right now big-timin’ her recent release The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.  And no one has parlayed blog-to-book better than Julie Powell who added a second hyphen “to-movie” with the summer smash Julie & Julia based on her best selling book.

Also transitioning from blogger to author are the gastro power couple of Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small.  The two met in 2005 at the University of Pennsylvania where Small dazzled the pretty brunette with Bananas Flambé on their first date.  Subsequent dates (most spent cooking) soon led to the blog Two Fat Als in 2006.  Four years later Adams Media tapped the two for publication with The Frugal Foodie Cookbook.

Frugal Foodie teaches readers how to break bread without out breaking the bank with inspired recipes that average less than $7 a serving.  Gems like Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Panzanella, Apricot Brandy-Baked French Toast and Better-than-Chesapeake Crab Cakes keep the mundane at bay.  And don’t worry wayward lovers, Alex includes the recipe for his heart-stealing Bananas Flambé as well.

Kaufman and Small intertwine the recipes with brief but revealing glimpses into their lives together.  The characters of their romance do not just include prosciutto and garbanzo beans but bipedal characters like Alanna’s college roommate Jacqui who served as the inspiration for a muffin with “almost every ingredient we could imagine adding to muffins.”

Apparently the sweet tooth is a big part of their world as they dedicate four chapters to sugary treats: Muffins & Cupcakes, Cookies & Bars, Cakes & Pies and More Desserts.  There are also a number of savory-sweet dishes to chose from including an amazing number of recipes that include figs.

The Frugal Foodie Cookbook is perfect for anyone who wants to dine like a gourmet but lacks the equity.  If I had a criticism of this book it would be that I found the index a bit limited but clearly that doesn’t stop the recipes from tasting great.  It is the perfect gift for that aspiring foodie in your circle of friends.



Disclaimer to satisfy the Federal Trade Commission’s unconstitutional new law: Dear Big Brother, yes I got some stuff for free and if you click on a link I might make a little coin but don’t worry I’ll report it on my taxes just as soon as you admit there are aliens. Til then, stay your butt in DC and things need not get ugly.


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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