Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Real Girl's Kitchen by Haylie Duff

Category: Non Fiction
Genre: Cookbook
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 240
Source: Christmas Gift

Goodreads Synopsis: Though she is best known as an actress, Haylie Duff feels quite at home in her kitchen. When she started serving up easy and elegant recipes, kitchen tips, and entertaining advice on her blog, Real Girl's Kitchen, the site quickly grew into a destination for fans and foodies alike.

Now everyone's favorite recipes—along with dozens of new dishes—are available in a gorgeous, hand-held volume. The Real Girl's Kitchen covers it all: breakfasts, salads, soups, appetizers, snacks . . . even recipes for your "cheat days"!

Haylie tackles everything from healthful green smoothies, to drinks for an impromptu gathering, to whipping up an impressive meal for a date. Each recipe is accompanied by full-color photos, along with a personal story from Haylie's life.

The Real Girl's Kitchen shows readers not only how to eat to live, but how to love to eat along the way.


Review: I am a HUGE fan of cookbooks, and I really like the cookbooks that come with stories and memories inside them. Sure, cookbooks are mostly used for the recipes, but it's nice to read about someone's life as you try the recipe so that you can learn why that certain food is so important to them. Because of this, I asked my parents to get me Haylie Duff's cookbook for Christmas because it seemed like something that I would really enjoy reading. I have always been a huge fan of Hillary Duff, and then discovered her sister through her. The two of them acting together was great, and I was obviously a big fan. Why wouldn't I want to read her book? 

While I was really excited about the idea of the book, I didn't love it nearly as much as I hoped to, which was a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I love reading it still, but I think that it could have offered a lot more as a cookbook. The stories were a lot of fun to read, and I enjoyed getting to read stories about her sister and family, and why she chose to put each recipe into the book. Those are things that I love to see in these sorts of cookbooks. The pictures were absolutely gorgeous as well. Some cookbooks just have pictures to show the food so you know what it should look like, but this book offered photographs that were so much more than that, which was a very nice touch.

The actual recipes were what disappointed me the most, if I'm being honest. Some of them were fine and things I might actually try out, but a lot of them were things that seemed very specific to her palate and the things that she likes, a lot of which I know that my husband and I probably would not enjoy. Sure, some of the recipes could probably be altered and some things left out, but some of the recipes feature main ingredients that we just don't eat. We might occasionally try some of them just for something different, too see if we like something new, but I don't see myself reaching for this cookbook too many times as I plan dinners for a week or decide what to make when friends are coming over.

Overall, it was a quick fun read. The little stories were sweet and sometimes amusing, and it was nice getting to know someone that I have enjoyed watching and reading about for years, but it just did not give me everything I was hoping for. If you are someone who loves to feature vegetables as the main ingredient of dishes, and you eat almost every vegetable out there, then you would probably enjoy the recipes in this book more than I did. It just wasn't the best for me.

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0

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