My mom loves Taste of Home magazine so I was curious about this cookbook. I bake a lot so I do have many cookbooks on my shelves. At one point I had 100 (my husband counted), but I've cut back to only the ones I use which has left me with about 80 or so. I guess I cook a lot.
When this cookbook arrived, I was immediately pleased. Inside the front cover was an insert offer with a free 1 year subscription to Taste of Home magazine ($10 is the special rate usually) which makes the $18 price on Amazon for this cookbook a great value! When you open up, you'll see that there are two plastic pages protectors that you can use to protect the cookbook pages while you are cooking. I can't tell you how many spots my cookbooks have on them from my cooking! Once you get past those two features, you'll notice that there are many sections including one for cupcakes (the new craze), lighter recipes, and special diets. The formatting of this cookbook makes it very easy to read and use. There are plenty of pictures to give you an idea of what you're making--and make it appealing! The pages are thicker than the ones in America's Test Kitchen's family cookbooks (also binder-style) which makes the pages easier to turn and less likely to rip out.
I chose to make two recipes from this cookbook in the 24 hours that I've had it so far. Yesterday, I made the gluten-free brownies. They have... garbanzo beans in them. The recipe sounded so strange I had to try it. They turned out! Actually, my kids (3, 5, and 7) raved about them. They weren't as heavy as normal brownies since they didn't have any wheat or butter in them. They were really quite good!
I was able to find the recipe for the brownies online HERE.
The second recipe I made was one for apple muffins. I do want to note that Taste of Home is not typically thought of as a "healthy" cooking magazine so I wouldn't say that most of the recipes in this cookbook are "healthy" type baking recipes. The muffins were quite good (and easy to make) and because there was butter in them, we didn't need to put butter on them when I served them.
This cookbook has significantly improved my opinion of Taste of Home recipes. I had a church supper cookbook by them last year that I finally gave away because the recipes I made didn't turn out that well. This cookbook, on the other hand, has already proven successful in our house!
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher.