Maureen: Apologies for getting to our March verdict on April 4th. Real life got in the way, as it sometimes does. Without further delay, what did you think, Kirstin?
Kirstin: I loved it!
Maureen: I thought it was a vast improvement on February’s book, but I liked it less and less as the month went on. We had some great meals, some so-so meals and some awful meals. So I’d say for us that it was a bit mixed.
Kirstin: I should say that I cooked from her blog, which I loved, and didn’t cook from the book at all. So maybe that made a difference.
Maureen: I cooked more from the book, so maybe the quality of the recipes was more mixed because they’re older. She is young, so perhaps she’s getting better the more experienced she becomes.
Kirstin: I’m beginning to think that we should do away with the cookbooks, because the blog was so much eaiser to use. It was so easy to find recipes, you keep the ones you like, you chuck the ones that you don’t. I loved cooking from the blog. I loved the way she categorised them as well. It made it really easy to decide what to eat.
Maureen: I get that. It’s so much easier to find inspiration online than it is in a cookbook. You can think, “I’m in the mood for [whatever] tonight” and then find it within minutes online, rather than going through each cookbook trying to figure out what to eat.
Kirstin: I’ve thought about this a great deal, and I’ve decided I would pay a subscription in order to access a website.
Maureen: Well, yes, absolutely, given that we’re both married to journalists and I am one myself. The future for the industry is in paying for content, not getting it for free. But I guess it would depend on the site. You’d have to know and trust the site you’re using.
Kirstin: I loved all the Asian recipes. She’s surprisingly good on Asian recipes for an American. She could give Melissa Clark some tips on instant cooking, too.
Maureen: Maybe I’m just grumpy from Brexit. I thought it was very good, but not excellent. I’ll keep checking out her blog, though.
Kirstin: I genuinely liked the recipes. I thought it was great. I’m going to keep looking at her blog, too.
“Half Baked Harvest”
Overall Grade (A- F): A (Kirstin) B (Maureen)
Best recipes: Maureen: Beer can chicken. We’ll be eating that again very soon. Kirstin: All of the ramen. They were all excellent.
Grade for Photography (A-F): A. “She does give good tips on how to take good food photos.” (Maureen) Any disasters? Kirstin: No! Maureen: Yes, we had several. The meatballs, which I didn’t blog about, were disgusting, and the salmon was gross. On the salmon, she should have quit when she was ahead because the roast potatoes and asparagus with parmesan cheese were great. Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: I’ll keep up to date with the blog, but I probably won’t keep the cookbook. Maureen: I’ll keep the cookbook, but it’ll be on a low-rotation shelf, which means I’ll probably donate it to the charity shop in a year.