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Review: Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café

Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
By Mollie Katzen
ISBN: 0786862696
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: Sept. 2002
Format: Hardcover
List price: $29.95 (Canada, UK)
Type: Single Subject: Breakfast; vegetarian
Sample recipes: Ricotta Crêpes, Gruyère Quiche with Golden Onion & Red Pepper
intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive Biblical stature coffee-table
competition: outclassed also-ran midrange strong challenger leads the pack
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 >300
practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% >80%
# of ingredients: <3 <6 <9 <12 >12
ingredient hunt: 7-11 pantry supermarket online airfare required
recipe complexity: baby steps simple medium intense professional
instructions: inadequate bare bones full figured educational verbose
time conscious: outright lies speed of light fairly quick takes time takes all day
photos/drawings: skimpy adequate generous instructive glorious
recipe results: dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
flavor quotient: disappointing fair good delicious exceptional
layout: ick cluttered clean kind to cooks work of art
legibility: microscopic challenging adequate clear brilliant
production quality: cheesy questionable years of service gift-quality stunning
value: ouch! a little pricey on the money excellent worth splurging
Ease of Use
page numbers: invisible hard to find spotty adequate obvious
table of contents: missing frustrating passable useful helpful
index quality: none tragic adequate good excellent
page flipping: infuriating tedious acceptable rare never
writer: hack cook turned writer writer turned cook comedian auteur
cook: self-taught non-restaurant chef teacher celebrity
overall rating: fair good above average excellent Ochef Top 100
Comments: Considering the amount of toast, cold cereal, and muffins consumed in this country each day, breakfast is surely the easiest meal to make vegetarian. And Mollie Katzen, dean of the vegetarian cookbook authors, has taken good advantage of that. While this is not promoted as a vegetarian cookbook, none of the 350+ recipes include meat.

Still, the recipes take in all the standard dishes — scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, home fries, etc. — but also range as far afield as Tempeh Hash, Savory Rosemary-Olive Waffles with Peas, Bittersweet Mocha Coffee Cake, Homemade Protein Bars, and many, many other innovative dishes that we have never tried.

Besides the recipes, the book is packed with helpful hints, cooking tidbits, and food information — a great resource for beginners as well as more experienced cooks. The illustrations by Katzen are charming.

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