This cookbook has a copyright of 1997. I don't know where I got this cookbook. I have never cooked from this before.
This book was written with the premise that you may have as many as "ten" appliances in your kitchen and that you may not know how to fully utilize them. It then lists 80 appliances you could possibly own (along with standard appliances like a blender, the list includes cotton candy makers, knife sharpeners, a raclette grill..and things I don't necessarily consider an appliance...like a teakettle or a sifter). Lora then picked 20 of these appliances to include in this book. Her intention is to help you find recipes that incorporate the use of said appliances.
The appliances she deals with in this book are: Blender; Handheld Blender; Bread Machine; Deep Fryer; Food Processor and Mini Food Processor (covered in one chapter); Electric Grill; Ice-Cream Maker; Microwave Oven; Hand Mixer; Stand Mixer; Rice Cooker, Skillet and Wok (these are combined into one chapter); Slow Cooker; Electric Steamer; Tortilla Press; Waffle Maker; Electric Water Smoker; and Computer.
The introduction to the book includes comments and suggestions from her "team" who list their favorite appliances and why they consider them favorites, and the preferred brands of these appliances (since this book is 13 years old I'm sure some of these might have changed). There are also several pages with general tips for using appliances (such as "use the plug, not the cord, to pull from the outlet").
Each chapter deals with a specific appliance (except a few which combine like machines such as the full and mini food processors). It tells you what the appliance does and doesn't do, why you might need the appliance, care and maintenance, which version might be right for you (say getting a deep fryer with a replaceable filter), and a list of tips for using the appliance. This information is followed by recipes.
A lot of the information on the chosen appliances is old and outdated. In the past thirteen years since this book was written, many of the appliances have become smaller and easier to use (think how big the microwaves of thirteen years ago were). The computer/internet section is completely out of date (it explains what a web browser is and lists Usenet groups! I did get a kick out of being pointed to "alt.food.grits".) But if you're like me, you still may have one of these older, bulkier appliances sitting on your kitchen counter. My Osterizer blender is at least twenty years old so all the tips and instructions in the blender section still hold true. But I would be careful and double check some of the recipes (like my crock pot is much hotter and cooks faster than the older versions, so I'd be careful of the time).
The recipes are pretty straightforward and though some of the ingredients might have been difficult to find when the book was written, I don't see a problem with that now. I'm not sure any of these recipes would be considered out of the box for each appliance (seriously, do I need to be given recipes that use my stand mixer since so many call for its use these days?). But I admit I might not have thought to use a tortilla press to make pizzas and crepes. The one big complaint I have with this book is the recipe count for some appliances. While the bread machine section lists 26 different recipes*, the deep fryer section only lists 9.
Recipes I'd like to try (even though I don't own all these appliances):
Blender: Fruit-Rum-Cream Frappes, Popovers, Blender Rocky Road Ice Cream, Homemade Fudgesicles. Handheld Blender: Puffed Pancake, Avocado Soup, Zabaglione. Bread Machine: Whole Wheat Sourdough Beer Bread, Herbed Onion Focaccia, Killer Sticky Buns, Soba Noodles. Deep Fryer: Radiators, Pesto Cheese Pillows. Food Processor: Smoked Tomato Ketchup, Trouble in Tahiti (think fruit salsa), Chili Cheesecake, The Dish Formally Known as Meatloaf, Parmesan Cheese Scones, Espresso Mocha Bars, Tropical Sorbet. Mini Food Processor: Indonesian Chicken Wings, Spicy Yogurt Marinade. Electric Grill: Grilled Sweet Corn, Asian Steak Salad. Ice Cream Maker: Key Lime Ice Cream, Tiramisu Biscotti Gelato, Burned Sugar Gelato. Microwave: Sugar Nuts, Polenta with Pesto and Parmesan, Sour Cream Chocolate Icing. Hand Mixer: Smoked Corn Bread, Brown Butter Pecan Frosting, Broiled Coconut Frosting. Stand Mixer: Savory Cheese Biscotti, Blueberry Buckle, Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Rice Cooker: Rice Ole, Smoked Corn Chowder. Skillet: Soft Tacos with Scrambled Eggs and Green Chilies, Sloppy Joes, Shrimp Fried Rice, Reggibars. Wok: Cocktail Spiced Pecans, Pad Thai. Slow Cooker: Caramelized Onions, Caramelized Onion Soup, Chili Mole, Jerk Chicken, All American Barbecue Sauce, Soused Strawberry Sauce, Grape Nuts Pudding. Electric Steamer: Blue-Eyed Paul's Shrimp, Steamed Pears with Raspberry Sauce, Bananas Amaretto. Tortilla Press: Chili-Cheese Flour Tortillas, Devil's Food Crepes. Waffle Maker: Ham and Cheese Waffles. Electric Water Smoker: Smoked Butternut Squash, Smoked Flank Steak.
*I believe Lora Brody has written several bread machine cookbooks.