Elana Karp & Suzanne Dumaine

I love the premise of Plated, which is that different occasions warrant different recipes, but that flavor never has to be compromised in any situation. Being an obsessive meal-planner myself, I greatly appreciate the lengths Karp & Dumaine went to in making menus clear, as well as explaining which recipe is best for which night of the week. The only thing I would criticize is a bit of a lack of creativity in the seasonal substitutes, which are often the same few options for each recipe. However, I understand that that is probably best for beginning-level cooks. That being said, there are quite a few recipes that can be challenging for any-level home chef.

The recipes in Plated are a great mixture of simple and sophisticated. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sesame-Soy Beef Stir-Fry (pg. 52), which was very quick and welcome on a busy weekday evening. I am very excited to try more, like the Herb Marinated Steak with Tomato, Onion, and Herb Salad (pg. 87) and the Pork Shoyu Ramon (pg. 129). The clarity within recipes is excellent and, on the whole, the book is very well-organized.

Especially good for: cooks who wish to be organized for those busy weekday nights as well as the more laid-back weekend evenings.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program for this review.