20 July 2019

Weekend Cooking: Every Day Is Saturday by Sarah Copeland

Review of Every Day Is Saturday by Sarah CopelandI freely admit it: One of the things that attracted me to Sarah Copeland's Every Day Is Saturday (Chronicle Books; June) is the subtitle: "Recipes & Strategies for Easy Cooking, Every Day of the Week." Even though I love to cook and am never stressed out by the question, What's for Dinner?, I'm always open to new ideas for easy cooking after a long workday.

Once I started looking through my e-galley, though, I lost some of my enthusiasm. First the good: the photographs (both the beauty shots and the food photos) are gorgeous. Everything looks appealing, and you really do want that food on your own table. You also get the feeling that Copeland has met her goal of being in a "weekend state of mind more of the time."

Copeland wants you too to live an easygoing life. She details steps for helping you set up your kitchen for stress-free cooking, gives you time-management tips, and even has suggestions for using up leftover ingredients. Almost every recipe comes with tips, make-ahead advice, added information, and recommended variations.

Review of Sarah Copeland's Every Day Is SaturdayIn today's world, everyone can appreciate the vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options Copeland includes for many of the recipes. In fact, Every Day Is Saturday contains targeted indexes, so you can easily find the recipes that fit your own dietary needs.

Those of you in smaller cities and towns, will be happy to know that the ingredients are easy to find at most stores, even the gluten-free flours and vegan swap-outs. In addition, the recipe directions are clear yet are written in a way that shows off Copeland's personality: friendly and accessible. Finally, the recipes come with her personal stories, so it's a fun cookbook just to read.

I do, however, have an issue: I can't figure out the target audience for Every Day Is Saturday. On the one hand, the recipes fall into the good for beginners range, but on the other, the lifestyle feeling is for, well, the summer home kind of crowd. So for many (most?) young people fresh out of college, starting a family, and/or just getting the hang of adult entertaining, the cookbook may give off an intimidating vibe, whereas for experienced cooks, the recipes are just too basic.

Review of Sarah Copeland's Every Day Is SaturdayNeed examples? Copeland includes a recipe for fruit salad (!) and a very traditional fruit crumble. Mains include pork shoulder braised in beer, grilled skirt steak, sheet pan pizza, and tacos. Everyday recipes, yes, but they're so gorgeously staged that most people couldn't even imitate Copeland's version of a family picnic, as shown in the scan above--click to enlarge. (Where are the ants and the wind, and how come her very young children haven't knocked over that drink?)

Note, though, that all kinds of famous chefs and cooks and critics love Sarah Copeland's Every Day Is Saturday, including The New York Times and Dorie Greenspan. So what do I know? My galley was stamped in the manner shown in the scans, so I was unable to cook from the book (ingredients and instructions were blotted out, often in crucial places), but I'm curious about the lemon polenta slab cake. I bet it's really good (see the scan).

Thanks to Chronicle for the review copy of Sarah Copeland's Every Day Is Saturday. Both scans were used in the context of a review and all rights remain with the original copyright holders. For more on Copeland, visit her website Edible Living, where you'll find some of her recipes (click "journal").

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 7/20/19, 6:03 AM  

I don't know why, but I always feel like weekend meals should be "different" so maybe I am in the target audience. (Although, admittedly, "different" usually means "pizza.") I love that it has a targeted index. A good index is so important!

Jackie McGuinness 7/20/19, 7:13 AM  

Like you, I don't get stressed cooking and can usually come up with ideas for our meals. I don't stick to a plan, and readily try new recipes. Did a new one this week.
I also am quite organized. In fact I redid my spice drawer this week, LOL.
I have 2 cookbooks from the library to browse through this weekend.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 7/20/19, 7:34 AM  

My son and daughter-in-law might be in the demographic for this book. They are urban, professional, and young, with no kids. They are just learning to cook and are talking about taking a cooking class together. Maybe this book would be a good starter cookbook for them.

bermudaonion 7/20/19, 8:04 AM  

I think a lot of people love the beautifully staged photos in books like these, even if they can't imitate them.

Mae Travels 7/20/19, 8:17 AM  

Did the publisher really send our review copies with unreadable recipes? Shows what they think reviewers really do -- or what they _wish_ reviewers really do. I could use some really simple recipes these days, but this book doesn't sound like it would help me.

thanks... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Stacie 7/20/19, 10:08 AM  

If I'm reviewing a cookbook, I certainly want to be able to try a recipe or two. That is a bummer that you couldn't. I like that her recipes offer leftover options. Thanks for the link-up.

Claudia 7/20/19, 11:23 AM  

These days a cookbook has to be pretty outstanding to grab my attention. I have too many already on my shelves that don't get opened enough. This one probably wouldn't make the cut.

Abigail Pearson 7/20/19, 3:30 PM  

Sounds like a book I'll have to read someday!

Tina 7/20/19, 7:27 PM  

I’ll have to preview this at the library!

Thanks for your nice comment about my book review. I am slowly getting used to my readers and hope to be more active soon.

Heidenkind 7/20/19, 10:58 PM  

In my experience a chef’s definition of easy cooking and a normal person’s are completely different

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