Big Buy Cooking from the Editors of Fine Cooking

As a Fine Cooking magazine subscriber and fan, whenever the Fine Cooking team releases a new book I rush to check it out. The title of this new volume, Big Buy Cooking: The Food Lover’s Guide to Buying in Bulk and Using it All Up, appealed to me as a mom of four children who often shops at bulk warehouses like Costco. I was a little surprised to see that the “bulk” ingredients included such items as kalamata olives, brie, and mangoes….all of which I would consider a pricier gourmet option, not a weekday dinnertime staple.

The introduction, however, explains that the purpose of this book is to give you options to fall back on when you come home with that large wheel of brie from Costco: “It’s cheap, ripe, and calling out to you. Go on, give in. Once home, cut yourself a wedge to enjoy with grapes and crackers…brie on crostini, warm and melting, with dates and walnuts. Brie, ham, and tart apples on a toasted baguette, with a hint of Dijon mustard and honey. Brie in the best-ever version of fondue.” So, once you know that this book is not going to save you money but is going to aid your food indulgences, you can feel free to dabble.

 The canned tomatoes chapter looks promising – you can pick up a six-pack of these at the warehouse store and make Marinara with Toasted Garlic & Rosemary, Braised Beef Braciola, and Smoky Tomato Soup. I inevitably end up with leftover capers after I buy a bottle to eat with lox & bagels, so now I know how to make Lemon Chicken Breasts with Capers, Caper-Tarragon butter to go with our steaks. The Blueberry chapter looks like a good resource for that glut of blueberries off the backyard bush in June, and the fingerling potato options may help my indecision when holding a 10-pound bag of fingerling potatoes wondering if I can possibly use them all. If any of these ingredients appeal to you, it's worth checking out this book to see the variety of ways that you can use them.