Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Giving Guide -- The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin (Review)

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook 

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Dine like Draper and Drink like Sterling with More Than 70 Recipes from the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants Seen on Mad Men

Ever wish you could mix an Old Fashioned just the way Don Draper likes it? Or prepare Oysters Rockefeller and a martini the way they did fifty years ago at one of Roger Sterling’s favorite haunts, The Grand Central Oyster Bar? Ever wonder how Joan Harris manages to prepare a perfect crown roast in her tiny apartment kitchen? Or about the connection between Jackie Kennedy’s 1962 White House tour and Betty Draper’s Valentine’s Day room service order?

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook serves up more than 70 recipes to satisfy a Mad Men appetite! From the tables of Manhattan’s most legendary restaurants and bars to the Drapers’ Around the World dinner, this book is your entrĂ©e to the culinary world of Man Men-era New York.

Packed with period detail, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook provides invaluable historical and cultural context for the food and drink featured in the show, tips on throwing a successful ’60s cocktail party, and even a guide to favored Mad Men hangouts. Every recipe inside is authentic to the time.

Whether you’re planning a Mad Men-themed dinner party, need to mix up some authentic Mad Men cocktails, or just can’t get enough of the show itself, this is your essential resource, a guide to all foods and drinks Mad Men. So hang up your coat, pour yourself a cocktail, and get ready to dine like Draper and drink like Sterling with The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

Includes a color photo insert of 16 dishes, plus additional black and white photos and other images of bars, restaurants, and food advertisements from the 1960s.

Sample Recipes:

* Playboy Whiskey Sour
* Sardi’s Steak Tartar
* Connie’s Waldorf Salad
* Sal’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
* Pat Nixon’s Date Nut Bread
* Lindy’s Cherry Cheesecake

My Thoughts:

My husband turned me on to this show, which has become a guilty pleasure of ours.  When the girls go to bed, we sneak downstairs each week to watch that week's new episode.  We rarely watch it on the day it airs, but luckily for TIVO, we can pause and stop and watch it in pieces throughout the week.  So, when I told my husband I was going to be reviewing The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook as part of my Mother's Day Gift Giving Guide, he was intrigued.  He is not a cook, but wondered what recipes would be included in the book, as most of the show involves drinking.  I told him that in addition to recipes, this cookbook also includes the kitchen, bars and restaurants of Mad Men.  

When I received the cookbook, I quickly flipped through it to get a feel of it.  I loved how it included recipes and information from the show, based on seasons and episodes.  And, when my husband arrived home that night, I showed him the book.  He loved the extensive cocktail recipes listed, and asked when we would be trying these out.  So, that night when the girls went to bed, we sat down and flagged a few cocktail and entree recipes that we wanted to try.  And, this past week, I created each meal, and as a nightcap, we have a signature cocktail from Mad Men.  Each of the recipes, both and food and spirit, where easy to follow and make.  And, they tasted delicious!  Our favorites were the Bloody Mary drink and Trudy's Flying Roasted Chicken with Stuffing.

I have to say that this was one review I enjoyed included my husband on, as we are huge Mad Men fans, and loved being able to recreate drinks and meals from the show, we have grown to love.  I told my husband that for Father's Day, I will make another Mad Men inspired meal, of his choosing. So, this week, his homework is to go through this jam-packed cookbook and choose a cocktail, appetizer, entree and dessert.  Let's see what he comes up with!

If you or your mother are Mad Men fans, this would be a great gift to pick up.  I read cookbooks like novels, and this cookbook follows suit, with all the unofficial information about this hit television series.

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Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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