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The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

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A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what's on hand. Beatrice Ojakangas must have had inspiration by the gallon to come up with these 500 casseroles. From a breakfast of Eggs Florentine to a dinner of Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing, soon even the most casserole-wary cook will be dishing about these delights. Yummy treats like Parmesan and Su A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what's on hand. Beatrice Ojakangas must have had inspiration by the gallon to come up with these 500 casseroles. From a breakfast of Eggs Florentine to a dinner of Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing, soon even the most casserole-wary cook will be dishing about these delights. Yummy treats like Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp are just right for parties. Even appetizers are reinvented in casserole form! The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever will inspire comforting dishes and innovative feasts for any meal of the dayno matter what's in the fridge.


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A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what's on hand. Beatrice Ojakangas must have had inspiration by the gallon to come up with these 500 casseroles. From a breakfast of Eggs Florentine to a dinner of Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing, soon even the most casserole-wary cook will be dishing about these delights. Yummy treats like Parmesan and Su A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what's on hand. Beatrice Ojakangas must have had inspiration by the gallon to come up with these 500 casseroles. From a breakfast of Eggs Florentine to a dinner of Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing, soon even the most casserole-wary cook will be dishing about these delights. Yummy treats like Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp are just right for parties. Even appetizers are reinvented in casserole form! The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever will inspire comforting dishes and innovative feasts for any meal of the dayno matter what's in the fridge.

30 review for The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    Loved this cookbook. I make casseroles at least twice a week. I am a little prejudiced. When I was a teen Mrs. Ojakangas was a neighbor and I babysat her kids. However, she was a great cook, and I have collected her cookbooks with pleasure.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I checked this cookbook out at the library & immediately bought it when I realized that there were too many recipes that I wanted to try. I have three rules a cookbook must pass before I purchase it: 1. There must be tons of variety in the recipes; 2. I can buy the ingredients at my local grocery store; 3. The recipes are quick & easy. This cookbook passes all three with flying colors.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Weatherly Webb

    I think that there are some good recipes in here, but most of them are one's that have an upper midwestern sensibility. When the author goes outside of these boundaries, things don't really have the flavors they are supposed to. Santa Fe Tamale Pie has celery and sliced olives in it. Greek Stifado has rosemary in it, as do way too many recipes in this book. Most of the chicken recipes call for boneless chicken breast which I think gets dry in most baked applications. I know this was published in I think that there are some good recipes in here, but most of them are one's that have an upper midwestern sensibility. When the author goes outside of these boundaries, things don't really have the flavors they are supposed to. Santa Fe Tamale Pie has celery and sliced olives in it. Greek Stifado has rosemary in it, as do way too many recipes in this book. Most of the chicken recipes call for boneless chicken breast which I think gets dry in most baked applications. I know this was published in 2008 and low fat breasts were the norm. Some of these recipes are solid and just need a little tweaking, like switching out the breasts for thighs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    This really is the best casserole cookbook ever. Lots of good recipes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As a cookbook lover, I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer selection in my local branch. However, when the 2009 James Beard Award nominees for cookbooks were announced, I braved the catalog to order Beatrice Ojakangas’ latest venture, appropriately called The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever: With More Than 500 Recipes! The tagline contains all that you really need to know about this massive book – it’s huge. Utterly teaming with delectable recipes. And really, they all sound good. Ojakangas is known fo As a cookbook lover, I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer selection in my local branch. However, when the 2009 James Beard Award nominees for cookbooks were announced, I braved the catalog to order Beatrice Ojakangas’ latest venture, appropriately called The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever: With More Than 500 Recipes! The tagline contains all that you really need to know about this massive book – it’s huge. Utterly teaming with delectable recipes. And really, they all sound good. Ojakangas is known for her Scandanavian cookery. A native of Duluth, Minnesota, her ancestry is entirely Finnish. Her first writing venture, The Finnish Cookbook, is still in print – a marvel for a cookbook published in 1964. The Best Casserole Cookbook is her 27th published cookbook. In a recent interview with the Toledo Blade, Ojakangas says the publication of this book is “”very timely,” offering “economical meals that are simply made with ingredients that you won’t spend a fortune to buy, or that you already have on hand. It’s comfort food.” The day I received this tome, I sat down and started reading it like a book. Normally, I like cookbooks with full-color pictures for each recipe; I’ve been spoiled by the gorgeous cookbooks published by Clarkson Potter. The Best Casserole Cookbook lacks the excessive photography of my favorite volumes, but it does have a few lovely inserts with some mouth-watering photographs. Ojakangas divides the book into several categories, starting with the basics. I loved this section, especially seeing that my early casserole attempts centered around cream of mushroom soup that always seems too salty. One Christmas, I made cream of mushroom soup purely for use in the green bean casserole. Ojakangas shares my disdain for the sodium-packed, overly processed stuff, so she explains how to make different sauces that can act as healthier substitutes for Campbell’s. In the following chapters, she details appetizers, meats, vegetarian, grains, desserts, and even breads that one can make in a casserole dish. I especially enjoyed the “Casseroles for Two” chapter – as a single person, it’s sometimes difficult to justify making a casserole intended for 12 people, but Ojakangas’ smaller portion sizes are spot-on. Of course, I had to try a number of these recipes. My favorite? I made the Broccoli and Chicken Casserole for Two for a friend of mine one weekday night. The recipe was insanely simple, made with sour cream and parmesan instead of a heavy cheese sauce. I assembled it in less than 20 minutes, popped in the fridge, then put it in the oven when I came home from work the next day. My friend had never eaten a casserole before, so he was surprised to find that he liked it so much! Next week, I’m making a Southwestern Breakfast Casserole with chorizo, queso fresco, and eggs for a work meeting. We have another potluck the following week – I know that Moussaka with Lots of Vegetables will be my contribution. And I’m sure I can find an audience for Spicy Cheese and Green Chile Dip. When I (reluctantly) returned the book to the library, I forced my co-workers to browse… and I saw several people making copies of the pages to try for dinner later. I may have to buy myself a copy of this book; it will look beautiful next to my worn copy of Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sweetmongoose

    I very much enjoyed reading this cookbook--I have cooked a few recipes and they have turned out "nice" to "really delicious"! The book covers a wide range of casserole types including "casserole breads", pasta, pork, lamb, pasta, vegetarian, grains, and many others. Even dessert casseroles are included (I must try the "cinnamon-chocolate nut bread pudding"). Most of the recipes feed from 4 - 10 people but there is a special section of recipes for crowd casseroles (to feed 24, for example) and a I very much enjoyed reading this cookbook--I have cooked a few recipes and they have turned out "nice" to "really delicious"! The book covers a wide range of casserole types including "casserole breads", pasta, pork, lamb, pasta, vegetarian, grains, and many others. Even dessert casseroles are included (I must try the "cinnamon-chocolate nut bread pudding"). Most of the recipes feed from 4 - 10 people but there is a special section of recipes for crowd casseroles (to feed 24, for example) and a section of casseroles fit to feed 2 people. Instructions are clear so even beginner cooks can use this book easily. There is a pleasant variety of ingredients (though there is a fair amount of cheese) from the basics for a kid-friendly pizza casserole to recipes involving juniper berries (not sure where to get those here) and saffron (yes, it was worth the cost--the "Basmati Pilaf with spices, raisins and pistachios is beautifully yummy & fragrant). The time factor also varies from quick to long. This is a very versatile book. I'll be using it for decades, I'm sure. Style Note: Generally, one recipe per page (or spread over two) and a cluster of food photos in the middle. Nicely produced book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The author uses a liberal definition of casserole; basically anything that can be cooked in the oven counts, from roasted chicken to quickbreads. I was more on the lookout for the type of casserole that's a carb/meat/veggie one-pot dish, but at ~500 recipes, there was plenty of room for everything but the kitchen sink. I made four recipes from this book (chicken curry casserole, shredded potato casserole, apple crisp, mushroom chicken), and they all fell in the "it's edible but I won't be making The author uses a liberal definition of casserole; basically anything that can be cooked in the oven counts, from roasted chicken to quickbreads. I was more on the lookout for the type of casserole that's a carb/meat/veggie one-pot dish, but at ~500 recipes, there was plenty of room for everything but the kitchen sink. I made four recipes from this book (chicken curry casserole, shredded potato casserole, apple crisp, mushroom chicken), and they all fell in the "it's edible but I won't be making it again" category. D'oh!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    I checked this volume out of the library looking for options for my dad, who only eats pork and beef. Unfortunately, while there are many options, they go beyond the appropriate comfort food standards my father lives by...he will not eat moussaka, or greek casserole with cumin and currants, or juniper beef. So, while I am disappointed the cookbook didn't solve my problem, it isn't the cookbook's fault that my dad is a picky eater. There aren't that many photos, but the recipes seem clear and wel I checked this volume out of the library looking for options for my dad, who only eats pork and beef. Unfortunately, while there are many options, they go beyond the appropriate comfort food standards my father lives by...he will not eat moussaka, or greek casserole with cumin and currants, or juniper beef. So, while I am disappointed the cookbook didn't solve my problem, it isn't the cookbook's fault that my dad is a picky eater. There aren't that many photos, but the recipes seem clear and well-written. And I appreciate her recipes in the front for "cream of" soups.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I liked it. I found a couple of good recipes, but for the most part it was a little more home-made than I was looking for.(More power to those of you that make your own stocks and sauces, I'm not quite there yet!) I still have some pages marked to try, but if nothing else the frozen ravioli lasagna was worth reading it. (So convenient and good leftovers!)A;so loved the apple, yam, and pecan casserole.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Who better to write a casserole cookbook than a Scandinavian-American from Minnesota? Almost anything can be turned into a casserole (or hotdish, the Minnesota term). Ojakangas also gives recipes for mushroom sauce and other sauces that can replace the normative canned soup, for those who don't mind a little extra work to avoid processed foods. I heartily recommend her Shepherd's Pie. A book full of inspiration - highly recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    My husband and I both love this cookbook! We try to make a new casserole out of it each week and none of the dishes have failed us. Our favorite is to mix and match protein, veggies, starch, sauces, etc. and come up with our own creation! Also, you'll never make your family boxed mac and cheese after realizing how easy (and healthy) it is to make it from scratch. We definitely recommend!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Hatfield

    So far I have made the Quick Alfredo Sauce (page 24 - LOVE), Chicken Cobbler (page 161 - Good), Italian Chicken Pie (page 168 - Good) and Pasta and Chicken Alfredo (page 169 - LOVE). But this is a huge book and I have many more things to try!

  13. 5 out of 5

    AnnE

    I've owned many cookbooks claiming to be the best. This is the only one that lives up to the name. I have made many recipes out of this book, and haven't made one we didn't love.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Good cookbook with tons of ideas. I just wish there were more photos of the food, but with more than 500 recipes, I understand that a photo can't be taken of every dish.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nathanael Coyne

    I don't know if it's my lack of cooking talent but I've had little success with this book. Has some great ideas but they just don't seem to work out for me ...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    Some good recipes, even more than you'd expect in a casserole cookbook.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    It has some very nice casseroles. Over all there are enough healthy recipes. Some even don't call for a can of mushroom soup. A MN must! Only negative - A lot of recipes with cream.

  18. 5 out of 5

    P. R.

    What I love about this book is not only her recipes, but she gives you a formula for making casseroles. The possibilities are endless.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    what a great resource this book is!! all the recipes I tried were literate and turned out straightforward but satisfying. I <3 casseroles.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cook

    Good tips for fast cooking.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    I gave this as christmas presents I liked it so much. Wonderful recipes, easy to make, not too complicated.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meg Dean

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rita Kellar

  25. 5 out of 5

    Titiana dufort

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaynamy Mettler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  28. 4 out of 5

    Frantz Colas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Agustini Burhan

  30. 4 out of 5

    S Conway

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