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Dave's Dinners: A Fresh Approach to Home-Cooked Meals    by Dave Lieberman Amazon.com order for
Dave's Dinners
by Dave Lieberman
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Dave Lieberman, seen on the Food Network, feels that in this busy world, dinner is the 'time of day when I can unwind and enjoy cooking. And it's still one of the best ways (if not the only way) for me to get my friends together.'

With Dave's Dinners, Lieberman presents nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, tickle the palate, and please the eye. He takes everyday foods and pushes them up a notch or two. He's innovative and seems to be constantly working on blending tastes (fusion) and finding just the right combinations. The results the author of Young and Hungry has achieved are presented here for you to try in your own kitchens with a minimum of fuss, to win accolades from family and friends.

His idea for making your own syrups to create your very own drinks will make you able to present the latest at little cost. The selection of Finger Foods makes the mouth water. Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs and Sweet-and-Sour Ale Baby Backs make it easy to hold a drink in one hand and a rib in the other. Just make sure a napkin is tucked into your sleeve. There's also Fried Sardines with Lemon-Relish Mayonnaise! Talk about a new taste sensation. And Mini Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce sure sound wonderful.

Salads are next - Dandelion Greens with Beet Dressing and Shaved Goat Gouda seems exotic, as is the Shaved Zucchini and Radish Salad over Smoked Salmon with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette. Moving on. Soups include Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, and Pumpkin and Chipotle Corn Chowder. Both winners in my book.

As with most cookbooks, Lieberman offers recipes for Poultry: Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic and Fennel-Stewed Lentils gets my vote. Fish is on next with a gorgeous, colorful Seared Snapper over Succotash. I know I would love the Belgian-Style Mussels with French Fries. Pasta has a place in this great new cookbook as it does in my heart. Pasta and I have a long relationship and I always enjoy finding new ways to fix it. The Creamy Lemon Almond Linguine is unusual and to my taste.

Bubby's Meat Loaf with Red Pepper Sauce and Tangy Green Beans is Lieberman's grandmother's recipe and could easily become one of my favorites. Or how about Roasted Rosemary and Lemon Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Reduction and Gorgonzola Polenta? I will only list one dessert because I'm afraid my drooling will dampen the pages (or smear your screen!) I opt for Challah Bread Pudding with Chocolate, Raisins and Vanilla Cream. I know you realize there are many more recipes that I haven't listed - all just as appetizing and innovative as the above.

Excuse me. I need to pick up a few things at the grocery store. My significant other and I are cooking together tonight. Dave's Dinners is the perfect cookbook for us. Dave finishes his introduction with these words: 'Just remember to appreciate your time with good fresh ingredients, enjoy putting out delicious food, and bask in the pleasure of sharing food with people you care for.'

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