Cover Image: Big Love Cooking

Big Love Cooking

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Member Reviews

I love trying new recipes and learning to cook different foods so I am always, always, always on the lookout for a new cookbook.  This book was amazing! The pictures were gorgeous, the recipes were organized well, and the personal stories woven throughout just added to the overall experience.  I will say that some of the recipes have ingredients that might not be readily available to some people depending on location but overall they were very easy to follow. Also.....who doesn't love a cookbook that has a playlist with it? I made the pizza recipe and it was pretty darn good!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this selection.
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This cookbook was filled with very beautiful photos of hearty looking dishes! The recipes have a very Italian-American and Mediterranean feel.  I love the philosophy shared about food bring people together and being a means of expressing love to your friends and family.  The title itself feels a bit misplaced since there was a highly popular HBO tv series about Polygamy titled BIG LOVE. Seems like a possible misstep.  Regardless, this book has mouth watering recipes I know my family will love.
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The cookbook is very welcoming. I love the photos and the stories related to the recipes. It's not really an "everyday" cookbook as I expected; a lot of the recipes seem quite time-consuming, so it would be more for special occasions in my house. Makes me want to take a trip to Little Owl!
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Really enjoyed this cookbook. I can't wait to cook some of these recipes. Liked the pictures, and it was a nice book.
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Flipping through this cookbook made me want to immediately go to this restaurant and try the food, but alas I live in Hawaii, and COVID makes it difficult. I thought it was laid out well, but could have definitely used more pictures. Also, the recipes seemed a little more difficult than what I would be able to take on, but I guess that’s another reason I have to visit!
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Oh My Gosh!!!  I can't say enough about this book!  First of all, I am obsessed with cookbooks!  I have a couple hundred and my husband is on me constantly to weed some out and only buy digital from now on. Much to his disappointment,  I ended up buying the hard copy of this one too. It is that good! The general theme is cooking a big family meal that brings everyone together. I love to cook, but am on time constraints due to my job and there are only 2 of us. Fortunately we like leftovers, as most of these recipes make a lot. I am a quick, easy and convenient cook, but this book made me want to want to slow down and cook from scratch occasionally. I absolutely loved all of the pasta choices!  I was actually in NYC 2 years ago and wish I had known about Little Owl Restaurant then. Oh well, just an excuse to go back! Can't recommend this one enough!

Thank you to #NetGalley, Joey Campanaro and Chronicle Books for this digital ARC.
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There are a lot of reasons I love to read cookbooks. Sometimes I love the food (cake!) or the chef. Or Maybe it teaches me about a cuisine I know only a little about. And sometimes, reading a cookbook makes me feel like I am coming back home. Reading Big Love Cooking made me feel like that. 

I have never been to Little Owl. I haven’t even been to Manhattan since the 1990s, but reading chef Joey Campanaro’s (and co-writer Theresa Gambacorta’s) cookbook, filled with recipes and stories from his restaurant Little Owl, I feel a little like I’ve gotten a chance to experience some of the warmth, the comfort, and the flavor that Campanaro brings to his diners. Big Love Cooking is a celebration of his Italian American heritage, his childhood in South Philly, and his 14 years at Little Owl. 

The cookbook is filled with 75 amazing recipes, including the Whole Wheat Pancakes with Berries that Alton Brown loves, the Little Owl Pork Chop with Parmesan Butter Beans, Potato Fontina Fonduta, Veal Marsala, Littleneck Clams with Juicy Bread, Campanaro Family Lasagna, Little Gem Caesar Salad with Panko Crunchies, Sesame Seed Breadsticks, the Brandied Cherry and Apple Strudel based on the one that he made for Arnold Schwarzenegger (who said it was just like his mother’s), and the Gravy Meatball Sliders that Calvin Trillin waxes poetic about in his foreword. 

Sprinkled in between all these recipes are the true riches of this cookbook—the stories Chef Campanaro shares of his family, of learning to cook from his mother and grandmother, the moments that make you feel like an insider in his family kitchen. He shares how to butcher a chicken, what kind of flour he likes for his hand-made pasta, the recipe for his seafood spice mix, how to make a genuine Italian Sunday gravy, what it takes to make the best biscuits. 

And the pictures! Photographer Con Poulos has captured the warmth of Little Owl, of these gorgeous dishes, and of the people around Campanaro laughing and loving and eating. And the food? Seeing these photos makes me want to lick my computer screen. That shot of the Philly Cheesecake with Blueberry Agave Sauce? I want to get a print of it framed to stare at every day. These photos just underline the warmth and comfort of Little Owl and the food they create there, that feeling of being at home but not having to be the one who cleans up, the joy of being a part of a larger family who feeds you really well. 

I can’t get to New York to visit Little Owl any time soon, but with Big Love Cooking, I do get a glimpse into the experience of being there. And I can recreate some of that flavor and comfort here in my own kitchen in the middle of the country, and I can feel the love and belonging that those great Italian American dishes provide. In other words, even here, far away from Campanaro’s restaurant, I can still feel and share the big love in that Big Love Cooking. And that feels good. 

Egalleys for Big Love Cooking were provided by Chronicle Books through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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Loved this collection of recipes with gorgeous photos, lots of great salads and family vignettes!!!
I especially loved the sangria-marinated skirt steak and the brioche french toast recipes. They were big hits. I felt like part of the family, a gift worthy cookbook, in my opinion!
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Personal Chef Cookbook

This lovely cookbook was written by a New York restaurateur that not only shares restaurant favorites but also family ones. The book is imbued with a strong sense of place, with photos from the restaurant's neighborhood and stories of some residents. The author shares some interior shots of the restaurant and his Italian family through the years. It feels like a very personal chef cookbook. The cookbook is divided into these chapters: brunch, soups and salads, vegetables, pasta, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, Sunday supper, and desserts. Certainly the pasta and Sunday supper (featuring meaty tomato gravy and all the trimmings) chapters put this cookbook squarely in Italian territory. As I don't eat meat, I like that the author had so many recipes that didn't have any. Plenty of vegetarian choices, which is often the case with Italian cookbooks. Throughout the book, the author has a few pages given over to mini-essays about particular food topics like how to make proper biscuits or choose meats for Sunday gravy. As this is a cookbook written by an NYC chef, some recipes are complex using some specialized ingredients that might be difficult for some of us outside of major metro areas to source. He also uses tools that are more apt to be in a chef's kitchen than a home cook’s one, like a mandoline, a food mill, or special pots and pans. Not every recipe had a photo—and I certainly wish that more did, especially for the unusual recipes—but the photos included look so yummy that I wanted to go in the kitchen and make some. I like it when a cookbook is so inspiring. If you like chef cookbooks where they share both personal and restaurant recipes as well as appreciate Italian-inspired dishes, you may enjoy this cookbook as much as I did.
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For Lovers of Italian Food

Joey Campanaro, owner of Little Owl Restaurant in New York City has produced a cookbook that feels like a family get together. The recipes are mouth-watering, but I loved the stories and pictures that went with them. It felt like being gathered around an Italian family table. 

For me, the recipes are a little too complicated for everyday, but would be wonderful for company or a special occasion. I particularly liked the Italian Wedding Soup recipe. It has always been one of my favorites and his suggestions like baking the meatballs before adding them seemed like a great idea. 

The pictures are wonderful. Even if you don’t attempt to cook the food yourself, the book is definitely worth reading. 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.
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One of my favorite kind of book is cookbooks. I enjoyed reading the stories that went with each dish but I would have liked to have seen more pictures to see how the dishes are suppose to look like. One reason that pulls me to a cookbook is the pictures and then the stories that come with each dish. Now the recipes looked real yummy and what pictures that were there were wonderful looking. This would be a cookbook that I would like to have a hard copy of.
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Big Love Cooking by Joey Companaro is full of delicious recipes. His love of his Italian heritage and family along with Italian food shines throughout the entire book, with his family’s stories written next to recipes. The recipes that we have tried have all been delicious. I love the ingredient recommendations at the beginning of the book. Ingredients are so important in how a dish comes out. 

There are a few recipes I would not have tried if it were not for the photos. The photos in this are stunning. The layout and organization are fantastic as well.

I received an electronic advanced reader copy from Chronicle Books through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
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Big Love Cooking is filled with family and food. I really loved the cooking style of the author who presents themselves as a mix of Mediterranean, Italian American and South Philly. This was evident in the recipes. There were many staples such as pizza, pasta, and lasagna, as well as some unique recipes such as mortadella-stuffed cherry peppers. There were enough different tips and tricks in this book to justify its purchase in the rather saturation market of Italian cookbooks.
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What a beautiful cookbook!  The author, Joey Campanaro, is a celebrated chef with a restaurant called The Tiny Owl which he talks about in the book.  The photographs are   pictures of Italian American comfort food that makes your mouth water just looking at them!!  I wish there were a photographs for every recipe!!!  

The 75 recipe choices include brunch, soups and salads, vegetables, pasta, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, Sunday supper, and desserts.  These great recipes include detailed step-by-step instructions.  I feel like I would want to make most of the recipes on a weekend or special occasion because they are a little involved.  They are doable because of the great instructions, but some of the prepwork is time consuming.  Most ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.

Many of the recipes include a story which i enjoyed and gave me the feeling like i was talking to an old friend.  The one recipe I made from the cookbook was Italian Wedding Soup which has always been a favorite of mine.  There were a few twists in this recipe that I had never tried before, like adding an egg in the soup and forming the meatballs into spoon-size servings, baking them before adding them to the soup.  I was amazed at how much more flavor the soup had compared to the Italian Wedding Soup I usually make.  This will now become my go to recipe!!

I would recommend this book to anybody that loves Italian food.  I reviewed the digital copy, but will be buying my own copy to add to my cookbook collection!

Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the ARC of Joey Campanaro's cookbook in exchange for my review.

#NetGalley #BigLoveCooking
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Big Love Cooking is definitely going to be a go-to cookbook for me in the future. There are so many delicious comfort food recipes that I look forward to cooking my way through this fall and winter. The pictures are beautiful, and I love that each recipe has an author's note that tells me more about it. There's a personal element to it that makes me feel like I'm cooking my own family recipes.
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The photos throughout this book are absolutely stunning. All of the recipes look delicious and like something I could actually make. I can't wait to cook my way through this book!
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I love cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking. This book was so enjoyable to read. The premise of "cookbook" doesn't seem to fully describe what this is. I love when a cookbook is more than a collection of recipes; it should be a collection of stories. 

This cookbook shared Campanaro's life and love of cooking with the reader. It shared stories about him and his family, and an array of beautiful, warm photos. These recipes look phenomenal, and I can't wait to get into the kitchen and try my hand at something new. (Gnocchi maybe?)

Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for providing a copy of this eARC for review.
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Too much introduction. I don't want to read a cookbook. I want to see pictures of every recipe and detailed instructions. I don't need a backstory. As for the recipes, some look delicious! And some do not. But a lot of them look pretty healthy and I will definitely be trying.
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Beautiful pictures. Love the author’s backstory to cooking and recipes. These are also recipes home cooks could attempt.
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When I saw this book I thought it would be great recipes. They are great, but not really original. Most recipes have been done over and over. The pictures are great in this book and I like the homely feeling of it. The name of this book is confusing, it made me think about the tv series big love.
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