Cover Image: Big Love Cooking

Big Love Cooking

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Member Reviews

Big Love Cooking is an impressive assortment of delicious, fresh Italian-American recipes, suitable for the home kitchen and family feasts—many of them simple enough to prepare on busy weekday nights.. Campanaro, owner/chef of The Little Owl restaurant, accompanies his recipes with the stories behind the recipes and  nostalgic affection for his South Philly roots and childhood neighborhood, imbuing personal significance to the food. I really appreciated the humorous, warm, personalIty that shines through the words, the attractive color pictures of the food, and Campanaro’s encouragement to his readers to “make the gravy your own”—that is, feel free to improvise, play around with the recipes, and personalize them. Warmly recommended!
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Not your routine comfort foods are found in this book.  Delicious meals and great recipes!  We have enjoyed the meals and will be sharing with family and friends.  Looking forward to trying new recipes each week.
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While the title is deceiving, the end justifies the title.  Really enjoyed the family togetherness..  I enjoyed the variety of dishes from pasta to meat to desserts
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I grew up in NY and the Little Owl has been a corner staple in the west village since 2006. Was excited to read Joey Campanaro's book and it did not disappoint. Felt nostalgic for me...it was beautifully put together. Loved the photography of family and food (and the included playlist!). Wonderful recipes and guides that tied together a heritage of cooking....would make a perfect book for holiday gift giving or a birthday! Loved it.
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Big Love Cooking is more than a cookbook.  It was a trip down memory lane for me.  Joey Campanaro's tales of family life and city life in Philadelphia brought me back to my days of growing up in Boston in the 70's and early 80's.  I enjoyed the stories so much!!!  Then there's the food.  Mamma Mia!!!  It includes so many mouth-watering recipes with beautiful full color photos.  The hardest part is what to make first.  Veal Marsala, Chicken Cacciatore, Little Owl Crispy Chicken, Campanaro Family Lasagna (take me away!!), Eggplant Parmesan, a triple batch of Spicy Mexican Style Roasted Corn (starting to drool),  If you can't make it to The Little Owl, this is the very next best thing.  I was given an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley.  Enjoyed it so much!
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I requested this book thinking the recipes would feed a crowd. Maybe I misread the promotional copy? Maybe I was confused by "Big Love" -- thinking of the TV show and large family meals. I was surprised when most recipes were scaled to serve 4-6. I've made note of a few to try -- always a good sign when looking at a cookbook.
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With the most mouthwatering recipe titles and great photographs, this is a cookbook you must have in your library! I love to cook and these recipes gave me inspiration to try some new things. I made the Sangria Marinated Skirt Steak first and it turned out so incredibly good. I can see why Mr Campanaro won the Food Network Challenge. I truly believe 5 stars are not nearly enough to rate this wonderful cookbook.
There are a great mix of recipes, from simple to a little more in depth. This is like a bible for anyone who refers to themselves as a foodie! It will be a great read for anyone who likes to eat. It even includes a playlist to listen to while cooking.
Now I am going to try to find myself a cast iron sheet tray so I can make Mom-Mom's pizza next!!
Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC and the chance to give my honest review.
#NetGalley  #BookloveCookbook
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A great cookbook!  I love to read cookbooks, and this one definitely makes me hungry.  Interesting recipes,  mouth-watering photos (although I wish there were more of them), and interesting anecdotes and background info on the recipes.  Yesterday, I made the Italian Wedding Soup yesterday, which was superb!  I look forward to making many of the other dishes highlighted here.
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Just looking at the pictures in this book, made me hungry. Illustrations were beautiful, The recipes were easy to follow, and the stories that accompany them made the book delightful.. For all the Italians, and New Yorkers, wherever they are, should get a copy of this. Makes you want to invite the family over for a big dinner.
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The dishes presented are tantalizing, but the book, at least in digital form, is difficult to use. The author continually references other recipes on other pages, but there are no quick links to get there. The same problem exists with the table of contents, which at least on the Pocketbooks app, doesn’t have links, forcing the reader to thumb through a hundred pages to find things. Aside from links there are other problems. Heart of palm is described as being cut lengthwise instead of crosswise as pictured. Photos are too few with many recipes having none at all. Also forcing  readers to go back to page 18 from deep in the book is ridiculous, especially  when there are no page numbers, and when the item on the alleged page 18 is found, it consists of salt and two types of pepper that could have been included as part of the recipe. The book has potential, but is woefully short of a reference book that the consumer can use to successfully replicate dishes. Instead it is another celebrity cookbook that remains more self/ congratulatory than useful.
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It would have been easier to use this book if it was not strictly in a PDF format and I was able to download it to Kindle. I did have a chance to look through and the recipes seem easy to use and the pictures are nice.
The one recipe I tried was comprehensive and did not require a lot of effort and turned out good in the end.
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Joey Campanaro's book is simply delicious. Let me start by saying that the pictures on this book are probably the best pictures I have seen in a cookbook; I wanted to eat each page with a picture of food in it. The recipes are a perfect balance between casualness and thoughtful preparation: what a home cooked meal feels like, in other words. I also loved the family stories and pictures included, it definitely adds a touch of heritage and gratitude.
I had the pleasure of trying his dishes when I visited his restaurant, 'The Little Owl", about 10 years ago. I confess, I went there for the photo op of being the restaurant in the building shown to be Monica and Rachel's apartment in Friends. However, when I stood next to the door for the picture, and I the smell from the food hit me, I started salivating and simply had to try it. I was so glad I did!
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I love the idea of a cookbook focused on shareable comfort food. Big Love Cooking did not disappoint! It has great photography, straightforward recipes, and ingredients that are easy to find. I will definitely be adding a lot of these recipes to my rotation and will be buying a physical copy for future use.
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Delicious sounding family style recipes that seem reasonably easy to prepare. Accompanied by beautifully presented photos of the food, but also Campanaro’s family and his Little Owl restaurant. I suspect I would have given five ⭐️ but the advanced copy (pdf) didn’t have all the story pages printed so I could read.
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I enjoyed reading about the inspiration for the dishes featured in this cookbook and all the recipes were written in a, understandable manner. I liked the layout and the photos - I am a sucker for photos so I think there should be more photos, but the photos that are included are gorgeously staged. I am definitely thinking about buying a copy on release day.
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I want to read this, but I can't open it. I have contacted NetGalley, but they said it should open but it doesn't.
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I've never been to the Little Owl restaurant, but this charming cookbook makes me feel like I'm part of the neighborhood. There's a lot of recipes to elevate your home Italian cooking game. I like cookbooks that are filled with personal stories and background information, and this has just the right balance of stories and recipes. The pictures are great, too. There's a lot of recipes I want to try from this book - Rosie Bova's Fennel Biscotti recipe has me wanting to finally try baking biscotti. This is a really enjoyable cookbook that I'm sure I'll be revisiting for a long time to come.
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Gorgeous cookbook with wonderful, mouthwatering recipes. 'Big Love Cooking' uses whole ingredients for delicious home cooking. Some of the recipes are a little burdensome for everyday cooking, but these would be wonderful if you're looking to entertain or enjoy a nicer meal. I especially loved the stunning photography and learning about the author's life and family. I strongly recommend this one!  

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book.
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DISCLAIMER:  I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGallery, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I LOVE this volume of very doable recipes.  It truly is comfort food and the ingredients are readily available.

The photographs made me salivate.

If you love cooking, this is the book for you.
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I don't often recommend cookbooks for Reader's Advisory or Library Reads lists because, well, they're cookbooks and usually not all that interesting to fully read. 

Big Love Cooking is different.

Joey Campanaro has produced a cookbook that is fun to read as well as full of delicious recipes. Reading this is like being invited to the warmth, noise, and chaotic love of the Campanaro Sunday table. I married into a family much like Campanaro's where food traditions reign supreme. The family has changed in the 35 years I've been with my husband, but the food remains the same. 

There is a great balance of story and instruction here, with many of the recipes containing little asides from Campanaro regarding how to prepare the food. It makes you feel as though he's right there next to you and encouraging you to try a little of this, or taste a little of that. This approach is entertaining for the experienced cook, but also very helpful for the new cook who may not have the confidence to deviate from the recipe. Campanaro "Big Love" approach just might help that new cook become more confident.

The personal stories of Campanaro's family are entertaining and endearing. I think every Italian family has a set of "Uncle Frankie's wine glasses" (and an Uncle Frankie!). For my family, they were individual hourglass-shaped glasses that originally held little shrimp cocktails. My father-in-law would fill them with his homemade wine and pass them out every holiday. And the "Old-School Salit" is my mother-in-law 100% - I *still* haven't mastered the ratio of oil and vinegar poured directly on the "salit."

The recipes, though, are the stars here. The "Little Owl Gravy Meatball Sliders" and "Sesame Seed Breadsticks" are amazing, and the directions for the "Sunday Gravy" are authentic and easy to follow. What really makes this book shine, though, are the recipes from Campanaro's Little Owl restaurant. Horseradish Crusted Cod, Asparagus Homefries, Crab Cakes with Beefsteak Tomatoes, Little Owl Pork Chop, and so many more. 

This will make a lovely gift for the cook in your life. Highly recommended.
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