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Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite
From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa, written by Karina Ann Betlem, is so much more than a cookbook; it is a collection of recipes, stories, and pictures that share and celebrate a community and authentic Mexican cuisine. From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa begins with an introduction which explains the purpose of this book and how Karina came to creating and publishing it. A general overview of the recipes and layout of the book is shared. Before the actual recipes are shared there is a section devoted to discussing the ingredients as many of these may be different from what one may be used to cooking with. Each chapter is devoted to one of the cooks whom Karina spent time with in order to create this cookbook. There are a few paragraphs shared about each individual and then the recipes that each one prepares in his or her home are shared.
Karina Ann Betlem has done an excellent job of sharing her new home and community with the rest of the world in her cookbook, From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Not only is this cookbook filled with so many delicious-sounding recipes, but it is also filled with pictures and stories that bring to life the cooks that are featured and also add a homey feel to the recipes. I enjoy Mexican food and going to Mexican restaurants; however as Karina has pointed out, this is not experiencing authentic home-style Mexican cuisine and these recipes are ones that anyone could make at home. These recipes are well-written as they can be easily followed so that the dish is accurately made and they do not appear to be time consuming. The ingredients chapters are a great addition to the cookbook as I am not familiar will all of the ingredients that are frequently used and the explanations that are provided are enough that I would feel at ease with working with them. This cookbook is a must-have for anyone whom enjoys Mexican cuisine.