Milk Bar Life: Recipes and Stories by Christina Tosi

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Notes about this book

  • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

    Part 2: After writing my initial review of the book I took a closer look and identified 10 recipes that appealed and have subsequently made 4 of them. (all reviewed in EYB). I have to say that the Lime Yogurt Olive Oil cake recipe alone was worth the price of the book but all 4 recipes were a great success. This book has earned its place on my shelf, it's here to stay and I look forward to trying the other dishes I've tabbed.

  • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

    Part 1- So first let me say, I don't have CT's first book nor have I ever been to her bakery or tasted her wares. I pre-ordered this book based on her reputation and the fact that this wasn't a baking book. The question is, what is it? Well, it's definitely a recipe book and also there are CT life stories and bakery stories scattered throughout. The book includes a mix of what CT describes accurately as "lowbrow" recipes and ones you might actually make with greater emphasis on the former. I think the book would appeal to CT fans because it's fun, shares some insights and no doubt there are some really good recipes in here. I think it will also appeal to folks who like to read cookbooks like novels and have an interest in this young female chef who's undoubtedly achieved a lot in her short career. I wouldn't recommend buying it just for the recipes though because I suspect there may not be enough non-lowbrow recipes to justify the cost.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chile-lime-soy

    • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

      CHILE-LIME-SOY - p. 190 - This is a sweet, spicy, salty and tangy marinade that would work on any number of proteins and chicken drumsticks were our vehicle of choice yesterday. I marinated the chicken overnight and the wonderful flavours of the marinade were definitely present throughout the meat. This reminds me of one of my favourite recipes for Chilli Lime Wings by Jill Dupleix but this has more complex flavours. This marinade knocked it out of the park and I'll be using it through grilling season without a doubt. Photos here:

  • Tex-Mex curried chili with avocado raita

    • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

      TEX-MEX CURRIED CHILI WITH AVOCADO RAITA - I don't know which I loved the most, the spicy curried chili unlike any I've eaten before or the tangy, creamy raita with avocado. Together they were magic but I'd be happy with either on their own. Photos here:

    • rglo820 on January 15, 2018

      This was so delicious - it was a nice surprise to have a curry flavor profile in a Tex-Mex-style chili, and the avocado raita is just genius. I thought the salt was about right, but I guess it depends what salt you use.

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      This is very good, but 2 TB of salt is way too much! This tastes great over rice, and while the avocado raita is nice, so is plain sour cream or yogurt.

  • Yogurt-Sriracha

    • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

      YOGURT -SRIRACHA - p. 191 - I wasn't quite sure if this was a marinade or a dip and having prepared it and using some of it as a dip, I can say with confidence that it is a marinade. I served some alongside the chile soy chicken and it while it was lovely with many complimentary flavours, it was too loose to be a dip and the fish sauce was a little too pronounced. I re-purposed the remainder as a marinade for chicken and it was terrific. The grilled chicken was tender and juicy with a hint of heat. Another keeper.

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      I didn't care for this, but I'm not the biggest fan of fish sauce, and that seems to be the dominant flavor here.

  • Lime, yogurt, and olive oil cake

    • Breadcrumbs on May 28, 2015

      LIME YOGURT AND OLIVE OIL CAKE - Crazy good! I added blueberries (an option provided in the book). It sounded good when I read the recipe, it smelled absolutely fabulous as it baked in the oven and it tasted better than I could have imagined. Something about the richness of the olive oil and deep lime flavour . . . this is cake heaven. I'm already imagining how fabulous it would be with black currants. Photos here:

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      This was good, but I found the lime flavor to be so pronounced that it masked the flavors of olive oil and blueberries (which I added). If I make it again, I would reduce the amount of lime juice in the batter and omit it entirely from the glaze.

  • XXXL lady salad

    • julesamomof2 on May 26, 2021

      Loved this salad - hearty yet crisp and refreshing with the blueberries and arugula. Next time, I would skip baking the feta as it didn't seem to add much flavor and the end result was a little hard. Recipe makes ALOT of salad.

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      This is delicious (and actually pretty healthy, a rarity for this book). The feta melted in salty white puddles when I baked it, but they reconstituted when they cooled -- though they remained flat and misshapen.

  • Blue cheese pretzels

    • annmartina on June 03, 2017

      These are good but really salty. I would make again with unsalted pretzels.

  • One-bowl dinner rolls

    • annmartina on June 03, 2017

      This is the dinner roll recipe I've been looking for since my elementary school lunch days. We used to make mashed potato and turkey gravy sandwiches with rolls like these. Soft and slightly sweet.

  • Milk Bar ranch dip

    • coryelizabeth on June 23, 2018

      This was not good. Perhaps it was just my taste, but 2 TB of garlic powder seemed far too much; it overpowered the entire dish. 3 TB of salt also seemed excessive.

  • Cinnamon buns

    • coryelizabeth on March 10, 2018

      These are very good, though I recommend making them with AP flour, rather than bread flour (the recipe suggests you can use either). When I made the dough with bread flour, it turned out unworkably stiff and dense. I remade with AP and the recipe was a beauty. Definitely make the icing, too! Just the right amount of sweet/tangy.

  • Kale salad

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      Delicious! It definitely needs to be made with the dressing Tosi recommends; it magically balances and unites all the other flavors.

  • Burnt-honey butter

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      The honey burned at 325 and was inedible. 290 - 300F seems closer to the mark.

  • Pumpkin gooey butter cake

    • coryelizabeth on October 08, 2018

      So ridiculously good....and with that amount of butter, how could you go wrong? I felt that the pumpkin mixture needed some extra salt and cinnamon. I also added a dash of espresso powder to balance all the flavors. These were easy and a total hit!

  • Mango drink (morning)

    • coryelizabeth on July 03, 2017

      Simple but very delicious. A great treat when you want something "healthier" than ice cream.

  • Lil' Z's enchiladas

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      This recipe is not for the calorie-conscious, but if you can set that aside for an evening, these are mind-blowingly delicious. However, I found the recipe as written to be too salty. I omitted the salt entirely from the chicken filling, and when I make these again, I will put only half or even a quarter of the amount of recommended salt in the sauce. Finally, I made these with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and found the chicken did not dry out at all. (Per Tosi's instructions, I only steamed the chicken for 4 minutes.)

  • Rosemary nuts

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      Yum! Go heavy on the butter, light on the salt and rosemary.

    • ChelseaP on August 05, 2021

      These were very moreish and delicious.

  • Acorn squash with cinnamon butter and breakfast sausage

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      I've made this several times (with turkey sausage). It's very good and quite comforting, as the head notes explains! It also makes the house smell great. I use 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and only a sprinkling of salt per squash half.

  • The Greta (sugar cookie squares)

    • coryelizabeth on July 01, 2017

      I made these, and they were gross. 1/2 lb of butter plus 1/2 cup of oil seemed like far too much fat; the bars were greasy and heavy. However, I tried the same concept (sugar cookie as a bar) with a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, and they turned out great.

  • Citrus cookies

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      Delicious. Loved the strong citrus flavours.

  • Chocolate chip cookies

    • ChelseaP on May 21, 2021

      These are fantastic chocolate chip cookies.

    • taste24 on June 12, 2020

      This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Easy to make, the dough does not need to rest in the fridge, and the texture is amazing. Chewy throughout, with a slight crispiness around the edges. You must include the milk powder - Tosi says it is key for the chewy texture. Superb!!!!

    • jimandtammyfaye on November 21, 2021

      The addition of milk powder seems to create a perfectly chewy on inside/crispy on outside cookie. The dough portioning recommended for each cookie made huge cookies. Next time, use smaller scoop to portion dough.

  • Cookie-dough cookie

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      Legit one of the best late night snacks ever!! Make it!

  • Lemon bars

    • Cbawol on December 20, 2018

      Decent "cheater" recipe, but definitely more of a cake than a traditional lemon bar. I'm not sure it really saved enough time/effect and would have rather had lemon cake or lemon bars - not something in the middle.

  • Thai tea cookies

    • jameskennedys on August 24, 2020

      Sub; 2tbsp Thai tea leaves for 1tbsp Cafe Du Monde Coffee & Chicory (or any ground coffee), and 2tbsp instant sweetened iced tea powder for one packet (24g) Café Phô instant iced coffee (or any instant sweetened iced coffee powder). No dried mango.

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Reviews about this book

  • Associated Press by J. M. Hirsch

    Best cookbooks of 2015: Her latest book pulls her more into savory territory, but with the same sense of whimsy...Tosi has a sense of humor. The recipient of this book should, too.

    Full review
  • Leite's Culinaria

    One of best cookbooks of Oct 2015. The cookbook, the second in the franchise, focuses on laid-back dishes that anyone can make with whatever is in the pantry.

    Full review
  • Washington Post by T. Susan Chang

    It’s hard not to be captivated by Tosi’s lack of pretense...The book’s voice is disarming, and no one could accuse Tosi of not being an original.

    Full review
  • Baking Bites

    The recipes are illustrated with lovely full-color photos that make the food jump off the page. It’s a fun book to add to your collection and you can find a little bit of everything inside.

    Full review
  • Food52

    The book might not hold up in the kitchen, and it might not hold up without the strength of Tosi, Milk Bar, and Momofuku behind it, but that doesn't mean we don't learn from it.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0770435114
  • ISBN 13 9780770435110
  • Published Jan 01 2015
  • Format eBook
  • Page Count 322
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Potter/Tenspeed/Harmony
  • Imprint Clarkson Potter

Publishers Text

Go off the clock with Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar as she bakes one-bowl treats, grills with skills, and embraces simple, nostalgic—and often savory—recipes made from supermarket ingredients.

For anyone addicted to crack pie®, compost cookies®, and cake truffles, here are their savory counterparts—such as Kimcheezits with Blue Cheese Dip, Burnt Honey–Butter Kale with Sesame Seeds, and Choose Your Own Adventure Chorizo Burgers—along with enough make-at-home sweets to satisfy a cookie-a-day habit. Join Christina and friends as they cook their way through “weaknights,” sleepovers, and late-night snack attacks to make mind-blowingly delicious meals with whatever is in the pantry.

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