Review: Top Secret Recipes: Step by Step by Todd Wilbur

Top Secret Recipes Step By Step

Title: Top Secret Recipes: Step by Step

Author: Todd Wilbur


Publisher's InsightFor more than twenty-five years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with recreating America's most iconic brand-name foods at home. In his first cookbook with color photos, the New York Times bestselling author brings you 125 new clone recipes: 75 first-time hacks and 50 overhauled all-time favorites. Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos so that even novice cooks can perfectly recreate their favorite famous foods with everyday ingredients. And your homemade versions cost just a fraction of what the restaurants charge! The result of years of careful research, trial-and-error, and a little creative reverse-engineering, Top Secret Recipes® Step-by-Step hacks: 

   • KFC® Original Recipe® Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw 
   • Cinnabon® Classic Cinnamon Roll 
   • IKEA® Swedish Meatballs 
   • Pinkberry® Original Frozen Yogurt 
   • Raising Cane's® Chicken Fingers and Sauce 
   • Arby's® Curly Fries 
   • Lofthouse® Frosted Cookies 
   • Wendy's® Chili 
   • Panera Bread® Fuji Apple Chicken Salad 
   • Starbucks® Cake Pops 
   • Cafe Rio® Sweet Pork Barbacoa 
   • McDonald's® McRib® Sandwich 
   • The Melting Pot® Cheddar Cheese Fondue 
   • P.F. Chang's® Chicken Lettuce Wraps 
   • The Cheesecake Factory® Stuffed Mushrooms 
   • Ben & Jerry's® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream 
   • Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich 
   • Chili's® Baby Back Ribs 
   • Chipotle Mexican Grill® Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken & Steak 
   • Cracker Barrel® Hash Brown Casserole 
   • Mrs. Fields® Chocolate Chip Cookies 
   • Ruth's Chris Steakhouse® Sweet Potato Casserole 
And over 100 more delicious dishes, from snacks and appetizers to entrees and desserts!

Review: It was a hard decision for me to make the call on a three star review for this book. I really wanted to like it, but there were some points that just made it impossible to give it the four or five stars that it needed.

I made the following recipes out of this book:

The Cheesecake Factory Mashed Red Potatoes - quite an addition to the Thanksgiving table I might add. It never fails that whatever I try to do, ends up messed up and I have to half ass something. So my heavy cream was curdled and I had to use my own hack of butter and milk to make it. I found it to be too garlicky, and that was with extra butter and an extra pound of potatoes. Not his fault if he thought that's how the restaurant's potatoes tasted.

You can tell I'm not a professional photographer! And that we ate the potatoes before I remembered to take the picture. OOPS!

Next we tried the Panera Bread Spinach & Bacon Baked Egg Souffle. Yumm! OK, so, I ended up having to do my own little hack because I don't have ramekins in my house. I'm not sure I know of anyone who does. But I guess that's just me. So I used my Pampered Chef mini loaf pan to make them. And I'll tell you what, it doesn't matter what you make these mothers in...they are good. I mean, eat until you die of stuffedness good. (Yes, I make up words!)

Now for the 3 star part. There are just so many recipes that have things that make it really impossible to do them. Like the Dippin' Dots. Who happens to have some spare liquid nitrogen lying around? And I don't know about you, but I don't even know where to buy it!

Then the Arby's Curly fries. Who happens to have a curly fry cutter?

It just seems that the vast majority of the recipes called for things that were not in the ordinary person's pantry. And I really wanted something that was going to be that way. I guess I was expecting it. Or at least something that was easily accessible, like heavy cream (even if you let it curdle).

If you're willing to go out and go the extra mile to hunt down the things you need for the recipes in this book, then this book might make it worth your while, but I just found it was too much for me.

Author Bio:

Since 1987 Todd Wilbur has been reverse-engineering America's most iconic foods for his series of 11 Top Secret Recipes cookbooks. With over 5 million books in print, the self-proclaimed "food hacker" has appeared in over 100 media outlets including The New York Times, People Magazine, Newsweek, The Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Food Network. His website http://www.TopSecretRecipes.com is the #1 copycat recipes website with 1 million visitors every month. He lives with his family in Las Vegas, NV.

I'd like to thank Word Slinger Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. I would normally donate this book to the library, but when I put sticky notes on the pages, the stickiness made the pages stick together. So I will keep this book in my personal library.