Readers, I have to admit that I was intimidated by Christina Tosi's Milk Bar Life. In fact, I wasn't at all certain it was one I wanted to have a go with at all. Why? Well, Milk Bar is a dessert place. As a habit, I no longer really dabble with desserts unless they require no baking. 'Cause high altitude sucks for baking everything; I've been here for ten years now and I've just given up. Obviously, I assumed Tosi's cookbook would be all desserts, but a quick perusal of the online sample proved this was not actually the case. Not the case at all, in fact.
What I found upon opening Milk Bar Life was a collection of recipes that immediately brought to mind pot luck dinner parties and/or weird late night snacking! Frankly it was packed with dishes I wanted to make and share with friends! Some in the this-is-so-weird-we-have-to-try-it way and others in the this-is-so-awesome-we-have-to-try-it way. Based on the intro to the book, that seems to have been the goal - dishes to share with friends, that is.
And yes, there are lots of baking recipes too. Some I even decided were worth trying in my tantrum inducing high altitude kitchen. Though I did still have very mixed results - Kimcheezits that never got to cracker consistency...
As some folks have pointed out, this is not the same kind of cookbook as Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar. I would possibly go so far as to say that the two books are not really for the same audience. Possibly. If you turn your nose up at Velveeta and it's ooey gooey goodness then this is not the book for you. There are also quite a few recipes that cross the line into truly bizarre territory - a sandwich with SpagettiOs and breakfast sausage, for example.
With the exception of the crackers that wouldn't get crunchy, the recipes I've personally tried so far have all been easy to follow. The dishes themselves might be a somewhat odd mix - family recipes, baked goods, and meals to quench post drinking 2am munchies - but even the Kimcheezits tasted fantastic.
I should note that the recipes themselves do feature pretty bold flavors. If you're interested in trying the book but a bit on the cautious side about salty or spicy food in particular I would suggest adjusting those ingredients to your own personal taste.
Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.