How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is perhaps the worst cookbook we've ever owned. We have not made a single recipe out of it that has worked as written. . My husband (Zombiechef) says it should be called, How To Cook Everything Except Anything With Butter and Sugar because it's primarily the desserts that fail the most miserably. I think it should be called How To Cook Everything If You Already Know How To Cook Everything because if you can spot the mistakes in the recipes, you might actually get one of them to work. In his quest to make recipes "flexible" Bittman gives so many options on ingredients that the recipe can't possibly work. Baking and some desserts are so heavily dependent on chemical reactions that the "options" he proposes make recipes unstable. For example: One cup cake flour does not react the same in a recipe as one cup of all purpose flour. The protein content of cake flour is much lower. A recipe using cake flour can withstand a good deal more beating because barely any gluten develops. Your end product will not be tough and rubbery. There is much more gluten in all purpose flour. A cake made with all purpose flour must be mixed gently and only till all ingredients are combined. No further. If you overmix a cake with all purpose flour, you get a gummy rubbery disk. In any case, the book is sitting in the trunk of my car. We're waiting till we get a fireplace. It's going to be the first thing we burn.