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Paperback Details
  • 11/2022
  • 979-8-218-07747-1 B0BNK7LK7M
  • 242 pages
  • $17.99
Virginia Baltay
A Steamy Affair... With a Pressure Cooker

Adult; Food & Cooking; (Market)

A steamy affair is about to happen in your kitchen. This mischievous, saucy approach to pressure cooking will persuade you to pick up an Instant Pot or a stovetop Presto for quick, healthy and sustainable solutions to everyday meals. The amusement continues with a blend of history, instruction, coaching and recipes, all knit together with a sensual thread that’s guaranteed to stimulate a love of cooking under pressure.

Baltay’s debut offers a comprehensive history, instructional guide, and recipe book for all things pressure cookers, along with an engaging memoir about her own lifelong “affair” with the equipment, dating back to the second world war, when she and her mother stretched scarce wartime portions. Penned in a tongue-in-cheek, very gently suggestive style, A Steamy Affair reads like a warm hug to those readers who might feel scared at the prospect of attempting to cook with the wide variety of pressure cookers (and instant pots) available today. Baltay sets out to demystify this sometimes polarizing but never quite out-of-style piece of cooking equipment that previous generations have relied upon, but which has sometimes gotten a bad rap from contemporary cooks.

Baltay describes her mother seeing an ad for a pressure cooker in Woman's Day in 1943 but waiting three more years to acquire one, once metal appliances went back into production. Once they had it, there was no going back, and Virginia began cooking with pressure cookers in earnest, beginning a lifelong obsession and passion. This is evident throughout this informative, entertaining book, which covers the history of the pressure cooker, the science behind it, how to identify which one is best for you, and how it can alleviate the problem of food waste. Step-by-step illustrated diagrams detail each piece of the pressure cooker and how to use it safely, while QR codes link to videos covering recipe techniques and the process of cooling a cooker down.

The bulk of this book is recipes, and they run the gamut from hearty and classic American favorites like soups and stews, roasts, and apple sauces to international offerings like vichyssoise, each explained in an encouraging style with a photo and, often, a personal story. The personal touches and stories offer a real connection to the author and her delight in the subject. Baltay’s knowledge is thorough, her style is winning, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Takeaway: Inviting guide to pressure cookers, with 100+ recipes and a personal touch.

Comparable Titles: Bren Herrera ‘s Modern Pressure Cooking, Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

"The Sound" by Pam Johnson

As her cookbook came together, Ginny began to consider it for wider publication. That got her thinking about the type of hook she might employ to catch the public’s attention about the instant gratification a pressure cooker can supply to create healthy, fast and economical meals. So Ginny added a dash of spicy language, tested it out on her friends, and voila.

“When I included things like ‘The Pressure Cooker Virgin Test,’ my friends just loved it,” says Ginny. “That was my intent—to grab the attention and to hold people to tell the further story.”

A Steamy Affair with a Pressure Cooker dares readers to “begin your affair with an Outrageous O!” (otherwise known as Ginny’s five favorite “outrageous” recipes) and promises going between the covers will reveal “stimulating color photos and more than 100 sexy, simple recipes for main dishes and entrées, soups, veggies, desserts, and more.” The book will also help novice users “find your soulmate” (stovetop or digital pot) using Ginny’s “matchmaker advice”; encourage “experimenting” with fresh, all-natural ingredients; and say “I Do” to the pressure cooker safety/success oath while learning special techniques.

Ginny feels she can help anyone interested in taking up the craft of pressure cooking to “fall in love with your pressure cooker in 20 minutes”—about the time it takes to make some super simple recipes.

Chary Sundstrom

My mother's cautions about being careful when using a pressure cooker made me hesitate to try using one. It took the introduction of the Instapot to lead me to try pressure cooking and A Steamy Affair to try a vast variety of easy to prepare recipes for vegetables, meat dishes and even desserts! It's enjoyable to simply read the stories about the food. The recipes are easy to follow, thorough and easy to prepare with minimal prep work.

Jackie Schwartz


An truly delightful book. Ginny's story ..growing up with a pressure cooker had me remembering growing up in the 40s and 50s..Her recipes are tried and true. It is well written and the recipes are easy to follow. I am looking forward to cooler weather and preparing comfort food for my family with a brand new pressure cooker . "A Steamy Affair" is a wonderful addition to my collection of cookbooks.

She Loves Her Weird Pot witha Rounded Dome

CT INSIDER by Lisa Reisman

In other words, the pressure cooker featured in Baltay’s delightful, lavishly illustrated “A Steamy Affair” cookbook might just be the ticket for anyone planning a Thanksgiving feast …...

Of course, “A Steamy Affair” is more than a compilation of recipes for everything from main dishes to soups to vegetables, as well as rice, fruit, and desserts…

Baltay rhapsodizes about the sauces that can be made from “ripe fruit that would spoil if left to ripen one more day”; about the Minestrone made from leftover string beans and tomatoes, with the addition of canned kidney beans and herbs. With the pressure cooker, she writes, we can become soldiers in the “Waste Not” green movement….

“A Steamy Affair” is, in short, a paean to a lifetime of joys produced from something that first appeared to her as a “weird pot with the rounded dome” —

Nov. 17, 2020

Paperback Details
  • 11/2022
  • 979-8-218-07747-1 B0BNK7LK7M
  • 242 pages
  • $17.99