Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall

2009 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Most of my friends are used to my hectic lifestyle. I have to cram 48 hours of labor into a 16 day. I have two jobs, a foster child, a small business, an active writing career and more activities than I can shake a stick at plus the normal home duties. I barely get enough time to sleep never mind spend quality time with my family. Thus I am a big fan of anything that can give me more time with my kid. Personally I love the 30 minute or less cookbooks. There are always really great recipes that are healthy (trying to get a waistline back) and easy.

This cookbook was not so much a book designed to save working people time in the kitchen but a newlywed cookbook. Most of the edible recipes in this book are common sense recipes among my friends. This book would be a great gift for a newlywed who has never been in the kitchen before but needs to feed her husband, not for a mom trying to find new ways to feed her family in less than an hour. And some of these recipes are downright ridiculous. But there are some gems in this book, recipes that my family loved and devoured and some really helpful features.
I tried a total of 15 recipes from this book, some of them successful, some of them not. Among the unsuccessful was the "Ham and Onion Cheese Rollups". No one would touch them. They tasted okay, nothing special, but the idea of eating ham and cream cheese was not delectable to either of the two vacuums living in my house. The really easy chicken soup fared much better. The "Creamy Chicken and Noodle Soup" took only 30 minutes as promised, used ingredients from my kitchen (always a plus) and was delicious. Another favorite were the crepes. I had never made crepes before but they are surprisingly easy.
This book was not much help to me. Aside from the nutritional information (check out page 2 to find out how many calories in a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich) the book is a list of recipes that most moms can cook without even thinking about . This book is not for experienced cooks.
Here is the best recipe in the book *and it only takes 15 minutes*.
1/2 cup Heart Smart Bisquick reduced - fat baking mix
3/4 cup fat free skim milk
2 egg whites
  • Preheat a 6- or 8- inch nonstick skillet over high heat.
  • Ina 4-cup measuring cup or mixing bowl, whisk together the baking mix, milk and egg whites.
  • When the skillet is hot, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the crepe batter to the skillet. Lift and tilt the skillet to spread the batter. Brown on one side. The top of the crepe will be full of bubbles. Lift the crepe from the pan with a fork and place on a plate with paper towel. Watch closely, because it only takes about a minute for the crepes to cook. Place a paper towel between crepes to keep them from sticking together.
Really simple, but when paired with the filling recipes in the book, this is a really decadent and quick dessert.

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