Monday, June 11, 2018

The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking Paperback – August 16, 2016 by Mary Younkin (Page Street Publishing) (IBRCookBooks)

The tagline on this book is "Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking". That's a pretty big promise in my house since I'm feeding 5 boys and a husband and our schedule is correspondingly bonkers. I let the boys go through the book to decide what each of them wanted to try. Let's just say I have a list that is pretty darned long. So far, I've tried the Fiery Orange Shrimp Pasta (page 85), Maple Herb Roasted Carrots (page 135), and Lemon Lover's Pound Cake (page 167). All of them have been hits. The whole crew loved the pasta, I ate 2/3 of the roasted carrots before they managed to hit the table, and *ahem* had to make the Lemon Lover's Pound Cake two days in a row because I intended to serve it to company the next day and we polished it off the day we made it. I'm not even sorry.

So to the question of whether it is indeed family-friendly, I can say unequivocally that it is. Is it simple? Yep, it's that, too. The recipes in the book are organized by the amount of time it takes to make them, and so far, each of the recipes I've tried fits into its time category quite neatly. As an experienced cook, I'm coming in right at the fastest window of time Mary has specified in the book. The categories are 15 - 25 minute meals, 30 - 45 minute meals, and 5 - 10 minute prep meals which have added cooking time, but only require the specified amount of hands-on time. This makes time management in the kitchen a piece of Lemon Lover's Pound Cake, folks.
I've ordered copies for Christmas for some of my busy mama friends already. I think I am going to pop a few more in my cart for my friends who work like crazy but still want to eat home cooked meals from real, whole foods as often as possible. Oh! That's the other thing I really wanted to mention; this book doesn't use pre-made mixes or a bunch of processed ingredients. It is all from scratch, including the spice blends she includes in the book as a bonus. This makes my heart so happy! I can cook from scratch "as simply as possible" -as the back of the book says- and still make my mouth, wallet, and stomach happy. You'll be so happy to have this one in your kitchen. I know I am!

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