Monday, January 16, 2012

I wish cooking came naturally for me......

but like many of us, I need to follow a recipe.  Then, after I have made that same recipe a time or two, that is when I put my own spin on things.  Don't get me wrong, I love to invent my own marinades, dressings and salads, but more than likely the inspiration for it came from somewhere else.

I have decided to review and tell you about some of my cookbooks I keep on my shelf, and refer to the most for meal ideas and inspiration.  I am only going to tell you about one book at a time.  That way, I can have a weekly or every other week post topic in a series.  I hope you like the idea.

This week's book is Robin to the Rescue described as "Quick & Simple Recipes for Delicious Home Cooking" by Robin Miller.

I have all four of Robin Miller's cookbooks, and I refer to all of them.  For me, she keeps it real.  By that I mean, she is not afraid to open a jar of this, a can of that and to grab a dry spice occasionally.  There are not 600 ingredients to search around for, everything can be found at your local supermarket.  Each recipe tells you total time including: prep time, and either active cooking time or walk-away time. How cool is that?  I remember many years ago, when my daughter was a little girl, "Working Mother" magazine had a monthly recipe called, "Relax While it Cooks."  I think I tried almost all of them, because after working on your feet all day, the last thing you want to do is be a slave to your kitchen.  The idea that you can spend 5-10 prepping, then relax for 25 or more minutes while the stove top or oven does the work is an idea situation.

Other features along with total time include:  make it a meal kit, have it your way, bank a batch and morph it.  Make it a meal kit - basically things you can do in advance to get that meal on the table even faster.  Have it your way - let's say you don't have zucchini but have broccoli, that would work, or if you want to make the meal meatless, there are ideas for that too.  Bank a batch - tells you to double the recipe and lets you know how long to store it in the freezer, along with defrost and cooking instructions.  Morph it - (my personal favorite) make extra of one or more of the main ingredients to put aside for another meal, with suggestions given.  For example, I almost always make extra chicken breasts with chicken recipes.

The book is broken down into 8 chapters:

Soups and Starters
Pasta and Risotto
Chicken and Turkey
Pork and Ham
Fish and Shellfish
Side Dishes and Salads

I have tried many, many recipes from this book, and have never been disappointed in any of them.  There are just too many to list.  I think this would be an excellent addition to your own cookbook collection and a wonderful gift for the newbie and experience cook alike, who want to get quick tasty meals to the table.

Please let me know some of your "go to" cookbooks.

Happy Cooking!


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