Over the years, I have collected several (40+) Christmas cookbooks; Iím always trying to find new holiday food ideas for BellaOnline and my cooking classes. I purchased Busy Peopleís Fun, Fast, Festive, Christmas Cookbook recently. "Busy Peopleís" is apparently a series of cookbooks on different subjects written by Dawn Hall.
The book is full of cute ideas for holiday food Ė most fast and easy, including timelines and grocery lists, which are quite helpful. There are also ideas for making holiday foods that are fun for kids. At first glance, there are a lot of interesting recipes, many of which sound like good ones that Iíd like to try. When reading the recipes, however, I found that most call for fat-free ingredients, sugar substitutes, light margarine, frozen whipped topping, and egg whites instead of whole eggs. Yuk! She even suggests feeding the egg yolks to your pets rather than using them, because the yolks are the part of the egg that contains the calories and cholesterol. Doesnít she know that the yolks are also the part of the egg that tastes good? Nowhere on the cover of the book does it say that this is a book for dieters! If I had knowingly purchased a diet cookbook, it would be okay; Iíd know what I was purchasing. However, this book took me by surprise.
Personally, Iíd rather have half of a serving of real food, made with healthy, but good tasting ingredients, than a double serving of vile, disgusting, substandard ingredients such as the ones Ms. Hall has used in this book. If Iím going to ingest calories, I want them to be worth it, especially around the holidays when Iím entertaining friends and family. If I served any of these recipes to my friends and family, Iím afraid they would never want to be a guest in my home again! Anyway, why spend precious time in the kitchen preparing a recipe that doesnít even taste good? By the way, fat-free doesnít mean calorie-free. When the fat is taken out of an ingredient, something has to be added in; often that something has just as many calories as the fat would have had. Case in point: the fat-free cookies that came out several years ago. Although they donít contain fat, most varieties have just as many calories as their decent-tasting counterparts.
Busy Peopleís Fun, Fast, Festive, Christmas Cookbook has a few drawings and black and white photos, but does not have any colored pictures. It also has a good index, helpful hints, and some cute stories. I think it is overpriced, however, for the cheap publishing.
Obviously, I would not recommend this book. If, however, you are on a giant diet and donít mind eating garbage, you may want to pick up a copy.
Purchase Busy People's Fun, Fast, Festive, Christmas Cookbook from Amazon.com