The holidays are a very busy time of year, and most of us find we have less time to spend in the kitchen preparing meals because there are so many other pressing activities that take up the bulk of our time. I recently purchased a cookbook published by Southern Living called Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites. I thought this book would give me some good ideas for saving time in the kitchen. Judging on a quick perusal of this cookbook at the store, it seemed like there were a few good recipes that I might like to try. When I got home and really looked closely at the book, I realized I was totally wrong on that one; actually, there are only a couple of recipes in this cookbook that I don’t want to try!
Besides beautiful color pictures, this book offers 130 healthy main dishes, along with suggestions to complete each meal and a grocery list to help when stopping at the store on the way home from work. The book is well organized, offers a complete index, and is, in my opinion, one of the best quick cooking books I have seen. Another thing I find helpful is that there are suggestions for accommodating the picky eaters (don’t most of us have one of those in our homes?) without ruining the dish for the others. The helpful hints on getting dinner to the table quickly are also excellent.
This cookbook contains dishes for every busy cook, including make ahead dishes, dishes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less, family favorites made quickly, slow cooker dishes, and even some foreign and new dishes. Some of the dishes call for timesaving convenience foods such as canned soup, bottled spaghetti sauce, and refrigerator biscuits, but most just call for fresh ingredients – meats, poultry, vegetables, and seafood – which not only taste better than convenience foods, they are also healthier and don’t include preservatives. I assume you share a common goal with me of wanting to feed my family meals that are worth eating, not culinary rubbish that isn’t really fit for human consumption. I always ask myself, “Why spend precious time preparing something in the kitchen that is substandard garbage?”
Featured in this book are dishes for every season, and everything from brunch dishes like Cinnamon Toast Flapjacks with fresh bananas, and Bacon and Egg Breakfast Empanadas, to great soups such as 15 minute Quick Shrimp Chowder, Loaded Potato Soup, and Mexican Lime-Chicken Soup. If you want fast sandwiches, there are Asian Chicken Burgers with Peanut Sauce, delicious Philly Cheesesteaks, and Creamy Ham and Pineapple Rollups to name just a few. Main dishes include Hoisin Marinated Pork Chops, Crisp Garlic Chicken, and fancy Beef Fillets with Blue Cheese Butter. If you have kids, there are several kid-pleasing recipes such as Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter and Jam, Chicken Spaghetti Bake, and Sloppy Joe Squares.
I highly recommend this book; it is a “must have” for any busy cook. If you are looking for a gift for a busy mom or someone who really hates to cook but must do it, you can’t go wrong with this one. I just purchased a copy for my daughter who has two kids, works a full-time job, and is trying to be SuperMom in spite of many challenges; I think she’ll love it!
Purchase Southern Living Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites from Amazon.com