Saturday, February 7, 2009

semi-homemade cooking made light

This week I dug out one of my Sandra Lee cookbooks. I love her show and love her cookbooks even more. While her concept of 70% packaged, 30% fresh isn't always the best on the budget (or the waistline), she comes up with some fantastic looking recipes that even (I think) I could make!

I have quite a few recipes flagged in this book, though there are quite a few I'd never try (either because they don't suit my tastes, or because they use ingredients I'd never find another use for). My biggest complaints about the book as a whole are:
  1. I am not huge on appetizers. I look for quick and easy recipes to feed my family. Even when we "entertain" friends or family, we don't serve fancy crostinis or bruchettas or anything on a stick. I could have done with fewer appetizers and more main meals.
  2. On that same note, I am not a baker either. I am lucky if I can get a roll of refrigerated cookie dough to somewhat resemble a cookie when I am done with it! There are quite a few desserts in this book that are well above my baking abilities.
  3. This is probably my biggest complaint - since this is a light cookbook, I would have liked to see more chicken recipes. I know that fish and lean beef are also good healthy alternatives, as are meatless, turkey and pork meals. But as a woman on a budget, chicken is my go-to meat, and there were only a few chicken options.

That said, I would still rate this book pretty highly. I like the looks of a lot of the recipes, and the photography is stellar. Almost every single recipe has an awesome picture. I shared the book with my mother-in-law (whose cooking and baking skills far exceed my own) and she loved almost every single recipe!

I can't wait to try the Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce and the Carrot-Coconut Muffins.

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