Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall

Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me Dawn Hall's "Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook" to review a few weeks ago.  When I first opened the book, I skimmed through the pages to see what kind of recipes it had.  Surprisingly, most are recipes I would actually make!  I used to like cookbooks until I realized that the recipe that I bought them for was really the only recipe I liked out of the whole book.  Either the other recipes were too complicated or else they just didn't look very good and wouldn't be something I would ever order if I was at a restaurant.  But Dawn Hall's cookbook has over 200 recipes in it, so there is bound to be a few handfuls of recipes you will want to try right away.

Dawn includes a lot of features that I haven't seen in other cookbooks:
  • One of my absolute favorite features of her cookbook that I really think makes it stand out from the crowd is the meal suggestions.  On almost every recipe, there is a section on the side that lists meal suggestions.  It gives you ideas of what else you could make with it, and they are all recipes that are in the book.  So not only does she include the page number of where they are found (huge help!), but she always tells you when to start the timer and at what point to begin cooking each recipe.  i.e.:  Set the timer for 10 minutes.  10 minutes before the meal, prepare the chowder as directed.  5 minutes before the meal, slice the bell peppers and arrange with dressing for a dip, and finish preparing the chowder.  (That was my condensed version of what she has written, but I wanted you to get the gist of it.)  
  • She also has pictures for most of her recipes, which makes me happy because I like to see what it's supposed to look like.  I tend to skip over the recipes that don't have photos, but that's just the way I am.  
  • She also includes a supply list and a grocery list for the suggested meal (so you don't have to keep flipping around the book seeing what ingredients you need).  The supply list is great because I hate cooking/baking something, only having to stop in the middle and find something.  It tells you what bowls and utensils you need, so you are all ready to go from the beginning.  You won't be caught off-guard when you come to a sentence that asks you to now get out your small mixing bowl so you can pour those ingredients into your large mixing bowl.  This way, you will have both your small and large mixing bowl handy (and already cleaned), and not have to stop what you're doing to find your small mixing bowl in your pile of dirty dishes and clean it (along with the rest of the sink full of dishes because you figure you may as well clean them all while you're at it...not that I'm that lazy that I let my dishes pile up like that).  
  • She also gives the the number of servings, calories, fat, and all the other nutritional facts about the recipe.  Of course, she uses a lot of fat-free, sugar-free ingredients, so it may change depending on what you use.  Me?  I'm getting better and have gotten a few low-sodium, reduced-sugar ingredients, but I haven't bit the bullet yet and gotten anything without sugar, fat, or sodium yet that I'm used to buying with it.

One of the kids' favorite recipes in the book is the crepes.  I had only used one other crepe recipe before, and I really wasn't very impressed.  The one in the book is great though!  Very few ingredients (yeah!), and very quick.  And she also has a few different fillers for them.  The one that is sitting in our fridge right now is the banana cream filling, and it is sooo good!

I made her homemade crackers the other day using just tortillas, butter, paprika, garlic powder, and parsley.  It was so easy, so quick, so frugal, and so good!   I tend to stick to the dessert section of a cookbook because that is the best part of a meal (in my opinion), but I was happy I strayed over to the breads and biscuits section and found that recipe.

Overall, I was very satisfied with this cookbook.  It was nothing like I expected it to be.  I love all the added features (especially the meal suggestions).  The recipes are simple and nothing too complicated, so you're able to put your own spin on it without having to worry about completely ruining it.

I was given this cookbook from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review of it.  The above statements are my own.

1 comment:

Priscila said...

I think Im going to check this out! Im busy!!!:)
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