Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Illustrated Quick Cook

I have lots of cookbooks on my shelves...neatly organized (or as organized as I can get) with them grouped together. All the celebrity chefs rubbing shoulders..or is it covers, ethnic books all bringing their particular flavours to the mix, an entire shelf of Jewish Cookbooks and half a shelf of reference books, not to mention the ones that focus on baking, or grilling or...well you get the idea.

The reality though, is there are really two types of cookbooks....the ones I go to for a great recipe that matches my mood and the other type...those glorious books that are just as delicious to read as they are to cook from.

The Illustrated Quick Cook is definitely a must have for those days when you don't even have time to think about what you're craving. The photos are terrific and will have you drooling at each page. Seriously, your biggest challenge will be in picking just ONE for dinner!

I'm a big fan of The Illustrated Kitchen...one of my reference cookbooks, and this latest in the series (subtitle time-saving tips, after work recipes, cheap eats) will be one I turn to often.

You can choose from Everyday meals or Food for Friends (a little fancier, but no more time consuming). Each recipe has a symbol for prep time and another for cooking time (don't you hate it when you do a very quick scan and then halfway through the prep you realize your "30 minute" meal will take 2 hours!).

Before you even get to the recipes...page 11 gives you a photographic tour of recipes to choose from....meat in under 15 minutes, meat in under 30 minutes, fish...vegetarian...you get the picture with symbols and page numbers. Talk about taking the thinking out of the equation and making life simple! You've got to love it, especially when life gets the better of your good intentions.

Then each section guides you to the best choices given your schedule and preferences. For example...Quick cooking meats, fish, and veggies with photos, use for each type/cut, how to cook it and what goes with what. Perfect for the novice or simply the overwhelmed.

I could go on and on, but instead, let me share last night's dinner - Pasta with Crab & Lemon (okay I didn't have crab but I did have shrimp and it was awesome) and only took the time it took to boil the water for the pasta!

And because I'm heading out to Prince Edward Island for a couple of days to cover their Fall Flavours Festival, I whipped up these Chocolate & Nut Brownies for my Honey to eat while I'm gone. Well, I did have to taste one, just to make sure they were chewy and gooey and they are!!

This is one book to rush out for...or at least add to your wish list. And a great gift for someone else. They'll love you forever!

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