I was sent this cookbook, I Want My Dinner Now, to review and it’s got some really neat features. First, I love that every single recipe is set up so that you get the ingredients measured for either 2 or 6 servings. So if you want 4 servings you can easily double the 2 servings and if you want 3, just halve the 6 servings.
The author says right up front that you need to adjust the recipes as you go–don’t go crazy trying to follow every single measurement. I wish I’d heard that advice when I was first starting out! I swear I used to measure just about everything. Now, with years of experience, I’ve learned you can use a bit more or less of this and that and most times the dinner comes out just grand.
The recipes are divided into chapters based upon cooking and prep time, as well as any special equipment needed. “The Fast and Simple” chapter is great when you come home and just need dinner on the table fast. On the other hand, there are times when you want to get dinner started and then go do something, whether it’s take a walk or help the kids with homework. The “Toss It In The Oven” chapter covers these nights quite well.
The other chapters include one with recipes that use very few dishes (good for the nights when you assign dishes to the younger children!) and one that specifically makes use of different appliances you might have, like a rice cooker, indoor grill, microwave, and so forth.
The opening chapter on “Cooking Basics” gives you a nice reference point if you’re learning to cook. This includes various ways to cook bacon (I prefer to bake it myself–much less mess!), making your own bread crumbs, cooking cous cous and eggs, as well as directions for pie crusts, polenta, and rice.
If you’re a beginning cook and dealing with suddenly putting dinner on the table without much time for preparation, I think this book will be a good starting point. If you’re an experienced cook, you’re sure to find some recipes that spark some ideas for you and perhaps get you to add some more variety to your menu if you’ve gotten in a rut.