Beat This Cookbook by Ann Hodgman {Book Review}


Do you think you have the absolute best recipe for apple pie? Maybe your neighbor claims to make the best meatloaf around. Did your Italian grandmother serve the best spaghetti sauce this side of the Atlantic? Well, unless you or that neighbor or your grandmother is Ann Hodgman, you’re wrong!

The book that the editor in chief of Vanity Fair called “the funniest, most engaging book about food I’ve ever come across” has now been revised and updated: more than half the recipes are completely new, and many of the originals have been “oomphed up” to make them even more shamelessly delicious.

Beat This! Cookbook contains more than a hundred all-time favorites, from Burnt Sugar Ice Cream and White Chocolate Raspberry Pie to Chili-Cheese Casserole and Onion Rings. Each one is guaranteed to make people take a bite, stagger with joy, and beg you for the recipe.

via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

My Thoughts:

Can a cookbook be funny?  Yes! Yes, it can!

It can also be entertaining and inspiring all at the same time. Hodgman has managed to cram between the pages of Beat This! Cookbook, a plethora of amazing recipes with her wit and humor running alongside. This is not a boring cookbook nor one that will only be pulled out only during the dinner hour. This is your friend or at least reads like you are chatting with your friend. One who is spouting off about the lastest recipe and then tells you percsisly how to make it and what she does so it comes out just right or what to use if you don’t happen to have that particular item on hand.

I learned a few things from Hodgman. For example, that the famous “Neiman Marcus” cookie story was fabricated, she mentions and then shares the recipe. They are amazing cookies and now I can make them again! The “Mashed Potatoes” recipe is worth reading too, as you probably have never made them this way nor even thought to do so. In fact, that is the genious here. There are many recipes that you probably already make with her tweeks to create better versions or at least a little different. 

While enjoying the humor of this cookbook, you may want to note that the recipes are listed in alphabetical order with a list of dishes by category on pages 13-17. There is also a section for leftovers.

I like Beat This! Cookbook. Adding a little wit to cooking is a good thing!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is my opinion and I wasn’t required to write a positive review. 


The Fast-Food Kitchen by Sheri Torelli {Review}

by Sheri Torelli

Sheri Torelli, coauthor with Emilie Barnes of the popular More Hours in My Day (over 240,000 copies sold), presents a wonderful mealtime solution for families on the go, on a budget, and ready to switch from drive-through answers to fast, healthy, home-cooked meals.
Sheri provides realistic, fine-tuned ways to bring sanity and the family back to the table:

    • double-duty cooking—how to maximize a minimal amount of time in the kitchen


  • menus by design—foolproof ways to plan meals and a month’s worth of menus



  • creating little helpers—skill-appropriate tasks for kids of all ages



  • tips for an efficient kitchen—tweaks and tools to organize a fast-food kitchen



  • fast food with friends—hosting simple meals at home without feeling intimidated



This unique and practical resource provides the recipe for better eating and better living: meal plans, organization helps, and lots of encouragement

From Harvest House

My Thoughts
The Fast-Food Kitchen is the perfect solution for the mom who needs quick meals because of a busy lifestyle.

The first 86 pages of the book are filled with tips and ideas from personalizing your kitchen and learning to cook double, to making a menu that works. Some of the ideas will be reminders and some will be new as Sheri encourages you to set kitchen goals that will make your meal making time easier and better.

The rest of the book boasts over 100 recipes to try on your family. Each one gives an estimated prep and cooking time plus how many it serves as well as approximate calories. One each page, you will also find an easy recipe laid out by ingredients, methods, tools needed, plus side dish ideas, kitchen tips, how to make it double, and possibly an extra comment.

IMG_3162My family’s favorite is the Crock-Pot or Microwave Mexican Meat Loaf (which we bake in the oven actually) on page 132.  Because we live in South American, I have to make a few substitutions; but both times I have made it, my kids raved and begged for more. This scrumptious dish will make it to our table at least monthly!

I really think that Sheri Torelli has given us a handy little book here. It would make an excellent gift tucked inside an over mitt perhaps or just a helpful addition to your kitchen.

This book was given to me by Harvest House in exchange for my honest review.