Supper's on the Table, Come Home Cookbook
It's easy to become a cookbook collector. The glossy photos of scrumptious meals draw you in regardless of whether the recipes are easy or the ingredients are easy to find! Our intentions are good, but somehow we just can't get around to pulling together an incredible meal every night. Well, cookbook author Rachel Masters takes a much more practical approach, almost guaranteeing that this is one cookbook that will spend more time on the countertop than on the shelf. As a mom with young children, she was frustrated with the time it was taking to develop a meal plan and grocery list for the week. To make this easier, she created a plan that rotated through all of the main dishes her family enjoyed, along with shopping lists to accompany them. In the end she had a twelve-week plan, each week complete with five main dishes, a dessert, a snack, and a shopping list. After using her plan with much success over the years, she now presents it to the rest of us in handy cookbook form. The cookbook presents thirteen weeks, each with a meal plan for the week, a grocery list (divided into types of food like produce, dairy, etc.), and the recipes. Each week features five meals, a snack, and a dessert. Weeks are broken down by meal, with each meal including recipes for the main course as well as side dishes. As a bonus, Rachel has included a suggested timetable for each meal, outlining when each task preparation task should be done for a six o'clock target dinner time. At this point, you may be mostly concerned about the meals themselves. Will your family like them? Glancing over the meal plans, I'd say they have broad appeal (remember, the author has several young children herself!). A sampling of the meals includes: chicken fajitas, beef stew, lasagna, shepherd's pie, pork chops, sloppy joes, french dip sandwiches, ribs, chicken over rice, sub sandwiches, split pea soup, ham and cheese sandwiches, pork tenderloin, and many more scrumptious-sounding side dishes I don't have room to mention. You won't find anything too specialized in here, just family-pleasing favorites. Of course, if everyone in your family dislikes a certain recipe, just replace it with one of your own and edit the shopping list to include those ingredients.
Additionally, seven appendices include suggestions for breakfasts and lunches, using produce from your garden, recipes for special events and holidays, essentials for the kitchen, tips and ideas, making a few typically store-bought items from scratch, and some advice on family meal time (including suggestions to get children to try new things!). All in all, this is a great, practical resource for any busy mom struggling to shop and pull together meals each week! I know our family could have benefited from this approach when I was growing up! Jess