By: Liz Edmunds
Publisher: Palmer/Pletsch Publishing
Publication Date: September 2008
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 2009
“Wow, Mom! Great dinner!” That’s a phrase every home cook loves to hear and one I heard often as I tested recipes from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner. This new cookbook professes to be a lifesaver for the stressed, rushed parent in need of a quick and tasty meal and it does not disappoint.
Liz Edmunds states that her cookbook is “…more than a cookbook! This book is about making dinnertime a priority, putting it into your family culture where it belongs.” A quick flip through the pages of this book will show that Edmunds is correct as there is far more here than simple recipes. The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner opens with over fifteen pages of Edmunds philosophy toward the dinner hour, how to get organized, plan your meals, proper portion size, table talk topics and even the most common excuses for not cooking. In order to make meals work, Edmunds suggests mapping out two weeks of meals at a time and there’s even a sample calendar to illustrate exactly what she means. To avoid the common, “I don’t know what to make” dilemma that so many parents face, Edmunds advises using theme nights – Italian night, fish and meatless night, pizza night, grill night, Mexican night, etc. Each day of the week is designated with a different theme. Thus, every Tuesday is Italian night so no more excuses – simply flip to the Italian section of the cookbook and get to work.
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner is replete with helpful suggestions and plenty of recipes. I found the recipes in this book extremely easy to follow, quick to prepare, plus my family was quite excited to get something different on the table each night. Plates were scrapped clean and enthusiasm ran high. The favorites for my children were the Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken, Chicken Burritos with Salsa Verde and Lime, and any of the pizza variations, while my husband enjoyed the Almond-Topped Chicken Casserole, the Pot Roast Dinner as well as several of the grill night meals.
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner is the perfect cookbook for those who rarely cook, but know they should be preparing a hearty meal for their family as well as those who simply don’t know how to cook. One cautionary note: these recipes are not meant as low calorie meals, but Edmunds does make a point of watching portion size as a means of weight control. Also, although the “Conversation Starters” are well intentioned, the only thing they did in my household was elicit giggles and eye rolls.
Quill says: A great book for the cooking challenged, harried parent.