Sunday, September 23, 2012
Katie Workman, founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com and mother of two school-age kids, offers recipes, tips, techniques, attitude, and wisdom for staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade—because homemade not only tastes best, but is also better (and most economical) for you. The Mom 100 is 20 dilemmas every mom faces, with 5 solutions for each: including terrific recipes for the vegetable-averse, the salad-rejector, for the fish-o-phobe, or the overnight vegetarian convert. “Fork-in-the-Road” variations make it easy to adjust a recipe to appeal to different eaters (i.e., the kids who want bland and the adults who don’t). “What the Kids Can Do” sidebars suggest ways for kids to help make each dish. -- Workman
I can't believe it took me this long to actually start using THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK: 100 RECIPES EVERY MOM NEEDS IN HER BACK POCKET by Katie Workman. I received a copy of this wonderful cookbook at this year's BEA Workman Party, and I even spent some time talking to the author about cooking for a family and just being a mom. (She's delightful and gorgeous in case you're wondering!) I had a feeling that I'd like some of these recipes, but what I didn't realize just how great this entire cookbook is. I could just kick myself that I didn't get around to sampling some of these recipes!
As a book blogger, I am so incredibly fortunate that I get a wide variety of cookbook to review. It's rare that I don't "like" a cookbook, but it's even more rare to find one that I can actually incorporate into my day-to-day cooking. However, THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK is just that! I feel like it's totally geared towards me with quick and healthy recipes, options for picky eaters, lots of ideas for substitutions or add-ins, and much more. It's just so handy and easy-to-use especially given that Ms. Workman includes little "hand-written" notes on the recipes. Seriously, the cookbook uses a handwriting font with Ms. Workman's words of wisdom. It's just like a friend gave you the recipes.
THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK has (wait for it!) 100 recipes that families are guaranteed to love! But in addition to all of these recipes, Ms. Workman offers some advice for mothers. The introduction of the cookbook is titled, "How to Pick Your Battles and Find Happiness in the Kitchen." I don't know about you, but I needed to read this years ago! This section also includes some helpful tidbits like "17 Amazing Ingredients" as well as some handy kitchen tricks and cooking tips. She even has a sidebar on food allergies which you already know is near and dear to my heart!
The rest of the cookbook has loads of great recipes and is organized like a typical cookbook (albeit with cute chapter titles!) The chapters are as follows: Quick and Easy Breakfasts, Lunch to Stay or to Go, A Handful of Snacks, Appetizers? Really? Really, Souped Up, 4 Salads and a Couple of Vinaigrettes, 4 Chickens and a Turkey (Sort of), Main Dish Meat, Fish and Seafood, Hearty Comfort Foods, Pasta and Pizza -- the Magic Words, Vegetarian Mains, Potluck, Mixed Company Dinners, Let's Call a Carb a Carb!, Best-Shot Vegetables, Weekend Brunches, Simple Weeknight Desserts, Special Occasion Desserts, and Bake Sale. I don't think there was a chapter where I didn't find at least one recipe that I wanted to try.
The page format of THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK is really special. The recipes begins with a general summary/history of the recipe, and many have ideas for how to get your kids participating in the preparation. In addition she offers lots of advice! There are helpful hints in the sidebars as well as her own "personal" notes about each recipe. In addition, there are loads of gorgeous color photographs which always take a cookbook to the next level for me.
What I think I like the most, though, about THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK is just how flexible it is. And really, isn't that what busy moms need -- flexibility? Ms. Workman does a great job of giving options for each recipe. Not only does that help me with using the ingredients I have on hand, but it also gives more of a chance that even the pickiest of eaters will be happy with the dish. She also lets you know what recipes can be made ahead as well as freezer directions if applicable. I truly believe Ms. Workman has done moms a favor with all of her "extras."
There is no doubt that I will be cooking from THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK many times over the next few weeks, but the first recipe that I tried was for the Crunchy Chewy Granola. It was extremely easy to prepare although it did take awhile to cook (but I'm pretty sure all granola recipes are like that.) I appreciated that the recipe was very healthy, if not necessarily low-fat (although it wasn't high fat either); and it did turn out to be delicious. The recipe used a little honey and maple syrup to sweeten it (no refined sugar) as well as the dried fruits. I added the optional fresh orange peel to give it a different flavor, but decided to leave out the optional unsalted nuts to keep the calories down. I ate it with a little skim milk, but I can't wait to eat it with some Greek yogurt.
In addition to the granola recipe, I also want to try many of the main dishes. There is a chicken finger recipe that even Booking Son can eat with his food allergies that I will be making later this week. I am also anxious to make the Honey Ginger Soy Chicken, the Simplest Beef Stew, the Soy Ginger Flank Steak, and the Flaky Fish with Balsamic Glaze. Some of the more decadent dishes that look good include Aaron E.'s Favorite Apple Coffee Cake, the Caramel Sauce, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares, and the Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever.
Ms. Workman has a website for her cookbook which is just fantastic. Not only can you learn more about this cookbook, but you can also check out The Mom 100 Blog. This blog has plenty of delicious recipes as well as ideas for making family cooking easy and fun!
Overall, I highly recommend THE MOM 100 COOKBOOK! I absolutely adored it and consider it a must for any busy mom!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this cookbook.
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