Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review; Don't Panic: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family

Don't Panic: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell & Bonnie Garcia

Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Cookbook
Pages: Paperback, 253pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0800719944
ISBN: 0800719948

(Received for an honest review from Revell Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, ChristianBook, IndieBound

Synopsis


WE'RE ALL BUSY, but that doesn't mean we have to eat like we are. You don't have to settle for feeding your family commercially packaged meals full of sodium and preservatives or fat-laced fast food. Quick and healthy meals from your very own kitchen are easy and delicious recipes like

  • Southwestern Baked Cheese Dip
  • Thai Chicken Wraps
  • Walnut Spinach Salad
  • Homestyle Mac & Cheese
  • Slow Cooker Pork Chops
  • Oven Roasted Orange Chicken
  • Grilled Flat Iron Steak Sandwichs
  • Spicy Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
  • Fruit Pizza
  • Mexican Chocolate Mousse

  • And Many More.
From quick meals made on the grill or in the saute pan to crockpot dishes that require little prep and cook while you're out for the day, the recipes in this cookbook are tasty and nutritious - and require less hands-on preparation than traditional meals. Easy appetizers and desserts; one-dish casseroles and pastas; simple soups, salads, and side dishes; and even fast breakfasts round out the selections. Meals that are freezer-friendly are marked for those who want to make ahead.

Give your family the best - the easy way!


Thoughts:


The authors of Don't Panic! Dinner's in the Freezer return with their latest cookbook, Don't Panic! Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family. This cookbook has a lot to offer today's family on the go. More mothers than ever before have to juggle careers, family, pets and everything in between. Something usually has to suffer, it's nice to know it doesn't have to be your family's health and nutrition. 

This is a cookbook designed for the fast pace of today's world. It's filled with recipes that take limited preparation, and easy to find ingredients, giving busy moms and dads more time to spend with their families and a delicious alternative to fast food or packaged freezer meals. The Don't Panic! Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family cookbook will easily become a staple in kitchens across the country!

When I was first asked to review this cookbook, I was a little unsure of how to go about it. I haven't done very many of these kinds of reviews and I wanted to make sure that I gave this cookbook, the best coverage I could. So, I decided to run it past the best cook I know... my mom! Together we looked over the cookbook just to see what kinds of recipes it offered, did they sound appetizing, were they balanced and nutritious and most of all, would my kids eat them? Let's face it, kids can be picky! It was important to me as a mother to find things in this cookbook that I thought my own family would like. I'm happy to report that there were several recipes that jumped out at me right away. My girls would like that or dad sure would enjoy this... 

I liked the fact that authors, Martinez, Howell and Garcia understood that it's important to have all the components of a good meal and some extras. This cookbook is divided into several sections, each offering recipes that are wholesome and delicious. Icons denote different features contained in each recipe including, lighter fare, recipes that can be used for entertaining, 6 ingredient meals, recipes that quick, and freezer friendly recipes. I thought that was very beneficial as I was looking through the recipes. This would give me a starting point as I was considering what to fix for dinner.


My mom and I choose a few recipes to try out from the cookbook, so that we could test the flavors, the possible options, like crockpot or freezer ready and how good our family liked the results. 

I was looking for a simple appetizer that I might give the kids as snack after school to tide them over until dinner time, when I found this recipe in the Don't Panic! Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family cookbook:

SAVORY BAKED POTATO BITES

(One bite is not enough!)

8 baby potatoes (or new potatoes), ends trimmed, cut in half crosswise
1/4 t. salt
1 T. olive Oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 t. red chili pepper flakes, divided
10 slices of bacon
1/4 cup of sour cream
2 T. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t. Dijon mustard

Recipe Yield    Prep Time     Total Time

16 bites                25 - 30 min.  1 hour 15 min.

Directions

Toss the first 3 ingredients together on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on a serving plate. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1 t. chili pepper flakes. Coat bacon slices with brown sugar mixture. Arrange bacon on a wire rack set on foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until bacon is browned and glazed. Let cook for 5 - 10 minutes before finely chopping bacon.

Combine sour cream, cream cheese, mustard, remaining chili pepper flakes, and chopped bacon. Spoon onto potatoes and serve.

Nutritional Information (per potato bite): Calories 135.0; Total Fat 9.3g; Cholesterol 8.0mg; Sodium 145.0 mg; Total Carbohydrates 22.0g (Dietary Fiber 2.0g); Protein 4.0 g  

Our Verdict!                                


The recipe turned out great! These tasty little potato bites are certainly going to be a hit around our house. This is just an example of the great recipes in this book. My mom fixed a couple of other things from the cookbook that were instant pleasers at her house too, including the Tuscan Chicken, which uses penne pasta and chopped asparagus as two of it's main ingredients and Fruit Pizza which has a couple of variations for those who really love chocolate and those who are more of a sugar cookie fan. Everything we tried was tasty and went over well with the family. There are recipes for everything from grilling to the crockpot. This is a great cookbook for families on the go that don't want to let their health and nutrition suffer!

I highly recommend it and plan to use it often in my own kitchen!


Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one a resounding 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!







Susie Martinez is a professional counselor with a private counseling practice in Lakewood, Colorado. She has been married to her husband, Joe (whom she adores), for twenty-five years and has two children. Susie loves shopping and watching movies with her daughter, Cassie. She also loves talking with her son, Chris, during late-night hours. In her free time, Susie enjoys going to the movies, taking long walks, and baking extravagant desserts. Susie also struggles with a particular weakness for island excursions and white sandy beaches.

Vanda Howell is a busy wife and mom who works part-time as a kitchen design consultant. She is absolutely in love with (aka addicted to) dark chocolate covered anything, espresso lattes, and going to chick-flick/action movies. In her free time she enjoys gardening, gourmet cooking, trying new restaurants, and wakeboarding with her husband and teenage son, Elliot. Vanda is a Denver native, and has been married to her husband, Mike, for twenty-nine years.

Bonnie Garcia keeps busy with her husband, three teenage sons, and golden retriever, Gracie. She is a pediatric nurse and loves working with newborns and their parents in a pediatric practice in the Denver area. Bonnie is active in her local church, where her husband, Steve, is the senior pastor. In Bonnie's free time, she loves reading, downhill skiing, and jeeping with her family in the mountains of Colorado!

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