I’ve always maintained that I am not a fabulous cook. On top of that, I am somewhat of a picky eater, and new ingredients that I’ve never tried before usually turn me off from a recipe. I always hear my girlfriends rave about their fabulous new recipe for kale chips, or their delicious dinner made up of things like couscous and other fancy pants things.
I’m just not that kind of girl. I would love to be, but I’m not. I was raised eating things like spaghetti, meatloaf, and corn casserole. So when I look for a recipe book, it’s gotta include some of the classic staples, along with some new, not-so-scary recipes. Family Dinners by Janet Peterson hit the nail on the head! With recipes for things like baked potato soup, roasted chicken, and peanut butter bars, I knew this was my kind of cookbook. It also has recipes that sound beyond delicious without being too “foofy”, like Apple Strudel Pork Tenderloin, which includes using a whole package of Toaster Strudel! I can handle that! My biggest obstacle when cooking is finding a million different ingredients that I’ll probably only use once. This book is full of recipes that use common pantry staples, or things that are easily found at my rural Nebraska Wal-Mart.
Not only are there over 300 pages of soups, salads, breads, beef, chicken, pork, fish, pasta, vegetables, grilling, and desserts, it also has little blurbs at the bottom of select recipes. One reads, “Family Tip: As a family, prepare a meal to share with someone—a neighbor, someone who is ill, or anyone who would benefit from a thoughtful gesture.” Family Dinners is not only a recipe book, but it also encourages spending family time at the table over a home cooked meal. I know that I’m guilty of popping in Toy Story 3 and enjoying a quiet meal in front of the TV with my kids, but I really love when we all gather around the table and share about our day. There’s also tips to help save money and time, along with general cooking tips.
Overall, I am in love with this recipe book. My weekly menu has expanded greatly, but with familiarity. No scary, intimidating recipes. Just great food that ain’t all that hard to make!
You can purchase a copy of Family Dinners by Janet Peterson from Gibbs Smith for $14.95.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Family Dinners from Gibbs Smith to facilitate my review.