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Nov 6, 2007 08:26 AM

Cookbooks for Everyday Cooking

My wife and I have been struggling with cooking fresh meals daily because of the time constraints. We love cookbooks and cooking but all of our books are mostly recipes that take a good amount of prep time.

What are some of the most useful cookbooks for everyday cooking (mostly afterwork dinners). We want a small number of ingredients, little prep, and short cooking time. Short prep time is actually the most important because we don't mind popping something in the oven and waiting it out.


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  1. Cusine at Home (a quarterly publication with annual cookbook) is my bread and butter. It's the first cookbook where most of the recipies are winners instead of culling just one or two from the entire thing. I can't say enough great things about them.

    1. I seem to turn to the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for after work cooking or Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World. The Bittman book is huge and covers many different cuisines. Many of the recipes aren't terribly time/labor intensive.

      1. Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way

        Also fritattas from Marcella Hazan are a quick weeknight thing for us

        1. "Four Ingredient Cooking" by Joanna Farrow, part of the Cook's Encyclopedia series by Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0760738289

          Every dish has a photograph and clear, step-by-step directions. Nothing complex.

          I enjoy this book, here are some recipes: Mushroom Caviar, Vicchysoise, Potato & Roasted Garlic Broth, Roast Cod Wrapped in Prosciutto with Vine Tomatoes, North African Lamb, Spaghettini with Roasted Garlic, Leek Fritters, Halloumi and Grape Salad, Fresh Fig Compote, Hot Chocolate Rum Souffle, plus loads of stocks and sauces.

          1. Sandi Richard has lots of excellent ideas for saving time in the kitchen and her recipes are healthy and quick to make. The main idea she gets across is to plan meals weekly (or at least a few dinners) and prep some ingredients one night to be used in another dish later in the week. ie: mashed potatoes as a side dish on night A and Shepherd's Pie on night B or what have you.

            HTH :)