From Publishers Weekly
The focus in this collection aimed at working parents like the loyal fans of Mills and Ross's "Desperation Dinners" syndicated newspaper column is far more on how to save money than on quality or speed. The authors offer many helpful penny-pinching ideas, such as finding bread outlet stores and getting reasonably priced salad greens. Most of the recipes are quick to assemble, even for less experienced cooks, as long as frozen or canned ingredients are used and not the optional fresh or from-scratch versions. How tasty the food is will depend on the family; almost all the dishes, such as the simple, warming A Chicken in Every Pot, have an unfussy feel to them, which is great for picky kids but may strike some as too bland. The authors make gestures to international cuisine, as with the Moroccan-style Lentil and Chickpea Soup with Cilantro, and Mary's Greek-Inspired Pasta, but to minimize costs they use few spices or special ingredients, often resulting in inauthentic takes on another country's food. But cooks who are too thrifty or frazzled (or both) to be snobbish about the sophistication of what they prepare will undoubtedly relish the authors' familiar, easygoing but expert manner and the satisfying variety of recipes. (Jan.)
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Who doesn’t want to eat cheaper? And who doesn’t want to eat better? And who wouldn’t like to sit down to a dinner of Salmon Pasta with Tomatoes and Dill, or Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Pepper Medley, or Enchanting Enchiladas, or Moroccan Meatballs over Couscous—and know that any one of these meals (for four) costs less than $2 a serving?
In their two previous cookbooks, Desperation Dinners!
and Desperation Entertaining!
—together with over 330,000 copies in print— Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross showed us how to save time in the kitchen without ever sacrificing flavor. Now the Desperate duo turns to the universally appealing idea of saving money, too. Cheap. Fast. Good!
is not a penny-pinching cookbook—it’s a “get smart” cookbook. It’s about planning smart, shopping smart, cooking smart, and, not coincidentally, about eating smart. The work of two brilliant problem solvers, it presents 275 delicious recipes that are thrifty, quick to prepare, and intrinsically family-friendly and healthy, too: Barbecued Chicken and Black Bean Burritos, Sweet Onion Chowder, Bayou Stew, Ham and Asparagus Crostini, Basic Beef Brisket, Perfect Spinach Pesto Pizza, Gayle’s Country-Style Steak, Souped-Up Chicken Stroganoff. Recipes are filled with techniques for pushing flavor, substituting ingredients, and using what’s in the refrigerator or pantry already, and every chapter includes strategies for running a kitchen more economically—The When, Where, and How of Shopping, The Miracle of Menu Planning, Making Your Own Convenience Items, Cutting Up a Roasted Chicken, and more.