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4.3 out of 5 stars
Don't Panic--Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Great meals for your busy family" describes this cookbook well. The quick and easy meals in this book are healthy and include ingredients that you usually have around. Each recipe includes the prep time, total time, and nutritional information. The book is divided into sections including: appetizers; breakfast, breads, brunch; soups, salads, and sides; pasta; crockpot collection; baked oven dishes; grilling and marinades; skillets and sautes; and a dessert section.

My favorite section was the crockpot collection. I made the Succulent Teriyaki Chicken. Oh my heavens, was it good! The kids liked it too which is always a plus. And talk about easy! Here's the recipe:

Succulent Teriyaki Chicken

3.5 lbs chicken breasts

1/4 C brown sugar, packed

1/4 C soy sauce

3T lemon juice

3T water

1 clove garlic (I left out since I hate garlic)

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 C flour

1/4 C water

Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Mix together sugar, soy sauce, lemon, water, garlic, and ginger. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high 4 hours, until chicken is tender. Pour juices from chicken into saucepan. In separate small bowl, mix together flour and cold water until smooth, then whisk into juices in saucepan. Cook on medium heat until sauce is thickened and smooth. Pour over chicken in crockpot and heat on low until warmed through. Serve with rice.

I highly recommend this cookbook. It's so easy to use, well organized, and includes a great variety of family friendly choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks too! You couldn't go wrong investing in this book.

This book was given to me to review from the Baker Publishing Group. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
When the "Don't Panic" series of cookbooks came out I was a huge fan. I loved the idea of cooking all of my meals in 1 or 2 days and not having to cook the rest of the month. The cookbooks were easy to use, had great tips for freezing meals and had some great recipes for every day meals. They were thematic and organized by types of meat, soups, etc.

So, when I had the opportunity to review their latest cookbook I was really excited. I really wanted to like this cookbook. I mean, who doesn't love a "quick and easy" cookbook? I own many quick and easy cookbooks that I love that have great recipes that utilize fresh and flavorful ingredients. Unfortunately, I just couldn't see how this cookbook would be useful to me. The introduction to the book says it all, "we are finally able to share some of our longtime favorite recipes with you that we left out of our previous books because they are not suitable for the freezer." That statement is true. The cookbook reads more like a group of women getting together to share their favorite recipes (i.e. a "community cookbook" or a "church cookbook)." As I read through the cookbook I came across several recipes that were already familiar to me.

I mean everyone who has been cooking for any length of time has a Chinese Chicken salad recipe with green onions, almonds and sesame seeds right? If you've ever been on the South Beach Diet then the "Beef Kabobs with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce" will be familiar. If you watch Rachel Ray then the "Thai Chicken Wraps" will ring a bell and if you watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" then the "Lemon Chicken" recipe will make you laugh (ok, I threw that last one in for humor but you get the picture).

I took the time to make a few of the recipes (Spicy Pecans and Homestyle Mac & Cheese). Both were delicious and tasty but, again, nothing that I didn't already have in my recipe box. In fact, I wonder if the author's can take credit for these recipes as many of them can be found on the internet. This begs the question, "At what point is a recipe considered plagiarized?" Can authors just change one or two small ingredients and then call the recipe their own? This doesn't seem ethical to me but I don't understand the publishing world so it may be perfectly acceptable. I can understand how dessert recipes might be similar because of the chemistry involved, however, many of the appetizer and main dish recipes can be found on the internet in almost the exact format as shown in this cookbook.

There were a couple of dishes that were new to me but they wouldn't justify the cost of the book for me. If this were given to me then I would probably copy down a few of the recipes and then give the book away. The book just doesn't seem cohesive to me. The recipes are mismatched and there is no real common theme to them. Quick and Easy is probably not the best title for this book as several of the recipes take longer than 30 minutes from start to clean-up. Additionally, you wouldn't take 30 minutes to make an appetizer, 30 minutes to make a main meal and 30 minutes to make a dessert. That's 1.5 hours. Most "Quick and Easy" cookbooks stick to main dishes for this reason.

Still, I really enjoyed the author's first two cookbooks and use them regularly to cook my freezer meals. Their formula for freezer meals is a good one. I would recommend checking out their other cookbooks.

Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
The front cover of this softbound cookbook is so beautiful! Can we say, "drooling" here? In all fairness, though, I want you to be aware that this cookbook doesn't contain any photos or drawings inside. For those of you who absolutely must have photos or graphics in your cookbooks, this may not be the cookbook for you.

Some of these meals are designed to make large batches - if desired - so the ingredients lists on the recipes are two-fold. The regular list is designed for 4-6 servings, while the second "large batch" list is designed for making extra for a large crowd or putting away some freezer meals for another busy evening.

If you are a "whole foods" person, some of the recipes contain convenience food ingredients. You can adapt the recipe to fit your needs, but it will probably take longer to prepare many of the recipes than the directions say.

I personally have enjoyed the recipes we have tried. If you need a comparison as to the style of this cookbook, I'd say that the style of cooking is similar to Pioneer Woman's cookbooks, without the photos. If you are familiar with Pioneer Woman, you'll know what I mean!

I would also like to note a pet peeve of mine in recipe cookbooks. When the preparation times are listed for recipes, and the ingredients list calls for "cooked and diced chicken" or already prepared meats or cooked pastas, etc., I think the prep time to cook those items needs to be added to the time in the recipe. Only those who have unlimited funds to spend on groceries are going to be able to afford to purchase "already cooked and sliced or diced" meats, etc. For the average American family, this isn't practical because it is too expensive. So when I made both of these recipes, I needed to add an extra 20 minutes to the prep time because I needed to cook chicken and ground venison sausage.

Other than that, Don't Panic: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family is a great option to fast food! I'm looking forward to trying additional recipes from this cookbook!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although there are some recipes in the book that look ok, I was disappointed that nothing really stood out to me as something I was dying to try. My general rules of thumb for new recipes are that it has to contain mostly ingredients that I would have around the house, we have to already like the general idea of it, and has to be kid friendly. Quite a lot of these recipes, I found, either didn't sound as good as I already make it, or had too many ingredients that I would have to buy specifically for that meal.

Now - there are some things that I may still try in here (and I have already tried some). There are some great things about the book, like the keys at the top which at a glance can tell you which dishes are lighter fare, the author's favorites, have minimal ingredients, are great for entertaining and freezable meals. I really like that. I also like that on the freezable meals, there are notes for how to make multiple batches for freezing. Great idea!

Probably this would be a good first cookbook as it has a lot of recipes that are kind of already staples in houses where we have been cooking for our families for a while.
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on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let me introduce you do my new favorite cookbook! The "Don't Panic" cookbook is now a staple I keep inside my minivan for spur of the moment grocery runs. The recipes are very family-oriented. Meaning, yours kids and your husband are going to love them. The ingredients are moderately priced. The recipes are delicious, and you can serve them to guests. Many of these dishes refrigerate well and can be reheated for great leftovers. I want to share with you my favorite recipe in the book (so far!), Baked Ziti, found on page 99. Don't skip the goat cheese -- in my opinion that is what really gives it that restaurant quality taste!

Four Cheese Baked Ziti
Yield: 6 servings

3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (regular or sharp)
1 t. salt
12 oz ziti or penne pasta
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried basil (or 1 T. fresh basil, chopped)
1/2 lb. Italian sausage (pork, turkey, or chicken), cooked

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium saucepan, bring marinara sauce to a simmer and keep heated. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of mozzarella and the remaining cheeses. Set aside.
2.In a large pot, cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente (approx. 9-11 minutes). Drain, return hot pasta to pot and toss with olive oil, pepper, basil, and remained 1 cup of mozzarella. Pour the heated marinara sauce over pasta and mix together (if using sausage, add with sauce).
3.Pour pasta into 8 x 8 baking dish. Top with blended cheeses. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. Serve with hot garlic bread.

I was given a complimentary copy of this cookbook from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.
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on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love the way this cookbook is set up - some great sections with yummy recipes.
1) Small Bites and Appetizers
2) Breakfast, Breads, and Brunch
3) Soups, Salads, and Sides
4) Pasta, Pasta
5) Crockpot Collection
6) Easy Baked Oven Dishes
7) Grate Grills and Marinades
8) Savory Skillets and Quick Sautes
9) Desserts Divine

I have sampled a couple of the recipes so far and I have liked what I have tried but I am just getting started. I am purchasing a grill soon and can't wait to dive into the Grate Grills and Marinades section - it all looks divine! Doesn't Cajun Mahi-Mahi, Chipotle Peanut Barbeque Chicken, Steakhouse Burritos and Tahitian Chicken just to to name a few - hello yumminess! The Crockpot Collection will also be a new favorite for me because Crockpot cooking fits well into my lifestyle so new ideas are always welcome.

I actually tried the Scrumptious Baked French Toast and loved the fact that it was designed to make it the night before and then you bake it when you wake up in the morning. I however was not prepared for how much it was going to raise while it was baking... it did actually cause the topping to spill over and create quite a lot of smoke in the baking process. I will now have to clean my oven but it was worth it. My kids loved it and I will be trying this one again!

I also made the Cheesy Potato Casserole and was thrilled with it! Super simple with only 4 ingredients and it was fabulous! I made a couple adjustments just because I kind of had to - first I bought 2 cans of cream of celery soup like I was supposed to but when I was ready to make it my almost 2 year old had "misplaced" one of the cans... so I substituted a can of cheese soup for one of them. Then I decided I wanted to use it as a main dish instead of a side dish so I added diced ham to it for some protein - fantastic! I was in heaven. This will be a new staple in my house!

The only negative I found in this cookbook in any way shape or form is that there is not a single picture inside the cookbook - the only picture at all is on the cover and it doesn't even tell us what recipe that is (although it looks really good though). As someone that shops by picture when I go to a restaurant (like most of society) I was disappointed that they wouldn't spend a little extra on the cookbook and put pictures in it. I thought that was shortsighted when every other part of the cookbook was fabulous.

All in all I will still get a ton of wonderful recipes from this cookbook, but pictures would have made it 5 star.

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

Thank you to Revell for sending me a copy of this book to review for my honest opinion.
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on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I don't usually get opportunities to review cookbooks, so when Don't Panic--Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family came along for review I noticed the title, and jumped at the opportunity to find new recipes. Cooking is not my forte these days. Hasn't been for years. Knowing I need to do better, I thought what better way than through recipes that are "Quick, Easy, and Delicious".

I've tried six of the recipes:

1. Cream Cheese Danish (p. 42) super easy - uses 2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls for the bottom and top crust/layers. Very good flavor and texture.
2. Scrumptious Baked French Toast (p. 52) Easy - beautiful puffy French toast dish, but much too sweet for our family.
3. Oven Roasted Chicken (p. 142) so, so
4. Dad's Favorite Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy(p 197) good
5. Fruit Pizza (p. 228) easy, delicious, sweet - made it twice - kids love it!
6. Homestyle Mac & Cheese - (p. 101) My all time favorite recipe thus far. For years I have been using a combination of my mother's and my mother-in-law's macaroni and cheese. I make my sauce with a combination of Velveeta cheese (plastic, my husband always called it) and grated cheddar cheese and a topping of crushed saltine crackers. The family enjoyed it. After trying this recipe, I will never go back to my old stand-by unless I do it just for nostalgia. This recipe is just too much of a hit with us.

I'm looking forward to trying more recipes from Don't Panic--Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family. The next one on my agenda is Brown Sugar Shortbread (p. 216).

I received a copy of Don't Panic--Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family from Revell/Baker Publishing.
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VINE VOICEon April 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Time for a little change of pace from my usual Christian fiction reviews. Before I start talking about this cookbook I want to say that I am an extremely healthy eater. I didn't use to be and I had a lot of health issues as a result of it, so a couple years ago I started a diet of nothing but fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and beans (with an occasional treat). My health was restored and I continue with this lifestyle, so anything that is a departure from that, I don't care much for. For most normal, healthy and busy families this is an excellent cookbook. For a health freak like me, it's lacking. I don't want to dwell on that because most folks do just fine without having to eat the way I do.

The first thing I noticed about these recipes is that they are simple. Most have very few ingredients, all of which are affordable and easy to find. That is a wonderful thing for a busy family. There is a terrific chapter with slow cooker meals, a must in a cookbook for busy people. Many of these recipes are also universal people pleasing, comfort foods like Homestyle Mac & Cheese. I made the Pasta Primavera Extraordinaire. Aside from the sauce turning out too clumpy (most likely something I did wrong), it was delicious and easy to make. I meant to take a picture, but it was devoured before I had a chance. My dad and my husband really liked it, so I will definitely make it again. I also want to try the Homemade Trail Mix someday. Although, I will have to minimize the sugar.

So, my overall, my feelings about this cookbook are pretty positive. The recipes are certainly a lot healthier than fast food or boxed dinners and they are really simple to make, even for someone like me who has little talent in the kitchen.
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on April 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Cookbooks make me skeptical these days. Perhaps because I've laid down money for plenty of them and either ended up not loving the recipes or found them too complicated for daily life with small kids.

Maybe it's just that I want a cookbook to answer many of life's challenges; make my life easier and more simple during the 'witching hour' with kids, meet the varied food needs, wants and desires of the different personalities in our house, but perhaps, the thing we're all looking for, some extra simplicity, even in some small part of our day.

Universal mommy desires, right?!

At first, I must admit, I was skeptical-- perhaps by the simple layout (no photos), and simple recipes.

However, as I perused many of the recipes, tried others and familiarized myself with the lingo, icons and layout of the book I was won over.

The "Don't Panic: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family," offers just that-- easy recipes that require a short list of ingredients and can be put together with 30 minutes or less of prep time.

We tried the Chicken Divan (a yummy, cheesy, broccoli and chicken bake) and Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad for dinner one night last week. The recipes themselves went over well...our girls LOVED the mozzarella, and anything with chicken and broccoli is a winner in our house.

There are a number of other recipes that I look forward to trying; Blackened Chicken Quesadillas, Barbecue Chicken Wraps, Creamy Southwestern Tortilla Soup, Slow Cooker Coq au Vin, Apricot Glazed Salmon Beef Saute with Mushroom Wine Sauce, the homemade granola, and the Chocolate Cream Pie.

Overall, a great book to have on hand if you (like so many of us) are a busy parents who needs some new ideas for home cooked meals that are quick and easy!
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Format: Paperback
I like to cook and love new ideas, so I was thrilled to review this book. Having some quick meals to make especially now in the midst of bridal showers and a wedding less than a month off, I figured this would be great to use!

This is a very simple type cookbook. The layout is easy to follow and with many of the recipes gives the option to triple it so you can freeze some meals. Throughout the book are also some "tips", such as for breading chicken and keeping clean hands and avoiding contamination, use disposable gloves. The recipes are quite simple, which is nice, and for the most part, the ingredients are going to be common ones that are in most pantries (except for meats and perishables).

When I try recipes, rarely do I stick to it completely . . . especially if I do not have the exact ingredients. So this recipe below gave me a great start for a quick meal to put together in my crockpot. I tried the Slow Cooker Pork Chops - substituted a pork roast (much cheaper!) instead of the chops and substituted peach/mango juice instead of apple juice. My family loved it. I know it was a change with the above recipe, but it gave a great idea and definitely something I will make again.

That said, if I would have seen Don't Panic-Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family in a bookstore and leafed through it, I would not have bought it. It does not have one picture in it and overall is quite boring to look at! The book has sections for appetizers, breakfasts, pastas, crockpot, easy baked oven dishes, desserts and more. At the beginning of each chapter there is a page listed of the recipes that are in that chapter but no page number. You can find the page numbers in the very back in the recipe index. Most of the recipes to requite "prepared foods" such as cream of mushroom soup. This is not from scratch type recipes.

Don't Panic-Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family would make a nice gift for someone who may need the basic ideas for some nice home cooked meals and does not need the visual pictures for encouragement!

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this book for me to read and review.
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