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on June 4, 2006
I ordered this book after seeing an excerpt in Women's Health. I've been really surprised by the quality of the recipes (and the fat content and calories of the originals!) The first thing I made was the Big Mac sauce to dress up some burgers. It was yummy... and tasted just like the original. To be honest, you could easily put this stuff on anything... including veggie burgers.... and it would taste great. This book even inspired me to purchase my first kitchen scale. You don't need it to do the recipes, but in reading how she recreated the fast food favorites I thought I could do the same with other restaurant favs. My only complaint is that I still can't find a potato curler anywhere (online or off) to make the Curly Fries... unless it's part of a $50+ garnishing set. I'm thinking about taking a 3 month break from all fast food restaurants for myself and my family and resorting to this book instead. Note: You can find lots of these recipes online for free if you'd like to try one. But I think once you have, you'll buy the book!
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on June 2, 2006
I have absolutely no complaints about this book. The recipes are easy to understand. Alexander describes them clearly and simply. As for the taste, absolutely delicious. Even if all the recipes don't taste exactly the same as their fast food counterparts, they come quite close and the money and calories that you'll save more than makes up for it. I highly recommend this book. I'm still amazed at how right on the money some recipes are, like the Big Mac Sauce. The recipes are quick and easy and I guarantee you'll use this book again and again.
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on May 31, 2007
I've gotten really into healthy cooking after watching Devin Alexanders' cooking show on the Discovery Health Channel. I decided to look up any books she had and found this one. This is a keeper. My husband loves to brag about the book to his friends and colleagues and it actually got him into the kitchen to cook! The recipes are simple to follow and they taste amazingly similar to the fast food items we love. The only downfall is that it takes longer than getting fast food especially if you count the grocery shopping time, which is sort of the point of fast food...

I don't have kids yet but I will be using this book to get my kids to be more health conscience when making food choices and get them into the kitchen to help. If my husband was willing, anyone will be.

Some of our favorite recipes are In N Out burgers, Carl's Jr Six Dollar Burger, Taco Bell Soft Taco Supreme, Burger King French Toast Sticks, Tommy's Chili Burger, & Starbuck's Banana Pound Cake. There are recipes from all over the US that I don't even know of but I'm sure they'll become favorites as well.
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I used to love fast food. However, recently I have become much more health conscious and have watched my fat and calorie intake and have avoided heavily processed foods. If you're in the same boat as me, you will probably love this book. This book contains pleathora of recipes, many of which are probably your fast food favorites. What's great about it is that while she is able to significantly cut back on fat and calories, she still tries to keep the recipes as close to their restaurant counterparts as possible. In other words, there will still be beef in the Big Mac, not turkey. She also keeps the portion sizes the same and in some instances, portions are even larger. The proof is also in the taste. The recipes taste shockingly close to the originals (the Big Mac and Dunkin Donut's Cranberry Orange Muffins are my favorites). You can tell she has put a lot of diligence into testing and perfecting the recipes.

In her preface, she also offers some very interesting nuggets about nutrition and the restaurant industry in general and some inconsistencies she's seen. Even if you don't make any of the recipes, this information can be eye opening.

My one complaint is that I wish there were suggestions to lighten the recipes even further. She does provide some, but it would be great to get even more tips since some of these recipes, while healthier, are still somewhat indulgent to someone on a reduced calorie diet. This cookbook also doesn't seem like the quick and easy variety a la Rachel Ray. This doesn't trouble me because I actually like spending time in the kitchen, but for those looking for an extremely easy, 3-4 ingredient meal this probably isn't the best cookbook.
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on May 3, 2006
If you love fast food this amazing book is a true must have. Full of recipes that mimic the "secret sauces" and trademark spices of your favorite fast food, this book provides relatively easy to follow instructions for recreating everything from Big Macs and McDonalds Fries to Cinnabuns. While not all recipes are simple or fast, many such as KFC's popcorn chicken, can be made in advance and flash fried when needed. The goal of the book is to provide a reduced fat version of fast food favorites and on this level it certainly succeeds. Most recipes taste are virtually indistinguishable from the version that comes out of the drive through window. The only real downside is that the recipes are designed for a single serving. While most meals are supposed to take 30 minutes or less to prepare, you will need to have to have basic to intermediate cooking skills and even then the 30 minute guideline can be a bit ambitious.
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on June 24, 2007
Devin Alexander out did herself with this book. The time she put into it is surely proven by these recipes that taste just like the fast food items. I especially like it because it is an easy read and the ingredients are items that are easy to find in stores. This is one of the best books I have ever purchased! I can't say enought good things about it. She even gives tips on how to make the dish faster and even better. There are 58 recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. What more could a person ask for!
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on November 13, 2006
The recipies I've tried so far DO deliver on taste but what I wasn't expecting was how many cooking tips and techniques the author included -- a bonus that earns this book a place on my shelf. She knows her stuff!
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on February 22, 2007
This book is fun to read as well as interesting and informative. I was able to duplicate the "Big Mac" sauce at home, which fulfilled my craving without all of the extra fat and cholesterol! The KFC chicken fingers don't quite taste the same, but still yummy. I now know a new way to coat and bake chicken to make it crispy without frying, which is healthy and not that time consuming. I love the make ahead tips, as well, which save time later when you want one of your favorites for a quick dinner. My only complaint is that it is a paperback, which is impossible to lay flat, and won't stay in my cookbook holder. Hardcover or spiral bound would have been a more convenient. All in all, a worthy purchase.
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on July 2, 2006
I'd been buying a lot of diet books and healthy cookbooks lately and have been highly disappointed. A couple months ago, I heard about this book when it was on my favorite radio station. Though the author sounded like she knew what she talking about and had answers to every question the host asked, I was sure there was no way the dishes could taste as good as the originals; I wasn't going to be "suckered in". Then about a week ago, I'm watching The View and the book (and the author) is on there. They showed a picture of the author when she was like 50 pounds fatter. Wow. Star and Joy were hosting the segment, so I was instantly convinced that they'd do what they always do when people try to bring healthy food on to their show...taste the food, say it was okay at best, then say "we all just want fat". BUT THEY DIDN'T. Star actually said that "Devin's Big Mac is better than McDonald's." If you're half as big a fan of the View as I am, you know there is NO WAY Star would lie for anyone. I was still skeptical, but I love fast food so much and really need to lose weight, so at that point, my curiousity was getting the best of me. I immediately got the book, went to the grocery store and started cooking. I was shocked. So far I've made the El Pollo Loco Macaroni & Cheese, The Big Mac, the Arby's Curly Fries, the Subway Meatball Marinara, The Starbuck's Pumpkin Pound Cake (can you tell I'm addicted yet?), the Sbarros' Stuffed Pizza and the Dunkin Donut's Cranberry Muffins. They're all phenomenal with a capital "P"! I'm blown away. In shock, really. My family is in heaven and want me to try every recipe in the book. And I'm not opposed. This girl is going to make a fortune. The book is filled with all of these funny stories about fast food and also gives tons of tips on how to cook healthy in general. It's so great. I still can't believe that Star Jones said she liked her food better....well, except for the fact that she was 100% right.
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on January 9, 2007
This is a great book, full of recipes on how to make your favorite fast foods without all the fat and salt and they really taste like the real thing! I recommend it highly to everyone who loves fast food, but not the fast calories!
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