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High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034552229X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345522290
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“There’s so much about J.M.’s approach to food that rings true for me.  We believe in a lot of the same principles: the food we share with our families everyday should be accessible and affordable but never dull and always full of flavor.  Neither of us are trained chefs, but both of us are damn good cooks.  I think this is a great read.”
– Rachael Ray
 
“Big, bold food that busy families can love! This is a man - and a cookbook - after my own heart.” – Paula Deen
 
 
"... From spicy chilies and smoky rubs to a pesto chicken that's perfectly tuned, J.M. hits all the right flavor notes with these recipes." – Rocco DiSpirito
 

About the Author

J. M. HIRSCH is the national food editor for The Associated Press. He oversees a team of writers, cooks, and photographers whose stories and recipes appear in thousands of newspapers and on countless Web sites around the globe. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and six-year-old son.

More About the Author

If you are one of those parents who somehow finds the time to craft your kid's lunch into cutesy animals and characters from their favorite movies, good for you. And good luck with your therapy.

I'm a working dad who can't dedicate quite that much energy to my 8-year-old's lunch box. I'm pretty sure that doesn't make me a bad dad. I still want him to eat healthy and to be excited for lunchtime. I just can't get all OCD about it.

And for the record, at the start of a crazy day being the national food editor for The Associated Press and a cookbook author doesn't buy me any extra time or inspiration for packing a lunch. And it certainly doesn't earn me any bonus points when it comes to planning dinner.

By necessity, I've become an expert at fast and easy dinners, as well as equally speedy and delicious packed lunches.

My last book, "High Flavor, Low Labor," was all about getting great dinners on the table fast. My approach is simple -- use high flavor ingredients to do the work for you. Because if foods taste great before they go in the pot, you don't have to work as hard for them to taste great when they come out.

My new cookbook, "Beating the Lunch Box Blues," was inspired by my blog -- LunchBoxBlues.com. The blog is a simple chronicle of the crazy, creative things I pack in my son's lunch box. It's about my daily struggle to feed my son lunches he'll be excited about and I'll feel good about.

"Beating the Lunch Box Blues" pulls together the lessons I've learned serving five years (and counting) in the lunch box trenches. Whether you're packing lunch for your kid or yourself, this book has you covered with delicious, easy-to-pack, easy-to-make lunch ideas that will move you way beyond the same old day-after-day PB&J.

And all of my cooking comes down to one thing -- real food for real people grappling with real life.

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Customer Reviews

I look forward to trying many more of the recipes.
Will
It was very easy, even I could do it, simple, didn't take long and had GREAT flavor.
Jennifer Chandler
Well, yes... Just like spending time with a friend... and getting great food too!
Scott N Blanchard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robin Reynolds Starr on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I have the time (and when would that be?) I think of myself as a pretty descent cook. But truth be told, reading cookbooks usually gives me a feeling of inadequacy rather than the "can do" spirit they're meant to inspire. Not so with HIGH FLAVOR; LOW LABOR. The recipes are easily accomplished, and although there are exciting new ingredients to explore, many of the recipes can be made with what a working Mom tends to have at hand at the dinner hour - no long, pre-planned grocery lists required. And if I don't have everything, J.M. can be depended upon to suggest alternatives. If his go-to ingredients aren't already a part of your world it's easy to make them so, and while most of us understand the importance of fresh herbs and such yet fail to have them handy (what?! grocery shop more then once a week?), many of his pantry suggestions are relatively long lasting. If you just want a book to give you the quick step by step directions to get supper on the table without too much mental aggravation, this one is for you. But you can get much more out of it too. You'll get enough of technique and ideas to apply them on your own. Whatever your style in the kitchen, this is a great book to have at the ready, every night of the week.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Luna on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This cookbook is written by a real dad who is cooking for a real family. His cooking is based on a couple of premises: use organic and local food when possible, and use high quality ingredients. Each section (appetizers, main dishes, soups, desserts, etc.) has an introduction, and most recipes are accompanied by pictures of the finished product. A few of the recipes are not what I would consider "low labor," but overall, I am happy with this book. Note: The author is no longer vegan, so if you are looking for non-animal-product dishes, this is NOT for you!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By momzillathehon on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether you're entertaining or cooking for your family, this is the only, well almost only, cookbook you'll need. J M Hirsch covers everything from starters, to soups, pastas, main dishes, desserts, and more, and gives tips and techniques to save you time. Each recipe tells you how much prep time and how many servings you'll get (if the cook doesn't eat it all before serving!). Beautifully photographed and written with a great sense of humor. Take this book to beddy-bye and read it like a novel. In the morning, get up and start cookin'!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bookwolfe on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. The only way I have time to cook is if it is fast and easy -- and it had better be good. This book totally delivered on all three. The writer has an imaginative way with recipes, and isn't afraid to reinvent classics. Shepherd's pie, American chop suey, a pesto made from bacon, an easy chicken curry -- all winners. Haven't had any trouble finding ingredients, and most of the recipes get dinner on the table in about 20 or 30 minutes. This book is staying on my shelf.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've used a lot of cookbooks. I'm one of those people who hates to eat the same foods over and over. I also hate to spend hours making food that I know my family is going to scarf down in under 15 minutes. Most cookbook give you food that is OK but doesn't really leave a lasting impression or make you crave more. This book is awesome. All the foods are packed with flavor. I've tried seven of the recipes so far and I can't wait to make my way through the rest of the book. These are some of the easiest and tastiest food creations I have ever tried.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Denise on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Since buying this cookbook I have been excited about coming home from work and getting dinner prepared for the family. This has been something that I normally dread. The thing that I enjoy about this cookbook is that I can easily find the ingredients that I need either in my pantry or at the grocery store without a problem. I have already made quite a few of the recipes for my family and they have loved them. The best thing about it is that with so few ingredients these meals taste like there was more work invested then there actually was. I am thrilled to have this cookbook and I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys eating good, healthy, flavor-filled food. To all those working mom's and dad's out there, this is the ONLY cookbook you need to bring back the joy of weeknight cooking!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SM on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I love this book! I definitely don't have the time for long, drawn out recipes during the week so this book is perfect! And the photos make the recipes EVEN MORE delish! I mean who WOULDN'T LOVE Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon Pesto! And the Four-Cheese Baked Gnocchi! OMG! Perfect for a chilly fall evening or any evening! Thanks for the AWESOME book J.M.!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott N Blanchard on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
His first cookbook (Venturesome Vegetarian) is still one of my all-time faves. The only one I can point to that has added new meals to the regular dinner rotation as well as new party/holiday traditions (often requested by even my non-vegetarian extended family and co-workers). I've been waiting and wanting for more, until now! So happy to see so much positive press on this next installment from J.M.'s kitchen. Vegetarian or not, this book delivers! The title couldn't be more spot on... not that you couldn't use it on the weekends too. ;) Love the writing and tone... should a cookbook make you laugh? Well, yes... Just like spending time with a friend... and getting great food too!
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