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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST FOR LESS
With a subtitle reading "Eat in style on a bare-bones budget" most will find this cookbook irresistible. After all, who doesn't love to eat and who isn't stretching dollars as far as they can nowadays?

Amy McCoy's description reveals that she once enjoyed gourmet food with no morning after regrets about the price paid. But with the recession things changed...
Published on June 11, 2010 by Gail Cooke

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Girl Gourmet Cookbook
This is an OK cookbook, but not what I expected. I'm not giving it a bad review, it's just totally different than I thought it would be.
Published on January 8, 2012 by Loralaine Kraine


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST FOR LESS, June 11, 2010
This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
With a subtitle reading "Eat in style on a bare-bones budget" most will find this cookbook irresistible. After all, who doesn't love to eat and who isn't stretching dollars as far as they can nowadays?

Amy McCoy's description reveals that she once enjoyed gourmet food with no morning after regrets about the price paid. But with the recession things changed for her as it did for the rest of us. Solution? She could not stop loving to eat, but she could find ways to eat well on as little as possible. Thus was born McCoy's blog and POOR GIRL GOURMET, which is chock full of tasty money saving recipes. Each of the recipes serves 4 people, and a chapter on appropriate reasonably priced wines is included.

Don't believe a gourmet meal is possible on a mac `n cheese casserole budget? Here's a for instance: McCoy well remembered an elegant meal she once had in Italy - roasted duck with olives. The inventive lady recreated the dish using chicken legs at an estimated cost of $6.67 to serve four people. She accompanies it with Polenta and Roasted Garlic Collard Greens.

How about Honey Mustard and Cider-Marinated Pork Spareribs at a cost of $5 - $10 (actual price depending upon your local grocer) or Braised Pork Shoulder (the secret is slow cooking), and then with leftovers you can enjoy pulled pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce?

Veggies included are so delectable that even the most finicky youngster will ask for seconds, and yummy Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies (13 cents per cookie) are the best.

With McCoy's help you may be amazed not only at how far your food budget will stretch but also by the praises your meals receive. There is one caveat - several of the vendors mentioned in the "Resources" section were less than responsive - one due to the fact that he cannot ship out of state. Perhaps best to do your own shopping and then you'll surely enjoy POOR GIRL GOURMET.

- Gail Cooke
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the investment!, October 22, 2011
By 
Nikki N. (Billings, Montana) - See all my reviews
I was browsing in a local bookstore one day and Poor girl Gourmet caught my eye. Now the last thing I need is a new cookbook, since I have too many already and also suffer from a clinical inability to actually follow recipes: I like to improvise and do it my own way. But after skimming the introduction and the tips and leafing through some of the recipes I decided to add the book to my cookbook library. My husband scoffed at me when I showed him my purchase, he agreed I did not need another cookbook, but as I have made many of the recipes over the past month or two (I estimate I've tried about 30 recipes so far) my husband keeps telling me the book has definitely been a winner, and I agree!

The Roasted Cauliflower is to die for. I previously had a very favorite roasted cauliflower recipe but this one blows it away. My husband laughed at me when I told him how much better it was than the recipe we have been using for years (involving balsamic and parmesan) but when he tried it he was amazed at how delicious it really was. The Braised Pork Shoulder is the best pork recipe I have ever made, hands down. Of course I had to substitute apple juice for cider but I think the author would approve with her frugal approach: why buy a new ingredient when something on hand will work just fine? The Meatballs and Sauce were equally amazing, this coming from someone who already has The World's Best Sauce recipe in her repertoire. When I made Panzenella with the last tomatoes of the season from our CSA farm box I thought my husband would protest a dinner of bread and tomatoes but he loved it! Last night I made Ribollita (using canned beans and chicken broth instead of dry beans and water) and we both thought it was excellent!

Some tips are very helpful, like making Vegetable Scrap Stock. I already save my chicken bones to make stock but had not thought of saving my veggie scraps for veggie stock. The author has a great sense of humor and while some of her recipes are overly wordy, filled with stories and tangents, that doesn't bother me since I don't follow recipes, anyway and really just use a list of ingredients to prepare a meal. I do think she uses too much oil and butter in her recipes but I just use less when I make them and they still come out fantastic. There is a nice variety of recipes in this book and one reason I liked it is because a lot of them were unique things I hadn't tried cooking before.

This book is probably best for someone who already loves making meals from scratch. It's not a "quick and easy" book but if you like to make real homemade food it's worth the investment of time and it is relatively easy. And some recipes really are quick and easy, a bonus having both quick recipes and long, slow cooking recipes in the same book. I also think it's great to see how much these meals are costing. I've been tracking mine and her numbers and pretty much right on with my calculations. It seems food costs keep going up and it seems I spend a small fortune on feeding my husband and myself but at least I can rest assured that my choices are frugal and we are still eating incredibly delicious food.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It depends how you define budget, February 3, 2014
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This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
The Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook by author Amy McCoy offers up some tasty recipes that are aimed for the budget cook. Some of her recipes would fall within my budget range while others are less budget friendly to my pocketbook. Overall, the recipes offered are varied and have a gourmet flair. She writes "Each of the meals on these pages serves at least four people for $15 or less." The bracketed information showing the servings and costs are from the recipes found in her cookbook.

Here are some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook:

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Harvest Balsamic Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing (Serves 4 for $10 to $15)
Perfect Roasted Chicken with Spicy Orange Sauce (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Sweet Italian Sausage with Apple and Fennel Seed (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Ginger Soy Sirloin Tip Stir-Fry with Mushrooms (Serves 4 for $10 to $15)
Roasted Carrots with Thyme (Serves 4 for $5 or less)
Butterhorns (dinner rolls) (Serves 24 for $5 or less)
Apple Crumble with Dried Cranberries (Serves 6 to 8 for $5 to $10)

As you can see if you created a meal with a salad, main course, bread and dessert the meal could be considered gourmet but a tad expensive. To break it down further here's a sample menu using some of the recipes listed above:

Harvest Balsamic Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing is $2.50 per serving
Perfect Roasted Chicken with Spicy Orange Sauce is $1.25 (I assumed $5 for the recipe not $10)
Roasted Carrots with Thyme is $1.25 per serving (I assumed $5 for the recipe)
Butterhorns 8 cents per serving (I divided 24 into $5)
Apple Crumble with Dried Cranberries 83 cents per serving (I divided 6 servings into $10)

The total meal cost for 4 people (with two extra servings for dessert) added up to a total cost per person of $5.91 or $23.64 total for a meal for 4.

By today's costs that is cheaper than going out to eat, but a bit pricey for folks living on a modest budget.

Recommend with caveats given.

MR
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes., March 22, 2013
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This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
I really liked this author, cute, quirky personality and writing style. The recipes are good and not difficult to reproduce.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift..., April 8, 2011
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This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
This is a wonderful cookbook, filled with beautiful photos of the finished receipes. Using her witt and humor Amy has personalized this cookbook with entertaining stories about the shananagins of her & JR's worldly travels! After enjoying mine as a coffee table book, I just had to buy one for my daughter, my sister, Ray in AZ.... and at such resonable prices on Amazon.com, it's easy to share! Being a "townie" in the area Amy and JR grew up in, it's a thrill to see a local girl done good. Congratulations!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Poor Girl Gourmet!!, July 7, 2010
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This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
I like a cookbook that has a lot of user friendly recipes. There are so many great recipes and ideas in Poor Girl Gourmet that i'm looking forward to trying. I'm reading it cover to cover and am enjoying the recipes as well as the personal stories that are linked to each one!! I would recommend this cookbook to anyone - on or off a budget.
-Shelly
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE Cookbook!!, May 28, 2010
This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
This is a MUST have cookbook that is LOADED with delicious, economical, smart recipes. I personally prefer pictures of the finished dishes in a cookbook and there are PLENTY in this one! It is full of easy to follow directions sprinkled with plenty of good humor and fun. You will LOVE THIS COOKBOOK!! It is a MUST have for every kitchen!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars love, love, love!, July 8, 2010
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This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
Even if you are not into cooking, this book is great for the stories and photography alone. You will truly enjoy the stories about how these recipes came to be. If you ARE into cooking, you will appreciate the fact that good food may be made simply without a long list of ingredients. The ingredients in Amy's recipes are simple, whole ingredients, when put together, create a flavorful, fragrant and beautiful dish. I have made many recipes in the book so far and cannot wait to make more! A couple of my favorites are the savory kale soup (which I have made several times already) and the balsamic honey chicken. You will not be sorry with this purchase!
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Don't Have To Be Poor To Enjoy The Poor Girl Gourmet!, July 11, 2010
This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
Frugal foodies everywhere will love Amy McCoy's gastronomical bible, Poor Girl Gourmet. Why suffer through Hamburger Helper when you can enjoy dishes like Roasted Chicken Legs with Olives ($6.67 for four people!)Honey Balsamic Chicken Thighs ($4.96 for four people) or Braised Pork Shoulder ($7.97 for four). Amy's inventive, delicious recipes are sprinkled with her wry humour and stories of Nana McCoy and husband JR. There's even a section on "Splurges" in case you want to celebrate your IRS refund or the sudden inheritance from a deceased relative. There's something for everyone in this wonderful cookbook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook for the New Economy!, May 28, 2010
This review is from: Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget (Paperback)
A long-time fan of the blog, I eagerly anticipated the release of this cookbook. It does not disappoint! As you would expect of a book born of a cooking blog, the photographs are fantastic. The recipes are clearly explained and easy to follow. Each of the recipes we've tried have been winners. You won't even notice that you're pinching pennies. I also appreciated that, unlike some blog-to-books (ahem), the content here is not just rehashed blog material.
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Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget
Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget by Amy McCoy (Paperback - June 1, 2010)
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