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A Skillet, a Spatula, and a Dream [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Bretton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

USA Today bestselling author Barbara Bretton shares forty easy-to-prepare recipes that range from Almost Perfect Pad Thai to Atlantic City Zuppa, from Lake Tung Ting Shrimp to Cape May Clam Chowder with humorous and heartwarming takes on the writer's life peppered throughout.

REVISED November 2011.


Product Details

  • File Size: 377 KB
  • Print Length: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Barbara Bretton (July 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EDNMJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,669 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting recipes but needs editing November 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've not read the whole cookbook but in my brief skim, there were a few errors that I find unforgivable in a cookbook. I only left 3 stars because I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt that the errors only existed on the one recipe that caught my eye (cape may clam chowder). In the ingredients list for the recipe, it calls for "two bottles" Two bottles of what? My guess would have been clam juice but if I am correct then she also missed the method step where they were added in. On this same recipe, the method calls for you to add the scallops to the dish. Sort of odd for a clam chowder recipe but even odder that the ingredients list does not call for scallops. So, what is correct?
The homemade hot fudge sauce looks pretty good and I plan on trying it. I will re-edit this review if I find that the book was better (or worse) than I originally thought.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rating From Someone Who's Picky November 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Barbara Bretton's cookbook is a delight, a real gem.

I hate most cookbooks. Many of them have no real reason to exist. Sometimes, I wonder if the author had ever made the recipes! A lot of them seem to be collections of recipes plucked from ads in women's magazines or the backs of cans.

It's easy to tell that these are Barbara's favorite recipes. The collection is eclectic and uneven, just like the cards in your mother's recipe box, and it's pretty apparent that she's not only typed in the recipe on the card, but she includes notes on how she ACTUALLY makes the recipe!

I don't like it when recipes call for "patent foods", things like Cool-Whip or Betty Crocker White Cake Mix, because the recipes for those things change over the years. Mrs. Bretton suggests Rotel diced tomatoes in one recipe, but also lists an alternative - and Rotel is pretty basic, being tomatoes and hot peppers diced together. She calls for broth, and recommends College (College Inn?) but she suggests vegetable stock or soup base and filtered water would be suitable as well. These aren't "convenience food mash ups", these are recipes for REAL foods. The one problem is "Spike" seasoning. It's available online - but a $3 bottle of seasoning costs $6 to ship.

Most cookbooks are fairly boring to read. When my late first wife got The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome, she thought it was a wonderful read. When she tried to follow the recipes, though, they were terrible, not just one of them, but all the recipes. The recipes in Mrs. Bretton's cookbook, however, include several that are similar enough to things I regularly cook, that I know they will taste good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One November 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Even if you hate to cook, don't miss this book. For me, the recipes were incidental to the insights Barbara Bretton gave into her life. It was a pure delight to make my way through the book, learning more about an author whose work I've admired for (dare I admit it?) decades.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been looking for this! May 17, 2014
By MBScott
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I cook a lot. I also devour more cookbooks than food (no matter what the scale says). For years, I've been looking for a recipe for pad thai that didn't have a million esoteric ingredients and was actually viable for someone with a normal kitchen. It is in this book! It's there!

I have yet to try any of the other recipes, because I've been studying my face with pad thai. If they are half as good, if they are half as easy... Well, I might stop obsessively buying cookbooks.

Thank you so much!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keepers for Recipes January 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This one I put in my keep list for the recipes. It has some good ones that I have been trying to find.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed.... nice book. Reminds me of home. December 4, 2013
By LjLaPo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
On a whim i read this book... so glad i did... great recipes.. i will use several. And great stories.... brings back memories... do nice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a skillet, a spatula & a dream October 4, 2013
By Unknown
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book because I like to cook, the reciepts remind me of my childhood & when I first got married. I also enjoyed the little storys connected to the reciepts. Very enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is simply wonderful. April 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Is it a cookbook with some short stories or is it a book of short stories with some recipes thrown in? Have fun figuring it out. You won't be sorry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Food
Great recipes in this book. Soups, muffins, etc. Every thing sounds great. Most of the ingredient s are already in my cupboard.
Published 2 months ago by Susan E McClary
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Like the way the book is written; tried a few recipes, not too yummy, but ok.
Published 5 months ago by sparrow
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Pretty much pedestrian. Cute cover & title but not much beyond that.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars like talking to a friend about recipes
Easy & mouth watering recipes that once you see you'll just have to try yourself. Background on some of the recipes helps to entice you all the more into baking said recipes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Laurie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This product is excellent. if you are looking for great reading for the money. buy with confidence. Love this product.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love to read cook books. This one is the best yet.
I have a collection of cook books and I think I will add a hard copy of this one to it. It is definitely going in my favorites in my kindle.
Published 10 months ago by Teri Duffey
3.0 out of 5 stars Midwest Aspirational
I'd never heard of or read any of Ms. Bretton's other works, and she comes across as warm and genuine, which I appreciate and the poor copy-editing didn't bother me as much as it... Read more
Published 13 months ago by R. Gammill
4.0 out of 5 stars Skillet, a Spatula, and a Dream
I enjoyed reading all Barbara`s cookbook. The recipes are a lot like mine. You can tweet them up or down and not mess up. She has a little of everything. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Katherine
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More About the Author

In the month of February 1982 I wrote and sold my first novel. And no, I wouldn't believe it either if it hadn't happened to me. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes.

I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance!

He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.

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