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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't afford pizza and there's some cans in the cupboard
My first (and favorite) mother-in-law gave this to me as a wedding present, twenty years ago. At the time I fancied myself quite the gourmet cook, and was mildly insulted. Finally, out of boredom one day, I read it cover to cover. I fell in love with it. There are several laugh-out-loud phrases in it, and Hilary Knight's illustrations are gems. Then, as I started...
Published on October 11, 2002 by cathony

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
I loaned somebody my copy of the Compleat I Hate to Cook Book a few years ago (and have yet to get it back), so I bought this book to replace it. It's not a replacement, though. It's missing one of my favorite chapters, "Cooking if Alone", and I miss Hilary Knight's cover art from the older edition.

Still, it's a Peg Bracken classic and I'm glad it's been...
Published on August 20, 2010 by Dana Carter


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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't afford pizza and there's some cans in the cupboard, October 11, 2002
By 
cathony (Honolulu, HI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Hate to Cook Book (Hardcover)
My first (and favorite) mother-in-law gave this to me as a wedding present, twenty years ago. At the time I fancied myself quite the gourmet cook, and was mildly insulted. Finally, out of boredom one day, I read it cover to cover. I fell in love with it. There are several laugh-out-loud phrases in it, and Hilary Knight's illustrations are gems. Then, as I started working longer hours and no longer wanted to do something en croute for my husband for dinner, I turned to the recipes. They are simple, good and fast, and most of them can be crammed down a child's throat without too much fuss. They were written in the days before we knew about cholesterol, but hey, not everything's perfect. Are you tired of presenting Tuna Helper to your family? This will give the effect of a much more home-cooked meal. Good everyday family meals, relatively nutritious.
You should also read Peg Bracken's other books. They're terrific, too.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read AND good recipes to boot!, September 30, 2002
By 
Catherine S. Vodrey (East Liverpool, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Hate to Cook Book (Hardcover)
Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cook Book" sure has an awful lot of good, simple recipes for a book that purports not to be about cooking. It's fun, fun, fun to read and the recipes truly are simple and good.
The best thing about the book is Bracken's inimitably breezy voice. When she tells you to stir "Company Carrots" until they're well-coated, she writes, " . . . stirring so that all the strips get well acquainted with the sauce." When introducing a recipe for "Rosy Radish Salad," she prefaces the instructions with, "This next one uses up radishes and some of your canned beans." No doubt she's always eager to get beyond dinner because she wants to get out of the kitchen and be seated with her guests, enjoying the conversation! She's a hoot to read, and the recipes work. I love the recipe names: Lamb Shanks Tra-La, Elevator Lady Spice Cookies, Sour Cream Cinch No. 1 and No. 2, Philosopher's Chowder, Breakthrough Salad, Immediate Fudge Cake, Dazzleberry Tart (which begins, "If the dazzleberries aren't ripe yet, use canned cherry pie filling"), and more. Even the chapter names are funny (No. 22 is entitled "Stealing from Knowledgeable People"). Get this book if you enjoy cooking or hate cooking--it doesn't matter--but definitely get it if you like a good laugh and good, plain, simple recipes.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peg Bracken is so underrated!, November 30, 2003
This review is from: I Hate to Cook Book (Hardcover)
I am rapidly completing my Peg Bracken library. If you're my age (I'm in my 30s) or younger, you have probably never read -- and likely have never heard of -- Peg Bracken. She's pretty much lost to our generation. I'd heard of her but never read her stuff until I inherited the "I Hate to Cook Book" and "I Hate to Housekeep" from my grandmother (who probably didn't care for either of them).

If you like humor writing and things retro, you should at least read those two. Peg harkens back to the days when you were supposed to have a martini and slippers waiting for your husband and meet him at the door in your negligee, but she was so not into it. I hear she got divorced shortly after the first book came out, and that her husband hated her writing. Loser! Peg is also a reminder of the days when girls got their MRS degree before becoming domestic engineers...her ability with a phrase is testament to a keen knowledge of things other than casseroles and dustcloths.

You can't find a lot of info on Peg online. I hear she is still kicking, though. I like the fact that, in her author photos, she's sitting at her desk with a ciggie a la Fran Leibowitz. She was the original Cynthia Heimel. She was way ahead of her time.

(Edited to add that Peg Bracken has passed away since I wrote this review. She is missed.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous--and not for the recipes!, June 15, 2011
I picked this book up on a whim at at chuch rummage sale, and I am so glad I did. The recipes may be somewhat dated, though familiar to anyone who grew up in the 50's and 60's when cream of mushroom soup was in EVERYTHING, but some of them are still useable.

However, the recipes are NOT the reason you must read this book. Or rather, COOKING the recipes is not the reason to read it. You must read this book for the joy of spending a few hours with a woman who would be anyone's ideal of the witty best friend. Peg Bracken takes us back to a time when married women were housewives first and foremost, no matter what else they might happen to have going on upstairs, and if you were the housewife, you were the cook. Period. As she says:

"We don't get our creative kicks from adding an egg, we get them from painting pictures or bathrooms, or potting geraniums or babies, or writing stories or ammendments, or, possibly, engaging in some interesting type of psycho-neuro-chemical research like seeing if, perhaps, we can replace colloids with sulphates. And we simply love ready-mixes."

In fact, this little cookbook functions as a sort of subversive feminist broadside, but with a wicked sense of humor. From the recipe for Skid Road Stroganoff: "Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink." Another recipe is called "Something Else To Do With New Potatoes Besides Boiling Them And Rolling Them In Melted Butter and Parsley" The book is a joy from start to finish. I'm going to start looking for copies to give to my friends.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, August 20, 2010
I loaned somebody my copy of the Compleat I Hate to Cook Book a few years ago (and have yet to get it back), so I bought this book to replace it. It's not a replacement, though. It's missing one of my favorite chapters, "Cooking if Alone", and I miss Hilary Knight's cover art from the older edition.

Still, it's a Peg Bracken classic and I'm glad it's been reissued. Just maybe next time, include all the chapters from the old one?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading, but I still hate to cook, September 20, 2010
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This review is from: The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Edition (Kindle Edition)
I learned two things about myself after reading this book: having a cookbook on a kindle is a really easy way for me to forget to bring the recipe to the store, and I really don't like to cook. The book is great reading. Bracken's irreverence and humor shine through. The recipe I did try (sweep steak) was very successful, and there are several others that sound good and easy. Now if I can only remember to bring the thing with me to the grocery store on Sundays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cookbook for cooks and non-cooks alike, December 14, 2011
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This cook book was written before the days of the microwave oven, fast food, and many other modern grocery store convenience foods we find today when we go to the market. Cooks back then had to learn kitchen shortcuts that used a minimum of prepared foods.

The recipes have stood the test of time, and in fact, I used many of these recipes when I was of full-time working woman. Time was short in those days and I had to feed my family, sometimes quickly, as I often had to attend night meetings. So between heading home from work, and heading back to work, my time to cook was short. This cookbook has many recipes that could be quickly prepared and served while using mostly basic kitchen staples.

This cookbook is good for cooks and non-cooks alike as the recipes are easy to prepare, and easy to understand, if you don't know how to cook.

Finally, this cookbook is also fun to read as Peg Bracken's witty writing will keep you laughing.

Highly recommend.

Penmouse
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, September 19, 2010
Growing up, on my mother's book shelf nestled between the red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and my mother's personal recipe journal was The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken. With its distinctive cover designed by Hilary Knight and its provocative title it was easy to spot. I always thought it was a curious choice because my mother loved to cook. Homemade noodles, fresh donuts and Sunday roasts my mother cooked it all.

Now as an adult with a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of this classic cookbook I finally get it: Bracken's book is one part recipes and the other part philosophy/humor. The recipes seem to hold up fairly well over the years, notwithstanding the generous use of butters and creams (which can probably be easily adapted to modern dietary concerns). But what I really relished about this book was Bracken's wit. For example, I loved these lines:

"We who hate to cook have a respect bordering on awe for those Good Cooks Who Like to Cook . . . . But we've little to say to them, really, except, `Invite us over often, please' And stay aware from our husbands."

To women in the 60's these words must have sounded like the sermon on the mount! Even today I still can relate to them. In short, Bracken had a gift for getting her point across with clarity and humor.

The I Hate to Cook Book is as refreshing today as it must have been fifty years ago!

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Anv edition (July 26, 2010), 224 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MaryinHB [...], July 20, 2010
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I thought this book looked familiar and sure enough, my mom gave me a copy when I first got married 25 years ago. I have been using the Turkey Divan recipe for years (I substitute chicken) as a lazy way to make a casserole for pot lucks. I finally sat down and read through the whole thing last night. Not only are the recipes wonderful, easy and elegant, but I never noticed the humor there as well--you have to READ this cookbook for the off-the-cuff humor that hasn't dimmed in time. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

My favorite recipe:

Turkey Divan
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (thinned with 2 tbls sherry and a little heavy cream)*
-- I used plain old milk to thin it a little
1 package frozen broccoli, cooked (or thawed and drained)
6 good-sized slices of turkey*
-- I use 3 good sized chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
grated Parmesan cheese
--use the good stuff, it makes all of the difference in the world.

Put about one-fourth of the soup mixture in a buttered casserole. Put the broccoli in, cover it with the slices of turkey (chicken cubes), and pour on the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan generously on top and bake at 350, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. I sprinkle some Panko bread crumbs on top as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Cooking, July 27, 2011
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The "I Hate to Cook Book" has been a favorite of mine since it was first issued. The recipes are easy, quick and delicious.

I bought this book for my daughter in law, as she admired many of the recipes from the book when she visited me.

For women who work, it's the answer to a prayer.
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