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The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy Paperback – May 1, 2011

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The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy + Wine Country Cooking + Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Viva Editions (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573446532
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy is exactly what its title suggests—a resource packed with recipes to satisfy a connoisseur's palate, yet which require a minimum of preparation time."
—Midwest Book Review

"I'd prefer to call this the Relaxed Gourmet... the brainchild of Robin Donovan & Juliana Gallin... it's filled with the most marvelous and truly inspired dishes. Just because you don't have hours and hours to spend in the kitchen, does not mean you can't prepare spectacular meals. Your guests will really rave about the 'coolness' factor of whatever you serve them. The recipes are so simple to prepare, yet give the impression that you've been slaving away... BOTTOM LINE: This is one book you'll turn to often in 2012, making brilliant dishes in no time."
—Cookbooks and Apps blog

"The recipe section made me as happy as my favorite cooking shows do... Don’t lump this in with other books on food and cooking. It’s creative, funny, and a quick read. Think about putting it near the register as a potential impulse purchase."
—Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, June 2011

"As a "frugal party girl," and busy working mother, I love good recipes I can throw together without a lot of fuss and complication. The Lazy Gourmet is making my life much easier, but the great thing is, the resulting delicious dishes don't LOOK EASY!
—Lara Starr, author of The Frugal Foodie

"The Lazy Gourmet is one of those rare cookbooks that also feeds the mind. I love this book for the savvy secrets and food facts that show Juliana and Robin are fabulously passionate about great food. The real "joy of cooking," is sharing meaningful meals with family and friends and The Lazy Gourmet shines a light on doing just that."
—Margie Lapanja, author of Romancing the Stove: Goddess in the Kitchen, Food Men Love and Food That Rocks!

"Each member of my family is very social; we have people dropping over frequently. I often need to pull together a quick meal to share with our dear friends so The Lazy Gourmet is now my go-to resource for marvelous recipes that "impress for less."
—Billee Sharp, author of Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It

"I LOVE to entertain and I am always searching for great recipes. Juliana Gallin and Robin Donovan have created delicious recipes and easy ideas for parties I will be using for many years. The Lazy Gourmet brings the fun back into the kitchen and puts it right on the table."
–Nina Lesowitz, author of The Party Girl Cookbook and Living Life as a Thank You

"Whether you're a nervous newbie or a skilled cook with utmost confidence, you're sure to appreciate this smart recipe collection that allows you to put an impressive spread on the table even when you're time-pressed—which for most of us is 24-7. With The Lazy Gourmet, cooking turns relaxed and satisfying. Imagine that.'
—Carolyn Jung, James Beard Award-winning food writer and creator of FoodGal

“This book is filled with food that’s simple, seasonal, fresh, and doable. Here you’ll find recipes that are perfect for family dinner on Tuesday night but fun, hip, and cool enough to serve your friends when you’re entertaining on Saturday evening. And it’s easy enough for even the novice to do.”
—Joanne Weir, James Beard Award-winner, popular television cooking show host, and author of Tapas to Meze

"I have always considered myself a lazy chef. For me, that means choosing seasonal, local ingredients and relying on simple preparations to allow those ingredients to shine. In The Lazy Gourmet, Robin and Juliana have taken this approach to a whole new level, transforming 'lazy' into 'quintessentially elegant.'"
—John Scharffenberger, Founder, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker

"Whether you're new to the kitchen or an experienced home chef, you'll love The Lazy Gourmet. With its good-humored approach, engaging style, useful culinary information, and delightfully easy and delicious recipes, it takes the stress out of cooking. If you want to prepare sophisticated, exceptional meals for your friends and family but are busy, kitchen-phobic, or just plain lazy, this is the cookbook for you."
—Sally Bernstein, Editor-In-Chief, Sally's Place

"That cooking is fun is one of the best-kept secrets in some circles, but not here. With infectious enthusiasm, The Lazy Gourmet will inspire both the neophyte and the well-seasoned home cook toward making meals that show how easy it is to love cooking from scratch."
—Cheryl Koehler, Editor/Publisher, Edible East Bay

From the Back Cover

"Food that's simple, seasonal, fresh and doable." —Joanne Weir

The Lazy Gourmet is for anyone who dreams of dazzling friends and loved ones with fabulous home-cooked fare, especially cooks short on time, patience, skill or experience. Authors and food bloggers Robin Donovan and Juliana Gallin conquer the misguided belief that preparing an elegant meal requires spending hours—or days—in the kitchen. With the help of an army of volunteer testers, regular people with picky palates and little cooking experience, they have created this collection of more than 125 easy recipes. Elegant, party-worthy dishes like Orange-Spiced Pecans, Basil Leaf and Goat Cheese Wraps, Pistachio-Crusted Leg of Lamb, Seared Sea Scallops with Mint and Pea Puree, and Lazy Chocolate "Mousse" all rely on readily available ingredients, common kitchen appliances and basic techniques. With these deceptively easy recipes and a bevy of useful tips and tricks, The Lazy Gourmet shows that anyone can prepare delightfully simple yet surprisingly delicious and sophisticated dishes that are certain to impress.

More About the Author

Robin Donovan is a food writer, blogger, and recipe developer. She is the author or coauthor of nine books on food and cooking, including The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy, Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors, and the New York Times bestseller Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet. Her food writing has appeared in Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere.

These days, when she is not cooking or eating--or writing about cooking or eating--Robin can usually be found exploring the greater San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives, with her husband and son.

Read her blog at

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
It was easy and delicious.
It was wonderful, and the Lemon Vinaigrette was so good that I made it again to serve over some roasted shrimp and broccoli.
Kendra A.
Fun to read and make cooking so easy even for someone like me who knows little to nothing about cooking!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dishy on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear dinner guest,
Please accept my apology for last night's wretched dinner party. In my misguided effort to impress you with a delicious meal, I spent three days shopping at five different stores to assemble the ingredients for the dinner. It's no excuse, but I was too exhausted and cranky to make conversation with any of you (which really wasn't an issue, because except for a brief appearance to carry out the plates, I was in the kitchen the entire evening dicing and sauteeing and flambeeing and pureeing and plating). I know you must have been all ravenous when the first course finally hit the dinner table at 10:30 pm. But worst of all, I apologize for how ackward it was when you overheard me screaming at my husband in the kitchen. At that point I was unable to suppress my frustration when I realized that he had stirred my entire precious packet of fennel pollen into his oatmeal that morning. This 45 dollar per ounce packet of fennel pollen was harvested from the pygmie fennel plant, which is grown exclusively on the northwest slope of the Appenine Mountains of Tuscany....the pollen itself was plucked by the gentle hands of albino nuns.....and this precious pollen was the ESSENTIAL and irreplaceable ingredient in the entree that I was planning to serve you, and without this ingredient, the entire dish was RUINED!!!

I deeply apologize for this debacle. I wish to make amends to you and invite you back for another dinner. Wait....before you protest....I want to reassure you that I just purchased a copy of "The Lazy Gourmet!" This delightful book has taught me that it is possible to cook a delicious and impressive meal for company that only requires a trip to a single store.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin M on May 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been a passionate cook for years, and tend to shy away from cookbooks that are meant for people who try to avoid putting in any work in the kitchen. A friend told me about The Lazy Gourmet, and I must say, I've been really pleasantly surprised. Most of the recipes are indeed easy, and largely call for ingredients you can buy at your local non-fancy grocery store. But the outcomes are hardly ordinary. The authors really have a knack for being able to put interesting flavors together and let the ingredients do the work. And some of the dishes are quite imaginative, which isn't what I expect from a "not for real cooks" cookbook. One of my favorites is a condiment called charmoula, with mint and lemon and cumin and other good stuff. It's amazing, and seems totally original, and goes great on the veggie Moroccan stew (they also suggest it on a fish, but I don't eat meat so can't vouch for that). There's also a super simple recipe for pink peppercorn ice cream that's pretty addictive.

And though I'm a seasoned cook (pardon the pun), this book taught me a few new tricks. For example, I had no idea you can make polenta by simply putting it in a baking dish with some water and cheese and popping it in the oven for an hour. But it worked! Rich and creamy, it came out like total comfort food, like mac n cheese. That's one to make again for sure.

As I said, I don't eat meat, so can't vouch for any of those recipes, but I've been pretty impressed with the level of quality and imagination in the vegetarian ones. Definitely a source of easy ways to impress your guests.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sue McIntire on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this cookbook so much that I bought copies for my two picky vegetarain sisters. There are lots of creative recipes that are beautiful to look at and extremely tasty. I'm usually nervous about making food for guests but this book makes it easy and makes me look like a better cook then I am. A very handy book to have in your kitchen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kendra A. on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll readily admit to being a lazy cook, but until now I didn't think of myself as a gourmet cook. I love the concept of lazy + gourmet though, and am thoroughly embracing it! The recipes in this books are FANtastic! They are very well-written, and I had no trouble following them. There are great suggestions for combining the recipes together for meals. For example, I made the Five-Spice Roast Pork, and as suggested, served it with Caramelized Fennel, Coconut Rice, and green beans sautéed with garlic. It was a terrific combination! I made the Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette as a side dish another night. It was wonderful, and the Lemon Vinaigrette was so good that I made it again to serve over some roasted shrimp and broccoli. Each recipe has a "Make it ahead" section that says how much you can do, how far in advance, which is really helpful for planning. There are also suggestions for substitutions if you can't find or don't have a particular ingredient, and for ways to "Change it up" to, well, change it up!

From starters (yes, the Orange-Spiced Pecans really are more addictive than crack!) to side dishes (Crispy Baked Rosemary Potatoes, mmmm!) to mains (the Gemelli with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Breadcrumbs is a keeper: the preparation is easy, the flavors are complex and rich, and result is a wonderful, vegetarian pasta that tastes as good as it looks!) to desserts (Orange Crème Fraîche Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze? Yes please!), I'm already considering this my go-to cookbook. The recipes I've tried so far have been really impressive, and I am looking forward to trying the rest!

Highly recommended!
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