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What To Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House To Eat: More Than 175 Easy Recipes And Meal Ideas Paperback – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060955597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060955595
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,462,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schwartz's forthright yet somewhat misleading title doesn't do justice to the New York Daily News columnist's contribution to home cooking at its simple best. "Meant for those who have only elementary cooking skills, as well as ingredients, but still think something cooked from scratch at home--no matter how basic--is more rewarding to eat than something picked up from the frozen food case or a takeout shop," the book is organized around easily acquired ingredients, with the shelf lives of most thoroughly, if light-headedly, discussed. ("If matzoh doesn't exactly last forever," quips Schwartz, "at least it lasts from one Passover to the next, which is about how often I buy it.") Included are concoctions like spaghetti with black olives and orange peel, and basic white risotto, as well as pure comfort fare (classic crisp peanut butter cookies) and ethnic feel-good foods from matzoh brei to quesadillas. Even sophisticated cooks will uncover good ideas and information here and be able, as the author suggests, to satisfy a "midnight appetite, an unexpected guest, or any other last-minute or 'emergency'sic situation." Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Like Marlena Spieler's From Pantry to Table ( LJ 9/15/91), this book by a New York food writer and columnist shows how the pantry can be a boon to the resourceful cook. Spieler, however, starts by stocking the pantry with ingredients from the essential to the exotic; Schwartz's simplified approach is more of a "make-do" one--how to put together a satisfying meal with minimum time and energy. Ingredients that are likely to be on hand are organized alphabetically, from Anchovies to Pasta to Yogurt, and storage information and simple, "comfort food"-type recipes are provided for each; subject indexes provide additional sources of inspiration. An appealing book that should be popular; recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Tuna and beans!
yoree
I like the way the book is organized by main ingredient so I can look in my cupboards and see what I have, then go to the book to get started making something with it.
Amazon Customer
Out of my many dozens of cookbooks, this one is my favorite.
Shore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This truly fabulous, inspiring, book belongs in every kitchen. It should be given to college grads, newlyweds, the newly single, etc. and packaged with every refrigerator and stove sold in America. I personally have given many as gifts, and people are delighted to receive it. They love it even more when they start cooking out of it. Arthur takes humble, lonely ingredients which stare forlornly at you from your shelves, and transforms them EASILY into beautiful, comforting food. Creates instant celebrations in your kitchen. A real primer on the cooking basics, too. When a book takes you from,"there's nothing to eat," to a satisfying, cozy meal, that's pretty wonderful, don't you think?
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By thirteenbodies on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book 6 months ago and have used it nearly every day since. Not only is it well-written and neatly organized by ingredient, but it also has a list of how long you can expect various foods to last, concentrating on the ingredients that last the longest (great help in making up the shopping list!). Now I have an idea of how long I have until that bag of carrots or block of cream cheese meets its maker. This is a must have for anyone who picks up fast food for the hundredth time because they don't think there's anything in the house to eat.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Chace on March 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Every working class person/student/new parent/dot-commer needs this book. Never has poverty and lack of full cabinets been so fun. I love that this book is indexed and arranged by ingredient. In know that everyone has at least one item sitting in their kitchen that doesn't look enough to eat, let alone something worthy of sitting down and eating.With this book you will be able to create something out of seemingly nothing. This book helps ease the pain of not being able to afford take-out, let alone the drive-thru. It is a wise, wise investment.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you could peek into my home and watch me cook, more often than not, "What to Cook" is my main book and Betty Crocker is my reference.
I never thought I'd see easier (or more) uses for simple staple items. I like the way the book is organized by main ingredient so I can look in my cupboards and see what I have, then go to the book to get started making something with it.
Finally, Arthur has a way of writing that really gets my creative juices flowing--nearly every recipe has suggestions for variations. I've often found myself inventing new dishes almost without trying by using his simple recipes as a starting point and his colorful writing as an inspiration.
For example, try starting with his already incredible and easy tomato soup recipe and add a chopped green bell pepper and two or three tablespoons of high quality olive oil... I've served this to guests and they couldn't believe how easy it was to make when I showed them the recipe. Several said it was the best tomato soup they'd ever had.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Angela on June 10, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been a boon to me, I plan to give it at every wedding, and baby shower I attend. Even recipes I had reservations about came out beautifully and deliciously. As a matter of fact I actually tried recipes I wouldn't have otherwise because he made them sound so delicious. Yes, I even read recipes I wasn't planning to make because his writing was so interesting to me. You'd have to be a very picky eater not to find yourself enjoying most of these recipes. One caveat however; some of the recipes are hot. And I mean *HOT*. I couldn't eat the peanut butter and noodle recipe because of that (though my husband said it was delicious) and one of the spaghetti sauce recipes (don't have the book in front of me to name it) was so hot that my nose bled a little after eating it. But otherwise a great cookbook and a good book in and of itself (just watch out for those hot recipes).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn A. Goodman on December 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is my all-time favorite cookbook, and the one I turn to most when I'm hungry and too tired to go shopping. Packed with tasty ideas, it has none of the pretentiousness of many cookbooks. No hard-to-find ingredients, no seventeen step menus, no fancy cooking gadgets or expertise required!
This book is alphabetized by main ingredient so it is super easy to find something to make from what's already in your cabinets, freezer, or fridge. Also, the author often makes suggestions for variations on his simple recipes.
A truly wonderful book! Out of all my cookbooks, this is the only one I truly could not live without!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Leahy on February 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have hundreds of books and a couple dozen cookbooks, but if I were only allowed to keep one book out of all of them, this would be it. Every time I serve something from this book, people ask for the recipe; Thanks to this book alone, I've acquired a reputation as a brilliant cook! True, he goes a little heavy on the lemon and a little light on the garlic, but that's a matter of taste, and anyway there's plenty of room for making your own notes, and the non-glossy paper takes pencil.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Straight on November 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
... this should be one of them. Whenever the cupboards are looking lean, I am always able to scrape up something delicious out of practically nothing with the guidance of _What to Cook_. Most of the recipes are very quick and easy to make, light on preparation, and fabulous.

Although it doesn't suffer for the lack of a color, photo section, I think every cookbook should have one: hence, 4 stars.
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