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The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants Paperback – December 15, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jessica Harper is a movie actress (Pennies from Heaven, Stardust Memories, Minority Report, Love and Death, and others) and children’s book author. The mother of two college-age daughters, she lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (December 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761155260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761155263
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Working as a short order cook for a cantankerous teen who only likes cheese and chocolate could turn June Beaver into a mad housewife. Harper's fast and pretty darn good recipes give this crabby cook an easy, tasty and funny escape from our endless pasta and cheese menu. And if the kid won't eat it - great! - more for me. I'll hand the kid the can opener for the SpagehettiOs.
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Format: Paperback
We think that too many members of our foodie nation take food and beverage entirely too seriously, but actress turned cookbook author Jessica Harper is definitely not among them!

Who couldn't love a book with recipe titles like "Pain in the Ass Minestrone", "Richard Gere's Pot Pie", and "Liza's Sort of Homemade Chicken Soup."

This is the kind of cookbook we love because it's multifunctional -- a great read on those gray or rainy days when we don't even want to go near a kitchen and a great guidebook for those times when the creative food muse strikes and we are raring to go to try a new dish or two.

Jessica Harper's rants and recipes remind us of the late great Peg Bracken and Erma Bombeck. Crabby cooks of the world unite!
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Format: Paperback
I love cookbooks. I especially love cookbooks (a la Ann Hodgman) that are fun to read even if you don't want to cook. But no matter how promising a cookbook seems, there usually end up being no more than 3 or 4 recipes that I'd like to try.

In 2 weeks time, I've prepared 6 recipes from the book. They were all well-received by me and my family (a semi-picky husband and kids, 12 and 6, who aren't adventurous but probably eat more widely than most kids), and I'd probably make each of them again. The cookbook is flagged with more that I want to try.

A caution: It may seem that this is aimed at people who hate to cook. That's not at all true. These are not 5 ingredient, 30 minute meals. Most provide a fair amount of preparation, but that means that they also don't rely on prepackaged processed items (like spice mixes or cream of ___ soup).

I think that Harper wrote this book for people like me. I love to cook. I like to try new things. But I'm busy, and sometimes I'm at a creative loss. I also HATE it when I work hard on a dish only to have my family turn their noses up at it (often without even taking a bite!).

Harper lists some foods as "Miracle Foods." These may require even more prep time and effort, but she claims that they are well-received, and for her it's worth it to spend more time to see her family eat a healthy meal.

I was doubtful, but I put her "Creamy Dreamy Pasta" Miracle Food recipe to the test. For this one, I had to get out my food processor and grate or shred carrots, zucchini, cabbage, and onion. I also took Harper's suggestion to add any veggies that are family-friendly (my family eats tomatoes and peppers, so I added those). I had been telling them that we were having "Veggie Pasta" for dinner.
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Format: Paperback
My Take on the Cookbook: This is a fun cookbook! At times, I even forgot that I was reading a cookbook! Her stories had me rollin' in my kitchen. She had to cook for picky eaters, children and husband, which can take the joy out of any cooking experience. Her witty personality and brutal honesty of not wanting to cook makes this book extremely engaging. I was so wrapped up into this cookbook that I almost forgot that I had to actually cook from the book, not just read it.

There are 100 recipes in this book! Listed below are the chapters and a few of the recipes that totally cracked me up reading and some that I plan on making from this book! The book includes "Miracle Food" which are recipes that she was able to get the entire family to eat.

The recipes are quick & easy to make with ingredients easily located at local grocery stores. This would make a great cookbook for newbies, foodies, college kids, newlyweds, new parents and the like!

*Breakfast, Slow and Fast-Hilarious explanation on "IX-NAY THE ACON-BAY" so if you know pig latin you can figure that one out, "Miracle Food" Killer Pumpkin Pancakes and "Acon-Bay Olls-Ray" or Bacon Rolls

*Mom's Little Lost Lamb (and Other Lunch Options)- Bruschetta with Somebody-Else's-Garden Tomatoes and Tuna Kahuna Panini

*The Cycle of Seven (Burgers, Casseroles, and Other Regulars)-Very touching chapter about her mother and growing up with the 7 rotation cycle of meals. Tasty recipes include her Eggplant Burgers, Google-It-Up Turkey Chili and Richard Gere's Pot Pie which has a hilarious story behind it.

*A Toast to the Roast-Ham I Am and Leftovers: Short Ribs of Beef Sandwiches

*Let 'Em Eat Pasta- Tony's Rigatoni, Dreamy Veggie Pasta and Shrimpini

*Go, Fish!
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever wanted to just laugh your way down the path of creating a menu plan? Jessica Harper does just that for you. This book is as much fun to just read as it is to follow her recipes. From the crazy way to satisfy the most picky eaters to the crazy recipes that sound nuts but taste really good, this book has it all! Also, the cocktails she includes are fantastic. I laughed all the way through and enjoyed every minute of this book.

Enjoy Jessica's family, her recipes but most of all, her take on the food and the zaniness that goes with them all.

I loved it!
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