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Home Made Simple: Fresh Ideas to Make Your Own Hardcover – September 14, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Home Made Simple is a Procter & Gamble and TLC partnership brand comprised of a TV show, Web site, and newsletter.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312641478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312641474
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am of the generation that learned homemaking skills from my parents and grandparents, and from my home-ec experiences in school. But now, the plethora of HGTV shows, Food Network cook-offs and self-help books, it is possible to learn both old and new skills without setting foot in a classroom or sitting at your grandmother's knee. That said, there are few shows that are memorable, and few books that are worth keeping or passing on. This book might just be an exception.

Quite a few of the ideas in Home Made Simple are fresh takes on the tried-and-true. It is the presentation that makes the book a joy to browse through.The five sections are "Organize," "Cook," "Decorate," "Celebrate," and "Garden." Would you like to have a traditional tea party? In Celebrate Living, you get history and background, directions for brewing the perfect pot, recipes for homemade natural teas, and ideas for tea treats, including chai tea squares. All this is provided in a section labeled "light and fun tea party."

Home Made Simple is a great book for a young married, a single person, or someone who wants new ideas to spark an in-home revolution. The ideas are modern and innovative, and yet the suggestions and recipes are based on much of the cooking, decorating and gardening ideas that have been around for generations. It is an interactive book, as well. Pages marked "work space" where you can make notes of recipes you liked, changes you implemented, or pairings of food and beverages that you have tried.

With Christmas coming soon, you might want to consider the "Simple Mango Chutney" recipe, with its accompanying gift-giving suggestions. Or create an indoor herb garden for an elderly friend, or a decorated woven mat for the doorstep.
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Format: Hardcover
From the Home Made Simple brand comprised of a website, newsletter, and television program, this book is a compilation of great ideas and beautiful color photos to inspire the reader in the areas of home organization, cooking, home decor, celebrations and entertaining, and gardening.

The cooking and celebration chapters include dozens of recipes plus creative tips for meal planning, tablesettings, napkin folding, party theme ideas, and party planning. Chapters on home organization and decorating are filled with creative ideas and do-it-yourself projects to keep clutter under control and transform ordinary areas into decorative showplaces with just a few changes. The gardening chapter includes ideas for beautiful garden spaces outside, and also for bringing nature inside for seasonal decoration. Throughout the book are worksheets called "Work Space" for making notes based on the ideas in each chapter.

One of my favorite ideas from the book was that of creating a "Spark Book" which is a notebook to keep track of tips and ideas one comes across and intends to remember but unless it is written down or a picture kept, it will likely be forgotten. The Spark Book serves as a scrapbook to keep all these ideas in one place for future inspiration.

This book definitely appealed to my creative side with simple and inexpensive ideas for every area of homemaking.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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Format: Hardcover
The book does what it claims - finds simple solutions for various tasks around the house like organizing, cooking, decorating, party ideas and work in the garden/yard. Not surprisingly, the book's style is quick and concise. No flowery paragraphs, definitely a to-the-point how-to manual, fitting the book's title.

Recipes are nothing too exotic and ingredients should be easy to find, if not already available in a basic home pantry, but seasonings seemed to sometimes be absent. For example, a breakfast bundt recipe that consisted of two tubes of refrigerated biscuits, sausage, bacon and eggs had absolutely no seasonings listed. No salt or pepper, etc.

And, I know the point is to keep things simple, but I'm not one to cook with refrigerated biscuits, and they were present in other recipes as well. It is easy enough to substitute homemade biscuits for the tube variety, but it is a good illustration of whether this book will be a good fit for the user because some of the shortcuts may be unacceptable and a reasonable substitution may not be obvious.

One more word about the recipe section - there are few photographs of the finished dishes, the ink color used for the recipes is dark red which while not as difficult to read as pale aqua ink, is also not as easy to read as black. The font size appears to be about 9 point, so it is somewhat small to read from standing position while the book rests on a counter top. The book I borrowed from the library was already water damaged from the previous user, but the paper appeared to be of decent quality that would remain undamaged if spills are wiped up promptly. The recipe section stretches from page 127 to 201 in a 321 page book.
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