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Sam the Cooking Guy: Just a Bunch of Recipes Paperback – March 17, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zien, creator and host of the television show Sam the Cooking Guy, is very clear from the onset that he is not a chef; he also believes that certain things, like measuring ingredients (unless baking), are a "waste of time" and that 350 degrees is the "universal temperature" at which to cook everything. A self-proclaimed "regular guy," Zien thinks that people have "been wrecked by cooking shows with their millions of complicated steps and crazy ass ingredients." His recipes are for people who want to cook, but want to spend as little time and effort in the kitchen as possible. Two of his favorite ingredients, which show up frequently, are prebaked pizza crust (used in his pesto pizza recipe, which also calls for ready-made pesto) and "ready bacon," which simply needs to be microwaved. Other dishes include a Tomato and Potato Chip Sandwich and Stir Fry Noodles made with Styrofoam cup instant ramen. Some dishes, though lacking originality, call for fresh ingredients and explain simple techniques, like the Adobo Chicken or Ginger Scallops. Foodies won't be impressed, and even those with mild interest in putting together their own meals might want to be challenged a bit more. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

Sam Zien is a regular guy who cooks great food. No cutesy patter. No foo-foo ingredients. Just easy, great-tasting stuff that real people like you can make, served up with lots of humor. All of which has made him one of today's fastest-rising TV food stars—the host of Sam the Cooking Guy as well as Just Cook This! on the Discovery Health Channel. Sam's e-mail inbox has long been flooded with requests for a cookbook. Now, he finally delivers.

Just a Bunch of Recipes features 126 of Sam's all-time favorite recipes. All of them are big in taste and small in effort—crowd-pleasingdishes that skip the weird ingredients and complicated steps and focus on the flavor. You can't go wrong with any of Sam's recipes—they're all seriously good and seriously easy. Once you start fixing them for your family and friends, you'll be the one everyone turns tofor great everyday food.

For quick family meals, Sam is your man. Choose from recipes like Shrimp Tacos,Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and Steak Salad withBlue Cheese Crumbles as well as super-fast favorites such as Chili Corn Chip Bags and Tomato and Potato Chip Sandwiches. On weekends, kick things off with a Pastrami Benedict or Banana Bread French Toast for brunch—then wow your friends with "company" dishes like Tomato and Yellow Pepper Gazpacho and Teriyaki and Bacon Scallops. Try out a "Three-Two-One" Bloody Mary, Sammy-Boy's Margarita, or Lager and Lime for good measure. And for dessert, forget about it—you haven't lived until you've tried Sam's Ice-Cream Sandwich Deal, Doughnutmis? ("tiramis?" made with powdered doughnuts), and Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Fruit.

Complete with photos of Sam as well as his inimitable take on essential kitchen tools and ingredients, Sam the Cooking Guy is all you need to start fixing food that's unbelievably easy and delicious. So make a run to the store, invite some friends, and head for the kitchen. As Sam says, "You can cook too, but some of you just don't know it yet."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (February 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470043733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470043738
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love this cookbook! I was never really into cooking until I got hooked on Sam The Cooking Guy's show on Discovery Channel. He makes cooking unique recipes look so easy. Each week I cannot wait to see his show so I can practice making a new recipe. I heard this book was coming out and I could not wait to get it! I knew I would not be disappointed. It is a complete mirror of his show. It has Sam's warm, open and friendly personality with that hilarious Seinfeld like humor throughout the book. But the recipes are the best part! From brunch to appetizers, the main course and desserts. Wow! There are tons and tons of recipes that are so clearly written and really easy to make, yet you will blow every one away with the presentation and the amazing taste. This is a book you will be able to refer to for years to come. Thanks, Sam!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a WONDERFUL book! Like Sam's show, the recipes are easy and delicious, unpretentious and healthy. And Sam's personality comes through, which makes it not only useful but fun! My husband, whose repertoire previously included at most 2-3 dishes (burritos, boxed mac and cheese, and barbecued steak), has made several recipes already.
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Format: Paperback
Released in March, "Sam the Cooking Guy: Just a Bunch of Recipes," coincides with San Diego TV chef Sam Zien's ascent to the national cable lineup. With his creative, quick-and-easy recipes and everyman personality, Zien, better known as Sam the Cooking Guy, already is a celebrity on his home turf, drawing hundreds to book signings in Mira Mesa and La Jolla this spring. "Just Cook This! With Sam the Cooking Guy" is now playing on TVs across the country on Discovery Health Channel.

Those familiar with the local show "Sam the Cooking Guy," a low-budget cooking show shot in Sam's kitchen available on 9 local stations like San Diego's County Television Network, will recognize the book's 200-or-so recipes -- all requiring little kitchen know-how, no fancy equipment, and (almost) no gourmet ingredients.

But although Sam is on his way up, his first book remains true to his casual culinary style and down-to-earth personality.

Sam's recipes use everyday items, including eyebrow-raising variations of far-from-elegant products like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Top Ramen noodles. Think Rachael Ray, but more creative, even off-the-wall, and lacking the New Yorker's overuse of extra-virgin olive oil.

With each recipe we get Sam's take via a short intro and sporadic comments. In one of the book's crazier recipes, "Chili Corn Chip Bags," he instructs readers to dump hot chili and shredded cheddar into individual-sized Fritos bags. "This is one of those things that people make fun of until they try it," he writes, and then tells readers to eat it straight out of the bag. "Stupid, but great," he concludes. Like the everyman anti-chef he is, he tells us to try it before we knock it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Sam's cooking show for awhile now and was really excited when his first book came out. I was hoping the book would be a reflection of the quick, easy recipes he makes on the show and I was not disappointed. The added bonus of this book: Sam's sense of humor and great personality. I have made a bunch of the recipes in the book and they are all ridiculously simple and really delicious. With Sam "quick and easy" means just that. My "30 Minute Meals" often end up taking two hours to make! Not with this book. It is one of the rare "cookbooks" that is a pleasure to READ (always a good laugh). So...just buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
This is great stuff! Simple to make with big taste. It's just like your show but in book format. My family and I love your show and your recipes.
I like to get the kids involved when we cook your stuff, they think it's fun!
Thanks Sam!
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By Raf on March 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great cookbook for those with little time but still want something better than fast food. Sam is cool and in our house we watch his show whenever he is on. Of course, like us, he's a San Diegan, so we gotta support him anyway we can.
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Format: Paperback
I love the way this book is laid out and the recipes are large enough to read without my glasses. The recipes sometime take 2 pages so they are well spaced. The recipes are all easy and fun to make and I recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book! Sam is a household name in our house and his recipes are easy and yummy! I highly recommend this to anyone and also the perfect gift for friends. If you live in San Diego, try to get in on one of his classes. He is amazing and very entertaining..... they sell out like hotcakes! Food Networks needs to get this guy! He is the BEST!
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