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Semi-Homemade Cooking Paperback – September 6, 2005
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Does the thought of cooking from scratch make you panic? Do you stand in front of your supermarket's canned vegetables display frozen with indecision? Is your fridge filled with takeout containers, and your oven used for storage? If you answered these questions with an emphatic "Yes," Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking might be the cookbook for you.
There are plenty of excellent quick-and-easy cookbooks out there, but this book feels like a cross between a giant advertisement and one of those free recipe books you get with mail-in proofs of purchase. Every ingredient that can possibly be branded is labeled as such. Lee's Salad Chinois is made with Swanson premium chunk chicken breast, Kikkoman soy sauce, McCormick ground ginger, Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise, La Choy chow mein noodles, Fresh Express prepared green salad, Chun King chow mein vegetables, and Dole mandarin orange segments. Gnocchi Dippers are whipped up with Alessi gnocchi, Bertolli olive oil, and, believe it or not, Kraft Velveeta cheese. The Malibu Rum Cake includes Malibu Rum, Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe yellow cake mix, and Jell-O vanilla instant pudding. And not only does Lee dictate brand names, she chimes in with advice on music and wine selections, as well. One can only hope that Wolfgang Puck wrote the introduction to this book without ever seeing it. --Leora Y. Bloom --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Replete with high-gloss, high-glam food photography, Lee's debut looks like a sophisticated cookbook, but closer inspection reveals that most recipes offer little a neophyte couldn't figure out for himself. A professional "lifestylist," Lee includes recipes such as a Golden Mushroom Soup that's simply a gussied-up can of Campbell's, and a Kahlua Tiramisu that demands three containers of refrigerated pudding. Harried home cooks might appreciate her shortcuts on the nights that authentically homemade meals are strategically impossible, but some will take issue with her use of brand names for virtually everything but the cooking water-a decision that, unfortunately, makes the book read as though it were underwritten by Nabisco, Kraft and Swanson. Pumpkin Cinnamon Pancakes, for example, call for Aunt Jemima pancake mix, and the Tropical Salmon necessitates French's mustard and Sunsweet Fruitlings. Lee even extends to animals the prospect of semi-homemade dishes: the chapter on pet foods includes a recipe for Kitty Tuna Cakes, wherein the intrepid cat-lover is instructed to fry Purina Pet Chow and StarKist tuna into patties. With a eye towards crafting the whole dining experience, Lee also suggests wine and music for some of her creations: pork kabobs, for instance, call for Hugel Gentil (an Alsatian white) and Celine Dion. Television appearances and Lee's sunny persona will help sales, but purists should look elsewhere for quick recipes.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.