Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa d'Arabian: Chef Jeff Reviews

 Ten Dollar Dinners
by Melissa d'Arabian
Clarkson Potter (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-98514-9
Cooking Skill: Beginner +
Buy From Indigo
Release Date: August 14, 2012

Description: Melissa d'Arabian, host of Food Network's "Ten Dollar Dinners" and season 5 winner of "The Next Food Network Star, "makes good on the $10 promise of dinner for four in her eagerly awaited debut cookbook. For home cooks who care about what they feed their families and want to stretch their dollars, Melissa is the best guide for putting delicious meals on the table.
With four young girls ages six and under, and a hit show on Food Network, Melissa d'Arabian focuses on savvy budgeting, efficient shopping, and full-flavored cooking. "Ten Dollar Dinners" has 140 recipes and more than 100 creative, practical tips on great money-savers ("Clear-Your-Pantry Week"); inventive takes on old standby dinners (try her Moroccan Meatloaf); and how to get ingredients to last longer (keep your green onions in a glass of water and they will regrow several times over ). And with a coding system to help you create your own $10 menu, "Ten Dollar Dinners" celebrates spending with purpose, cooking with love, minimizing time spent in front of the stove, and savoring your homemade meal

The Good Stuff
  • Good variety of recipes for every taste
  • Simple easy to follow instructions
  • Ingredients are easily available in any grocery store
  • Once you have ingredients in house, recipes are inexpensive to make
  • Great tips and tricks for stretching your food budget
  • Excellent pantry list - items that you should always have  in your pantry in order to easily put together affordable, delicious meals
  • Lots of pictures (Not one on everypage though, which would have made my wife even happier - the women cannot make a recipe unless she sees a picture of it)
  • Recipe Cost index is interesting (see note in not so good stuff below)
  • My kids will probably eat some of the recipes, the picky little heathens
  • Well organized and easy to look through -- all the pictures make the recipe look extremely appetizing
  • Wife thinks the index is good (she is making me put this in the review -- don't tell her but yes a good index is important in a cookbook
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Recipe Cost Index took a few seconds to figure out - would have been nice to have it listed more obvious
  • meat terminology is American -- than again not really a bad thing, just a pain in the ass when Ayou go to the store looking for the item and its called something else
  • Not sure you can really say they are 10 dollar dinners as food here in Alberta is really expensive
Favorite Recipes
  • Moroccan Meatloaf (DELISH & easy to make)
  • Zucchini Carpaccio
  • Sole Napoleon with Tomatio-Caper Crudo
  • Four-step Chicken Piccata
  • Bruleed Mandarin Oranges and Sabayon
  • Black Bean Brownies (For the love of god don't tell the kids there were beans in this recipe - they loved them)
Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • This cookbook is perfectly suited for the beginner to intermediate cook -- nothing fancy for the more experienced cook
  • A great cookbook for those on a budget (and that we are since we are now a one income family)
  • Highly recommended for inclusion into the inventory of a public library (yes that one is from the wife)
4.5 Dewey's
I received this from Random House in Exchange for an Honest Review


My Helpers

Sole Napoleon with Tomatio-Caper Crudo

Moroccon Meatloaf, Zucchini Carpaccio & herbed rice

Making Bruleed Mandarin Oranges and Sabayon
Ingredients for Moroccon Meatloaf