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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Cooking- Everyday Food cookbooks

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

Every once in awhile, I will catch the Today Show segment called "Steals and Deals", where Jill Martin highlights great deals from manufacturers at huge discounts, good for 24 hours only. In the past, I have gotten some terrific bargains on Christmas gifts for family members on jewelry and health and beauty items.

A few weeks ago Random House had a fantastic deal on several sets of three cookbooks from celebrity chefs. They had sets from Lidia Bastianich, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence and Martha Stewart. The deal was three books for just $21, which really is a steal.

I chose the Martha Stewart Living Everyday cookbook set, which had Everyday Food Light, Everyday Food Great Food Fast, and Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast. I used to pick up the Everyday Food magazine once in a while because the recipes were usually pretty easy to make and used fresh ingredients that I generally had on hand.

Everyday Food Light features recipes all under 500 calories, and I like how the book starts with tips on poaching, steaming, and stir-frying, along with lists of what herbs work best for each style of cooking. The calorie counts are printed in big numbers right on the photo page for each recipe. The recipes are separated by season, which I always find helpful. I turned right to the Fall section and found several recipes to try, including:

  • Butternut Bisque (117 calories)
  • Roast Chicken with Pears (421 calories)
  • Chicken Cacciatore (212 calories)
Everyday Food Great Food Fast is perfect for those weeknights when it you only have a short window of time to get a healthy dinner on the table. On each photo page, the prep time is helpfully printed in big numbers, making it easy to see at a glance how long it will take you to get dinner ready to go into the oven. Some of the recipes, though, can take an hour to cook, so that must be factored into the equation. I am confused as to why the nutritional information for the recipes is listed in an index at the back of the book; it would have been so easy to place on the recipe page itself. It is also divided by season, and the fall recipes I am looking at are:

  • Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Oven-Baked Polenta (30 minutes prep time)
  • Steak and Onion Sandwiches (20 minutes prep time)
  • Pork Chops with Apples and Shallots (30 minutes prep time)
Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast has 250 recipes in the book, which divides the book into categories like Breakfast, Appetizers, Pasta, Desserts. The end of the book has helpful tips with lots of photos on Chopping Onions, Peeling Ginger, and Softening Brown Sugar. Again, the nutritional information is indexed instead of with the recipe. I'm going to try:
  • Roast Beef with Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes
  • Warm Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs
  • Mexican Ice Cream Sundaes with Cinnamon-Chocolate Sauce
All of these recipes are pretty basic, they don't require a lot of technical skill, making these books great gifts for people just starting out on their own. I also like that each recipe has a glossy photo so you know what your final dish should (sort of) look like.

The Steals and Deals website is here.


  1. I never hears of steals and deals! I'll have to check it out. What a great group of cookbooks -- I know so many people love Martha Stewart's recipes. I, however, have mixed feelings and mixed success for some reason. The recipes you listed sound yummy.

  2. What a great find. All of these cookbooks sound like they could be helpful in most people's kitchens.

  3. I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living last year and it came with a free sub to Everyday Food. I'm not going to hang on to MSL but will definitely miss the little Food additions! I wonder if my used bookstore might have some of these.

  4. I like Everyday Food magazine (used to subscribe) and own one of the cookbooks. This is a great deal... I need to ckeck out that website!

  5. Wow, that's a great steal. All three books sound like good basic reference for cooks of all ability levels.

  6. It's always good to get a bargain. Cheers

  7. Thanks for sharing that website! I NEED to pick up some good cookbooks so that I can work on my cooking skills (I'm definitely not a good cook at this point) LOL! I just might see if my library has these so that I can give them a try :)

  8. I use to get the magazine Diane. I really enjoyed the tv show on PBS.

  9. Thanks for sharing that site, I will certainly be checking it out!

  10. Cookbooks as gifts are something I just discovered last year, and they're always hits. These look like great 'starter' cookbooks - thanks for sharing (that AND the deals site!)

  11. Funny that they would have recipes in the foods for everyday that take an hour to cook. Although I suppose there are a lot of people that eat later so wouldn't mind waiting. I like to get home, get supper ready and on the table and cleaned up as quickly as possible so I have the rest of the night. I'll bet you're finding all kinds of great recipes!

  12. All the recipes you mention sound delicious! I haven't got a Weekend Cooking post this week, but am planning on Butternut Squash and Pecan Gratin with Goat Cheese today that I hope to post about next weekend. It's definitely not a "light" recipe, though!

  13. I have some of Martha Stewart's older cook books. I've had a lot of success with her pies but some other things, quiches in particular I remember, not so much. This is an interesting selection of books.