I don’t exactly hate cooking, but…

  • How’s abhor? Still too strong.
  • Maybe dread? Closer.
  • Find it a chore? Yeah.
  • Wish more than anything I could hire a fulltime cook? Now you’re talking.

It’s true, I only cook to keep the family alive.Read When You’re Too Tired to Cook…

Are you surprised, then, to learn that I LOVE reading cookbooks?

I do, and if I weren’t such a neatnook, I’d have piles of cookbooks everywhere.

Some cookbooks are great for reading, but unless you’re an accomplished chef, they’re not great for cooking.

These cookbooks tell great stories. And the photos? They inspire…at least they inspire me to have great dreams…about traveling to exotic places where that kind of food is available!

Other cookbooks invite you to step into the kitchen. Dinnertime Survival Guide is this kind of cookbook.

I read Sally Kuzemchak’s new cookbook, Dinnertime Survival Guide, cover-to-cover (because that’s what I do!). And each page made me relax, or nod my head—she gets this! Or think, Why didn’t I ever think of that before?

  • The recipes seem doable and delicious.
  • Old favorites, like homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole—you can retire that can of cream of mushroom soup!—sit next to new favorites, like Tilapia with Smoked Paprika.
  • There are lots of simple inspirational recipes, like Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa. Yum.
  • There are make-ahead recipes, slow cooker recipes, “I’m-on-a-diet-but-they’re-not” recipes. The list goes on.

Got a problem? Sally’s got a solution.

The book is organized by the common problems home cooks experience—”I have zero time,” and “I can’t boil water” are two chapters. But there are helpful tips throughout this book.

Here’s one of my favorite tips (page 34): Prep dinner in 5-minute increments throughout the day.

Smart Strategy Take 5: When you have just a little bit of downtime during the day, whether it’s first thing in the morning or during your baby’s nap, doing these 5-minute tasks will simplify dinner prep for later.

  • Chop a few green onions.
  • Mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for a breading.
  • Whisk together a marinade.
  • Juice a lemon or lime.
  • Chop a handful of fresh herbs.
  • Meausre and rinse lentils or dried beans.
  • Toast nuts on the stovetop.
  • Place any bowls and measuring cups you’ll need on the counter.

I’ve always done a lot of prep on Sundays, but never–and I mean never–have I doled out prep work during the day. And how many times do I spend 5 minutes in the kitchen???

Sally gets it.

This book has Real Recipes. Real Advice. It’s for living successfully in the Real World.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~