Friday, October 15, 2010

Book review: 5 Ingredient Fix

I have a new love in my life- its the MOST fabulous cookbook that I've ever owned, 5 Ingredient Fix. I'll take a pause here from my adoration to share some information on the book, from its website.
Claire Robinson, the hot new Food Network star of 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge, helps people get dinner on the table with little fuss and a few great ingredients. The quest for simple, affordable, and fresh, mouthwatering food is over. 5 INGREDIENT FIX helps put delicious and sophisticated meals on the table in a snap. With people struggling to simplify, streamline, and budget, the Food Network's Claire Robinson is here to help. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated to be impressive; simplifying the process with fewer ingredients saves time, frustration, and ultimately, money.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm not a very good cook.  I like to feed my husband and kids homemade meals from scratch, but I lack creativity in coming up with ideas, and I get overwhelmed by complicated shopping lists and recipes in cookbooks. So 5 Ingredient Fix is pretty much my dream cookbook.

This book is organized into eight sections, each one covering a different type of food or meal, ranging from breakfast to cocktails, side dishes to desserts and everything else in between. With this book you could definitely put on a fabulous dinner party and not drive yourself insane in the process. The recipes themselves are as simple as the title of the book implies, with just a handful of ingredients (usually 5 to 7), and very easy-to-follow, step-by-step ingredients.  Really, when you think about it, even things that you make from a mix usually have multiple steps and several things that need to be added. So you might as well take the same effort and just a few more ingredients and make a great dish from scratch!

Even though the recipes each have a simple ingredient list and are easy to make, they have fabulous-sounding names (like fig and blue cheese tart or sake and lemongrass steamed sea bass) and the finished products look complicated, so your friends and family will be impressed at your cooking abilities.

The beginning of the book has a handy section with a list of the tools, equipment and supplies that the author feels are must-haves in every kitchen. Nothing exotic, just basic supplies that help bring a great meal together.

When I got my copy of the book I had some ripe bananas on the counter, so I decided that my first recipe from this book would be the brown butter banana muffins. This recipe only called for five ingredients, all of which I had on hand! The recipe was easy to follow and quick to put together, even with two kids underfoot.  And a short time later I had a dozen muffins cooling on my counter.  For this recipe, I appreciated the helpful hint about how to make self-rising flour from all-purpose flour that's in the notes of the recipe.  I was clueless as to the difference in types of flour (there is one!) and this made it easy to know exactly what to do.

 The kids, enjoying their muffin

My muffins turned out great and the family has been enjoying them immensely. I can't wait until we get home from our travels and I can try more recipes from this cookbook!  For more information on where to buy this book, visit this site.

Disclosure: Thanks to my involvement at the Product Review Place and thanks to Hachette Book Group, I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.