I love this cookbook, it has simple tasty recipes that you can make from pantry stock. His recipe for biscuits is my classic to use recipe. It is simple and tosses together quickly, calls for ingredients I have on hand, and is delicious. I often make two batches becasue the kids gobble them up.
Holly reviewed What to cook when you think there's nothing in the house to eat: More than 175 recipes and meal ideas on
Helpful Score: 2
Out of my many dozens of cookbooks, this one is my favorite. The recipes are simple and delcious. The writing is excellent and interesting. I have loved every recipe I have cooked in it and that is many. The scones are amazing when I use craisins instead of raisins and add some grated orange peel. The chocolate pudding in a mug is my "must have a sweet right now" fix. Best polenta, too! No pictures in it but you won't miss them.
I am often surprised this book didn't get better attention. It has basic and beyond recipes using pantry ingredients. I use the recipe for the biscuits for our basic family bread. They are light as can be and tasty. It is a good resource for other basic yet simple recipes too. I think it will apply to many families,singles, city dwellers, and country folk. No fancy photos, no glitzy extras but if you like good basics, you will love this cookbook.
Schwartz's forthright yet somewhat misleading title doesn't do justice to the New York Daily News columnist's contribution to home cooking at its simple best. "Meant for those who have only elementary cooking skills, as well as ingredients, but still think something cooked from scratch at home--no matter how basic--is more rewarding to eat than something picked up from the frozen food case or a takeout shop," the book is organized around easily acquired ingredients, with the shelf lives of most thoroughly, if light-headedly, discussed. ("If matzoh doesn't exactly last forever," quips Schwartz, "at least it lasts from one Passover to the next, which is about how often I buy it.") Included are concoctions like spaghetti with black olives and orange peel, and basic white risotto, as well as pure comfort fare (classic crisp peanut butter cookies) and ethnic feel-good foods from matzoh brei to quesadillas. Even sophisticated cooks will uncover good ideas and information here and be able, as the author suggests, to satisfy a "midnight appetite, an unexpected guest, or any other last-minute or 'emergency'sic situation."