Anyone Can Cook Dinner by Sandi Richards is a book that focuses on EASY to make dinners with EASY to follow directions! The criteria for the recipes that made into this book was: "easy, affordable delicious 500 calorie meals that the whole family will actually eat and can actually make!"
Everything is laid out clearly in the book, and has ingredients that are common and easily recognizable. It has ten nutritionally balanced weeks of five dinners for your family to follow - and these have been tested by real families and have been proven to turn out delicious and tasty - even if a beginner cook is doing the cooking or meal prep. In addition to the great dinner plans, Anyone Can Cook Dinner also teaches you to create your own Eat Sheets (aka Grocery lists!) using your favorite recipes for each of these weeks. It couldn't get any simpler, and it's a great way to get your teens involved in the kitchen...and will help them grow some cooking skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
We enjoyed the fact that a lot of the recipes in the book were "normal" ones. Nothing ornate, nothing too tricky, time-consuming or fancy. There's a lot of room for error in these recipes too - in other words, they won't be ruined if you happen to make a mistake (for the most part anyways! ;) ) A few of our favorites were the Cheeseburger Soup and the Savory Pot Roast with Harvest Veggies. Yum! We also really liked that there are nice, big, COLOR photographs of every meal. It's so helpful when you have a photo to help you visualize what the meal is supposed to look like when it is completed! The book is very easy to follow for a weekly dinner plan. Each week has the meals clearly numbered and color coded. At the beginning of each week is a short description about the meals, along with an "On the Menu" page that has small photos of each meal. This book is perfect for busy families, or for teens who want to learn to cook and prepare dinner but don't know where to start!
This is a great cookbook for beginners, as well as for busy families. Ingredients and techniques are clearly explained, and recipes are tastefully presented in a full-colour, full-page photo per recipe! I liked the fact that each recipe was in fact a whole meal plan - for a balanced meal! Instructions for each meal are set up so that one person could cook the whole meal, but also that 2 or more people could prepare the meal together, either at the same time or separately, as schedules allows. Also, most times there's an option to prepare at least some of the meal ahead of time, reducing the stress at dinner time! We've tried quite a few of the recipes and especially like the Cheeseburger Soup, like Andrea's family, as well as the Peanut Butter and Honey Chicken! One thing I noticed was that there weren't very many fish dishes - mostly beef, pork and chicken. All of the recipes are ready in under 1 hour (except for a couple of crock-pot ones, where the prep is still under an hour), and many are ready in half an hour - great for days when everyone is hungry now!