Let's get one thing straight right away: I don't cook. I avoid it whenever possible. I'm not good at it, I don't enjoy it, and I'm damn lucky that my husband is happy to take over in this department. When I'm on duty, it's Frosted Mini Wheats all around!
But I just may change my mind, thanks to the me-friendly/kid-friendly cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble from Aviva Goldfarb, mom and the author of the popular weekly newsletter with the same name. Not one recipe in the book takes more than 30 minutes to make, and they all use less than ten ingredients (although that still sounds like a lot to me).
The first thing that struck me was how the recipes are divided - by season. That means you can find soups that are appealing in warmer weather, and veggie dishes that make use of produce in season. And I love index categories like "Company's Coming" and "Make-Ahead Meals" to give me a little help when I've got a particular occasion to shoot for.
But of course it all comes down to the food, right? The book delivers with hip recipes like Quick Couscous Paella with Crumbled Bacon, Lime-Garlic Shrimp with Black Bean and Corn Salad, and Grilled Steak and Portabella Sandwiches. While no crock pot recipes (that's a good thing), they're still simple enough to appeal to novices like me, or moms short on time or inclination.
Gourmet chefs with Viking ranges and no toddlers underfoot need not apply here. But for the rest of us who've got other priorities besides making our own pie crusts or stirring risotto for 95 minutes, it's nice to have some options that don't come off the cold cereal shelf. -Julie