|About the Author: Sandra Lee has been making everyday lives a little bit easier for over ten years with her Semi-Homemade techniques. Now, she brings her inspiring, practical ideas into the kitchen in her very first cookbook, with recipes that are quick, easy, and most of all delicious.|
|"Copyright © 2002 Sandra Lee
Semi-Homemade Cooking, a New York Times bestseller, combines fresh ingredients with carefully chosen prepackaged foods -- everything from ready-made pastry to pre-made soups -- to create a worry-free, timesaving new approach to home cooking.
I suppose people who never learned to cook from scratch are perhaps a little lost when they read a cookbook. Oh! I'll never be able to cook this is probably the first words out of their mouth. Wouldn't it be nice for the culinary
challenged to forget about the fear forever. Well, it might be possible if you try the new cookbook
Semi-Homemade Cooking by Sandra Lee
published by Miramax Books ©2002.
This was a fun book to look at, and pretty easy to
use. As John said, the recipes we tried were all pretty tasty.
I have to say, however, that I had some concern about so much use of
prepared foods, given the high amounts of preservatives, salt, etc. in
many of these products. In addition, the author uses whole milk,
eggs, and other products which would prevent anyone who is watching their
diet from eating healthily with these recipes, unless they were altered.
But would someone who is cooking at this level know how to adapt the
recipes for a lower-fat or lower-sodium diet? I was surprised that
someone from Southern California was not more diet conscious!
Another concern was one about waste: in the recipes we tried, we almost
never used the whole box/jar/mix because the recipe didn't call for it
all. Maybe if I were cooking like this often, I'd be able to use up
the rest of these ingredients, but since I don't, it felt wasteful, and
expensive--these prepared foods aren't cheap!
|Cheddar Potato Soup
Cheez Whiz® again! I may have been able to get away with using Cheez Whiz® in one recipe, but three? (See pages 37 and 61.) I'm sure a professional foodie is bound to suggest I be sent to "culinary jail" for this. For those of you out there questioning my use of Cheese Whiz®, or even turning your nose up a bit: Don't be so quick to judge and dismiss. This soup is super and sure to please the taste buds of any cheese aficionado.
2 packages (11 1/2 ounces each) frozen potatoes au gratin, Stouffer's®
Prep time: 5 minutes
|Sesame Chicken Drumettes
There used to be a place on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California that had the most amazing drumettes-that's all they served. Unbelievable, wonderful drumettes in all sorts of flavors; sesame was my favorite. When they closed shop I scrambled to create a recipe that could pass as its twin. Full of flavor, the outside is always perfectly crispy and the inside is always tender and juicy.
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce, Kikkoman®
Prep time: 35 minutes
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine teriyaki sauce, sherry, and sesame seeds. Add chicken drumettes, turning to coat.
Banana Grape-Nuts® Chews
Makes about 24 cookies
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray, PAM®
Prep time: 10 minutes
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in yolks I at a time. Add quick bread mix and cereal and beat until just blended. Add mashed bananas and beat just to incorporate. Working in batches, spoon 2 tablespoons batter for each cookie onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing evenly and forming 6 mounds. Bake until cookies are golden brown on bottom and set in the middle, about 12 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to cooling rack.