Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cookbook Review: The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb

Title: The Six O'Clock Scramble: Quick, Healthy, and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy Families
Author: Aviva Goldfarb
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York, NY
Pages: 321, including a brief author bio, an index and dozens of yummy-sounding recipes!

One of my favorite things about going to the library is being in a... "culinary" mood and picking out a cookbook.  I put culinary in quotes because that does NOT describe me, nor does it describe my family.  I have a very picky clan and somehow I can't envision them eating something exotic like... couscous and savory vegetable casserole with feta (p. 64).  It's not just that... the price of some of these one-use recipe fillers scares me away.  And with this example, I have to admit I'm not crazy about couscous, but that's beside the point!

That disclaimer of bias aside, I loved looking through Ms. Goldfarb's book. The first thing that caught my attention was that she organized the meals by season.  I'm terrible at cooking for the season!  If spaghetti sounds good in summer, I make it.  I know it's a little heavy for summer, but I can't quite keep my seasons straight when it comes to cooking!  Having recipes sorted for me is quite the revelation!

The next thing I noticed (and liked) is that the recipe titles are sorted by weeks.  Fall has 13 weeks of recipes, and all of them look amazing!  The rest of the seasons have 13 weeks, too, making a year-total of 52 weeks.  A sample week? I thought you'd never ask!

Winter, Week 4
Easy Baked Ziti (it looks good, but I already have a delicious baked ziti recipe)
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
Mediterranean Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
Baked Sausage and Egg Casserole
Southwestern Bulgur Pilaf

Here's a week six months later from

Summer, Week 4
Grilled Sausage Kabobs with Summer Vegetables
Lime-Garlic Shrimp with Black Bean and Corn Salad
Rigatoni with Asparagus and Lemon
Celia's Honey Chicken
Japanese Eggplant and Green Beans in Garlic Sauce

Believe it or not, but each of these meals is simple, taking about 30 minutes per dish!

The book wraps up with a few notes and a comprehensive index.  One other worthy note--Ms. Goldfarb fills the book with little sticky-note-like tips.  They're for families of every age, one case in point being the example of puréeing a portion of dinner and freezing it in ice cube trays--then labeling and using thawed out for baby.

All in all, it's a lovely book!  I wish I could have found more recipes suited to my family, but you may be fancier than I am!  The book is available on Amazon.com, both used and new: The Six O'Clock ScrambleNew books are $12.21 (from Amazon) and the least expensive used book is currently $8.99.

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