Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Shortcut Cooking!

We all need shortcuts in our lives, especially in things which are time consuming.  So, when I was shopping for books for the kids for Christmas at least 20 years ago (I think maybe 1991 or 1992), I spotted this cookbook on a display table in the book store - yes, that was back in the day when there were still small, independent book stores, although few and far between.  (Actually, while it was a nice, inviting looking store, the employees there were rather nasty.  They actually told me one night, when I had about 20 books in my arms, that it was 9PM and I needed to leave right then, because they were closed.  I inquired how many people spent money in their establishment, because with that attitude, I was done looking, and wouldn't be back.  Then I paid for those books, told them I'd spotted 4 others that I wanted but wouldn't be buying, and left.)

Anyway, Betty Crocker's Shortcut Cooking for the Smart Cook:

It's a beautiful book, with many wonderful pictures.  Printed on glossy paper, it feels nice to turn the pages, and the recipes abound.  It seemed like it would be wonderful.  And it should be, for folks who didn't need to serve 5 pounds of meat, 3 pounds of starch and 3 pounds of vegetables for dinner every night.  They have 2 categories of food: "Fix it and forget it", which go together quickly and then get cooked for some time, and the "Fix it Fast" section, which involves foods that are put together reasonably quickly and cooked in a hurry.  Each category is further divided into eggs, skillet cookery, etc.

I have to confess that I've not used this cookbook much.  First, with everyone home, cooking anything in a skillet is a real chore; it has to be cooked in many batches and kept warm.  Second, my husband doesn't think just a bowl of, say, this carrot soup, is a meal.  It's just a great appetizer.  So, there's that.  And then there's my foible in not liking my food to co-mingle, or even touch.  And then, we still need side dishes to go with some of these skillet dishes, as an example.  Shortcuts? Not so much.

But one of our favorite desserts comes from this book: Hot Fudge Sundae Cake, AKA Magic Cake.  There are a couple of other cakes baked quickly and served warm, along with some freezer desserts (which fall into the category of fix it and forget it).

Overall, this would be a great cookbook for someone without the peculiarities of my household, and it does have some great ideas in it.  And maybe, with so many of my hungry horde grown and gone, I'll give it a try again.

How about you?  Anyone else out there have a cookbook you'd like linked up?  I'm carrying Louise's Cookbook Wednesday torch until she has time to get back to it.  Leave me a comment, and I'll add you here.

Poppy's Family Favorites Cook Book (you can always count on Poppy to find the humor in her cookbooks, like Ham Cookies). 

Nellie's Ideal Family Cookbook

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Stay warm as it gets colder again tonight!


Poppy Crocker said...

We always called the cake hot fudge pudding cake, and it was soooo good! I haven't made it in years. Now you've got me thinking about making it sometime.

My post is at Thank you for keeping up the tradition!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Marjie!
You didn't update in my sidebar, I'm going to have to fix that immediately!

I don't seem to recall ever seeing that book. I may have but...I'm aghast at the rudeness of those bookstore employees. One of the things I love about neighborhood bookstores is their willingness to cater to their customers. As you know, I once had a cookbook store in Bellefonte. Their behavior would not be acceptable, at all!

I was actually thinking the other day about how you might be able to actually use some of your books more freely when the kids aren't home.

The Hot Fudge Sundae Cake has piqued my curiosity, magical I suppose:)

Thanks for sharing, Marjie and thank you so much for carrying the torch. I really appreciate it. We were at so many doctors today I can't even count them...

Catherine said...

That is terrible to ask you to leave.
Well, it does sound like a delicious dessert. I love chocolate.
xo Catherine

Pam said...

I wouldn't be surprised if that store is out of business with that kind of customer service!

The cake sounds decadent and delicious - my kids and husband would LOVE it.

Nellie said...

I did do a Cookbook Wednesday post yesterday. It may be too late to do any of the linking, though, as I've already posted another today.

grace said...

i like how you handled that situation! i might've just dropped the books onto the floor and walked out. :)

Lapdog Creations said...

Yes, we do all need shortcuts!

Anonymous said...

If I were to choose my favorite cookbook, it would be Kitchen of Light by Andreas Viestad. I open it for the stories and pictures, mainly, as the recipes are far too complicated for me. Scandinavian cooking at its most sophisticated (and expensive).

Sue said...

I was raised by my Grandparents. Though my Grandmother and I both liked casseroles, my Grandfather wanted meat, potatoes, a vegetable and dessert every night. Your hubby reminds me of him a little.

SissySees said...

Wow. I thought I was the only one who has those rude, weird retail experiences. It's one reason I only shop a few places; I can count on them for at least decent customer service.

And scoot over; I want a seat on the @#$% snow bench. I miss my outdoor runs, and was planning a trip to the firehouse this morning for a long (albeit indoor, on a machine) run before the snow settled in, and looked out the front window to see fairly heavy snow falling before 9 am.

So much for my love of snow. And maybe I'm influenced by this ridiculous cold snap too?