Cookbook Review: Real Simple Best Recipes

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday filled with good food and more importantly, quality time with family and friends.  I’ll be posting about my Thanksgiving adventure soon, but in the meantime I thought I would share this review with you.  Now that the big turkey day is past, I’m guessing a lot people are a bit tired of cooking for now.  With the December holidays in the not-so-distant future, cooking regular meals may be a bit more stressful than normal with so many things going on.  This is why now seemed the perfect time to talk about this cookbook.

I was offered the opportunity to review Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy Delicious Meals, and I was immediately interested.  I do not subscribe to Real Simple magazine, but I have heard from many people that they have good recipes in their issues.  The premise of the book is simple (no pun intended) – fast, easy meals that still taste great.  Though I get a lot of pleasure out of preparing an involved, time consuming meal, that is just not practical behavior for every day and certainly not for weeknights.  That is where this book comes in very handy.

There are many features of this cookbook that I really enjoy.  Of course, the gorgeous photos are a big plus for me.  Clearly as a food blogger, food is very visual for me and I like to see what I will be making.  This book has a photo of every recipe.  Other helpful tools are listing of approximate prep time and total time for each recipe, as well as little icons to signify meals as kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, no-cook, etc.  One of my favorite features is that the nutritional information for each recipe is listed in the back of the book.  I wish all cookbooks had this!

It has a nice variety of recipes in many categories, such as appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, and dessert.  While I’m not going to say that I plan to try every recipe in the book, it does have a lot of recipes that sound appealing to me.  The only thing that seems a bit weak is the dessert section – it is too brief in my opinion.  However, this isn’t a real problem for me as I have plenty of other cookbooks that focus primarily on desserts.  And clearly, the best way to review a cookbook is to try some recipes, so I did!  I made the Parmesan pasta with chicken and rosemary and the southwestern beef chili with corn.  Both meals turned out great and were exactly as expected, fast and easy!  The pasta in particular was fantastic and seemed like something I would order in a restaurant.  I’m happy to have this book as a resource for when I need a quick meal idea, and look forward to trying more of the recipes.

11 Responses

  1. That bowtie pasta is looking good. I had a bow tie gorganzola with chicken the other night that was to die for. I think people forget about bow tie pasta to much. So i’m going to start a campane to raise awareness of the plight of bowtie.

  2. I’m fixing a Real Simple side dish for Thanksgiving tonight, which I’m sure will turn out splendidly. It will be my 1st RS recipe, but hopefully not my last. Lucky you, having the great opportunity to review this book. Thanks for your commentary.

  3. I subscribe to Real Simple magazine, and their daily recipe emails. I love the magazine and the recipes. I’ll have to pick up this book. Nice review.

  4. Thanks for the review Annie! I’ve been eying their cookbook for a bit and may think about buying it now!

    Just a heads up – Amazon actually has a Real Simple subscription for $5 today! I grabbed one for myself last time they ran this deal and I LOVE getting the new issue each month in the mail!

  5. Thanks for the review! I subscribe to Real Simple and I just noticed this cookbook as I was flipping through my latest mag. I had actually commented to my husband that I should get that book since all of the recipes I’ve tried from RS have been simple & tasty!

  6. I got the Real Simple $5 subscription a couple of months ago, and I really enjoy it. Great recipes!

  7. NPR did a top eleven cookbooks of 2009 – there was one about cooking for one I am totally picking up this week!
    I love Real Simple ad subscribe, but am glad they finally put all the great recipes together in one book! 🙂

  8. thank you for the review! you are so right about cooking this time of year – there is just so much other stuff to do, it becomes just one more thing, even though we love it. i dont subscribe to this, but the kraft magazine one, but maybe i know will; thanks again!

  9. I’m definitely tired of cooking for the next couple days, yet incredibly, I’m not yet tired of eating! 🙂

  10. I love Real Simple magazine….glad to know their cookbook is just as good!

  11. I was not aware they had a cookbook but I’m a huge fan of their magazine. I got a full year subscription for $5 so I couldn’t pass that up 🙂

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