This is the second recipe book in Jamie Geller’s portfolio. I will apologize in advance for any gushing I do – her writing style, her honesty, her humour, her family stories, the hint of cooking aromas wafting around – they just totally pull me in. I can hear her voice in my head as I read her introductions and comments. When I first cracked open the book to read I was not in the best of moods, but by the time I had finished reading the introduction there was a huge grin on my face. Jamie’s easy writing style just resonates with the reader.
We were so excited when her book – yes I got a free copy – arrived at the house. My boys think I am now this huge cookbook expert. Nah, just an Ima who loves to cook and feed her family and is always looking for new recipes. When I told them that I had actually met Jamie, they were in awe. (Jamie – you have a few fans over here!)
What struck me as I initially paged through the book was that there were a lot of recipes that I knew the kids would enjoy as much as us adults. There are many books out there that you just know the kids are not going to even try most of the dishes because they look different, are unpronounceable, or, horror of horrors, don’t contain meat or potatoes!!
What I love about this book is that it was written with the busy mom in mind. We don’t all have six hours to prepare a gourmet supper, but we want to feed our families well, and healthfully. There is a 20 minute section, a 40 minute section, and a 60 minute section and none of the recipes are complicated. Jamie is a very busy mom herself – she knows firsthand that we moms don’t have time for complicated. (Truth be told, her kids are little – how she even has time to cook AND write a book I don’t know!! I take my (chef’s) hat off to her).
In this book, with most of the main dishes, she has added the recipe for a complementary side dish on the same page. This makes life so much simpler – instead of scratching your head about what to serve the answer is there right in front of you. Of course, as in her previous book, there is a wine recommendation for every main dish.
Something that we will be trying soon is the Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry – my Squiggy has started creating in the kitchen and loves Chinese food. This recipe is easy enough for a teen to follow, but sophisticated enough for adult taste. Also on the list for next week is Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls – anything with sausage in it will go down well. I just recently introduced my boys to red beans and rice. We cook it up and add shredded cheese, some veggie sausage – delish. Jamie has a recipe in this new book entitled “Skillet Red Beans and Rice with Ground Beef” – it’s almost as if she heard one of my boys when he complained that we always had beans and rice as a dairy meal, can’t I make it a meat meal one time?! Thanks Jamie!
As many of you know, if you follow me on facebook and twitter, I cook up a storm every Friday, for Shabbat. I also do this for the holidays too. I generally cook a 3 or 4 course meal plus I bake challahs. I try to make something different every week for Shabbat and for the various holidays, but there are a few dishes that are staples. In Meals in Minutes Jamie has put in a section called Holiday Meals where she provides you with recipes for the entire menu – fish through to dessert, no wondering what to make, all you have to do is cook it. There are recipes for Shabbat, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot etc. All mouthwatering, and all guaranteed to wow your family and guests!
Jamie brings her own unique voice to cooking – you feel her with you as you cook, or as I like to say “create”, in the kitchen. She understands your culinary needs. This book Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes will be a great addition to your kitchen. Every recipe I have ever made from her books has always succeeded. Her recipes are fool-proof. In fact, I have a buddy who is a single guy, and he swears by Jamie’s first book – he says that if he can cook successfully from her recipes, then anyone can!!
This would make a great Chanukah gift for the cook in your life, or even for yourself. Go on, treat yourself. There are 134 mouthwatering photos in this book and 215 recipes. This is not just a functional cookbook – it is gorgeous too!! This book is available online at Feldheim.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Kosher.com and your local Jewish bookstores.
Visit Jamie’s kitchen on kosher.com.