Tuesday, April 24, 2012

'Don't Panic - Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family' by Martinez, Howell and Garcia - Book Review

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It is not every day that there is a blog tour for a cookbook. So when the blog for ‘Don’t Panic - Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family’ was announced, I knew I wanted to hop on the tour bus! 

Here’s the synopsis of this book:

Great meals for your busy family! 

We’re all busy, but that doesn’t mean we have to eat like we are. You don’t have to settle for feeding your family commercially packaged meals full of sodium and preservatives or fat-laced fast food. Quick and healthy meals from your very own kitchen are easy with delicious recipes like

Southwestern Baked Cheese Dip
Thai Chicken Wraps
Walnut Spinach Salad
Homestyle Mac & Cheese
Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Oven Roasted Orange Chicken
Grilled Flat Iron Steak Sandwiches
Spicy Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Fruit Pizza
Mexican Chocolate Mousse

and many more

From quick meals made on the grill or in the sauté pan to crockpot dishes that require little prep and cook while you’re out for the day, the recipes in this cookbook are tasty and nutritious – and require less hands-on preparation than traditional meals. Easy appetizers and desserts; one-dish casseroles and pastas; simple soups, salads, and side dishes; and even fast breakfasts round out the selections. Meals that are freezer-friendly are marked for those who want to make ahead.

Give your family the best – the easy way.

Here are the author’s biographies:

Susie Martinez is a professional counselor with a private practice in Lakewood, Colorado. She has been married to her husband, Joe (whom she adores), for twenty-five years and has two children. Susie loves shopping and watching movies with her daughter, Cassie. She also loves talking with her son, Chris, during late-night hours. In her free time, Susie enjoys going to movies, taking long walks, and baking extravagant desserts. Susie also struggles with a particular weakness for dessert excursions and white sandy beaches.

Vanda Howell is a busy wife and mom who works part-time as a kitchen design consultant. She is absolutely in love with (aka addicted to) dark chocolate covered anything, espresso lattes, and going to chick-flick/action movies. In her free time she enjoys gardening, gourmet cooking, trying new restaurants, and wakeboarding with her husband and her teenage son, Elliott. Vanda is a Denver native, and has been married to her husband, Mike, for twenty-nine years.

Bonnie Garcia keeps busy with her husband, three teenage sons, and golden retriever, Gracie. She is a pediatric nurse and loves working with newborns and their parents in a pediatric practice in the Denver area. Bonnie is active in her local church, where her husband, Steve, is the senior pastor. In Bonnie’s free time, she loves reading, downhill skiing, and jeeping with her family in the mountains of Colorado!  

My husband, Fred, is the better cook in our marriage! He does the grilling, and conjures up interesting and tasty recipes. Needless to say, I need all the help I can get. So when I saw the title of this book, I knew I needed to get a copy!  

As part of this blog tour, the publisher asked us to prepare a recipe; not a problem! Fred chose which recipe we would sample. Last night, we had Chicago Style Beef Sandwiches, which is in the Crockpot Selections section of the book. Take a peek at one of them; doesn't it look good?! 

Here’s the recipe:

4 lbs. boneless rump roast
1 pkgs. Italian dressing mix
2 cups water
1-16 oz. jar mild pepper rings, undrained

Serving Day

18 hoagie buns, split

Recipe Yield – 18 servings
Prep Time – 10 minutes
Total time – 8 hours, 10 minutes


Place roast in crockpot. In a separate bowl, mix together water and Italian dressing mix, then pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until meat is tender. Remove meat and shred with two forks. Return to crockpot and add pepper rings. Continue cooking on low until heated through. To serve, toast hoagie rolls in cast iron skillet or under broiler, then spoon ½ cup of meat mixture of each roll.

Nutritional Information (per ½ cup serving of meat): Calories 234.0; Total Fat 13.8g; Cholesterol 48.9mg; Sodium 630.7mg; Total Carbohydrates 4.3g (Dietary Fiber 0.3g); Protein 18.8g

We really liked these sandwiches! Here are some of the other recipes we plan on trying:

Barbecue Chicken Wraps
Chilled Strawberry Soup
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chicken Divan
Dipped Gingersnaps
Sour Cream Cookies

This is an awesome gift for the new bride and groom, the empty nesters, or anyone else in between! This book will be used over and over in our home!

You can order this book here.

Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This book was published by Revell and provided by them for review purposes.

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