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The Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    I Just Don't See It...

    I never really thought I would say this about a cookbook. but, I am confused. This softcover "Busy People's fast & frugal cookbook" has a very catchy title. Inside, there are 307 pages that are packed full of almost entirely recipes, and some other excellent tips and information. Each recipe includes the supplies needed to prepare and cook, and also an organized-by-topic grocery list (ie. dairy, produce, etc). This is where my confusion kicks in. I found it to be rather unnecessary to break down a grocery list in a cookbook. Rather than wasting space to do this, I would have suggested that the author placed a photo of each recipe instead. There are quite a few recipes with photos included, but also many are left without one. I see existing space where photos could have been included, but they weren't, and. some that are there, don't look very yummy. It's not likely that if someone has an unappetizing photo to look at, they are going to want to try to cook it.

    A lot of the recipes in this book, I would be afraid to try. A Tart Cherry Applesauce, using no-sugar-added cherry pie filling, unsweetened applesauce, almond extract, and Splenda granular (and no photo to actually show it?) I'll pass. Maybe it's good, maybe it's just me. I also found that many of the ingredients called for throughout the cookbook are not frugal. Fat-free, multi-grain whole-wheat bread and feta cheese are not my idea of frugal ingredients. I believe that this cookbook would have been a much better fit if it would have been categorized and titled as a beginner's cookbook, or maybe just a busy people's cookbook. I do give the information included throughout a thumbs up. This cookbook includes helpful hints, suggestions, an estimated time to prepare and cook, the yield, and dietary and nutrition information. There is also a mini index at the beginning of each chapter, or section.

    I cook and bake everyday of my life. I'm no expert, just a wife and mom, so I am sorry if this review came off as unprofessional. This is just my brief opinion of this cookbook. This type of cookbook might be a great fit for others. The recipes do seem fast, so maybe this is a small part of where the "frugal" might be fitting. But, other than that, I just don't see it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

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    Mixed Feelings

    There's a lot to like about this Dawn Hill's Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook. There are slightly over 300 pages with a solid 294 pages of recipes. The book is laid out well and I think this is it's strongest point. Categories are well represented. Recipes are simple with clear instructions. A sidebar lists supplies and grocery list needed for the recipe. Also listed in the sidebar is a suggestion drawing from another recipe in the book for a total meal. The grocery list ingredients are divided into categories. Dietary information is listed at the end of the recipe with all of the recipes being low-fat and low calorie. Sodium is high in only a few of the recipes.

    The cover photos and each photo dividing the sections of the book look professionally done. The food looks appetizing and the lighting is well done. The good news is that there is a photo to accompany many of the recipes. The bad news is that these photos look amateurish with unflattering angles and poor lighting which makes the food look plain and unappetizing. Also, some of the recipes seem as if the author is grasping at culinary straws just to have a recipe.

    Now that I've griped about the things that irked me, know that there are some decent, basic recipes in there. Unfussy, filling and balanced meals abound in Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook.

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  • Posted December 3, 2009

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    Fast & Frugal for Me!

    Have you heard about the Busy People's Cookbooks? Well I did today. I have to tell you that I love the way this cookbook is set up. Each recipe is set up on one or two pages so you can see it all at one time with the book open. And on the left side there is a column with all of your supplies and shopping list. Then on the right side we have helpful hints and meal suggestions. Everything is very easy to read (and with my eyesight I am ever so thankful for that). At the front of the cookbook there is tons of information on how to save and provide meals with little spending. I adore helpful ideas to be frugal. (No that is not the same as cheap.)

    So what are we having today?
    An appetizer of Pineapple Ham Stacks
    The main course of Open-Faced Cranberry Beef and Feta Sandwiches on Toasted Rye
    A side dish of Mashed Pumpkin (a savory dish)
    A second side dish of Italian Green Beans with Black Olives and Mushrooms
    Then dessert of Hot Spiced Peaches

    I feel like we are having a holiday meal all over again. And the best yet is that the majority of this meal is able to use the leftovers from Thanksgiving last week. I am able to pull out the last of the ham from the freezer. Then there are cans of pineapple, pumpkin, green beans, black olives,mushrooms and peaches all in my cabinets. I still have a bit of cranberry sauce in the fridge too. So there is very little for me to have to actually purchase to make such a scrumptious meal. Just need to pop in the store for feta cheese, rye bread and red hots (for the peaches). Now that is frugal for me.

    I think I may even end the evening with Warm Italian Virgin Mary's. Since I already have the bloody mary mix and italian seasonings. So we can have a nice cocktail as we wind up our day. I bet Dear Hubby is going to be one happy man tonight. Wish y'all could join us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    Easy cookbook for kids and people who don't know how to cook

    I love cooking with my mom and inventing new recipes. The good thing about this cookbook is that everything takes less than 30 minutes to make, and it doesn't have a lot of ingredients. I especially liked the dessert section since my mom doesn't make dessert too much. But, if I'm willing to make it she's willing to buy the ingredients.

    Even if you don't want your kids baking and using the oven, there are recipes for them to learn. The first dessert recipe is Pineapple Cherry Delight. It takes yogurt, crushed pineapple, splenda, pecans, maraschino cherries, and mini marshmallows. You just mix it up! It's so easy. I like to put this into fancy ice cream cups and it's pretty healthy with the fruit, yogurt, and nuts.

    Another easy recipe is Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan-covered Marshmallows (can you tell that marshmallows are one of my favorite foods?) You melt the chocolate and add cinnamon, marshmallows, pecans, and salt. I like to take this for a snack to school in a baggie.

    There are also a lot of beverage recipes. I like the strawberry smoothie recipe the best. My mom lets me have that before bed.

    Even though this is not a kids book, it's easy for kids to do the recipes in here and learn to cook. There are so many different things to make and every recipe really is easy. My dad said he'll help me make the baked beans wiht smoked sausage this weekend. It just takes sausage, onion, butter beans, baked beans, brown sugar flavored barbeque sauce, and brown sugar splenda. It sounds really yummy and I love hot dogs and franks so this sounds really good.

    If you want an easy recipe book if you're just getting started cooking, try this one!

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  • Posted November 1, 2009

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    Easy recipes

    I love that this cookbook actually has easy recipes in it. There isn't anything fancy about them and they are easy to follow. In fact, the author takes it one step further and includes meal suggestions for most of the recipes. She then includes the page number of where these recipes can be found. For me, this was a huge plus! I am not very creative when it comes to cooking, and am always trying to think of something else to make with dinner. When you go to online recipe sites, 9 times out of 10 you'll find side suggestions like salad or veggies, which isn't very helpful. I can think of something like that, but I wanted something more creative. She does this for you though!

    I also really like several of the recipes include so few ingredients. Not only does this make the recipes frugal and easy, but it also gives you a lot of room to make the recipe your own by adding more ingredients that suit your taste. Overall, I thought it was a really good cookbook.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

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    Book Review of Fast & Frugal Cookbook By: Dawn Hall

    The fast and frugal cookbook lives up to its name. It does have many recipes that are fairly fast and fairly frugal; however I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be with the recipes and the ingredients. Some of the ingredients I've never even seen on shelves or heard of before and I'm not sure that they would be available to people all over the United States. I had no idea that Hormel brand has canned roast beef, I never recall seeing it in the store in my area and I felt that it may not be available to me or people in my region. I also felt that there were a lot of recipes that called for this particular item. Other than that I was pleased with the recipes, the nice pictures showing the dishes and the fact that many of the recipes were fast and frugal. Many of the recipes seemed like original ideas and recipes I had never seen before or something with a new twist. I would recommend this book to anyone trying to cook frugally and live a more frugal lifestyle. This is a good book to give as a gift to anyone who likes to cook or is frugal.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    The Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook

    I was excited to receive Dawn Hall's Fast & Frugal Cookbook. In her introduction she explains her thoughts on making choices regarding ingredient cost. It's not always best to use the cheapest ingredients. There is a great cost benefit in making healthy choices. Most of us know though, that the grocery budget can only be stretched so far and Dawn gives some great tips to help with that.

    The book is divided into nine sections. At the beginning of each section, each recipe is indexed along with the amount of time needed to prepare it. In the sidebar of each page is a convenient listing of all supplies needed for each recipe as well as a detailed grocery list. Nearly every recipe comes with a "Helpful Hint." These hints give ideas for substitutions, money saving ideas & just practical cooking tips.

    The recipes themselves are simple, comfort food type recipes. (I would have liked to see more chicken recipes as I think that chicken fits well in the "frugal" category.) There are many pictures, but not quite enough for me. The book ends with a very detailed index making each recipe easy to find. I'm looking forward to cooking my way through this new cookbook!

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

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    The Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall

    fast and frugal cookbook
    by Dawn Hall
    ISBN: 1595552901

    The name of the book caught this busy mom's eye. Cookbooks that say that they are for fast and busy people seem to be something that I just can't be without. It had recipes that were with 7 or less ingredients, the nutritional information, and easy instructions all in less than 30 minutes. Wouldn't that make any Mom just want to jump in and see if it was all that???

    In life, sometimes the Internet can fulfill many things except being able to take it to places that computers aren't allowed. I love cookbooks! This cookbook has recipes that are simple and fun which is a rarity. I loved the helpful hints and the short ingredient lists.

    The one thing the cookbook really lacked were lots of photos. For a visual person, this is a must - I need to look at my inspirations if I'm going to put forth the effort to cook a meal that I have never tried before or don't like the ingredients.

    This would be a great gift for a wedding present for a new family that has rarely cooked. The detail instructions are just perfect to prepare the most delightful meal.

    This is one book that I will keep that I have received through the Thomas Nelson's Book Review Program at I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a free book for review.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

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    Great Cookbook!

    I recently had the chance to read The Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall through the Book Review Blogger program ( with Thomas Nelson.

    I love cooking. So, when I saw that there was a frugal cookbook available to review, I of course requested it. The book claims that the recipes are delicious, healthy, and easy on a budget.

    I would agree with that. I found several recipes that I liked and have even tried a few with great success. The nutrition facts are included and show that the recipes are healthy. Also, I was highly impressed with the frugalness of the recipes. A lot of time when you get cookbooks, the recipes are complicated and expensive. But, not this book.

    Each recipe included a list of ingredients, directions, nutrition facts, a suggested shopping list, meal suggestions, and even a layout of how to make it (Like do this 30 minutes before meal, do this 10 minutes before meal, etc.). Some of the recipes even include hints to help you make it easier.

    Overall, I was highly impressed with this cookbook. I am very happy to have received it and will be looking into finding more cookbooks from the author!

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

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    Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall

    Have you ever wanted to eat a nice meal with your family but can' because your too busy working? Then you should go pick up a copy of Busy People's Fast and Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall. The format of the book is easy to understand and there are many features that make your life much easier and less stressful! On the left side of every recipe there is a list of everything you will need for the meal you want to make from the ingredients to tools you'll need. Also there are many hints and suggestions on the right of the recipe to help make the meal easier and more enjoyable to make.

    Everything about this book is great. Did I mention that they taste great in addition to being quick? All the recipes are healthy and make the whole family want to sit together around the table and dig in! My family now jumps to the table when I say its dinner time. This is one of the best cookbooks I ever had, that's for sure!

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