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I don’t enjoy cooking, but I love a good cookbook. My family’s meals might be about to improve! Stacie Billis’ Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch – With Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need them is filled with encouragement, tips, and 120 recipes that seem like more. She organizes this little treasure in three sections: 1. Basics: General rules to help a person enjoy cooking more and improve success in the kitchen, like it’s okay to take shortcuts! 2. Recipes: Billis begins with how-to instructions for what she feels is the most important kitchen skills. Recipes for the the usual categories (breakfast, snacks, etc.) follows. 3. Grocery guide: helps choose the best ingredients for your pantry.

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 “We seem to have swung from one side of the pendulum to the other, and busy home cooks have been stranded somewhere in the middle.”

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Billis provides quite a few lists to help reluctant chefs improve their skills. She even tells how to deal with picky eaters. I really like the lists of recipes offered at the beginning of each dish directing you to what it can be used in or mixed with. It seems like such a sensible thing to do; I don’t know why this isn’t done more often. Even though Make It Easy does not include beautiful photos of each recipe, you really don’t notice – there is that much detail in the book! Tips on how to store each recipe and for how long are another great feature. If a recipe can benefit from one of Billas’ hints, the corresponding page number is included for easy reference. She also includes store-bought alternatives for her recipes whenever possible.

This cookbook has so many features that make it worth including in a collection. This is perfect for busy moms and other harried, reluctant cooks.

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