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.

 “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.”

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.