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Cookbook review: 'Busy Moms' cookbook makes time for delicious food

By Emily Christensen

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 16 2013 4:39 p.m. MDT

"BUSY MOMS ON THE GO! A Busy Mom's Guide to Make-Ahead Meals," by Suzie Roberts, Front Table Books, $18.99, 134 pages (nf)

Suzie Roberts, a Utah author, scores big with her delightful new cookbook, "Busy Moms on the Go! A Busy Mom’s Guide to Make-Ahead Meals."

With 134 pages of bright colors and simple recipes, Roberts presents the concept of groups of families working ahead to prepare homemade meals that can be frozen for later use. She opens the book explaining how the plan works, describing how each family cooks large amounts of a meal (or several), and then exchanges these meals for the meals other families prepare. This gives everyone participating a variety of prepared meals easy to warm up when needed. Roberts gives ideas for ground rules for the group, answers common questions about the concept, and gives tips for bulk cooking and freezing.

Roberts presents recipes for soups, beef, chicken, pork, pizza and pasta, and each of these has its own color-coded chapter. The print is large, the fonts are fun, and the recipes are simple but tasty. Flavors range from mildly spicy to savory to sweet and sour. There is a range of classics, from Mexican to Americana to Asian to Italian. The index is thorough, making it easy to look up favorites or search for new recipes to try.

Preparation is easy with these family-friendly recipes. Even teenagers or younger children with some experience and supervision could prepare meals from this cookbook. Options for eating fresh, freezing, and reheating via baking or slow-cooking are included as well.

The only disappointment with this cookbook is there are too few pictures of the recipes. The gorgeous cover with bright colors and close-ups of food leads the reader to believe more pictures will be inside the book than there are.

However, the bonus that makes this cookbook stand out is that shopping lists are included with each recipe, telling the reader how much to buy to make 10 meals of the same item. This is an excellent piece of practical help, especially for those just getting started on the make-ahead group plan.

Emily Christensen, Ph.D., lives with her husband in Oklahoma. Her Ph.D. is in marriage and family therapy, and she is pursuing a second degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies. Her blog is www.housewifeclass.com, and email is housewifeclass@gmail.com.

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