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By Janet and Greta Podleski
Reviewed by Terry Ward
I was browsing the displays at a bookstore the other day. You know, just flipping through the cookbooks, waiting for my husband to finish what he was doing. Like many of you, I have plenty of cookbooks! Surely I don’t need anymore, but this one jumped into my hands. Just looking at the cover, I knew I had to have it. The name of it, Crazy Plates, and the authors previous book, Looney Spoons, got my attention. There I was, standing in the aisle, flipping through the cookbook, laughing out loud at the crazy names of the recipes. Next thing you know, my husband is standing beside me, poking me with his elbow and whispering to me that people are staring at me. I think he was a bit embarrassed. He took the book from me and proceeded to take it with him to the checkout. Him—buying me a cookbook! His explanation was that if a cookbook could make me laugh, he had to read it, too, but in private.
With this cookbook, you will want to sit down in a comfortable place and read it from cover to cover. It is a colorful, comical, low-fat book. The recipes are laid out in an easy-to-read style, with one to a page. Surrounding each recipe are cartoons, quips, dietary information, shopping tips and other fun stuff. For instance, on the page for "Chicken and Mango Tango," the recipe calls for mango chutney. Also on that page is a reoccurring item called “What the heck is…...,” which in this case is “What the heck is mango chutney and where do I find it,” with all the explanation you need. Also on the same page is “Who’da Thunk,” with the history of Melba toast. There is also a joke [“My husband is losing five pounds a week on a new diet. In a year and a half, I should lose him completely!"], “The EX files” (exercise tips), “Cooking 101,” quotes, “Fat or Fiction,” “say it ain’t so,” “Trivial Tidbits,” and “You do the math” (ways to cut fat and calories from you diet).
From “Just the Snacks, Ma’am” through “Pasta la Vista, Baby” and on to “Miscellooneyous,” there are hundreds of great recipes, bright colors, and perky print. Check out the appendix called “Let’s Make A Meal” for great menu ideas.
Most of the ingredients are easily found at any grocery store. The recipes are not complicated and many of them are quick and easy. For instance, Tickle Me Elbows is a "revamped tuna noodle casserole that’s so easy to make, it’ll tickle your fancy. And if you have finicky kids, it’s guaranteed to tickle their taste buds, too."
An extra perk for those with kids: most recipes are kid friendly. As a matter of fact, they will want to help. They will also find the book appealing to read and bring a giggle or two to the kitchen, such as in Cookies for Rookies. "If you’re kookie over cookies, these easy-to-make treats are no sweat and no threat, even for the confirmed kitchen klutz."
In the introduction Dave Chilton says: “…. I was lucky enough to be one of the testers. We all loved each of Greta’s creations but, of course, that wasn’t good enough for her. Until we were presented with dishes that would literally have us begging for more, pleading for seconds, demanding just one more bite, Greta would keep diligently tinkering and modifying. The results? The food in this book is the tastiest I’ve ever eaten – the fact that it’s low-fat is a bonus!……” All the recipes I have tried have lived up to that statement.
This cookbook has great recipes, lots of useful information and loads
of fun for the whole family. You will find yourself going back to
it again and again.
Click here to order this book
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