Better listen up! You won't find me recommending a cookbook very often. Don't get me wrong, I think I do okay, but I admit I'm not terribly creative or exciting so I am always on the lookout for new meal ideas. When we took our college trip with Brooke in October, my sweet friend, Kim, introduced me to this cookbook, Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely, and I. LOVE. IT. So far, everything I have tried has been a hit!
I especially like the format of this book. Recipes are broken down into eight weekly menu plans for each of the four seasons, and Ely also gives side dish ideas for every single recipe. If you were so inclined, you could follow this book carefully and bypass meal planning for months on end! The recipes are simple and straight-forward, and they don't include silly ingredients like fennel and pine nuts (because who the HECK keeps those things in the pantry?). Also, each week includes a prepared shopping list! Best of all, I don't remember a single recipe that includes the standard casserole fare of cream of chicken soup and/or crescent rolls! Doesn't get much better than that!
So if you're still not sure what to put on your Christmas list, this book would make a great addition! And be sure to check out the other recipe books in Ely's Saving Dinner series. I'm sure they are ALL a hit!
Just to whet your appetite, here's what we had for dinner last night. It was DELICIOUS!
Carmelized Garlic Chicken
3 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional oil for greasing pan
6 cloves garlic, pressed (I used this because I wouldn't want to go all "Martha Stewart" on anyone and actually buy garlic cloves! )
6 teaspoons brown sugar
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used chicken tenderloins.)
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Line shallow roasting pan with foil and lightly grease foil with a bit of oil.
- Heat 3 teaspoons oil in small skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften. (Don't let garlic get brown!) Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar until well-mixed. Set aside.
- Place chicken on greased, foil-lined pan and spread garlic mixture over chicken. Bake for 10-15 minutes until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear.