As a busy homeschooling mom with a special needs child, cooking and prepping ahead is a lifesaver for getting dinner on the table. So, I was intrigued and downright excited to see that the popular Food52 team put together a new cookbook based on the premise of prepping on weekends so you can spend minimal time during the week to get meals on the table.
The recipes are divided by season…Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each season has several different full week menus (5 dinners plus a couple of lunches) using fresh in season ingredients. Then, there is a “Game Plan” page, that lays out all the things you’ll need to do over the weekend to prep, and gives an approximate time you’ll be spending prepping (times range anywhere from 1.5-3 hours). Then, there is a grocery list, divided up by category (produce, herbs, pantry, spices, meat, etc.)
Each recipe begins with an introduction, typically where the author learned about the dish, or to explain certain obscure ingredients. At the end of the recipe, it tells you what to do the day of, since the recipes are meant for prep day.
Some of the recipes include:
-Oven Roasted Char with Herbed Mayonnaise
-Grain Salad with Asparagus, Baby Turnips, Feta, and Preserved Lemon Dressing
-Garlic Scape Pesto Quesadillas
-“Low-Maintenance” Fish Tacos with Pickled Onions
-Summer Squash Pasta
-Baked Pasta with Sausage Ragu
-Applesauce Cake with Caramel Icing
-Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine
-Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry
I loved the premise of this cookbook. Prepping a few hours on the weekend to get 5 healthy, home cooked dinners on the table in no time flat? Yes, please! That said, I have a few little complaints:
1. The recipes are a little “gourmet” for us. Homemade Lamb Sausage, Couscous Salad with Pistachios, Brussels Sprouts Salad with Anchovy Dressing, and Oxtail Hash Over Toast are not the kinds of things that will make their way onto my weekly menu…ever.
2. As a result of this, the format becomes a bit challenging. Each menu was meant to be made in whole, so picking and choosing will affect prep time, ingredients (since many ingredients are reused over the course of the week in other planned meals), and prep instructions.
I still really liked the cookbook, and while I am probably not going to use as intended by making a full week of their recipes in one day, there are a few recipes I will probably try.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a review, positive or negative. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.