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Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch -- with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them

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Cooking doesn't have to be a chore. Why make it difficult --when it can be easy? When you're juggling a job, kids, pet, house, spouse, you-name-it -- it can be tough to resist the urge to toss a frozen meal in the oven and call it a day. Stacie Billis knows the challenge of feeding your family well, without stress. Make It Easy's 120 recipes prove that you don't have to be Cooking doesn't have to be a chore. Why make it difficult --when it can be easy? When you're juggling a job, kids, pet, house, spouse, you-name-it -- it can be tough to resist the urge to toss a frozen meal in the oven and call it a day. Stacie Billis knows the challenge of feeding your family well, without stress. Make It Easy's 120 recipes prove that you don't have to be only a scratch cook or convenience cook. You can be both, and there's no shame in using store-bought ingredients when you're in a pinch. Stacie's got a guide to the healthiest shortcuts in the supermarket and three big tips for making it easy: 1. Go between scratch and homemade with her handy shopping guide. 2. Mix and match recipes that build on the same ingredients. 3. Break any rule that makes you want to bolt from your kitchen. With recipes for: Blueberry Almond Polenta, Country-Style Greek Salad, Slow Cooker Hoisin Pulled Pork, No-Fuss Roasted Paprika Chicken, Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos, Salmon Rice Bowl, Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Easy Food Processor Pizza Dough, Gingered Peach Crisp, Hummingbird Muffins, Bacon Cheddar Waffles . . . and many more!


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Cooking doesn't have to be a chore. Why make it difficult --when it can be easy? When you're juggling a job, kids, pet, house, spouse, you-name-it -- it can be tough to resist the urge to toss a frozen meal in the oven and call it a day. Stacie Billis knows the challenge of feeding your family well, without stress. Make It Easy's 120 recipes prove that you don't have to be Cooking doesn't have to be a chore. Why make it difficult --when it can be easy? When you're juggling a job, kids, pet, house, spouse, you-name-it -- it can be tough to resist the urge to toss a frozen meal in the oven and call it a day. Stacie Billis knows the challenge of feeding your family well, without stress. Make It Easy's 120 recipes prove that you don't have to be only a scratch cook or convenience cook. You can be both, and there's no shame in using store-bought ingredients when you're in a pinch. Stacie's got a guide to the healthiest shortcuts in the supermarket and three big tips for making it easy: 1. Go between scratch and homemade with her handy shopping guide. 2. Mix and match recipes that build on the same ingredients. 3. Break any rule that makes you want to bolt from your kitchen. With recipes for: Blueberry Almond Polenta, Country-Style Greek Salad, Slow Cooker Hoisin Pulled Pork, No-Fuss Roasted Paprika Chicken, Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos, Salmon Rice Bowl, Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Easy Food Processor Pizza Dough, Gingered Peach Crisp, Hummingbird Muffins, Bacon Cheddar Waffles . . . and many more!

30 review for Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch -- with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Great cookbook for beginners or people who want to start making their own staples. Thoughtfully put together with lots of tips and tricks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    I did not expect to like this cook book as much as I did! it takes the fear out of making things yourself homemade tortilla chips -- I so can do that wow making almond milk-- get out !! that's it! many of the other recipes are fairly standard ones I would say you would 5 star this book if you are helpless in the kitchen but to someone whos had their nose in far too many cookbooks I would say it had about 10 refreshing new recipes and the rest overdone or too basic for my tast the book isn't done I did not expect to like this cook book as much as I did! it takes the fear out of making things yourself homemade tortilla chips -- I so can do that wow making almond milk-- get out !! that's it! many of the other recipes are fairly standard ones I would say you would 5 star this book if you are helpless in the kitchen but to someone whos had their nose in far too many cookbooks I would say it had about 10 refreshing new recipes and the rest overdone or too basic for my tast the book isn't done yet many items say see page xx .. I wish I had the page numbers on some I spent much of my time scrolling back to find a recipe to use that with the recipe I was on and it got a bit of a cluster. this would not be a kindle friendly book you will need to buy the actual one. it has a lot of helpful guides to those that were just weened off top ramen and now you are lost in a grocery store. If you want to know a buy guide I use look up the below site dirty dozen and clean 15.. if its in the drity dozen go organic ! http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Critterbee❇

    Make It Easy approaches everyday home cooking in a straightforward, simplified manner. It encourages home cooking, but includes recipes with previously made, sometimes store-bought, ingredients. The reasoning behind this? Assisting busy home cooks trying to balance healthy, nutritious, delicious, fast and easy when creating meals. This is not aimed for adventurous home cooks who are trying to re-create the fine dining experience at home, nor is it limited to any specific cuisine or diet. I like Make It Easy approaches everyday home cooking in a straightforward, simplified manner. It encourages home cooking, but includes recipes with previously made, sometimes store-bought, ingredients. The reasoning behind this? Assisting busy home cooks trying to balance healthy, nutritious, delicious, fast and easy when creating meals. This is not aimed for adventurous home cooks who are trying to re-create the fine dining experience at home, nor is it limited to any specific cuisine or diet. I like that there are many suggestions on mixing and matching dishes to create new meals. Also, this could encourage those who feel like they do not have the time or desire to cook from scratch to try it out in steps. If you are unhappy eating completely pre-made (often unhealthy) meals, this book would help to incorporate more 'from scratch' cooking, in the most non-intimidating way. I also liked that meals were labeled 'under 20 minutes' or 'under 30 minutes,' which can be reassuring to someone trying to tackle homemade enchiladas and sauce for the first time. **eARC Netgalley**

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    * I've got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review* Firstly, I have to say, that I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I was accustomed to a dry and plain recipe+picture books, but this one was totally different. Actually it felt like you were talking with your friend, not reading a book, if you know what I mean. The author chose to speak not only about recipes, but also how her family (she calls it "crew") reacts to what she cooks for them and it was so relatable. All t * I've got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review* Firstly, I have to say, that I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I was accustomed to a dry and plain recipe+picture books, but this one was totally different. Actually it felt like you were talking with your friend, not reading a book, if you know what I mean. The author chose to speak not only about recipes, but also how her family (she calls it "crew") reacts to what she cooks for them and it was so relatable. All the time I was reading it, I was like "yes, girl, I know what you mean" or "It also happened to me hundred times". It really can help those who just starts to learn how to cook and even for those who loves spending time in the kitchen. I've learned few things from this book about food and easy ways and tricks how to prepare it quickly. Do I recommend it ? Yes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Ok definitely buying this after ARC

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    It is one of those books that makes family food planning easier and enjoyable. You can even try preparing some of the easy recipes together, which make life even better and funnier. What it is very important is that you don't have to be a pro to go through the 120 recipes, as basic experience in the kitchen is enough. It helps to save time - no more aimless wandering in the supermarket aisles - and money too - instead of going to the restaurant, you have all the things you need for your dinner o It is one of those books that makes family food planning easier and enjoyable. You can even try preparing some of the easy recipes together, which make life even better and funnier. What it is very important is that you don't have to be a pro to go through the 120 recipes, as basic experience in the kitchen is enough. It helps to save time - no more aimless wandering in the supermarket aisles - and money too - instead of going to the restaurant, you have all the things you need for your dinner or lunch ready to be combined and added to the plate. I loved both the idea and the content and will definitely try some of the ideas in the near future. Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a good resource if you're new to cooking for a group, or looking for new ideas for family meals. I liked the notes that indicated where you could take shortcuts. The book didn't seem quite sure what it wanted to be. The organic identification and health information might be useful, but I'm not sure that it fit the book. Someone cooking from scratch might already know that information. Also, some things like nut butter, I would never make from scratch. I'm not sure why she included recipe This is a good resource if you're new to cooking for a group, or looking for new ideas for family meals. I liked the notes that indicated where you could take shortcuts. The book didn't seem quite sure what it wanted to be. The organic identification and health information might be useful, but I'm not sure that it fit the book. Someone cooking from scratch might already know that information. Also, some things like nut butter, I would never make from scratch. I'm not sure why she included recipes for things like that, and chicken stock in a book geared to everyday cooking. But this is worth checking out for some family friendly meal ideas.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lombard

    This is a busy book full of neat ideas and advice. I think if you have a big family it’s a awesome book. Even for small families and singles it’s very interesting to put together simple meals that the come with other ideas you can mix with them. I loved reading the end about what organic brands are healthiest.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sinead

    Thank you Netgalley for a review copy for an impartial review At first glance the recipes in this book looked way out of my comfort zone but they surprisingly weren't that hard to do. A few ingredients were a little hard to get hold of but on the whole pretty simple and fairly tasty food made. I would say that the photos were a bit messy looking though - not very sharp. Thank you Netgalley for a review copy for an impartial review At first glance the recipes in this book looked way out of my comfort zone but they surprisingly weren't that hard to do. A few ingredients were a little hard to get hold of but on the whole pretty simple and fairly tasty food made. I would say that the photos were a bit messy looking though - not very sharp.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rogers

    Will be trying one of these recipes tonight. Not the easiest book to follow. Each recipe is titled then immediately followed by the list of other recipes in which it can be included. After another 10 lines or so, THEN you get into the ingredients and directions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'm picky when it comes to cookbooks. I like everything to have pictures. These recipes are interesting and I'm sure they would be good but they are a little too involved for me and with ingredients I wouldn't normally use. I'm picky when it comes to cookbooks. I like everything to have pictures. These recipes are interesting and I'm sure they would be good but they are a little too involved for me and with ingredients I wouldn't normally use.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    I think there are a lot of great tips here but nothing really appealed to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Penmouse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch...by author Stacie Billis does contain plenty of useful information concerning how to easily cook meals for your family. I do agree with her concept of compiling easy recipes for easy meal prep. I do find some of her opinions concerning food purchases or the use of preservatives a bit doubtful. I was agreeing with most of what she wrote until I read her statement concerning food preservatives. The author says using "benzene" as a food Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch...by author Stacie Billis does contain plenty of useful information concerning how to easily cook meals for your family. I do agree with her concept of compiling easy recipes for easy meal prep. I do find some of her opinions concerning food purchases or the use of preservatives a bit doubtful. I was agreeing with most of what she wrote until I read her statement concerning food preservatives. The author says using "benzene" as a food preservative could be considered a carcinogen or endocrine disruptor. There is only one problem: Benzene is not used as a food preservative. It is considered to be highly carcinogenic and used as a solvent. Benzene has been found in some beverages, but it was due to an occurrence during the processing. This issue has been addressed, according to the FDA. Link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIlln... The author also addresses the use of artificial sweeteners and I do disagree with her opinion concerning the use of artificial sweeteners. If you have a diabetic family member, using artificial sweeteners can help make cooking and eating easier for all concerned. I do like how the author says to don't expect to be a Martha Stewart when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, especially for novice cooks who are getting a feel for cooking. Smart advice indeed as a novice cook should set realistic expectations when it comes to getting a meal on the table. I also like her cooking tips that will help any cook get the daily meals done efficiently. Some of the tips she offers include: Wash greens, allow to dry, and then store the greens wrapped in paper towels. Make spice blends ahead of time and store them in the freezer. (I've done this myself and it really works). Make sauces and salad dressings on the weekend to use throughout the week. As to the recipes you'll find: Small Batch Chicken Broth Tortilla Chips Chilli-Rubbed Steak Tacos Roasted Tomato Hummus Parmesan Roasted Broccoli Recommend. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    A cookbook that focuses on simple, easy to make recipes that don't take a lot of time, ingredients, or skill. Which is totally the sort of cooking I prefer. On the other hand, the book is very much aimed at a parent cooking for a whole family, which doesn't apply to me so much since I a) almost always am cooking only for myself, and b) even when I do cook for others, it's not for kids. The book is divided into sections, with one giving useful tips for basic cooking methods such as how to make pe A cookbook that focuses on simple, easy to make recipes that don't take a lot of time, ingredients, or skill. Which is totally the sort of cooking I prefer. On the other hand, the book is very much aimed at a parent cooking for a whole family, which doesn't apply to me so much since I a) almost always am cooking only for myself, and b) even when I do cook for others, it's not for kids. The book is divided into sections, with one giving useful tips for basic cooking methods such as how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs (what is it with hard-boiled eggs that everyone has their own secret recipe? I mean, it's pretty hard to mess up boiled eggs. Sure, some are better than others, but I don't think I've ever seen an egg that was boiled so badly it became inedible), rice, quinoa, etc. Another section gives recipes, as you might expect from a cookbook. The last section gives tips on how to be a more effective shopper in the grocery store. But my favorite section by far was the one on snacks, where Billis gives tips on how to use stuff you probably already have around the house to make interesting and simple snacks. I'm sure she intended recipes like "fruit with citrus sugar" and "Orange Julius smoothies" to be for kids, but I don't care; they sound delicious and I'm making them for myself. Overall, it's a cookbook that's better for its tips on how to be more efficient and change your approach to cooking much more than it's a collection of recipes, so how useful you will find it depends on what you want out of a cookbook. I enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn't have bought it if I'd come across it in a store. I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Camila

    *This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.* Make it Easy is a great title for this recipe book as this is what it's all about making it easier to make easy stuff at home. Stuff we sometimes take for granted to just buy - but so much healthier to make it at home. I rarely read recipe books from cover to cover but this was an interesting one as it gave so many tips and tricks throughout. I love that it tells you what you *This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.* Make it Easy is a great title for this recipe book as this is what it's all about making it easier to make easy stuff at home. Stuff we sometimes take for granted to just buy - but so much healthier to make it at home. I rarely read recipe books from cover to cover but this was an interesting one as it gave so many tips and tricks throughout. I love that it tells you what you could try matching together, smart ways of making quick and delicious meals that probably don't cost too much. I especially love how much was vegetarian - which is rare for a book that isn't about 'cooking vegetarian'. I'd recommend it if you want to make classics like pesto, margherita pizza or a salmon rice bowl.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    I was given this book for free for an honest review. This book is divided into sections making it easy to find what you need. Part one deals with assessing what your basics are for your family. She gives advice on how prep your kitchen in the tools you will need and use. From simple to fancy depending on your needs. The second part is the recipes. They are simple and straightforward and can be tweaked to suit your family. They cover Chicken, Beef, Seafood, Desserts, Vegetables, etc. Plenty of pic I was given this book for free for an honest review. This book is divided into sections making it easy to find what you need. Part one deals with assessing what your basics are for your family. She gives advice on how prep your kitchen in the tools you will need and use. From simple to fancy depending on your needs. The second part is the recipes. They are simple and straightforward and can be tweaked to suit your family. They cover Chicken, Beef, Seafood, Desserts, Vegetables, etc. Plenty of pictures as well. The third part is about resources for organic sources found in the supermarkets and online. Very comprehensive. This book would be a great gift for a beginner and advanced cook. Easy to understand wording and instructions.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chessa

    (I got a galley of this book from NetGalley). This cookbook feels like it was written *for me.* I love the mix and match concept the author uses, and her tips for making cooking at home work in a busy life are really useful strategies. The recipes I tried were all keepers - Hummingbird muffins disappeared quickly, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are now a new staple, her recipe for granola bars have already been requested again, and the Corn & Tomato Pasta was *delicious* and easy. I would totally buy t (I got a galley of this book from NetGalley). This cookbook feels like it was written *for me.* I love the mix and match concept the author uses, and her tips for making cooking at home work in a busy life are really useful strategies. The recipes I tried were all keepers - Hummingbird muffins disappeared quickly, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are now a new staple, her recipe for granola bars have already been requested again, and the Corn & Tomato Pasta was *delicious* and easy. I would totally buy this cookbook based on the rate of success of the recipes, the beautiful photos, and the no-nonsense, down-to-earth vibe of the author. Bright and delicious!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    I reviewed this book for NetGalley. This is a very nice, useful and well written entry in the healthy quick cooking genre. I enjoyed reading the book and learned a number of helpful tips for cooking and food preparation as well as acquiring some new and tasty recipes. The recipes, cooking technique lessons and grocery/food information were clearly written and comprehensive. You can learn to make things from scratch or what is healthy to buy at the grocery store. Very timely and pertinent informati I reviewed this book for NetGalley. This is a very nice, useful and well written entry in the healthy quick cooking genre. I enjoyed reading the book and learned a number of helpful tips for cooking and food preparation as well as acquiring some new and tasty recipes. The recipes, cooking technique lessons and grocery/food information were clearly written and comprehensive. You can learn to make things from scratch or what is healthy to buy at the grocery store. Very timely and pertinent information. This is a great cookbook for the beginning or intermediate cook, but old cooks can still learn a few new tricks by reading this book .

  19. 4 out of 5

    La La

    Everything you need to know about making it easier to cook healthier from scratch by mixing and matching recipes and using some prepackaged ingredients when needed. There is a section on chemical ingredients in packaged foods. It was informative and not the least bit preachy. In fact, the author gave examples of long nasty chemical sounding names that are only scientific names of harmless natural ingredients. I liked that the book has a wide variety of recipes with easy to follow instructions. I Everything you need to know about making it easier to cook healthier from scratch by mixing and matching recipes and using some prepackaged ingredients when needed. There is a section on chemical ingredients in packaged foods. It was informative and not the least bit preachy. In fact, the author gave examples of long nasty chemical sounding names that are only scientific names of harmless natural ingredients. I liked that the book has a wide variety of recipes with easy to follow instructions. I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for opan honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    San Diego Book Review

    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. (read the full review...)You can read this entire review at San Diego Book Review 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. (read the full review...)You can read this entire review at San Diego Book Review

  21. 5 out of 5

    Polly Krize

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Simple, basic recipes to make at home, especially if you are a busy parent or have a full-time job in addition to a family. Not too adventurous, but there are some interesting recipes, eg. homemade tortilla chips! Well-organized and presented, this is good middle-of-the-road book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This book has well-written, easy to reproduce and follow recipes for a variety of foods that you can make from scratch from peanut butter to chicken curry, pancakes and more. I found things I would never have thought to do that sound really delicious! I look forward to using these recipes. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

  23. 4 out of 5

    TF

    Good beginner's book. Received via Netgalley Good beginner's book. Received via Netgalley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Esther Schultz

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Sherrill

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Hayes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a review copy, but found it to be too centred around what you can buy in the US so inappropriate for anyone to try to use it in the UK.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

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