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Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of the Chic Site

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From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn't a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making sure your family From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn't a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making sure your family is fed makes a day a success, and truly taking the time to give them something wholesome and delicious is the ultimate pleasure. Basedon meals Hollis makes for her hungry husband, three sons, and baby daughter, Real Life Dinners bursts with over 80 photos and recipes including: Breakfast Quesadillas Toast Nine Ways Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Taco Tuesday Crispy Sweet Potato Bake Lemon-Pesto Chicken Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup Rach's Spice Blends Rachel Hollis' Real Life Dinners is a cookbook that fits into your real daily life.


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From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn't a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making sure your family From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn't a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making sure your family is fed makes a day a success, and truly taking the time to give them something wholesome and delicious is the ultimate pleasure. Basedon meals Hollis makes for her hungry husband, three sons, and baby daughter, Real Life Dinners bursts with over 80 photos and recipes including: Breakfast Quesadillas Toast Nine Ways Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Taco Tuesday Crispy Sweet Potato Bake Lemon-Pesto Chicken Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup Rach's Spice Blends Rachel Hollis' Real Life Dinners is a cookbook that fits into your real daily life.

30 review for Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of the Chic Site

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Since I’ve been on the hold list forever for Hollis’ current popular book, Girl Wash Your Face, I decided to give her cookbook a try since it was available at the library with no holds. I don’t follow Hollis’ blog and only requested Girl Wash Your Face out of curiosity due to its popularity, but if it is anything like this cookbook then I will be very disappointed. The title of this cookbook is apt, as it is a collection of meals that most families cycle through regularly. On the positive side, Since I’ve been on the hold list forever for Hollis’ current popular book, Girl Wash Your Face, I decided to give her cookbook a try since it was available at the library with no holds. I don’t follow Hollis’ blog and only requested Girl Wash Your Face out of curiosity due to its popularity, but if it is anything like this cookbook then I will be very disappointed. The title of this cookbook is apt, as it is a collection of meals that most families cycle through regularly. On the positive side, this means that these are familiar, easily accessible and non-fussy recipes. Hollis makes use of convenience foods such as jarred marinara sauce, canned biscuits, frozen corn, etc. She’s not asking you to spend hours in the kitchen making marinara and noodles from scratch in a lame attempt to jazz up lasagna. On the negative side, this means that your family is already sick of most of these meals and the “real life” aspect of the title means that few of the recipes call for ingredients more exciting than jarred marinara sauce, canned biscuits, frozen corn, etc. If you’re looking for a cookbook that gives you fun twists on tacos or stir-fry, this is not it. To be honest, I don’t even know that the “cookbook” aspect of it is necessary. Take the recipe for tacos, for example. It’s the same recipe that I have memorized in my head; the one that I go to when I’m at the store at 5pm without a plan and wondering what to make for dinner. I don’t need a cookbook for that. Also, a lot of the recipes call for the same ingredients, meaning that you aren’t actually getting that many unique recipes. Pineapple Chicken Stir-fry is basically the same thing as the Hawaiian Chicken. The only difference I can see is that the Hawaiian chicken calls for ketchup in its sauce and can be cooked in a slow cooker. Same with the One-pot Chicken With Mexican Rice and the Mexican Casserole. Only difference there is that the One-pot recipe is served with rice and the casserole has corn tortillas. The layout and font was difficult for me to read. It could just be that I’m getting old and noticing my eyesight getting worse, but do the ingredients have to be in size 5 font?? And does everything have to be in italics? I felt like I needed a magnifying glass! I also did not like how the ingredients were in columns but the columns didn’t run the length of the space provided for the ingredients. For example, in the recipe for Street Corn Salad, there are ingredients for the salad and ingredients for the dressing. The salad ingredients begin the first column but then in the middle of the column it switches to the dressing ingredients. To continue with the salad ingredients you have to move over to the next column, but also remember that halfway down it switches to the dressing ingredients. There were also some editing mistakes. In the recipe for Grilled Corn Tostadas With Hummus, hummus is included in the ingredients but never mentioned in the directions. Oops! Also, many of the serving sizes and ingredients seemed off. I made the Lemon-Pesto Chicken, which is basically just chicken, green beans, pesto, lemon juice, and cheese baked in a casserole dish. But in what world does she think ONE 6 ounce chicken breast and a 10 ounce package of frozen green beans is going to be enough to make 4 servings?? I did enjoy the Loaded Lentil Salad, particularly the dressing that went with it. However, the recipe is very similar to another lentil salad recipe that I have made in the past which calls for the additions of hard-boiled egg and crumbled bacon. I put these on the side as optional toppings, and my husband and the friend I made it for both agreed that the eggs and bacon took it from good to great. So I guess I’ll be sticking with my other recipes and returning this cookbook to the library!

  2. 4 out of 5

    FMABookReviews

    Are you a busy spouse, parent, single person? Do you find that you run through the drive-through on your way home from work because you don't have any ideas what to cook for dinner or are too dog tired to cook? Or maybe your nights are as busy as your days and you JUST CAN'T handle one more responsibility? Okay, yes, that may be dramatic but come on, tell me you haven't felt one of those things a time or two? Real Life Dinners may not be the answer to the world's problems but it was the answer to Are you a busy spouse, parent, single person? Do you find that you run through the drive-through on your way home from work because you don't have any ideas what to cook for dinner or are too dog tired to cook? Or maybe your nights are as busy as your days and you JUST CAN'T handle one more responsibility? Okay, yes, that may be dramatic but come on, tell me you haven't felt one of those things a time or two? Real Life Dinners may not be the answer to the world's problems but it was the answer to my families, "What's for dinner?" "AGAIN?" "Can I have a grilled cheese instead?" questions. I found the cookbook easy to follow, the recipes full of flavor and now have a few new "standbys". Some dinner favorites were Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, Garlic Herbed Smashed Potatoes, Zesty Italian Chicken, and Lemon Pesto Chicken. I learned I'm a terrible recipe follower - and yet the recipes still came out great! For instance, with the Lemon Pesto Chicken, the adage that less is more is 100% correct! I doubled the recipe because I have teenagers and a husband who thinks he still needs to eat like one. I had two jars of pesto and added both. I didn't measure, because come on, it's PESTO. But here, you can have too much of a good thing and it was very strong. BUT I adapted and cooked up some pasta to serve with it, VOILA, problem solved! Also, I didn't have 24 hours to marinate the chicken for the Zesty Italian Chicken because my chicken didn't thaw in time. It only got about 45 minutes of marinating time (while I prepared the Garlic Herbed Smashed Potatoes). While the chicken was still good, I can only imagine how flavorful it would have been with 24 hours to marinate! I can't forget to mention that as a mom, I loved the Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Burritos and Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches. My husband grabbed a few of these to warm up at work and my son ate them BEFORE SCHOOL! I now have a freezer full of home-made breakfast foods. These aren't fancy meals that take a long time to prepare. These are everyday meals that taste good and are easy to make! I was provided a review copy by the publisher. This did not influence my opinion of the book nor my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gaufre

    This cookbook provides a lot of easy recipes for quick family dinners. If you are a decent cook, they are nothing new but it would still helpful to have a collection of good recipes in one cookbook. I was excited to try some of the ideas but I wasn't impressed. The kids (3 and 5 years old) didn't like a couple of dishes, and the dish they did like was only ok for the adults. Biscuit pizza: great idea and the kiddos loved helping make these. My 3 year old even started eating mushrooms randomly. T This cookbook provides a lot of easy recipes for quick family dinners. If you are a decent cook, they are nothing new but it would still helpful to have a collection of good recipes in one cookbook. I was excited to try some of the ideas but I wasn't impressed. The kids (3 and 5 years old) didn't like a couple of dishes, and the dish they did like was only ok for the adults. Biscuit pizza: great idea and the kiddos loved helping make these. My 3 year old even started eating mushrooms randomly. The biscuit dough is a little too sweet for a pizza but is was overall ok and everybody ate theirs. The main problem is that the recipe just called for a can of biscuits (8) and it wasn't enough food for all of us. The amount for that recipe just lists 8 pizzas and not the number of servings. My bad, I guess. Homemade Hot pocket: Again, the recipe makes 6 hot pockets (and no numbers of servings listed) so it is hard to gauge it there is enough food the first time you make it. It was barely enough for 2 adults and 2 (young) kids. We liked it, but the kids ate mostly the puff pastry - and the green beans I had as a side. Lemon-pesto chicken: Kiddos hated it - and they like chicken, pesto, and green beans separately. Go figure. Adults liked it but the 1/2 c of pesto became very oily after a trip in the oven. Italian dressing grilled chicken: it's essentially the recipe you find in the back of a Wish-Bone dressing bottle. I tried it a few years back and was underwhelmed. A lot of recipes are not friendly for our kids: - "Grilled Mushroom Kabobs", which are marinated mushrooms and onion on a stick. Yeah, right. I even like mushrooms. - There is a whole section on "Salad for dinner". Maybe with older kids? It's ok for a 5 year old, the 3 year old not so much. We have been in a rut lately with dinners and had hope to find new meals but this cookbook did not work for us. It might work for you. Note: The arc copy has quite a few mistakes (6 oz instead of 16 oz of chicken breast in the lemon-pesto chicken recipe; steps were out of order in another recipe...) but I assume that the real cookbook will have better editing. I received a digital arc copy *SAMPLER* from Netgalley for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carlene Inspired

    Received from a Goodreads Giveaway - Thank you St. Martin's Press I don't have children, but I do have a boyfriend who can eat more than I can imagine and a job that keeps me out of the house well over 10 hours a day. In short, SIMPLE and FAST is what we are always looking for in food. We also want to be healthy and finding things that are healthy and take a short amount of time to make is difficult. Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of the Chic Site was exactly what we Received from a Goodreads Giveaway - Thank you St. Martin's Press I don't have children, but I do have a boyfriend who can eat more than I can imagine and a job that keeps me out of the house well over 10 hours a day. In short, SIMPLE and FAST is what we are always looking for in food. We also want to be healthy and finding things that are healthy and take a short amount of time to make is difficult. Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of the Chic Site was exactly what we needed. It's filled with recipes that you can easily make from most ingredients you already have at home or give new life to a tried-and-true meal you eat all the time. Plus, it comes with Rachel's special way of sharing her life. There's dinner table manners, great stories about what the food brings to mind for her, and simple recipes that don't require you go buy something you've never heard of. No, it's not a cookbook that'll meet every person's diet, but it is great for ideas for a quick meal. I'm Gluten Free and Lactose Intolerant and I actually think every recipe can be prepared to suit my needs, which is pretty rare when it comes to cookbooks and meeting the described taste. We loved the meatloaf meatballs, those are going to be a staple for us, and just last night I had the Grilled Zucchini Spears, adding spaghetti sauce to mine while my partner ate his with noodles. I can absolutely see needing to cook for a family of four and wanting something easy, especially after a long day, so this book will be something we grab for a long time. Visit Carlene Inspired for buy links and a glimpse at the Grilled Zucchini Spears.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    Author Rachel Hollis stresses that she’s a real-life mom: She and her husband work outside the home, she has three children already and one on the way. Hollis sets the reader at ease immediately: Dinner doesn’t have to be a production. Who has time for marinades, intricate ingredients and a spotless kitchen? Instead, here’s how Hollis sets the bar: “Making sure my family is fed is a success, but truly taking the time to give them something wholesome and delicious is me at my best…. Just made, wi Author Rachel Hollis stresses that she’s a real-life mom: She and her husband work outside the home, she has three children already and one on the way. Hollis sets the reader at ease immediately: Dinner doesn’t have to be a production. Who has time for marinades, intricate ingredients and a spotless kitchen? Instead, here’s how Hollis sets the bar: “Making sure my family is fed is a success, but truly taking the time to give them something wholesome and delicious is me at my best…. Just made, with love and care, by me … that’s the bar I set for myself. I don’t’ get there every day — not even close — but it’s my pursuit….” Who doesn’t love that goal? Hollis includes some easy-to-bring together meals and some make-ahead meals to freeze. The sampler intrigued me enough that I really want to see the complete Real Life Dinners. I don’t think it will be in the same league as Melissa D’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes & Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week and Katie Workman’s The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket — both essential for any busy cook, whether a mom or not — but I do think Real Life Dinners looks as if it’s worth owning. In the interest of full disclosure, I received a sampler of Real Life Dinners from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader ***SAMPLER**** Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn’t a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader ***SAMPLER**** Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- From the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome, fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners. Real life isn’t a series of stylized air-brushed photos. It's crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and funny, and it can knock you right off balance. But cooking and eating as a family has always been at real life's core. Making sure your family is fed makes a day a success, and truly taking the time to give them something wholesome and delicious is the ultimate pleasure. Based on meals Hollis makes for her hungry husband, three sons, and baby daughter, Real Life Dinners bursts with over 80 photos and recipes including: Breakfast Quesadillas Toast Nine Ways Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Taco Tuesday Crispy Sweet Potato Bake Lemon-Pesto Chicken Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup Rach's Spice Blends Rachel Hollis' Real Life Dinners is a cookbook that fits into your real daily life. This sampler made me hungry FOR MORE....this is the perfect book for your bookshelf and our food-focussed library. Siple yet amazing recipes -- my only fault with it was that the "sample" did not show photos (not really necessary but....) and no titles of what the recipes were so you had to guess from the ingredients what the recipe was for. Great concept though === will be buying it for sure.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    I collect cookbooks. I think they are pretty and I like to read them, however, I hardly ever find one that I just absolutely love. Most of them have recipes I feel take too much time. And, well, life. NOT THIS ONE! Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis is the exception. I have made at least 10 of the recipes in this book and have liked them all. They call for everyday, healthy ingredients (not processed); usually only 5-6 ingredients. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and are done within min I collect cookbooks. I think they are pretty and I like to read them, however, I hardly ever find one that I just absolutely love. Most of them have recipes I feel take too much time. And, well, life. NOT THIS ONE! Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis is the exception. I have made at least 10 of the recipes in this book and have liked them all. They call for everyday, healthy ingredients (not processed); usually only 5-6 ingredients. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and are done within minutes. Just like the title says....real life. I still have recipes on my "to try" list, too! Order this one. You won't regret your decision. And happy eating! I received an advanced copy from the publisher.

  8. 5 out of 5

    roxi Net

    It's nice to read a cookbook that literally is about 'real life' and talks about what jar/canned food you should have in your pantry, as opposed to 'buy everything fresh'. That's just not how life is :) There are great photos and recipes that I haven't really come across in the many cookbooks I've reviewed -- or maybe I've forgotten! Breakfast pizzas, freeze-ahead recipes, kid-friendly recipes, all of these are truly of use in a hectic and crazy world. If we can get drive through food that's pre It's nice to read a cookbook that literally is about 'real life' and talks about what jar/canned food you should have in your pantry, as opposed to 'buy everything fresh'. That's just not how life is :) There are great photos and recipes that I haven't really come across in the many cookbooks I've reviewed -- or maybe I've forgotten! Breakfast pizzas, freeze-ahead recipes, kid-friendly recipes, all of these are truly of use in a hectic and crazy world. If we can get drive through food that's prepackaged, frozen, and containing ingredients no one wants to know about, why not put a bit more effort at home and cook, prepackage, and freeze our own foods?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cambrie

    Honestly, this cookbook just seemed to be more of the same. A lot of the recipe's are similar to ones that I already have in my culinary repertoire / Pinterest boards. However, I don't have children, but even still I can appreciate the pictures and the encouragement of involvement of kids in cooking - something that I think is important to impart on the future. The pictures are gorgeous and the introduction is very heartfelt, but overall it's not anything to shake a stick at. Honestly, this cookbook just seemed to be more of the same. A lot of the recipe's are similar to ones that I already have in my culinary repertoire / Pinterest boards. However, I don't have children, but even still I can appreciate the pictures and the encouragement of involvement of kids in cooking - something that I think is important to impart on the future. The pictures are gorgeous and the introduction is very heartfelt, but overall it's not anything to shake a stick at.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    As a mom of 4 I struggle daily to get my family to eat ANYTHING! I don't care if it is well balance at this point I just want them to eat something! I want to learn how to sneak healthy items into their different meals without them knowing. I requested Real Life Dinner in hopes of finding meals for my family and suggestions. Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review. Each recipes will be present in a beautiful mouth watering imagine that will have the chief excit As a mom of 4 I struggle daily to get my family to eat ANYTHING! I don't care if it is well balance at this point I just want them to eat something! I want to learn how to sneak healthy items into their different meals without them knowing. I requested Real Life Dinner in hopes of finding meals for my family and suggestions. Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review. Each recipes will be present in a beautiful mouth watering imagine that will have the chief excited to try something new for their pickie eaters. Each dinner is focused on why family life is like now with easy and practical dinners for the busy family large or small. Rachel Hollis starts off the cookbook with her stories and ever recipes suggest you try something that will fit into your family life style; different spices, or additional spices that will change the dinner to be closer to what your family might eat. I loved the Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup but my kids no so much. I can't say this has saved my dinners or made them better or worse but at least its something new to try while avoiding the perfect meals of pinterest.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Nice cookbook with colorful pictures. Some recipes have step-by-step pictures. Personal favorite is the “Grilled Mushroom Kabobs” a recipe which features a nice balsamic marinade. The book hits a high note with recipes for a weeks worth of breakfast sandwiches complete with instructions on freezing and reheating each morning. Freezer burritos are another good one. The book only gets clunky with the overly long introduction and stories between the recipes. But readers/cooks looking for a nice boo Nice cookbook with colorful pictures. Some recipes have step-by-step pictures. Personal favorite is the “Grilled Mushroom Kabobs” a recipe which features a nice balsamic marinade. The book hits a high note with recipes for a weeks worth of breakfast sandwiches complete with instructions on freezing and reheating each morning. Freezer burritos are another good one. The book only gets clunky with the overly long introduction and stories between the recipes. But readers/cooks looking for a nice book of recipes who don’t mind skipping the “lifestyle” notes will find a winner. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    As a working mom of two little ones (3 yo and 1 yo) Real Life Dinners has been awesome. It’s rare to that my 3 yo says “Yum! This dinner is good Mom!” multiple nights in a row. Most of the recipes included ingredients that were staples in our house and just combining them in different ways. The recipes were also reasonable portion sizes instead of having a ton of leftovers. Looking forward to cooking up more deliciousness for my family. ***Disclaimer: I received an ARC Sampler from the publisher As a working mom of two little ones (3 yo and 1 yo) Real Life Dinners has been awesome. It’s rare to that my 3 yo says “Yum! This dinner is good Mom!” multiple nights in a row. Most of the recipes included ingredients that were staples in our house and just combining them in different ways. The recipes were also reasonable portion sizes instead of having a ton of leftovers. Looking forward to cooking up more deliciousness for my family. ***Disclaimer: I received an ARC Sampler from the publisher in return for my honest review. ***

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 3 STARS 2018; St. Martin's Press/St. Martin's Griffin (Review Not on Blog) I previously reviewed Hollis' self-help/self esteem book and had to DNF after 75%, so I skimmed a lot of the introduction in this cookbook. HOWEVER, I did like this cookbook. The recipes are totally doable, and mostly affordable ingredients. The photographs were also well done. ***I received an eARC from NETGALLEY*** RATING: 3 STARS 2018; St. Martin's Press/St. Martin's Griffin (Review Not on Blog) I previously reviewed Hollis' self-help/self esteem book and had to DNF after 75%, so I skimmed a lot of the introduction in this cookbook. HOWEVER, I did like this cookbook. The recipes are totally doable, and mostly affordable ingredients. The photographs were also well done. ***I received an eARC from NETGALLEY***

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    I received an arc copy from Netgalley for an honest review. This is a great cookbook that I will purchase for myself with excellent recipes and good background information.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I bought this cookbook after checking it out at the library. This is another great book by Rachel Hollis. So, why did I buy it? Because I liked the recipes and the illustrations that accompanied them. The recipes inside were for things that I really would make, things that aren’t too fancy and the ingredients I can find in my supermarket. Let me walk you through this beautiful book and tempt you with one of my latest cookbook purchases. This last week, I received/bought 3 cookbooks in the mail. W I bought this cookbook after checking it out at the library. This is another great book by Rachel Hollis. So, why did I buy it? Because I liked the recipes and the illustrations that accompanied them. The recipes inside were for things that I really would make, things that aren’t too fancy and the ingredients I can find in my supermarket. Let me walk you through this beautiful book and tempt you with one of my latest cookbook purchases. This last week, I received/bought 3 cookbooks in the mail. With temperatures in the 90’s this week, I might make something but likely, I will be eating strawberry lettuce salad (I could live off this), watermelon, oranges and just cold sandwiches. I don’t like to eat a lot when it’s hot out. There are 4 sections before we even get into the food sections in this cookbook: intro, table manners, kitchen essentials, spices. Table manners: yep, she lists out some table manners from no electronics, to passing food, to eating. Kitchen Essentials: things you should have on hand. Spices: four blends she created. In the food section, there are 8 sections: Breakfast for Dinner, Kid-Friendly Dinners, Make-Ahead Dinners, Dinner on the Grill, Soup for Dinner, Salad for Dinner, Sides for Dinner, and My Favorite Dinners. Each recipe consists of a two-page spread complete with a short story about the recipe, an illustration, ingredients list (optional ingredient list, if needed), directions, prep time, cook time, serves #, and 3 or 4 step-by-step illustrations for the recipe. She also begins each section with a intro about that section and her thoughts/memories. Looking at the Make-Ahead Dinners section: her intro talks about being prepared and prepping. She discusses what she does and how to use these recipes in your own life. There are 9 recipes in this section. I would eat any of them as they all look good. From Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, Homemade Frozen Burritos, Hawaiian Chicken, Mexican Casserole, Chicken Potpie, Tex-Mex Fiesta, Spaghetti Sauce, Ranch Beef Stew, and Lemon-Pesto Chicken. I thought I might have to cut back on the lemon on that Lemon-Pesto Chicken but it’s not that much and hey, it has green beans in it! The Tex-Mex entre looks super good and so does the Hawaiian Chicken (and I don’t normally do Chinese food) but the ingredients look like something I can handle. I’m super excited to get this cookbook and guess what? I also picked up Rachel’s other cookbook at the same time, Upscale Downhome: Family Recipes, All Gussied Up. That cookbook is a keeper too. The illustrations in this book look very appetizing and real. They don’t look all glamourous, as if someone spent weeks, spraying and angling the camera, trying to get the right shot of the bun, to make it look perfect. They look delicious and they look like something that I could make. Thanks Rachel, for keeping it real.

  16. 5 out of 5

    LaToya

    I received this book as an advanced read copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The recipes in Rachel Hollis' Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of The Chic Site, are easy to follow, delicious, and time-saving. Hollis' book features photographs and step-by-step instructions for each recipe, which make it easier to know if you followed the recipes correctly. Why don't more cookbooks do this? My absolute favorite recipes from the cookbook are the Garlic-herb Sm I received this book as an advanced read copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The recipes in Rachel Hollis' Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of The Chic Site, are easy to follow, delicious, and time-saving. Hollis' book features photographs and step-by-step instructions for each recipe, which make it easier to know if you followed the recipes correctly. Why don't more cookbooks do this? My absolute favorite recipes from the cookbook are the Garlic-herb Smashed Potatoes (there was a family fights for the last one), the Cowboy Steak Salad (for those who love meat and potatoes), and the Spicy Beef Enchilada Soup (yummy). I am not familiar with her website, but I am interested in checking it out after reviewing this cookbook. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in simple and time-saving recipes that the entire family can enjoy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Vee

    I had difficulty getting a good feel for this book on my Kindle so I waited to review until after I picked up a hard copy. I love all of the pictures for each recipe. I'm one of those recipe readers who is hesitant to make a dish without ever having seen it. Pictures of food entice me and, as a visual learner, the step-by-step pictures pleased my brain. Some of the recipes are similar to ones my family already loves so it was nice having ideas to tweak our favorites. Several other recipes have a I had difficulty getting a good feel for this book on my Kindle so I waited to review until after I picked up a hard copy. I love all of the pictures for each recipe. I'm one of those recipe readers who is hesitant to make a dish without ever having seen it. Pictures of food entice me and, as a visual learner, the step-by-step pictures pleased my brain. Some of the recipes are similar to ones my family already loves so it was nice having ideas to tweak our favorites. Several other recipes have already become regulars in our rotation (Hello, Simple Baked Chicken and Mexican Casserole). I can't wait to dive into this book more because each dish look delicious. I'm glad I picked up a physical copy of the book because the electronic version does not do this book, the recipes, and that gorgeous food justice. This is Rachel Hollis' second cookbook and another great addition to my collection.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    I am so happy I won Rachel Hollis's "Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of The Chic Site" from a Goodreads giveaway! I have a new favorite cookbook. It is attractive and well put-together with colorful photos. Unlike many of my cookbooks, where I may want to try out one out of every three or four recipes (or more); there are very few recipes in this cookbook I do not want to try out! Too many other cookbooks feature recipes with hard-to-find ingredients, over complicate I am so happy I won Rachel Hollis's "Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of The Chic Site" from a Goodreads giveaway! I have a new favorite cookbook. It is attractive and well put-together with colorful photos. Unlike many of my cookbooks, where I may want to try out one out of every three or four recipes (or more); there are very few recipes in this cookbook I do not want to try out! Too many other cookbooks feature recipes with hard-to-find ingredients, over complicated recipes or recipes that sound like a child's attempted dinner-turned-disaster. There are no Super Pumpkin Spice Caramel Latte Meatballs made with salmon and anchovies in this book, just normal, appetizing recipes such as Baked Ravioli and Hawaiian Chicken. There are also many recipes that would be fun to make with children. I would recommend this cookbook to anybody.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of the sampler as well as the actual book from the publisher. Rachel is an amazing story teller, and she's VERY relatable, so her intro gives you all the feels. I love that these recipes are easy enough to accomplish when you're short on time, but don't skimp in the flavor department. I feel like most recipes geared toward busy families are tons of freezer casseroles, and this is the opposite of that. She offers make ahead meals as well as quick I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of the sampler as well as the actual book from the publisher. Rachel is an amazing story teller, and she's VERY relatable, so her intro gives you all the feels. I love that these recipes are easy enough to accomplish when you're short on time, but don't skimp in the flavor department. I feel like most recipes geared toward busy families are tons of freezer casseroles, and this is the opposite of that. She offers make ahead meals as well as quick to whip up on the fly meals. I'd absolutely recommend this cookbook, and look forward to making more recipes from it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alison (The Lowrey Library)

    I read this book after winning a Goodreads Giveaway. The book is visually so welcoming and cute, but mainly I’m thrilled because it’s MANAGEABLE. I’m always looking for cookbooks, and it seems like I’m constantly finding books that are totally overwhelming both in terms of style and recipes (maybe with ingredients I’ve never even heard of), and this is not that book. It genuinely feels like I could pick this up any night of the week and be able to make one of the recipes included. I’m holding of I read this book after winning a Goodreads Giveaway. The book is visually so welcoming and cute, but mainly I’m thrilled because it’s MANAGEABLE. I’m always looking for cookbooks, and it seems like I’m constantly finding books that are totally overwhelming both in terms of style and recipes (maybe with ingredients I’ve never even heard of), and this is not that book. It genuinely feels like I could pick this up any night of the week and be able to make one of the recipes included. I’m holding off on five stars simply because I haven’t made any of the recipes yet; when I have done so, I’m reserving the right to come back and add a star!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not much of a cook. I hate it. Sometimes I hate cooking so much that I start to hate food! But this cookbook is the FIRST cookbook that I have read cover to cover. I literally sat down and meal planned my entire week while reading it. The introduction was my favorite part (because it was all personality and real life more than food) and it kept me going to the very last page. Now, I'm off to the store... Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a copy of Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not much of a cook. I hate it. Sometimes I hate cooking so much that I start to hate food! But this cookbook is the FIRST cookbook that I have read cover to cover. I literally sat down and meal planned my entire week while reading it. The introduction was my favorite part (because it was all personality and real life more than food) and it kept me going to the very last page. Now, I'm off to the store... Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a copy of this cookbook in exchange for my honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    so many yummy recipes! This is truly a set of recipes we will use over and over again. simple food, make it fast and everyone loves. Everything has been a winner so far. my kids really love helping in the kitchen too and there are a lot of dishes they can help with, or customize their own dinner too. This will make a great gift to someone you love too! I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    One of my favorite activities is reading cookbooks, and this one is truly a delight. I love all the personal background stories. It is just like reading the author's blog. The title of Real Life Dinners is so appropriate because these are the type of recipes that I will not only read, but actually incorporate into my own meal planning. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance preview. One of my favorite activities is reading cookbooks, and this one is truly a delight. I love all the personal background stories. It is just like reading the author's blog. The title of Real Life Dinners is so appropriate because these are the type of recipes that I will not only read, but actually incorporate into my own meal planning. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance preview.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Wow!!! What a beautiful book! The recipes all look amazing, I cannot wait to try them all! I have already started to dig in to fill use of this book, the pineapple chicken stir fry is so mouthwatering. The recipes are simple to put together, and the directions are really easy to follow. I have added this to my preorder list so I can be ready for summer dinner nights!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Grace

    I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher and am voluntarily reviewing it. I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end! I loved her pantry tips and few staple recipes like the vinaigrette. I made the hot pockets, grilled mushroom kabobs, bacon wrapped chicken tenders and I loved them all! I will buy this book and for a few busy mom friend gifts.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm Between the Sheets

    I LOVED the excepts that I received of Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis! She brought me back to my childhood reminiscing of growing up with Pillsbury biscuit rolls in my fridge and how to transform them into an easy quick dinner of mini pizzas for my family! I can't wait to make many of these recipes and become family favorites! I received excerpts from the book via NetGalley I LOVED the excepts that I received of Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis! She brought me back to my childhood reminiscing of growing up with Pillsbury biscuit rolls in my fridge and how to transform them into an easy quick dinner of mini pizzas for my family! I can't wait to make many of these recipes and become family favorites! I received excerpts from the book via NetGalley

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    Very nice recipes. Look easy to make and things that families would want to eat. Enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading the authors writing which to me drew one into the book instead of just jumping into recipes b

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Edgar

    My family is really enjoying this cookbook. The recipes are easy to follow, require no fancy ingredients and produce really tasty food. Another Rachel Hollis hit! I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own and you should definitely go buy this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Jenshak

    This is such a beautiful cookbook. I absolutely adore Rachel and it was fun to try these recipes and see the pictures of her lovely family on the pages. Some really great family meals in this one - it's going on my list of things to gift friends and family. This is such a beautiful cookbook. I absolutely adore Rachel and it was fun to try these recipes and see the pictures of her lovely family on the pages. Some really great family meals in this one - it's going on my list of things to gift friends and family.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Illustrious Illusions

    I really enjoyed this sampler and can't wait to pick up the final book. Easy to follow recipes. Good food, good ingredients, and easy prep. I really enjoyed this sampler and can't wait to pick up the final book. Easy to follow recipes. Good food, good ingredients, and easy prep.

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