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Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers Hardcover – Sep 20 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Sept. 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547195958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547195957
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 21.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
The theme of the book can best be described as effortless entertaining guaranteed to satisfy your guests and fill their stomachs with classic style comfort food. What I love about this book is that almost all of the recipes can be made ahead of time, each one clearly written with helpful footnotes that include alternatives for quick premade options, and even wine pairing suggestions. In fact, the only thing this book doesn't do is the dishes!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 52 reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Look no further - you've found the perfect cookbook Aug. 26 2010
By Amber N. Bracegirdle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have several of Pam Anderson's books, and always considered "How to Cook Without A Book" my favorite. But Perfect One-Dish Dinners is quickly moving up the ranks to the top. We've made three recipes out of this book in a week, and each one was as good as the last. Even better, both the turkey feta meatballs with penne and the coq au vin blanc were actually BETTER as leftovers, leading me to think that I should make ahead on Sunday nights for delicious meals all week long with hardly any prep.

I can't say enough about the coq au vin blanc. It was so yummy I was dreaming about it long after we'd finished the pot. The photos are gorgeous, and I love that Pam includes optional wine pairings, appetizers, and desserts for almost every dish - so if you're entertaining a crowd, you've got your menu planned already.

None of the ingredients are foreign or hard to get, and we (a family of 2) are easily getting 4 meals out of each dish. That makes for a super economical dinner, even if you're splashing out for really nice prosciutto or wine.

Next on my list to make: the pecan pie sundaes. This Texan approves of any meal that ends with pecans!
94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Lovely book, but... mis-aimed? Oct. 19 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Perfect One-Dish Dinners / 978-0-54719-595-7

I love cookbooks and I was excited to try this one when it came available on NetGalley. Several weeks later, I'm a little...confused.

Make no mistake about it - this is a breathtakingly lovely book. There's a lot of valuable recipes here, but they're definitely of the "advanced student" variety, so do be aware of that. Almost every recipe has at least a dozen ingredients, and almost everything in this book is made completely from scratch - anytime dumplings or biscuits are working into a recipe, for instance, you *will* be making those dumplings from floury scratch.

There's nothing wrong with an advanced-level cookbook, but it's just strange because the book is marketed as "easy" recipes, and there's really nothing easy about these. No prep times are estimated with the recipes, but I'd guess that most of them take over an hour to prepare. Adding to my confusion is the whole "one-dish" premise isn't kept to - the introduction states that "one-dish" dinners are easier, and thus was born this book... but every "one-dish" comes complete with an appetizer and dessert suggestion... as well as the occasional side. Don't get me wrong - it's great to have the suggestions of sides and desserts for when they are wanted or needed, but this is especially weird because everything is grouped together as one "meal", rather than the usual entrees, sides, appetizers, desserts layout of most cookbooks. The practical upshot of this is that if you want to make the "Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream", you'd better remember that it was listed with the "Lobster Dinner", because there's no Table of Contents to get you there. (In all fairness, there is an alphabetized index in the back.)

I'm also not sure about the "Get-Togethers" part - a lot of the recipes are very exotic and specialized, and maybe my family is different, but if you get more than 5 of us in a room together, someone is going to dislike (or worse, be allergic to) at least one of the ingredients in these dozen-ingredient extravaganzas.

So, ultimately, if you take out the "one-dish", the "easy", and the "get-togethers", we have "Perfect Dinners: All You Need". But, then, I don't know if this is ALL you need since the layout can still be a little wonky - there's no Table of Contents, the pictures aren't labeled (although they ARE lovely) and sometimes require a little guess work to match with the relevant recipe, there's no prep times listed, and there's no nutritional data summary (a nice touch in many of the Better Homes and Gardens books that I've come to like).

Really, if you have all the time in the world, love baking from scratch, are an advanced hand in the kitchen, and have a non-picky and open-minded group of friends and family, there are some really good three-course meals in this book. I just don't understand why they're not marketing it that way?

NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.

~ Ana Mardoll
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
One-Dish Dinners: A One-Cookbook Meal Planner That Makes Entertaining That Much Easier Aug. 31 2010
By ivoryhut - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is packed with foolproof recipes that take the sting out of entertaining. Each main recipe is not only beautifully photographed but also includes a complete meal plan with appetizer, salad when appropriate, dessert, and even wine pairing suggestions. The appetizer and dessert options are more than suggestions: their recipes are included as well. If there are any shortcuts or more-instant alternatives available, those are likewise noted, which makes the whole process of putting an entire meal together--even at the last minute--completely doable. Whether it's for a get-together or just a family meal, cooking at home just became that much easier and a whole lot more delicious.

This is more than just a collection of recipes. Pam Anderson's experience as a recipe developer is evident and she isn't afraid to break the rules of traditional methods if she finds something that works better. She'll tell you why it's better, too. From tips on how to make mac and cheese incredibly moist to great suggestions on replacing the meat in some dishes with seafood or vegetarian options, this book is full of great nuggets of culinary wisdom that will serve you well in the kitchen.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Cookbook Aug. 31 2010
By Jen from How To: Simplify - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook, filled with mouth-watering recipes and photos, is one of the most unique cookbooks I have in my very large collection. Pam Anderson makes cooking for get-togethers a breeze by providing the main entrée recipe, as well as an appetizer, salad, dessert and even a suggested beverage pairing for the entire meal. Another great feature of the cookbook is that the recipes are broken down into easy-to-follow steps. As Ree Drummond perfectly stated, "Pam makes you feel like you can cook anything, and with her help -- you can!"

For a dinner party I hosted recently, I prepared the Coq au Vin Blanc with Spring Vegetables. The recipe was not only easy to prepare, but it allowed me to cook the entire dish before my guests arrived so that I could enjoy their company. The aromas that permeated from this dish made the house smell wonderful and the taste was absolutely delicious. I served this dish with a goat cheese salad and homemade rolls to soak up the sauce from the main entrée. For dessert, I prepared the Pecan Pie Sundaes recipe from the cookbook. The whole table went silent as we devoured the sundaes and savored each and every bite. A few days after the party, I received an e-mail from one of my guests asking for the recipes because she loved the food and couldn't wait to make it for her family.

This cookbook includes recipes for appetizers, stews, casseroles, roasts, salads, desserts...the list goes on and on. If you are hosting a dinner party, or need recipes for simple yet flavorful dishes for weeknight meals, this book, as stated in its title, is perfect.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The best book for the wanna-be cook Sept. 3 2010
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I saw Pam Anderson this week on WGN-TV in Chicago. She was preparing a one-dish pasta and meatball dish that really looked great. And I thought, Even I could do that. She then prepared an even simpler but scrumptious-looking dessert in minutes. She spooned out some raspberry jam and toasted almonds between two short-cake shells (store-bought) and then slathered on some creme cheese frosting. I cook a little bit and I think I'd do it more but some cook book recipes are just too complicated. I went out and bought four books, one for my wife and me, and one for each of our three grown kids. We all want to eat at home more and I think Pam's book is the recipe.

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