Full disclosure: I may be a Deb Perelman fan girl – may even be writing this review using a signed copy (one I stood in line for myself!) from her book tour pit stop in Denver. Honestly I’m nearly as smitten with her cheeky writing as I am with her recipes. I only say “nearly” though because I own all of her cookbooks + reference this website first on my trip around the webs for a certain dish. If Deb makes it, I trust that her recipe works, uses fewer pans + (often but not always) doesn’t have hard-to-quality amounts like “1/2 tsp of butter” or “juice from 1/3 of a lemon.” Also, she was just as funny in person – even using verbal commas in the same spots! – and I always think it’s great when people can write so authentically themselves. End of official fangirling…
Okay, so I am a half-assed recipe follower at the best of times, you should just know this to qualify my advice. This cookbook came in the mail months after I ordered it, but I was even more excited to browse the actual content. One store trip later, I started cooking with the cover recipe: green angel hair with garlic butter. But if you see the list below of what I tried, you’ll believe how sold I was by this set of recipes. My kids didn’t rave over the angel hair, though my partner and I didn’t need their approval to finish the rest of it. I only made half the pasta, however, and used the second half of our roasted spinach-garlic mixture on a memorable loaf of garlic bread.
What we’ve all agreed on are new-to-us breakfast dishes in our rotation. After a post-covid cooking slump, we’ve been bored with brekkies. Thanks to Ms. Perelman, we’ve made the breakfast potatoes and sheet pan eggs (page 20) multiple times, though not nearly as many as the caramelized cinnamon sugar french toast (page 25). That’s the hands-down favorite. For me, because it’s dead easy. For the kids + my partner, a high sweetness factor. I love fruity breakfasts, so the blueberry pancake cobbler (page 41) remains my favorite new breakfast. Yes, we’ve also tried other meals – sometimes to great acclaim! We loved the angry grandma (page 171) + the creamy tomato chickpea masala is a cold weather staple that I’ll be unpacking as soon as fall rears its head again..
All this to say, this book is well titled, well written +, in our family at least, well received.
What i tried:
my bodega-style egg-and-cheese, page 9
breakfast potato chips and sheet pan eggs, page 20
caramelized cinnamon sugar french toast, page 25
tomatoes with cottage cheese and bagel seeds, page 32
blueberry pancake cobbler, page 41
snow peas with pecorino and walnuts, page 45
the big green little gem salad, page 65
creamy tomato chickpea masala, page 87
charred salt and vinegar cabbage, page 103
green angel hair with garlic butter, page 125
the angry grandma (pizza), page 171
weeknight lemon chicken wings, page 182
turkey meatloaf for skeptics, page 193
On the upcoming list:
slow-simmered lentils with kale and goat cheese, page 82
cauliflower cheese baked potato, page 137
portobello hoagie, page 141
big crumb pie bars, page 229
Who is this book written for?
The cooking parent in need of everyday meal inspiration to suit many palates OR those newly living away from home who wish for a solid set of unfussy but yummy recipes that won’t take all day, don’t use special equipment, + might linger in the fridge for reheating all week.