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Friday, January 1, 2021

Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives by Nadiya Hussain

I have been neglecting my cookbook reviews! Shame on me! What a bad cookbook book club leader I am! No but really, I host a virtual cookbook club for an indie bookstore, which means I'm cooking from a new cookbook every month and for some strange reason (ahem, having a toddler and never being caught up on anything on my To Do list), I have been terrible about actually reviewing the books here!

Now some of you might recognize Nadiya Hussain, and you should! She won The Great British Bake Off in 2015. She's the author of multiple books (cookbooks, kids books, and fiction) and also hosts multiple cooking shows, including Time To Eat, the show this particular cookbook is based on (it's on Netflix, check it out!). 

The theme of this book is, as the title says, "delicious meals for busy lives." And the book does live up to that promise! Recipes are designed to have leftovers but not just leftover leftovers, new meals that can be made from components of the recipe. A complete win for someone like me who really doesn't relish the idea of eating the same dish for multiple meals :)

The dishes are also fairly kid friendly. I say fairly because Hussain does like spice—I like spice as well, but I'm easing my toddler into it, so I do tend to slightly alter the recipes or add the heat component after taking some out for my tiny one. 

The very first recipe that I tried in the book were Hussain's Egg Rolls. These are breakfast tortilla rolls that use staples you likely have on hand already and are super easy to adapt to individual tastes. They also, according to Hussain, freeze well. I wouldn't know because we ate the entire batch both times that I made them! 

Some of the other recipes we've tried so far include Lentil and Orange Soup (this might be my new favorite lentil soup recipe!), Bacon + Bean Potato Skins (one of six variations of potato skins in the book), Pecan Brie Brûlée, and Tzatziki Quesadillas. 

Recipes come with a handy key for dishes that can be made ahead, are freezable, and make double batches. Hussain's Lava Fries, for example, include a Masala Beef that makes enough to freeze for later (her tip is to add beans to it to turn that component into chili). And the beef is amazing! Super flavorful with the perfect amount of heat (we didn't even tweak that one for the toddler, just served it to him as is). 

Other dishes use shortcut ingredients like prepared baked beans (Baked Bean Falafel) and fish sticks (Fish Stick Enchiladas). 

This book is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves to cook but doesn't have the time to do it every day. It's also perfect for anyone who is less confident about their skills in the kitchen! 

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