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Almost from Scratch: 600 Hundred Recipes for New Convenience Cuisine    by Andrew Schloss order for
Almost from Scratch
by Andrew Schloss
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Andrew Schloss is the author of seven cookbooks, including Fifty Ways to Cook Most Anything. He writes articles for various newspapers and is a frequent guest on QVC. In Almost from Scratch, Chef Schloss shows us how to fix fine meals using wonderful convenience foods such as ready-to-use carrots, mashed potatoes, bruschetta, salsa and so on.

In the Introduction of this time-saving cookbook, the Chef says: 'Home cooking has changed, and cookbooks hardly noticed. But supermarkets did. Look at lettuce, whole heads have been replaced with prewashed, pretorn, pretossed and crouton-studded cellophane sacks. Salad dressings have blended into marinades, mustards have morphed toward mayonnaise and meats are sold stuffed, filleted, roasted and grilled.' Be sure to read the whole introduction. It's a must. Don't cheat and skip it or even skim it. There's good information in there that will make your cooking easier and more varied. The intro is sure to change your attitude about cooking from scratch. For the better. I promise. Would this honest reviewer lead you astray? Never.

On to recipes. And what recipes! One that started my taste buds flaring was Roasted Grapes, Garlic and Walnuts. Sounds superb. As does Garlic Chevre and Roasted Pepper Baguette. Grilled Pesto Shrimp uses jarred pesto, and chopped, jarred garlic. It's easier, good and gives you more time with your guests. Mulligatawney in Minutes gets my vote. It uses ready-to-serve chicken and rice soup. Why not? I've got to try Thai Peanut Vinaigrette using jarred Thai peanut sauce. I'm addicted to peanut sauce. Open this thick cookbook at any page and you'll find recipes that make you wish you could eat six meals a day - like Fettuccine with Spinach and Roasted Peppers using an already washed bag of baby spinach, or Mushrooms Broiled with Sweet Onions.

No pictures. That's okay. The imagination stirs up a picture with each new recipe. Get yourself a copy of this wonderful book and look forward to more time to yourself and more compliments from family and friends.

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