I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday filled with good food and more importantly, quality time with family and friends.  I’ll be posting about my Thanksgiving adventure soon, but in the meantime I thought I would share this review with you.  Now that the big turkey day is past, I’m guessing a lot people are a bit tired of cooking for now.  With the December holidays in the not-so-distant future, cooking regular meals may be a bit more stressful than normal with so many things going on.  This is why now seemed the perfect time to talk about this cookbook.

I was offered the opportunity to review Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy Delicious Meals, and I was immediately interested.  I do not subscribe to Real Simple magazine, but I have heard from many people that they have good recipes in their issues.  The premise of the book is simple (no pun intended) – fast, easy meals that still taste great.  Though I get a lot of pleasure out of preparing an involved, time consuming meal, that is just not practical behavior for every day and certainly not for weeknights.  That is where this book comes in very handy.

There are many features of this cookbook that I really enjoy.  Of course, the gorgeous photos are a big plus for me.  Clearly as a food blogger, food is very visual for me and I like to see what I will be making.  This book has a photo of every recipe.  Other helpful tools are listing of approximate prep time and total time for each recipe, as well as little icons to signify meals as kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, no-cook, etc.  One of my favorite features is that the nutritional information for each recipe is listed in the back of the book.  I wish all cookbooks had this!

It has a nice variety of recipes in many categories, such as appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, and dessert.  While I’m not going to say that I plan to try every recipe in the book, it does have a lot of recipes that sound appealing to me.  The only thing that seems a bit weak is the dessert section – it is too brief in my opinion.  However, this isn’t a real problem for me as I have plenty of other cookbooks that focus primarily on desserts.  And clearly, the best way to review a cookbook is to try some recipes, so I did!  I made the Parmesan pasta with chicken and rosemary and the southwestern beef chili with corn.  Both meals turned out great and were exactly as expected, fast and easy!  The pasta in particular was fantastic and seemed like something I would order in a restaurant.  I’m happy to have this book as a resource for when I need a quick meal idea, and look forward to trying more of the recipes.