Jul 6, 2010

The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken

The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Edition
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Anv edition (July 26 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446545929
ISBN-13: 978-0446545921

I love cook books, and have quite a collection sitting on my bookshelf. However, collecting cook books has never made me love cooking.  I am happy to say that I have a brand new favourite cook book called "The I Hate to Cook Book" by Peg Bracken. I love the title, the retro cover, the inside cover, and everything in between.

The thing that really strikes me about this book is the humor interspersed between the awesomely simple recipes. I have never read a cook book from cover to cover like a novel before, but I didn't want to put this book down.

I marked many, many pages with post-it notes, and will definitely be trying out many more of these recipes. Here is an idea that I love:

"When you hate to cook, one of the best ways to get around the fancy dessert problem is to buy six or eight parfait glasses. Buy six or eight long, slender dessert spoons, too, if you don't have any iced-tea spoons. Hours before your guests come, you can fill up the glasses, top them with whipped cream, and set them on the top shelf of your refrigerator. Then there they are and there you are, without a single dessert thing to do at the last minute. For example, you might layer

strawberry preserves with strawberry ice cream
any nut ice cream with chopped nuts
mocha or chocolate ice cream with toasted almonds

and top them all with whipped cream.

Or you could fill the parfait glass with ice cream, poke a hole in it with a wooden spoon handle, and pour in a liqueur."

What fun!  And who would think of making a little tunnel in the middle of ice cream to add liqueur?  Just imagine how awesome these simple parfaits would look.  I can't wait to go shopping to get a set of fancy parfait glasses.

I can't resist.  I just have to share another favorite part of the book, and a really good example of the type of humor throughout the entire book.

"When you arrive home in a dead heat with your family, it's a good idea to set the table immediately.  Then the children may stop screaming, and even your husband may relax a little, believing things to be further along than they are.  It helps, too, to use your best china and serving dishes.  A silver bowl gives a certain je ne sais quoi to creamed tuna, and plain ice cream tastes better in pretty sherbet glasses."

In case you can't tell, I absolutely love the I Hate to Cook Book.  I am just wondering why I never heard of this author before.  Maybe I would feel differently about cooking if I had been introduced to Peg Bracken about thirty years ago.

For more information on this great cook book, or if you would like to win your own copy, click here. Hachette Books has graciously offered two copies of this book to readers of this blog.

The giveaway contest for this book closes on July 28th.  To enter your name, you must go to the giveaway page, entries left here will not count for the contest.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of The I Hate to Cook Book from Hachette Books. I received no compensation for my thoughts.


  1. I wish I could get this for one of my daughters. Tailor made for her!