Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms CLOSED



I've never been a huge fan of cooking. I've always viewed it as more of a necessary evil than a pleasure. When I became a stay-at-home mom nearly one year ago, I thought I'd have more time to experiment in the kitchen. But, if you can believe it, it seems as if I have less time now than I did when I was a working mom! Most nights, I'm scrambling around for something I can quickly throw together and call it dinner. So, when I came across Jane Doiron's cookbook, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, I just had to request a review. And I was ecstatic that she agreed!

Jane Doiron, an elementary school teacher and busy mom of two boys, knows what it's like to be short on time and pressured to make a delicious family feast. She wanted to find a way to make her family's favorite recipes ahead of time without sacrificing the taste and texture of the food from freezing. After years of experimentation, she developed a cookbook to optimize make-ahead preparation. Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms features 140 recipes for meals and sides that can be prepared in advance and frozen or refrigerated until you're ready for mealtime. This lessens the confusion and panic that sets in when 5pm rolls around and you have only just begun to think about what to make for dinner.

The cookbook begins with some helpful tips for proper freezing, saving time and achieving the best flavor in make-ahead meals. Very helpful indeed for the novice such as myself. The recipes are well-organized and presented in logical categories, from appetizers and side dishes to main courses and desserts. I skimmed through the recipes and was happy that none of them were obscure or overly complex. The vast majority were things I could see my family eating. I liked the great variety of dishes, from traditional (Lasagna, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Sloppy Joes, Tacos) to more unique (Thai Chicken Thighs, Zucchini Apple Bread, Seafood Quiche).

I decided to make the Buffalo Chicken Dip in honor of the Super Bowl and the Cheesy Pasta, Ham and Peas for a simple, crowd-pleasing dinner. The directions were easy to follow and I liked that the text was large enough that I didn't have to squint while wrist deep in hot sauce. I was able to prepare both dishes in the evening after Nate had gone to bed, and refrigerate. So all I had to do the next day was pop it in the oven! Both recipes turned out really well and had us going back for seconds. I altered the chicken dip by adding blue cheese crumbles to the top (hubby is a blue cheese fan) and I substituted Velveeta in place of Cheez Whiz for the pasta bake. But both dishes still had an excellent flavor and are meals I would definitely make again. Even Nate was a fan of the Cheesy Pasta and he is an uber picky eater.



The only thing I was disappointed in was that there were no photos of the recipes (aside from the front cover). I prefer appealing pictures of food to motivate me and give me an idea of what the finished dish should look like. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this cookbook and can't wait to "make-ahead" more meals. It has shaved a good bit of time off of my meal planning by prepping the night before, allowing me to spend more time with my family - or to myself! Next on the list for me are the Bacon Tomato Mini Cups and Stuffed Cornish Hens. Oh, and the Mini Pecan Pie Muffins sound delicious too!

Bottom line: Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms gets six thumbs up from us. The recipes are tasty, relatively easy to make and I had most of the ingredients I needed already on hand. If you are a busy mom (and let's face it...who isn't?) and want to plan ahead for those inevitable days when you're low on time and energy or if you are searching for a way to trim back your take-out, this cookbook is perfect for you. It would also be quite handy if you are looking to stock up on meals before a surgery, childbirth or to share for a potluck or fellowship.

BUY IT: You can purchase Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms online at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com (ARV $16.15). You can also purchase the e-book on Jane's website. (ARV $12)

WIN IT: Jane is generously offering one copy of her cookbook to one lucky reader!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit Jane's blog and tell me what recipe looks most yummy. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count! Remember to leave one comment per entry.

1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. If you already follow and/or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)

2.) Follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog. (1 entry)

3.) Sign up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter. (1 entry)

4.) Follow me and Jane Doiron on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the tweet below or come up with one of your own:

Meal planning leave you frazzled? Get Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms from @janedoiron! Win a copy @kris10chumley http://bit.ly/aMpbH6

Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)

5.) Add my blog button and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry)

6.) Add Jane's blog button and leave a comment with the link to where we can find it. (1 entry)

Giveaway will end on March 3, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms from Jane to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are solely mine. Your experience may differ.

157 comments:

aledol said...

The Caribbean jerk chicken tenders look delicious!! Have wanted this book FOREVER!!!!

aledol said...

G rd/fd

aledol said...

EM sub

aledol said...

News sign up-am already on list

aledol said...

http://4tmama.blogspot.com/2010/02/ggg.html

aledol said...

http://4tmama.blogspot.com
her button is on front pg

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9297593027

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9330540725

cdziuba said...

cdziuba@aol.com Chicken Parmesan looks good.

cdziuba said...

cdziuba@aol.com I follow you and jane on Twitter cdziuba and tweeted http://twitter.com/cdziuba/status/9332129226

cdziuba said...

follow cdziuba@aol.com

cdziuba said...

cdziuba@aol.com subscriber

cdziuba said...

cdziuba@aol.com subscriber to Make Ahead newsletter

cdziuba said...

cdziuba@aol.com button ceeceeblogger.blogspot.com

wildcat32 said...

I would like to try to make the Meat Pies.
monster6236(at)gmail(dot)com

shelley said...

The chicken tenders look fabulous!!

Nicole said...

I would love to try the Apple Pie Bread!!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Deborah said...

I'd love to try Jane's Make Ahead Mini Chicken Pot Pie recipe. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I am already subscribed to the mailing list of Goodie Goodie Gumdrops. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I'm following your blog with Google Friend Connect. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I'm signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/AsTheNight/status/9355624291. asthenight at gmail dot com

Luvdaylilies said...

Zucchini Sticks looks yummy to me~my teens might even eat those!
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Luvdaylilies said...

I am now a follower of your blog=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9378847556

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I want to try the Caribbean Jerk Chicken!

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I've followed your blog for a long time!

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I became a follower of Jane's Blog

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I signed up for the Make Ahead Meals newsletter under my e-mail ahibbard at gmail dot com

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Ok, I tweeted today, but for the life of me can't get Twitter to cooperate so I can't get the link. I know you follow me so you can check it but here it it

somewhatordinar Meal planning leave you frazzled? Get Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms from @janedoiron! Win a copy @kris10chumley http://bit.ly/aMpbH6
11 minutes ago from web

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9424603835

sksweeps said...

I'd like to try the Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tenders, but would also follow it up with a dessert of the Lemon Cupcakes (I adore lemon meringue pie!)

Andria said...

I'd like to try the chicken cannelloni

Andria said...

email subscriber

Lovely Rita said...

I didn't have to read far into her recipes for a delicious looking one. The Caribbean jerk chicken tenders made my mouth water.

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

Lovely Rita said...

I am following Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

Lovely Rita said...

I signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

Lovely Rita said...

I am following you & Jane on Twitter and I re-tweeted your tweet :)

http://twitter.com/lovelyritaann/status/9465875819

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

Lovely Rita said...

Your button is on my blog

www.lovelyrita.weebly.com

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

Lovely Rita said...

Jane's button is on my blog

www.lovelyrita.weebly.com

ritaoneal@sbcglobal.net

tantalizingtastes said...

I think the Pumpkin Coffee Cake sounds yummy!

Tarah
tarah716[at]ymail.com

chrissyb said...

I'd just love to try out the Mini Chicken Pot Pie recipe at home for our son, so Cute!
transamws602(at)yahoo(dot)com

chrissyb said...

blog follower.
transamws602(at)yahoo(dot)com

chrissyb said...

e-mail subscriber
transamws602(at)yahoo(dot)com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9489702160

♥Yaya's Mommy ♥ said...

I would so love to try the teriyaki chicken wings. the chk enchiladas sound yummy too. :)
itzacin@gmail.con

sweepmom said...

The Lemon cupcakes look yummy.

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9530714348

Missy said...

The mini chicken pot pies look delicious !

Missy said...

I'm following your blog !

Missy said...

I subscribed to your blog !

Missy said...

I Following Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog.

Missy said...

Signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter.

Missy said...

Following you both on twitter and tweeted http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9540201269

aledol said...

http://m.twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9575188316

Missy said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9588979269

sunnymum said...

I'd like to try the Crab Cakes recipe.

amweeks said...

I think my whole family would like the Sausage Quesadillas!

amweeks said...

I subscribe to your blog via email!

amweeks said...

I follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog! (amweeks)

amweeks said...

I subscribe to the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter!

amweeks said...

I follow you both on twitter & tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/9621235349

Jolee said...

lemon cupcakes sound so yummy! joleehamlin@comcast.net

Jolee said...

subscribe via email

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9629565497

Mia J. said...

I would like to try the chicken enchiladas. So many of the recipes sound like they would be good. Thanks for the giveaway.

cmjhawaii said...

I really want to try the apple pie bread. I printed the recipe and bought some apples, but just haven't had the chance to make it yet.

flowerpower0097@live.com

cmjhawaii said...

I'm a subscriber to your blog.
flowerpower0097@live.com

cmjhawaii said...

I also follow Jane's blog.
flowerpower0097@live.com

cmjhawaii said...

I have already signed up for the newsletters.
flowerpower0097@live.com

cmjhawaii said...

http://twitter.com/cmjhawaii/status/9639440813
flowerpower0097@live.com

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9658247399

seksi_missy at hotmail dot com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9672924756

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9698667877

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9723912686

Ames said...

Rhubarb Streusel Bread,

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9771701587

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9796391096

Kylee said...

Hi, I follow your blog

Kylee said...

I follow Jane's blog

Kylee said...

I follow you and Jane on twitter and did a twitter tweet: http://twitter.com/mommieguide/status/9814695526

Kylee said...

I added Jane's blog button to my blog (mommieguide.blogspot.com; on the left hand side)

Kylee said...

I think the BBQ pepper jack chicken sounds awesome. mommieguide@gmail.com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9820790037

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9835113865

hbokor said...

Applie Pie Bread.......oooohh....yummy! Thanks for this giveaway.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

hbokor said...

I follow via Google Connect-heidibokor. Thanks.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

hbokor said...

I follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals blog via Google Connect-heidibokor. Thanks.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

hbokor said...

I have signed up for the Make Ahead Meals Newsletter. Thanks.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

Faither said...

the Sausage Vegetable Medley
looks yummy

Lissa said...

The Chicken Enchiladas look like they would be good!

melissamcnicol (at) yahoo (dot) com

chromiumman said...

zucchini sticks

chromiumman (at) mail (dot) com

erma said...

I'd like to try the chicken tenders.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9882015531

Nickolay said...

I really want to make the Italian Wedding Soup

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

subscriber

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

Blog follower

Nickolay

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

Twitter follower of both - parkerozgood

Tweeted - http://twitter.com/parkerozgood/status/9883206906


jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9870400091

Kylie said...

Her Chocolate Eclair Ring, a special treat for a Sunday afternoon. kcarlson1152 [at] hotmail.com

Jessica said...

I want to make the Lemon Cupcakes, they looks so good!

PaintedPony17@yahoo.com

luckycat1818 said...

The Italian Restaurant Chicken looks delicious.

luckycat1818(at)yahoo(dot)com

luckycat1818 said...

I follow with google friend connect as luckycat1818.

luckycat1818(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brooke said...

umm yes I will be making some Apple Pie Bread... oooo yummmmy and I'm sure it will make the house smell great... weeshenanigans (at) gmail (dot) com

melanie said...

I really want to try Chicken and Spinach Tortellini Soup. This sounds YUMMY! I am a very busy stay at home mom i have three boys ages 7 months, 2 and 4.

Jenny D said...

Mmmm definitely the Baked Chicken Chimichangas!!

Jenny D said...

i follow your blog on blogger

Jenny D said...

i follow Jane's blog on blogger

Missy said...

tweet http://twitter.com/Missy_wpg/status/9930688648

Betty C said...

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tenders looks really good.

Betty C said...

I follow with Google friend connect.

Betty C said...

I subscribe in Google reader.

Betty C said...

I follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog.

Betty C said...

I signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter.

Betty C said...

I follow both on Twitter and tweeted
http://twitter.com/willitara/status/9937315361

saturdaynightfever said...

Sausage Quesadillas for me!

edgenemmers@gmail.com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/9938303227

Amanda S. said...

The Mohegan Chicken sounds good!

Vanessa said...

Mmm...the weekend thick pan pizza sounds awesome!

Jennifer M said...

I'd like to try the crab cakes.

kathy pease said...

id love to try the Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

kathy pease said...

following your blog as klp1965

kathy pease said...

following janes blog as klp1965

kathy pease said...

http://twitter.com/klp1965/status/9943196642

Kristie said...

I would love to try the blueberry bread!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Pamela S said...

I like the Chicken Cannelloni. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

I'm a follower (pamelashockley)
Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

Subscribed to feed. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

I follow Jane's blog. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

I'm subscribed to Jane's email. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

brownhairgirl7 said...

I think the Chocolate Banana Nut Bread looks yummiest.

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

brownhairgirl7 said...

I subscribe to your blog via email.

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

brownhairgirl7 said...

I follow your blog.

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

brownhairgirl7 said...

I follow the Make Ahead Meals blog.

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

brownhairgirl7 said...

I subscribe to the Make Ahead Meals newsletter.

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

brownhairgirl7 said...

I follow you and Jane Doiron on Twitter, and I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/MissJo1990/status/9953005058

brownhairgirl7@hotmail.com

missrantsypants said...

The pizza bites sound great.



clarkmurdock@yahoo.com

purango said...

The Weekend Thick Pan Pizza looks yummy. garrettsambo@aol.com

Atreau said...

The Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds good!

Becca said...

The lemon cupcakes look amazing, thanks! sbcashortie (at) hotmail (dot) com

Becca said...

I follow your blog. sbcashortie (at) hotmail (dot) com

Becca said...

I am now an email subscriber. sbcashortie (at) hotmail (dot) com

Becca said...

I follow Jane's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog. sbcashortie (at) hotmail (dot) com

naynays1 said...

The Caribbean jerk chicken tenders.

mightynaynay(at)cs.com

Becca said...

I am following you and Jane on twitter (I am sbshortie) and I tweeted the giveaway at http://twitter.com/sbshortie/status/9958021457

Becca said...

I have your button up on the right at http://beccascontestlist.blogspot.com

Becca said...

I have Jane's button up on the right at http://beccascontestlist.blogspot.com

Becca said...

I am signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter sbcashortie (at) hotmail (dot) com

Gianna said...

Blueberry bread :)

Gianna said...

I'm a subscriber of her newsletter..

edmontonjb said...

The Weekend Thick Pan Pizza looks amazing

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

Fab Find Foodie said...

The chicken enchiladas and stuffed beef tenderloin look fantastic!

Fab Find Foodie said...

I follow your blog!

lilyk said...

The Warm Crab Dip recipe sounds very tasty!

lilyk said...

I subscribed by email.

lilyk said...

I signed up for the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms newsletter.

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