Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Review: The One Armed Cook

I love the premise of this book - mothers with young children only have one arm available to cook because the other is usually holding a baby. Or swatting snuggling a toddler. Or cleaning up a mess. These are all frequent occurences in my house. Authors Cynthia Stevens Graubart and Catherine Fliegel have a winner here. Check out the website, which includes some free recipes like the Shrimp Coconut Corn Chowder at the end of this post.

My friend recently had shoulder surgery and had to live with the use of only one arm for over a month. So, being the sweet friend I am, I sent her this book, since I had been curious about it anyway. Then I checked it out from the library for myself, so we could compare. I pulled out my sticky notes and marked 20-25 recipes, then had my husband pare it down to a few to try.

The One Armed Cook is organized well, with an introduction of the concept and ideas first, then meal ideas and recipes month by month as your baby gets older, including special occasions. The second half contains all the recipes, arranged by type: appetizer, sides, poultry, dessert, etc. I tried three recipes and liked them all. The black bean soup was quick and easy for lunch, made even better with a few modifications. The beef stroganoff in the crockpot was simple and delicious, much better than other recipes I've tried. I've made it twice in the last month. And I had to try the One Armed Cook's version of Blender Chocolate Souffles. My current favorite is here at allrecipes.com but this one was wonderful too.

Overall I think this cookbook has a great concept and will try several more recipes (that I copied before I returned this to my library). If I like those too, I'm sure I'll just buy a copy for $20. I might even stock up on a few for great baby shower gifts. Pretty cheap for a bounty of quick and easy, family-friendly recipes. It works for me!

For more Works For Me tips, see here. For more yummy recipes, see here.

Shrimp Coconut Corn Chowder

The shrimp, coconut, and cumin, lend traditional corn chowder an exotic flair. Corn and potatoes make this delicious one-pot meal kid-friendly, but you may wish to portion some out for the kids before adding the aromatic spices. Serve it with some crusty bread and a tossed green salad.

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 30 minutes
1 generous swirl of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 (20-ounce) package "Simply Potatoes" diced potatoes and onions
1 (16-ounce) package frozen yellow corn
1 (13 ½-ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp, fresh or frozen
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes to release the flavor.
Add potatoes and onions, corn, coconut milk, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper, stirring well to mix. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp, stirring well to mix, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink.

© The One-Armed Cook™


Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Mmmmm. You had me at shrimp, but "coconut" and "corn" are two more of my favorite foods, and "chowder" says it all.

Grampa just sent us a new cookbook "Dining on a Dime." It is large, and looks like it's got lots of great stuff in it.

ttelroc said...

My sister is now the proud momma of a 4 year old and a 2 month old - the one armed cook is in full swing! What a great tip!!

Have a great day!

Carol said...

Sounds yummy! What a great book!

Kerri said...

I will look for this book at the library to try it out. It sounds like it would make a great gift for a new mom! Thanks!