I have grown up with working parents and planning meals was always a must. Every Saturday we would gather to plan our weekly menu. It was a family effort, and each of us had to come up with meals we would all want to eat and that gave each person a chance to cook that week. Reading Dinner Time! by Many Collins really brought back those routines and memories. I’m so glad this book of meal plans and recipes has been created; because it not only makes cooking practical, it shows how it is just as easy to whip something up in the kitchen as it is to phone for a take out.
Dinner Time! is not a recipe book, it’s more about menu planning with some pretty cool recipes thrown in. It has shopping lists, recipes and a really helpful guide of what you need to know before you get started. Even though I cook a lot, I learnt a thing or two going through the ‘before you start’ guide! The shopping lists are thorough and put together really well. You don’t have to fret about finding a certain ‘foreign’ or specialty ingredient; all ingredients can be found at local shopping centres.
The recipes are what really win me over… They are homely, fuss-free and practical! There are also wheat-free recipes included! The only thing I wish there was more of is pictures…but that definitely doesn’t take away the practicality, and winning quick recipes being shared. From easy Sunday roasts to quick weekday meals, this menu plan has been comprehensively and realistically thought through. The recipes are not set in stone; if you feel like putting your creative spin on a few things there is room to do so.
With Christmas close by, I would recommend busy families, and working parents and/or individuals put this on your wish list to help take the pressure off themselves going into the new year. Cooking dinner and meals for you or the family isn’t supposed to be a schlep, and Dinner time! by Mandy Collins really does show this in a non-pretentious manner.