The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: Delicious and Easy Meals for Busy Moms that Bring the Family Together
The Busy Mom’s Cookbook by Antonia Lofaso offers 100 delicious, easy, and fast family recipes for busy Moms. Chef Antonia attended the French Culinary Institute, appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef, reappeared and placed as a finalist on Top Chef All-Stars, and has been and remains an executive chef at top L.A. restaurants. In addition to her extensive cooking training and passion, Chef Antonia is a single Mom and now opens up about her own kitchen tricks and favorite dishes to help other busy Moms make great meals that create family dinner time bonding.
The recipes are organized by meal type. The chapters include breakfast and brunch dishes like lemon crêpes and blueberry muffins, and better brown bag lunch options for kids (and for Mom) like homemade hummus, chicken fajitas to go, and honey-yogurt chicken pita pockets. The book also has a chapter devoted to dinner for those busy school nights, including recipes for grilled fish tacos with cilantro cabbage and baked penne with three cheeses. Sections on multi-meals and family style dining allow the whole family to dig in, and move night snacks and treats and Sunday dinners please the crowd.
Chef Antonia even includes a kids in the kitchen section, which features fun recipes for Moms and kids to make together to introduce kids to cooking in a fun way, such as making veggie sushi rolls and dumplings. To top it off, a dessert section offers recipes for sweet tooths like chocolate-banana-caramel bread pudding. Dishes like honey corn cakes and curry chicken salad with pine nuts come with easy to follow recipes in a nice, readable font.
Chef Antonia keeps kids in mind for the healthy recipes and also includes cooking tips on the side for smart tricks and time-saving steps. The book also shows how long each recipe will take to let hectic Moms gage their timing for bringing dinner to the table. Chef Antonia also offers crafty ways to make new meals out of leftovers. My only wish was that the book incorporated more photos to help me pick which recipe I want to make next.
To give you a sample taste, here’s Chef Antonia’s 10-minute appetizer recipe for snacking or house parties:
Guacamole and Tortilla Chips
Serves 6 - Total Time: 10 Minutes
- 3 avocadoes, diced (retain 1 pit: leaving an avocado put in the guacamole mixture will keep it from browning)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/8-inch pieces
- 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced into 1/8-inch pieces
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 1/2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips ingedients:
- 1 quart canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 25 corn tortilla, cut into sixths
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the guacamole: Combine the avocados, onion, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and salt. Stir all the ingredients to blend them together. Add the avocado pit to the mixture, leaving it in when you serve the dip.
- For the tortilla chips: In a deep fryer or 4-quart pot on medium heat, heat the oil to 350°F, as measured by a candy thermometer. Add the chips to the hot oil, stirring continuously for 1 minute and turning the chips over with a slotted spoon. Cook the chips for 3 to 4 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon and set them to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle them with the salt and serve with the guacamole.
The Busy Mom’s Cookbook sells for $26 and can be found online at Chef Antonia’s website, www.chefantonia.com. The cookbook is also available as an e-book.
Disclosure: Mom Central received a copy of The Busy Mom’s Cookbook in order to facilitate this review.