Check It Out: Cookbook has one-dish answers to meal dilemma



Whenever September comes around, I picture a starter gun going off, signaling the beginning of the fast-paced race to December, the finish line of the year. Everything seems to pick up speed — work, time, life — and I find myself wondering how to pack it all in.

When it comes to preparing meals, I’m extremely fortunate because my husband loves to cook. He spent some of his youth working in restaurants, and this experience gave him a talent for creating quick, flavorful dishes.

If it weren’t for him, I’d probably rely too much on microwave dinners and take-out. I do try to fix dinner once in a while, but I’m a recipe girl, and my pace is much slower than that of my personal chef.

On those rare occasions when I do turn on the stove, I tend to look for one-dish recipes because multi-tasking in the kitchen does not come naturally to me. Thank goodness there are great cookbooks out there like this week’s title. Whether you’re a crazy-busy mom trying to prepare nourishing meals for an active family, a workaholic with little time to prepare let alone plan dinner, or a one-dish-at-a-time amateur like me, the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine are looking out for you. Illustrations and cooking tips accompany an impressive selection of single-pot recipes, and because these recipes come from the highly respected America’s Test Kitchen, everything has been tested and tested again. Nice to have one less thing to stress about during the race.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at She blogs at