A Valentine gift for your cooking-impaired freelance friend or sweetie

February 14th, 2008

hands-off-cooking.jpgI admit it. I hate to cook. I eat out of boxes and cans and to-go containers more than I should, even though I prefer a healthy, homemade meal 10 to 1. That’s why I was excited when Ann Martin Rolke sent me a copy of her book, Hands-Off Cooking: Low Supervision, High-Flavor Meals for Busy People, which clearly was written for lazy and/or no-time-in-the-kitchen sorts like me. Yummy, healthy recipes (Tandoorish Chicken! Fridge Cleaning Frittata! Nutty Pumpkin Lasagna!) that I can’t burn if I have to dash off to my computer and get down one more sentence? What could be better!

As an extra treat, Ann answered a few questions for the blog. Read, drool, buy.

Q. What prompted you to write the book?chickpea-potato-curry.jpg

A. I was actually approached by an agent who I had spoken to previously about ghostwriting a book with a chef. She used to be a cookbook editor and thought this idea hadn’t been really explored yet in a cookbook.

Q. What 5 to 10 staple ingredients should busy self-employed people always have on hand in their cabinets and fridge so they can easily whip up dinner in 15 minutes or less?

A. Canned tomatoes, canned beans, rice, skinless chicken or fish, garlic.

Q. Any unexpected kitchen equipment hands-off cooks need to stock their cabinets with?

A. I don’t know if it’s unexpected, but a heavy-duty pot is a must for braising and soups (like Le Creuset) and I use my 9 x 13-inch casserole several times a week. I do think an oven thermometer and kitchen timer with multiple settings (so you can time more than one thing at once) are great to make sure everything goes well!

Q. What’s your favorite “I’m on a crunch deadline and need to burn the midnight oil” dinner or late-night snack recipe?

A. Baked pita chips and hummus.

Ann Martin RolkeQ. What’s your favorite comfort food recipe?

A. Indian food lately — something easy like my Aloo Cholay from the book or some naan that I buy frozen and reheat, smeared with some simple yellow split peas cooked with spices until they’re like refried beans. So comforting!

Q. How much cash do you think busy working women stand to save by making hands-off recipes instead of ordering take-out or buying a to-go meal at the local market?

A. Well, depending on where you grocery shop, you can really eat well for not much money. We don’t eat meat every night, for example, and that keeps the costs down and the vegetable intake up! So say you normally would spend $7 to 10 a person for to-go (not fast food); you can easily feed four people for $10 and make a great lasagna, soup, or vegetarian curry.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A. The whole idea of this book was to make cooking flavorful, healthy meals less time-consuming and more accessible. We’re all so used to eating lots of different ethnic cuisines and constantly trying to balance health with convenience. So I really tried to make my recipes easy to put together but full of flavor, color, and texture, so that they’re really satisfying.

Want a taste? Order this fine cookbook now. Or visit Ann’s blog for recipes and other quick-cooking tips.

Entry Filed under: Balance,Gift guide,Q&As,This freelance life

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christine Steendahl  |  July 13th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks for the information on the book. The interview is great, too.

  • 2. The Anti 9 to 5 Guide A V&hellip  |  May 26th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    [...] The Anti 9 to 5 Guide A Valentine gift for your cooking impaired Posted by root 20 hours ago (http://www.anti9to5guide.com) A well depending on where you grocery shop you can really eat well for not much money 1 comment add your own 1 christine steendahl july 13th 2008 at 8 41 pm theme customization by cmd shift design powered by wordpress Discuss  |  Bury |  News | the anti 9 to 5 guide a valentine gift for your cooking impaired [...]

  • 3. Colin  |  July 16th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Living in Rural Wales ( UK ) I find that we are blessed with fantastic butchers who source their meat from local farms.

    The quality and taste of godd Welsh Black steaks cannot be beaten, and fresh Welsh leg of lamb for your Sunday roast is mouthwatering.

    No supermarket meat for us. We cook the food we love and do not have take outs or anything like that. All served up with fresh vegetables grown from our garden


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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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