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Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals 2    by Sandra Lee order for
Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals 2
by Sandra Lee
Order:  USA  Can
Meredith, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With fantastic photographs that make one reach for a knife and fork, Sandra Lee has once again outdone herself in offering recipes and tips for twenty-minute meals. She uses her unique 70/30 philosophy of mixing 70% quality readymade foods with 30% fresh ingredients, then tells us to 'add a dash of creativity and cook up a meal that's 100% amazing.'

Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals 2 offers 'six chapters of inventive recipes, conveniently paired into fabulous full-menu meals you can put together easily, with time to spare.' We're told that 'Time is the currency of life and much more valuable than money. Spend it wisely with Semi-Homemade.'

After presenting ideas for using pre-packaged foods, drink mixes and suggested utensils, Lee segues to Starters and Snacks. Reading these recipes - and gazing at photos of the results - is enough to start one salivating. There's Greek Layered Dip with Pita Chips; Crab Cake Fritters; Roast Beef and Blue Cheese. I have only randomly chosen recipes. Leaving any out is a crime, but space doesn't permit. Besides, you can obtain the complete collection yourself.

Sandra Lee gets serious with Pasta. I never met a pasta dish I didn't like. She suggests main courses like Ravioli with Marsala-Caper Sauce and Sautéed Zucchini with Garlic and Herbs. Or maybe Angel Hair with Salmon in Lemon Cream Sauce with Garlicky Sautéed Green Beans and Peas. Drooling yet? Wait until you see the photos accompanying the recipes. This wonderful food is produced in a short time span - food you could serve to the boss.

On to Beef, Pork, and Lamb. What dishes! Filet Mignon with Red Wine Mushrooms is paired with Blue Cheese and Bacon Mashed Potatoes. There's Pork Loin Chops with Peach BBQ Sauce and Bourbon Creamed Corn. Or Lamb Chops with Garlic Yogurt Sauce with Glazed Carrots and Snap Peas with Golden Raisins.

Keeping in mind that each dish comes with an estimated time to produce, we move on to Fish and Shellfish. In danger of running out of space, I'll just suggest one dish from each of the remaining chapters. Salmon is a must in my diet. Love the stuff. Orange Basalmic Glazed Salmon with Mandarin Couscous gets my vote. Don't neglect the other recipes, though. Dynamite.

Chicken and Turkey are waiting their turn. For a nice change with chicken, I opt for the Wasabi Chicken with Four Pea Stir Fry. The peas take only ten minutes to put together. For everyone who has eaten all their dinner, Treats and Desserts are next. Tiramisu a l'Orange is my choice. I could also be talked into a Strawberry Creamsicle Martini.

Keep in mind that all of the elegant dishes pictured in this new cookbook take no more than 20 minutes to prepare. Get ready for accolades for your food and find something else to do with your extra time.

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