Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide Day 9: 5 Ingredient Fix: Book Review

About The Book:

Claire Robinson, the hot new Food Network star of 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge, helps people get dinner on the table with little fuss and a few great ingredients. The quest for simple, affordable, and fresh, mouthwatering food is over. 5 INGREDIENT FIX helps put delicious and sophisticated meals on the table in a snap. With people struggling to simplify, streamline, and budget, the Food Network's Claire Robinson is here to help. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated to be impressive; simplifying the process with fewer ingredients saves time, frustration, and ultimately, money.

About The Author:

Claire Robinson is the host of Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix and the daily primetime series Food Network Challenge. Claire cites her French-speaking grandmother as a major influence on her love for food. Claire graduated from the French Culinary Institute, is an accomplished private chef, and has worked on culinary production teams for several cooking series', including Food Network's Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello.

My Review:

Until about 4 years ago I really did not like cooking or baking. However, having children has changed that. Since they need to eat, I have to cook. I really have come into my own during the last two years, trying out different recipes and sharing them with friends and family. I especially love recipes that are easy to follow, do not need a lot of ingredients and use everyday, normal ingredients as well. 

5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant and Irresistible Recipes by Claire Robinson meets all these criteria! The recipes all sound divine and I even tried out a couple. They were easy to follow and turned out great. One recipe that I would like to share with you is for BBQ Sauce. I love making food gifts for Christmas and this will be perfect!

BBQ Sauce

One 7-ounce jar or can organic tomato paste
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons BBQ Seasoning mix
2 Tablesppons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups Water

Whisk all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, or to desired thickness, about 1 hour.

Cool the sauce completely before transferring to an airtight container; store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

What makes this recipe really sing: Finding a great BBQ spice blend to keep in the pantry makes this dish so simple to whip together. Be sure to check the sodium content of spice blends when purchasing. I love to jar this sauce as a hostess gift for a summer weekend stay or when heading to a friends outdoor party. A gift of homemade BBQ sauce is always a huge hit!

What to toss in if you have it: Depending on the dinner's mood, I sometimes add a splash of bourbon to play up the sweet notes, a pinch of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat, just a bit of apple cider vinegar to balance out the flavors for pork, or a finely minced chipotle in adobo sauce when I'm craving a touch of smoky flavor. Any or all options are fun, but I must say this BBQ Sauce with my favorite BBQ seasoning blend hits all the best notes without any additions.

(p. 114, 5 Ingredient Fix)

The above recipe was incredibly easy and tastes simply divine! I used it on Chicken Breast, grilled on my indoor grill and served it with rice and steamed asparagus. It tasted wonderful. Although the majority of the recipes are not kid-friendly, per say, all these recipes could be easily adapted to suit a child's palate. I also have to say that the few recipes I have used have been very adaptable to a diabetic diet.  Also, these are also great recipes when having your adult friends over for a meal. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up. If you have any Foodies or Cook Book lover's in your life, 5 Ingredient Fix would be a great idea for Christmas!

BUY IT: You can purchase 5 Ingredient Fix by heading to and - it is also available through your favorite local bookseller.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Hachette Book Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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