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In the Kitchen With Mary & Martha: One Dish Wonders

by Rebecca Germany & Kelly Williams, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., POB 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683 www.barbourbooks.com - 9” x 5.8” 224 pages, comb-bound for flat-lying $14.97

by Michael Leppert
Barbour Publishing is best known for its Christian-based books and Bibles, but it also produces a number of general-living titles as well. The Mary & Martha series of cookbooks are well-known among purveyors of Christian bookstores and websites. This latest tome is subtitled “a Cookbook

That Makes Mealtime a Breeze for Busy Women Everywhere!” While busy fathers who are also skilled cooks may take exception to this subtitle, suffice to say that the recipes contained within are extremely helpful -- both as actual recipes and as idea-starters for meal spin offs. One Dish Wonders abounds with yummy casserole ideas, skillet suppers, all-day, slow-cook crock-pot dishes, soups (including Clam Chowder), snacks and desserts and some prep-ahead tips that can be realized in a short amount of time.

Besides hearty meat-based or fish-based dishes, such as Chicken N’ Corn Bread Casserole, Country Breakfast Casserole (featuring sausage, hash browns, shredded cheese & eggs) or “Grandma Shutt’s Meatloaf, the authors have also included some delicious and creative ideas for salads such as Taco Salad (p. 122) and Grated Potato Salad (p. 123 -- a stupendous idea for summer picnics!) In the Dessert section of the book are Seven-Layer Bars (containing graham crackers, chocolate chips, chopped nuts and coconut) and Dirt Cake (made of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and lots of dairy products, served in an unused flowerpot and garnished with gummy worms!) What nine-year-old boy would not love to have such a delicacy served at his birthday party! Mary & Martha also have recipes for cobblers, including Fresh Peach -- who can resist whipping up a huge batch of this great dish and feasting for days! As you can see, One Dish Wonders does not contain simply entree ideas but everything before and after. The book includes a two-page Nifty Substitutions that tells the user various snippets of important information, such as the fact that one small clove of garlic equals 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and that one-half of a vanilla bean equals 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. And there is also a one-page Weights and Measures sheet in case you can never seem to recall how many ounces a pint contains or how many tablespoons are in a cup. Mary & Martha’s One Dish Wonders is an excellent addition to your cookbook library with great recipe and prep ideas that can help you the next time you are staring blankly into a clean saute pan or crock pot, experiencing “chef’s block”!
- M.L. ■