"The days of home-cooked meals don't have to be over for any of us; comfort foods can be on your table whenever you like, with just a little bit of planning ahead. That's where I come in," states the spirited author Diane Phillips in the introduction to You've Got it Made.
There are days when the mere thought of planning a meal can put us into overdrive. In our busy, stressful lives, we are happy that Ms. Phillips has not only written clear, easy-to-follow recipes, but done the thinking for us. And Ms. Phillips is thorough: she has strategies for equipment, ingredients, for what should be stored in the dry pantry to spare that trip to the store for a missing ingredient. She has notes on food safety and a guidelines for safe food storage as well as a a brief section on baking frozen foods that will guarantee that your house will be fragrant with aromas, not buzzing with worries.
Phillips greatest strategy is a mind set:prepare ahead for that crazy day is coming. On that day when life is too stressful, a comforting dish is waiting in the freezer and needs only to be popped into the oven. Phillips has covered all aspects of the meals we love, from from casseroles, lasagnas, appetizers and sides, pot pies,strudels, souffles, breads, desserts, and even breakfasts (friends coming for a brunch on Sunday? No need to panic!).
Reflecting Phillips' sense of organization, the recipes are broken into two phases: make it now and bake it later and contain clear instructions for each phase. There are also what Phillips calls "Diva Notes" that give tips on aspects of the recipe.
Phillips writes clean recipes. Soon you will be making such dishes as Prosciutto Palmiers, Honey-Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Pot-Roasted Lamb with White Beans, Pork Osso Buco with Parmesan Polenta, Tuscan Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Old-Fashioned Mac and Cheese with Variations, Steamed Fish Packets with Six Variations, Bacon-Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Blue Cheese, Cherry Brandy Pie and Chocolate Lava Cakes.