Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review & Giveaway (Closed): The 99 Cent Only Stores Cookbook

Book CoverI have to appreciate Christiane Jory's creative approach to frugality. After discovering 99 Cent Only Stores (a chain with more than 250 stores in four states), she set out to devise recipes that used only ingredients from that store. The result was The 99 Cent Only Stores Cookbook--Gourmet Recipes at Discount Prices.

Now, I've never shopped in 99 Cent Only Stores, but they appear to carry a much more extensive variety of products than the dollar stores in my area. Jory uses steaks, milk, eggs, bagged cole slaw mix--none of which are available at the dollar stores I know. But with the exception of the steaks, most of these ingredients are reasonably priced at the supermarket. Living outside the territory of 99 Cent Only Stores is not a reason to dismiss this book out of hand.

The book begins with sample menus, such as a brunch for 8 (Frittatas Italiana, Raisin Bacon Muffins, and Red Flannel Hash) that can be prepared for about $22.99 and a Light Fare Luncheon for 4 to 6 (Chicken Bundles, Spinach Souffle, and Violet's Morning Cake) that costs only about $11.99 to make. Following the menu pages are the recipe sections: Hors d'Oeuvres and Appetizers, Sides and Soups, Main Courses, and Baked Goods and Desserts.

While some of the recipes are a bit adventurous for me (such as Vegetables in Coconut Gravy or Easter "Ham" made from Spam), there are quite a few recipes in this book that look delicious. Fried Spinach Balls look like fun appetizers or snacks, while Spicy Corn and Pepper Spread sounds like an easy make-ahead appetizer. The Artichoke-Spinach Bake sounds very much like an appetizer we once tried at a fancy restaurant. And although I'm not a fan of mushrooms, the Mushroom Turnovers look easy to prepare and probably yummy to mushroom lovers.

Among the Main Courses, the Hawaiian Ham Pie and Chicken Bundles are on my list of recipes to try. I'm especially looking forward to trying some of the desserts, like Banana Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche and Pooh Bread (a yeast bread flavored with honey and spices).

Many of the recipe pages include helpful hints: a way to streamline the recipe, a tip to reduce food waste, a history tidbit, or another way to use one of the ingredients. After the recipe sections are a few reference sections, including a list of equivalents and substitutions and a glossary of cooking terms. The first includes pages of equivalent measures--not only general equivalents (e.g., 1 tablespoon=3 teaspoons) but also specific equivalents (e.g., 1 pound of almonds with shells = 1-3/4 cups meat)--and emergency substitutions. The lists of equivalents and substitutions are better than what I have in some other all-around cookbooks. Several pages to write your own recipes are also included.

The 99 Cent Only Stores Cookbook is a good resource for cooking on a budget, especially for college students or young people who are just starting out on their own. I wish I'd had a book like this when I was a young adult, struggling to cook meals on next to no money!

Want to learn more? You can see a few sample recipes--including the Artichoke Spinach Bake--here. The book is available at Amazon.com (either directly or through My Amazon Store) and other booksellers.

This giveaway is closed. Congratulations Vickie and Cole!

Want to win a copy? Adams Media has offered two copies of this book for readers of this blog! Here's how to enter:

Just leave me a comment and tell me which recipe (of the ones I've mentioned or the ones on the book website) you'd most like to try. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you. This must be done in order to qualify for extra entries.

Here's how you can earn up to three additional entries:

  • Visit the book website and leave me a comment that mentions one of the food items (packaged foods or recipes) on the recipes page.
  • Grab my button and add it to your sidebar. Leave a comment with a link to your blog.
  • Subscribe to my feed in a feed reader or by email. Leave an extra comment to let me know you've done this. If you already subscribe, leave a comment to let me know.
More details: Open to residents of USA, age 18 or older. Giveaway ends Tuesday 7/14/09 at noon (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen by the random number generator at Random.org. Winner will be contacted by email and must claim the prize within 72 hours, or another winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!


Disclosure: Although I received a review copy of the book at no cost to me, I am receiving no other compensation for writing this review. Giveaway prizes are being provided by Adams Media.

30 comments :

  1. i would love to try Pooh Bread
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  2. subscribe in google reader
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  3. button
    throuthehaze.blogspot.com

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  4. Spicy sesame noodles is one of the recipes on the site

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  5. Hawaiian Ham Pie sounds yummy!

    Just saw you on Mommy PR linky and wanted to say Hi, then I saw this great giveaway!

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  6. Ooouuu, I could use some help trying to save money. Don't know about the Easter spam ham, but Chicken Bundles sounds promising, so does the Hawiann Ham Pie.

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  7. I already subscribe to your feed:)

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  8. I am snagging your button for here:

    http://www.vickiesscrapbookingandtidbits.blogpost.com

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  9. I would love to try the artichoke spinach bake. I love anything with artichokes in it.

    rsgrandinetti@yahoo.com

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  10. I checked out book's blog and found a recipe for "Choco Chunk French Toast with Virgin Irish Coffee Cream." If the book is like that, I want a copy!

    We lived within walking distance of one of these stores when we lived in Los Angeles and I totally miss it now that we're back in Iowa. Wish they would franchise here!

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  11. visiting from sits the idea of fried spinach balls sounds totally fab-great giveaway would love to win this
    mwcdeb8r99@aol.com

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  12. read the sample recipes on the book site and totally am planning on trying the spicy seasame noodles
    mwcdeb8r99@aol.com

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  13. I'd love to try the mushroom turnovers. ruthjoec at aoldot com

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  14. I didn't know you could get sun dried tomatoes at the dollar store

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  15. I'm now a follower. Nice blog.

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  16. I'd have to go with the artichoke spinach bake - clever ideas!

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  17. I would like to try Banana Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche!



    iljaze (at) gmail (dot) com

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  18. I would love to try the Easter spam ham!


    iljaze (at) gmail (dot) com

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  19. I Subscribed to your blog by email!



    iljaze (at) gmail (dot) com

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  20. The spicy sesame noodles sound great. thanks for sharing

    ceashark at aol dot com

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  21. The Spicy Sesame Noodles ask for Orchids Chile Oil. I will have to be on the lookout for that.

    thanks

    ceashark at aol dot com

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  22. I have subscribed by email.

    thanks again

    ceashark at aol dot com

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  23. Green beans au gratin sound fab to me! I am always looking for new ways to cook veggies to make them more appealing to the fam.

    :)

    ndisilvio @ gmail . com

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  24. I am already feeling hungry! I'd love to try the Artichoke Spinach Bake on Homemade Pizza Bread. I am stoked that the recipe is right there at the site!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. The Artichoke Spinache bake calls for Philadelphia cream cheese. Yummmmm

    kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. I subscribe to your feed via my google reader.

    kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I added your button to my blog: http://enroutetolife.blogspot.com/

    kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. What a cute site for that book. Great idea, I think. I'd never heard off 99c only stores but seems like there's a couple in my city - neat. The Morning After Cake looks the best on the site.

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  29. chicken bundles sound good..thx for contest
    thehighflyer3@hotmail.com

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  30. I saw this on Rachael Ray. It is awesome I want to try the artichoke spinach recipe.
    lbaker1005@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete

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