Busy People’s Fast & Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall – Review

Title: Busy People’s Fast & Frugal Cookbook
Author: Dawn Hall
Pages: 384
Size: 7.7″ x 7.6″
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Spi edition (10/13/09)

Publisher’s book description: “Perfect recipes for any cook with little time and even less money.

You want to give your family nutritious, home-cooked meals, but who has time to cook? You do, if you cook the Busy People’s™ way. What is a Busy People’s™ recipe? It’s one that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. A dream-come-true for busy cooks everywhere.

Dawn Hall shows home cooks how to prepare simple and fast food that’s as healthy as it is easy on the budget. The Busy People’s Fast and Frugal Cookbook is just the thing for today’s economy minded meal makers.”

My View
I have many cookbooks and enjoy trying new recipes so I was excited to review this book. Each recipe includes a sidebar (or 2 if its a longer one) that has a supplies list (ie. 12″ skillet, oven, mixing bowls etc.), a suggestion for meal accompaniments, grocery list for the recipe and the suggested sides, helpful hints, nutritional information and sometimes a picture. The size of the book is great, with 384 pages you’re bound to find at least one or two recipes to try. Although I like the idea of the layout, I can’t say that I love having a grocery list in the sidebar. After all, I can see from reading the recipe what items I’ll need to purchase, it seems like a waste of space to me. In addition to giving you detailed step by step instruction for preparing the dish they also instruct you when to start the suggested accompaniments so that everything gets done at the same time, I thought that was a nice feature.

Honestly I’m sorry to say that I was pretty disappointed and can’t say that this is a book I would purchase. Most of the recipes seem to rely on canned and packaged foods, for example, Beef & Mushroom Noodle soup calls for 13 cups of beef broth made from bouillon and 2 cans of roast beef and gravy! I can’t imagine eating a soup that’s made with 13 cups of beef bouillon broth, it just doesn’t sound appealing!

I guess it just depends on who the book is for. It may appeal to newer cooks (although I don’t think it would be the best way to learn) or harried moms who need an occasional throw together meal when their creativity fails them. I did make the Tuna a la King (pg 144) but doctored it up so much that I wouldn’t call it the same recipe. The original was bland and I made my own biscuits which takes about 5 minutes, at most, to mix up.

Buy It!
Busy People’s Fast & Frugal Cookbook can be purchased at various retailers including Thomas Nelson and Amazon (affiliate link) (currently priced at $14.99 new).

* FTC compliant disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and your opinion may differ from mine. No other compensation was received. Please see my full disclosure & terms of use here. *

About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1
    Kate and Oli says

    thanks so much for your comment on my blog! i'm a follower of yours now, too. i am not a big cooker, but i'm always trying to be, so i really enjoyed this review!

    xo, katie

  2. 2
    Marilyn's Money says

    Oh let me tell you how great and wonderful a person Dawn Hall is. She sent my teenage daughter and autographed book after she emailed her and told her how great her show is. Also she featured my daughter Kristie Jaegly recipe in this book on page 158, be sure to look for it!

  3. 3

    Thank you Kate and Oli for stopping by! Just keep practicing and you'll get better and better!

    @Marilyn's Money, that was so kind of her! Your daughter must be so proud to have been featured! Thank you for stopping by!

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