Apron Free Cooking

Apron Free Cooking by Noel Lizotte, recipes, stories and helpful hints, 3-ring binder with room to grow, hard-bound with book stand, CD available

I first met Noel at a writing workshop. We hit it off right away. She had a creative, active, brainstorm-ready mind and she was a great listener.

Noel stuck with me through years of job loss and gain, kid trouble, career questions and (most importantly) National Novel Writing Month (she has named several of my characters, which makes her the god-mother).

She was one of my biggest fans when I started writing for the newspaper.

It seemed logical that I would do my best to hire her when I was given the editor position.

One day, after I had gotten my legs, she sent me a proposal: Columns about cooking. This was a great idea. She was a gifted writer and I knew her submissions would need little, if any, editing. I also knew our community was big on pot-luck dinners and cook-book swapping.

Each week she sent me a perfect-length piece called “Apron Free Cooking.” Each included a story about one of her family members, or a family event, and why the recipe was important to her family. Many of the recipes were gleaned from 60-100 year old recipe cards or random slips of paper tucked into pockets and recipe boxes.

She was a hit with my readers.

Within a few years she was ready to publish a book. I was happy to give her a send-off.

But I’m not reviewing this book because Noel is my friend. I am reviewing this book because, even when I was a 60+hour-per-week editor of a paper, these recipes were doable for me.

My favorites are the Irish soda bread with bangers and mash. I served this up March 17 and the family made it disappear without any encouragement from me (I made a double batch).

The recipes in Apron Free are easy and quick to do. They are tasty and, like the title promises, you don’t need to wear your apron (I’ve never worn an apron, so it’s like this book was written for me!).

Extra recipes can be stored in the enclosed pocket as well as taping or printing them on ½ size paper 3-hole-punched. In my book, I have 20 pages of recipes I have added, things I found online and recipes my neighbors have shared. The book is out in my kitchen most of the week.

You can get a taste of cooking at ApronFreeCooking.com as well as her most excellent writing skills.

Happy cooking!

Sharing my favorite:

Irish Soda Bread

6 c. flour

¼ T baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 c. buttermilk or sour milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center. Stir in the milk vigorously, if necessary, add more milk, but the mixture should not be too thin. On a floured board, flatten the dough into a circle approximately 1 ½ inch thick. With a floured knife, make a cross in the dough. Place on a baking sheet in oven for 40 minutes. Bread is done when light golden brown.

Note: Prep time 20 min. Ready time: 60 min. (nutritional information)

Bangers and Mash

8 sausage links

Brown gravy

8 lg potatoes

½ c milk

4 T butter

In a large skillet, brown the sausages. In a large pan of water, place peeled and diced potatoes. Bring the potatoes to boil and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place in mixing bowl with milk and butter. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Serve a generous scoop of potatoes with two sausage and gravy.

Note: Prep time 20 min. Cook time 30 min. (nutritional information)

Since the release of her first book, Noel has published lots more articles and books. To see the rest of her projects go to http://www.apronfreecooking.com/

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