A One-Dish Celebration

Anderson Cover Art_hresMy Facebook message, August 23rd: “So my 6th baby is finally born. Perfect One-Dish Dinners officially moved from pre-order to available.”

Today—September 20th—another big day! It starts with the Today Show. (I hope they don’t make too many Pam Anderson jokes.) And although the book’s been floating around a few weeks, it’s the official publishing date for Perfect One-Dish Dinners—All You Need For Easy Get-Togethers.

I like my new baby a lot. In fact, Maggy and Sharon have both told me they think it’s my best book yet. (OK, so they’re my daughters and maybe they’re a tad unobjective.) It’s fast becoming my favorite too because this past weekend I’ve been one of those harried cooks I wrote the book for. I needed to serve up a couple of memorable meals with very little time to pull it off or extra bucks to hire it done.

Sharon and her beau Tony came for a special dinner Friday night. Saturday night I took dinner to a special friend in need. And it’s not over. Right after the Today Show, I’m headed home to pull together dinner for twelve. But all is well. Thankfully I’ve got a collection of utterly simple one-dishes—friendly yet sophisticated—and the best they can be. It’s the book I relied on all weekend and the book I’m using tonight. I’m living proof you can have a life and make a great dinner too.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Forget juggling side dishes and vegetables. Cook everything in the same pot or pan—or at least in the same oven. For example don’t roast chicken and bake stuffing separately. Serve Festive Roast Chicken and Dressing—herbaceous chicken parts baked right in the stuffing. The result: the drippings flavor the stuffing (yum!) and the chicken’s already carved (yea!).

No need for three pots for spaghetti and meatballs. With One-Pot Penne with Turkey-Feta Meatballs, the meatballs, sauce and pasta—start to finish—cook in the same pot. Rather than make mashed potatoes for Coq au Vin Blanc, cook the potatoes right in this light, flavorful chicken stew.

And speaking of pots and pans… a heavy-duty roasting pan is (in Cold Stone Creamery parlance) “Gotta Have It” in my kitchen. Set over two burners it works like a skillet, doubling your surface. No more browning (or frying) in batches—it all fits in one pan! Its larger surface means food cooks more evenly. And at the end of the night, there’s just one pan to clean. Love it! (For more on this subject read: Do It In The Oven.)

The book is filled with simple appetizers. Lemon Raspberry Cakes sound like an all-day project, but starting with store-bought shortcakes, they assemble in just a few minutes. Don’t have few minutes? There’s an Instant Alternative for each appetizer and dessert. Using the same ingredients that were in the Lemon Raspberry Cakes, for example, streak lemon curd through softened vanilla ice cream and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Only have time to make one dish? That’s OK. Just set out a bowl of roasted nuts and uncork a nice wine. Make a quick salad (how easy is that these days?) and dish up your favorite ice cream. With a smashing one-dish, you need nothing more.

Perfect One-Dish Dinners is available at Amazon, Borders, or Barnes and Noble.

10 Comments

  1. says

    Much congrats Pam! It was so wonderful to meet you and Maggy in California!! Very much looking forward to trying your one dish wonders, and seeing you both again in SF! Such fun you have a head…the Today Show, White on Rice….when one door closes, so many others open :-) Congrats on a job well done!!

  2. says

    Pam- Congratulations and I know I shared via Twitter, but excellent job on the Today Show (and I cannot wait for my book to arrive!!). I cannot fully express just how much your style of cooking and writing (as well as your – and your daughter’s – stories on this blog) resonate with me, in general, but at this particular time in my life. I shared in my first comment, about a month ago, so I won’t fill up your comment section again(!!) but I just want to say, thank you…
    For teaching me to be a better cook, to rely on the knowledge that I have built since ‘staying at home’ over the past few years – instead of following every recipe to a “T”- and most importantly, for eliminating feelings of frustration- that I was spending my “life” in the kitchen! I honestly stopped entertaining and have cooked much less, because although I LOVE doing both, I just wasn’t up for giving up everything else! And thanks to you, I know now that I don’t have to.

  3. says

    I just have to say that I LOVE your new book! The coq au vin blanc in particular is extraordinary; it is now one of my go-to meals when I’m expecting company. The cassoulet-style Italian sausages & white beans is a new favorite of ours as well. I can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of the book!

  4. catherine wiese says

    My family and I love your new book!! I have all of your cookbooks and use them all on regular basis. Thank you so much for all of the delicious recipes- we always have a teriffic meal in no time flat.

  5. says

    I served Coq Au Vin Blanc for a dinner party this weekend and it was a huge hit. You are so right – any dish like this that all cooks in one pot is the way to go when entertaining! Less stress from beginning to end! Thanks, Pam!

  6. susan says

    I ordered mine and it seems like it will never get here! Can’t wait. I read the reviews of your other cook books while on Amazon and loved the rave reviews. My first recipe I’m trying? Coq Au Vin!!!! Thanks, Pam!

  7. says

    I pre-ordered the book a while back and it does feel a bit like a holiday of sorts to be notified of shipping when I sort of forgot about it. Very excited! As much as I love to make things my my blog, I also occasionally need inspiration for my own meals or I end up having that one dish dinner called cereal.

  8. says

    As a big fan of your babies, I am looking forward to checking out your newest! I have been using The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great and The Perfect Recipe for Having People Over for years. In fact, I just posted a review for The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great on my blog and on Amazon today. I love love love both your cooking and writing!

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