Half Homemade, Fully Delicious: An "In the Kitchen with David" Cookbook from QVC's Resident Foodie

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The popular host of QVC’s In the Kitchen with David® offers a new collection of 110 simple, time-saving recipes that will change the way you shop, cook, and enjoy homemade meals.
 
Like busy people everywhere, David Venable wants to spend less time in the kitchen prepping and cooking and more time at the table with family and friends. From appetizers to desserts, the 110 dishes in Half Homemade, Fully Delicious show home cooks how to take advantage of supermarket shortcuts with ready-to-use products found in every grocery aisle. These cook-friendly spice blends, jarred sauces, frozen fruits, canned foods, and prepped vegetables mean satisfying meals are ready in a fraction of the usual time. A looks-good-enough-to-eat photograph accompanies each recipe. From breakfast to breads, casseroles to cast-iron cooking, there are ideas for every meal and gathering.
 
Here’s a sampling of what you’ll discover:
• Cheeseburger Hand Pies
• Hawaiian Breakfast Bake
• Sloppy Joe Soup
• Anytime Autumn Salad
• Oven-Baked Baby Back Ribs with Lettuce Slaw
• Ground Beef–Noodle Casserole
• Reuben “Sandwich” Skillet Bake
• Creamy Corn off the Cob
• Rosé Summer Spritzers
• Donut Bread Pudding
• Chocolate Dream Icebox Pie
 
As acclaimed restaurateur and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian writes in his foreword, “What David does better than anyone than I know is take the simplest, most ordinary ingredients and in practically no time create something extraordinary. In this book, Half Homemade, Fully Delicious, David shares his secrets on how to make incredible meals incredibly easy. He expertly shows you how to take store-bought staples and pair them with fresh ingredients for dishes that never compromise on taste.”

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Half Homemade, Fully Delicious: An "In the Kitchen with David" Cookbook from QVC's Resident Foodie

Introduction

Oh. My. Word.

How did our lives become so busy? If your calendar looks anything like mine, then you know how those hours, days, and weeks seem to have become shorter and shorter. Because we have so many work, family, and other obligations, we need to make choices about how we want to spend these precious moments.

As you know from our twice-weekly visits on In the Kitchen with David on QVC, I love to cook. I love to eat. (Cue my happy dance!) I love everything about cooking except dicing piles of onions, carrots, and celery and measuring spices to make the perfect seasoning blend. If there are ways to take the “work” out of prep work, count me in.

Well, there’s good news, foodie friends. Half Homemade, Fully Delicious is loaded with creative ideas for getting great comfort food on the table while spending far less time in the kitchen. All of the 110 recipes in my newest collection use ten ingredients or fewer. Most of them take advantage of “supermarket shortcuts,” those handy, ready-to-use products from every aisle in the grocery store that will streamline your cooking. By using these culinary quick tricks to your advantage, you’ll reach your destination—the dining table—in a fraction of the time it traditionally takes to prepare meals, all without sacrificing the flavors and texture of your favorite dishes.

Before supermarket shortcuts, making dishes like Butternut Squash Hummus (page 13) would have meant peeling, seeding, and cutting up the squash; soaking and cooking dried chickpeas; and toasting and puréeing sesame seeds. Now, all I have to do is roast some already prepped squash pieces, then combine them with a can of chickpeas and some jarred tahini. On every grocery run, I pick up a rotisserie chicken or two knowing that over the course of the week, I will use them along with other readily available ingredients.

For the Barbecue Chicken Salad (page 72), the meat is tossed with bottled barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, then combined with lettuce and canned black beans and corn. Shredded chicken from one bird goes into a pot along with cubed vegetables, boxed chicken stock, frozen peas and carrots, and canned cream of chicken soup for a warming Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Dippers (page 46). Oh, and it’s ready to be ladled into bowls in less than thirty minutes. Now, that’s quick and easy.

Having these ready-to-use ingredients at my fingertips inspires me to recreate new versions of memorable, comforting dishes from my childhood, travels, restaurants I’ve eaten in, and meals I’ve enjoyed at the homes of friends. The time needed to make D-I-Y Deviled Eggs (page 18), a must- have at every Southern gathering, is minimal when you use already hard-boiled-and-peeled eggs. Buying the cooked eggs allows you to spend more time on inventive toppings. The Reuben “Sandwich” Skillet Bake (page 159) is a variation on my favorite deli sandwich and takes advantage of frozen hash browns, canned sauerkraut, corned beef from the deli, and Thousand Island dressing. (Think about the time you would have to spend to make just one of those ingredients from scratch.) Trips to our fiftieth state sparked me to combine canned pineapple, already-cooked ham steak, and Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls in the Hawaiian Breakfast Bake (page 26). When I first started out on local television, I relied on inexpensive and filling ramen noodle packets. Those packets gave me the idea for my Beef Ramen Bowls (page 96), a dish much improved with skirt steak, mushrooms, and General Tso’s sauce. Turtle Brookies (page 169) use a box of brownie mix and a bag of chocolate chip cookie mix for a best-of-both-worlds dessert.

The beauty of these recipes is how much room they give you to make them your own. If you like more heat, add some extra chopped jalapeño to Creamy Corn off the Cob (page 179). For additional tang, use a tad more vinegar in the Greek Salad (page 63).

You’ll love how much time you can save by mixing and matching ingredients from the store’s many aisles and departments. Southwestern Skillet Scampi (page 127) uses fresh tomato salsa from the refrigerator section, shrimp from the freezer section, and black beans and diced green chiles from the canned goods aisle. I love the Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole (page 142), a dish of my mom’s that I fondly remember. Just use a rotisserie chicken, a box of broth, frozen broccoli florets, a can of cream of broccoli soup, and a package of precooked rice. These dishes come together in no time with supermarket shortcuts.

To make things even easier, many of these recipes not only can be made ahead, but they can also be frozen. Just heat and serve when you need it. Talk about food fast with a wow factor!

With supermarket shortcuts and my new collection of comfort recipes in Half Homemade, Fully Delicious, you’ll rediscover the pleasures of sharing meals and good times. No matter how busy you get, you can always find the time to make food that’ll get you “oohs” and “aaahs.” Only you will know how quickly you got it done.

Let’s get started.

- About the author -

QVC’s “resident foodie” David Venable has been a program host since 1993 and has logged more than 12,000 hours in front of the camera. Viewers can watch him twice weekly on QVC’s In the Kitchen with David® and anytime on his YouTube series, Half Homemade. Venable has appeared on NBC’s Today, ABC’s The Chew, the Rachael Ray Show, and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. His recipes have been featured in People, HuffPost, Woman’s World, and Good Housekeeping, as well as in other popular publications. Raised in North Carolina, Venable graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

More from David Venable

Half Homemade, Fully Delicious: An "In the Kitchen with David" Cookbook from QVC's Resident Foodie

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Half Homemade, Fully Delicious: An "In the Kitchen with David" Cookbook from QVC's Resident Foodie

— Published by Ballantine Books —