What Are You Doing for Lunch?

What Are You Doing for Lunch?

Not Just a Cookbook

A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch

By: Mona Meighan, Ed.D.

What Are You Doing fo Lunch 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



I wish I had this cookbook a few years ago when I was working an 8-4 at a large insurance agency.  I cannot tell you how many salads I ate during my tenure there.  Or, how many times my lunch plans (salad) did not sound appealing and I went out for lunch.


What Are You Doing for Lunch? addresses many aspects of brown bagging it:  Cost, Health, and Convenience.  Meighan gives you 8 steps to planning a week of lunches.  If you aren’t quite ready to dive into planning your menu yet, this book also gives you 20 days of Lunches for you to try.


The best part is that no recipe in What Are You Doing for Lunch? takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare.  And, for the budget conscious, no recipe costs more than $5 per serving – many cost a dollar per serving!


I chose to try out What Are You Doing for Lunch? by cooking the Homemade Meatballs.  I was skeptical.  The prep was easy.  The ingredients simple.  And, my husband is picky.  I decided to kick it up a notch and toss the meatballs in a homemade marinara.

Lunch Meatballs Cooking

Then, I decided to recreate one of my favorite dining out lunches.  I turned them into a meatball sandwich with provolone cheese and a side of potato chips.

Lunch Meatball Sandwich

It was delicious.  We had enough meatballs for 2 adults and 1 child.  My son decided to eat his without the bun.

Lunch Meatballs for Kids

And, there were enough leftovers to feed 2 more adults and 1 child.  Basically, it was two lunches for a family of 3.  This mama was very happy.


Who would like this gift?


I think this cookbook would be great for the new college graduate, the cubicle worker, office temp, budget conscious executive, or homemakers who need some new ideas for ways to jazz up their lunches.


Where to Buy

For $13.46  you can purchase this cookbook at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit Cherie Kimmons’ Website .


Reviewed by: Nicole

 Note:  News & Experts graciously supplied me with a copy of What Are You Doing for Lunch?  for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide

Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Meals
By Nisa Burns

Kitchenability 101

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:  10+


Kitchenability 101 by Nisa Burns is a fantastic cookbook geared towards college students. But, I think it would be well received by any child who likes to cook or the novice chef looking for a great introductory book.

What’s so great about the cookbook? For starters, ever single recipe has a full color photograph which makes it excellent for someone starting out in the kitchen. It also gives an excellent tutorial that walks the reader thru a basic kitchen, the appliances, the techniques needed to prepare a meal, cooking terminology, staple items to keep on hand, and an overview of meal planning. I wish this cookbook had been around when I left home for the first time. Not kidding. I had way too many meals of canned soup and pizza in my early years.

I had a hard time selecting which recipe I wanted to prepare from Kitchenability 101. The Chocolate-Drenched Marshmallow Brownies called my name early on (I started reading in the Party! section. Please, don’t judge). Then I found the Chili Burritos and remembered all the meals I ate out of a food cart in college. I almost picked the Strawberry Crepes because they use Nutella and I LOVE Nutella. But, 30 minutes into my love obsession with this cookbook and its layout, I settled on Gnochi with Pesto. It’s simple. It’s elegant. And, Nisa Burns didn’t wimp out and tell you to grab a jar of your favorite pesto. It has a recipe for homemade pesto. Yum!

Pesto Gnochi


For those who think a college student couldn’t afford this type of cuisine, the whole recipe cost me less than $25 and I had enough pesto for a whole package of gnocchi, a whole package of tortellini and I still have enough pesto for another box or two of pasta or gnocchi.  I consider this very economical since pesto keeps well in the fridge and freezer!  

Where to Buy

For $14.46 you can purchase this delightful book at Amazon.

For More Information

Please visit Nisa Burns’ Website.

Reviewed by: Nicole

Note: PR by the Book graciously supplied me with a copy of Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food for review. No other compensation was received. The review in this post is honest and my own.

“Handwritten Recipes” by Michael Popek

Handwritten Recipes by Michael Popek is a delightful gift idea for anyone on your list who loves recipes and cookbooks!  I read cookbooks like some people read novels and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  However, this is the first cookbook I have ever read that was written by someone who is not a cook.  The author makes that clear right up front — in the introduction of the book.  He says, ”  First, let’s get things straight.  I’m a bookseller, not a cook.”  Michael works in his family’s used bookstore which boasts over 70,000 books and over 3,000 cookbooks.  Michael found all of the recipes in Handwritten Recipes on handwritten pieces of paper inside some of the books in his bookstore.

Here is the synopsis of Handwritten Recipes  from the back of the cover of the book:

Leaf through your old books, and you’re likely to find a bit of paper with a recipe written in a familiar (or not so familiar) hand.  It could be a family secret finally divulged, a scribbled interpretation of something seen on TV, even a culinary experiment long since forgotten.  What happens to these recipes when the books are passed on?  …..

This book is a treasury of Michael’s most fascinating recipes.  Here you will find long lost recipes such as Molasses Popcorn Balls or Date Torte Cookies.  How about Cloud Nine Butterscotch Bars or a good old fashioned recipe for Baking Powder Biscuits?  This cookbook reminds me of my Mom’s recipe boxes that are full of handwritten recipes she collected over the years and I can’t wait to share some of these dishes with my family and friends .

The book has both the handwritten recipe as well as the typed copy ( which is many times easier to read).  Michael also shows the reader a copy of the book he found the recipe in.

You may choose to cook your way through this book. Or, you may choose to just read it for the shear enjoyment of glimpsing into a time capsule from kitchens of past generations. Either way,  Handwritten Recipes is a winner!

Handwritten Recipes by Michael Popek (Penguin Group, 2012).  www.penguin.com   $20.00

Penguin Group provided a sample copy of this book for me to review.  I have expressed my true and honest opinions.  No compensation was received.      


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