Introducing: Lisa Shoumann (Author)
Cookbooks are big business on Amazon. So, when Lisa Shoumann approached us with an idea for a cookbook, we were skeptical that anything new could be offered in the cookbook sphere. After trying a few of her recipes, we immediately began working on her project!
Lisa Shoumann's First Book is Now Available on Amazon/Kindle:
Weeknight Dinners for Fast Food Families: Go-to Meals to Make at Home that will Keep You Out of the Drive Through Line
- Prepare hearty, meaty, dinner meal in minutes during the week.
- Save money because you're not buying fast food every night.
- Spend more time with your family instead of hours in the kitchen after a long day.
As with all R50 authors, we like to ask them a series of questions so that you can get a feel for the person behind the writing.
R50 Question: Why was it so important to share your recipes with the world?
Lisa Shoumann: To be honest, a cookbook is the last thing I ever thought I would write. While it is important for me to feed my family well and stay within our budget, I am NOT what you would consider a foodie. I don't know the names and features of every gourmet cheese there is, and I expect I will live out the rest of my life not knowing.
I wrote this cookbook because, despite my goal to feed my family well, and within budget, I have been sucked into the fast food vortex many times. I finally overcame it by realizing weeknight cooking is much different than casual weekend cooking. I wanted to share the tips, tricks and recipes that have kept me on track.
R50 Question: What was your approach to assembling the book?
Lisa Shoumann: One of the things I wanted to do is share the many ways that you can cook the same meal once it has been prepared. Most cookbooks have a collection of recipes and I believe most people pick out their favorites and prepare them the same way every time. The aha moment for me was one night when I picked up a recipe at 6:00 PM that I wanted to make only to realize it was a Crockpot recipe requiring hours of cook time. For once I didn't give up and order a pizza. instead I tried cooking it on the stove top and an hour later dinner was ready! That got me experimenting with other meals and other cooking methods, which has opened up the possibilities at dinner time.
Another thing I wanted to share is how easy it is to prepare several meals for the freezer in a very little amount of time. It is just a matter of combining like recipes and doing a little pre-work. The benefit is even more options during the week when you are too tired to think about it.
R50 Question: Where did the recipes come from? Are they all your originals?
Lisa Shoumann: As I mentioned, I am no foodie, so no, none of the recipes are Lisa Shoumann originals. However, coming from someone who has read a LOT of cookbooks in her time, there are very few recipes out there that can be considered truly original. And those usually involve too many ingredients and prep time to be a workable weeknight meal.
That is another message I try to convey in Weeknight Meals for Fast Food Families - just because you have a recipe in front of you doesn't mean you have to follow it to a T. I omit mushrooms from any recipe I see because I can't stand mushrooms. Someone else may want to pile them in. If a recipe calls for chopped green pepper, the frozen version will work as well as a freshly chopped pepper. If you are out of minced garlic, use powdered. Recipes are merely a guide for you to use and change to suit your needs at the moment.
R50 Question: Do you "never" eat fast food now that you have weeknight dinners under control?
Lisa Shoumann: Ha! I wish. But more and more, our fast food trips are reserved for Saturday lunch or the rare weeknight when four people are scheduled to do six different things.
R50 Question: Does a person have to love cooking to make your recipes?
Lisa Shoumann: No way. It does help if you have someone else to do the dishes. Cooking in general gets better when someone else does the dishes.
R50 Question: What is the most important skill a person has to have to make these dinners turn out well?
Lisa Shoumann: Flexibility is a good skill to have for the reasons I previously discussed. Perseverance toward the goal, when you first start preparing and cooking weeknight meals, you and your family will find any excuse to run out for a burger instead. Fast food living is as much an addiction as anything else. But it is easier to break as home cooking is so much easier to adapt to you and your families preferance.
R50 Question: Are there any other books or resources on this topic that are obsolete?
Lisa Shoumann: No cookbook actually becomes obsolete. Some are geared toward different goals or target markets or may use ingredients that are no longer easy to obtain. Many health ones still use hard to obtain ingredients or things that are more expensive than your budget may allow..
R50 Question: What final thoughts do you have to help motivate working mothers or sports moms to get started today cooking weeknight dinners instead of continuing with fast food?
Lisa Shoumann: I think the health and financial benefits are pretty clear on their own. There are other benefits, as well. I found it is important to teach your children that food that comes in a paper bag through a window does not provide the taste, health benefits, or satisfaction that a variety of simple weeknight meals prepared at home do. We have started to involve them in meal preparation and that is a great way to get them ready to leave home and take care of themselves someday. And while we eat a great majority of our meals in front of the television, we are together and a lot of good times are had together as a family.
We are proud to feature Lisa Shoumann as one of our charter authors. If you are looking to spend more time with your family by spending only a few minutes cooking weeknight dinners, we highly recommend any of Lisa's new cookbook.