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The smart cheater’s guide to cooking well

/ 01:23 AM February 21, 2013

CHICKEN Alfredo in Bread Cups

I never imagined I would see it happen—a cookbook which I can’t hold, whose pages I can’t turn, and which weighs practically nothing. And yet it accompanies me everywhere.

I can browse through it anywhere, pick out a recipe for dinner any time, and check out the ingredients while in the supermarket. And, even more to my surprise, it’s a cookbook I happen to have written.


In case you haven’t guessed, it’s an e-cookbook, one of those electronic books that can be read only onscreen—through the iPhone, the iPad, Kindle, Android phones, tablets, Windows and Macintosh computers, and all mobile devices.

You can’t really hold it per se, because it’s a virtual cookbook, existing only in electronic files.  But you can download it and read it in your electronic device, any time, anywhere you choose, without having to carry a heavy book.


Called “Eat Rich Quick: The Smart Cheater’s Guide to Cooking Well,” it’s a cookbook for cooks in a hurry. In this busy, fast-paced world, we all have to get things done quickly, yet without compromising quality. That was the inspiration for my e-cookbook.

The recipes can all be done in 30 minutes or less, making them not just shortcuts, but short-shortcuts to good cooking. Some of them are the easy way to classic favorites. Fabada, gazpacho, pigs in a blanket—with “Eat Rich Quick,” you can have close approximations of these dishes, using readily available ingredients, in no time at all. In fact, by using store-bought ingredients to your advantage, you can serve fantastic dishes without having to make them from scratch.

While I believe in slow cooking (and often do it at home), there just are times when fast, simple and easy cooking may save your day. That’s when “Eat Rich Quick” can really come in handy.

Published by Flipside Publishing Services, “Eat Rich Quick” is now available at a very reasonable price through: Amazon Kindle:


Flipreads: It can also be downloaded through  Apple iTunes’ iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s website.

Here’s a sample recipe from “Eat Rich Quick.” Try it and you’ll see why this e-cookbook really is “the smart cheater’s guide to cooking well.”


Chicken Alfredo in Bread Cups

Four to six servings

This is a great way to make leftover chicken (or even turkey) look special. Trimmed off their crusts and shaped with a biscuit cutter, the bread cups look like pastry shells. No one will ever guess you didn’t make them from scratch.

12-18 pieces sliced Pullman bread

¼ c butter

2 c  bottled classic Alfredo sauce

2 c cooked chicken or turkey, cut into bite-size pieces (may use leftovers)

¼ c snipped parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Trim crusts from bread. Pass a rolling pin over each slice of bread to flatten bread. With a biscuit cutter, trim bread into desired shapes (scalloped edges, circles, etc.).  Make sure the trimmed bread is big enough to fit into muffin or cupcake pans.

Butter each bread on one side. Press each bread into the muffin pans, buttered side out, so they are shaped into cups. Set aside.

Heat Alfredo sauce in a saucepan or large skillet. When sauce starts simmering, add the chicken (or turkey) and the parsley. Taste a spoonful of the sauce. If needed, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir and heat through.

Spoon into prepared bread cups. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until edges of bread are toasty brown.

For more tips, recipes and stories, visit the author’s blog, and Facebook fan page Follow on Twitter @NormaChikiamco.

For questions on “Eat Rich Quick,” e-mail author at

Cook’s tips:

If using leftover chicken or turkey, make sure they’re still good (not stale).

You can also use store-bought roast chicken or cooked turkey breast.

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