Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Crustless broccoli and cheddar quiche

    • kleins99 on October 23, 2018

      Didn't have whole milk so used 2% and the heavy cream. Wonder how much flavor it will have.

    • consortiumlibrary on October 30, 2016

      So bland! Broccoli, cheddar, eggs, cream with just nutmeg and s&p for seasoning. Not sure who eats like that, but not my family. Used recipe only for crustless idea & oven temp. Added sauteed red pepper, onion, & garlic. Used whole milk only, no cream - extra fat would've been too heavy. Done in 30 min, recipe said 35-40. As modified, we liked this fine, but the modifications were essential.

    • Yildiz100 on January 22, 2016

      I made the filling but used my own favorite crust. Liked it a lot! Since I like a firm quiche, I thought this was even better reheated in the oven the next day.

    • lhkelsey on June 18, 2015

      This was really good! I did not miss the crust. I added sliced mushrooms when I placed the boiled broccoli in the pie pan. I put it under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown. II also added a bit of shredded cheddar to the top after baking.

  • Deviled panko-crusted chicken thighs

    • Cheri on May 13, 2014

      This was simple enought, with a nice flavor blend. I combined regular dry breadcrumbs with the Panko, and cut back the parm a bit. Loved the tarragon notes, added some red chili flakes for heat. Wish I had made more, as I expect that these are probably great lunch leftovers (cold). Served over a big salad with cucumber, arugula, fennel and fresh strawberries. I will repeat this flavor palate, and method.

  • Chicken Milanese with fennel salad

    • westminstr on December 02, 2015

      It wasn't earth shattering, as the headnotes attest, but a good dish nonetheless that everyone ate and I would repeat. I liked the fennel and lettuce salad (even though i had to leave out the shallots and herbs).

  • Salmon in foil with spinach and cream

    • westminstr on January 20, 2015

      As with other fish dishes we've tried from this book, this was fine but did not get rave reviews from the fam. Also I found the instructions a bit more fiddly than necessary (dirtying an extra bowl to toss spinach w shallot salt and pepper, when it all cooks together in the packet anyway) which is unusual for this book.

    • bethihearyoucalling on January 21, 2014

      Superb and foolproof! We have now put this into the regular rotation and have made it at three or four times for dinner in the last couple of months.

    • julesamomof2 on December 27, 2017

      I like this one a lot as I tend to gravitate towards 'all in one' dishes for weeknight cooking. I tend to agree with the other poster, and since I've made this several times I now just build everything together directly in the packets vs. dirtying another bowl. Solid weeknight dish that is on repeat.

  • Greek-style fish with yogurt and lemon

    • westminstr on January 13, 2014

      I thought the dill and yogurt were a nice (and very easy) way to elevate what is essentially oven-roasted whitefish with lemon slices. My husband thought it was just ok, kind of bland, but not sure whether that pertained to the recipe or the fish itself (hake). I may give it another go with a different fish. Didn't like the suggested accompaniment (orzo) -- next time I'll try basmati rice or maybe just some crusty bread.

    • katycamp on April 17, 2021

      This was very easy (and pretty!). A quick weeknight dinner

  • "Jucy Lucy" turkey burgers

    • westminstr on April 01, 2015

      I only had 1 pound of turkey so rounded it out with grated carrots and pepper. Perhaps because of that, they were a bit loose (quite moist though). I made both the burgers and the sauce. They were decent but not a resounding hit, overall we prefer the parsiburgers from my bombay kitchen.

  • London broil with chimichurri sauce

    • westminstr on January 21, 2014

      The marinade didn't add much to the london broil over plain s&p, which is easier. As for the chimichurri, I messed up the proportions when halving the recipe, but setting that aside, I didn't like the honey. It was all fine, but not worth repeating.

    • cooking.monster on August 19, 2021

      Using a blender to make the chimichurri sauce was time consuming and a hassle. The sauce overpowers the flavor of the marinade.

  • Paper-thin beef with snow peas

    • westminstr on September 29, 2015

      Bland, bland, bland. Should have known better.

    • cooking.monster on August 31, 2021

      Quick recipe that can be altered easily. Recipe involves transferring the beef to a mesh covered bowl (to let the oil drain). A strainer and bowl that fit well together is key to making this easy.

  • Penne with broccoli rabe, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes

    • westminstr on January 13, 2014

      This was fantastic. My kids loved it and so did I. Definitely the best recipe I've tried from this book so far and the only one that's a true "keeper."

  • Skillet lasagna

    • westminstr on March 15, 2015

      This was great, and really easy on a weeknight. I omitted the basil and subbed ricotta for mascarpone, and used fewer lasagna noodles because my skillet was a bit smaller, but otherwise followed the recipe. My family loved it, and I would do this again.

    • sck on November 01, 2018

      Brilliant! We’ll be making this once a month. You don’t need all the noodles but otherwise the recipe is fail-proof!

    • MollyB on October 24, 2018

      Great, easy recipe that I've made several times. I agree with sarahmjames in her comment that she'll probably never make standard lasagna again - this is so much quicker and easier. I've usually used fewer than the specified number of noodles; I stop when it starts getting difficult to slip another one in under the sauce. It works better with higher quality canned tomatoes and mozzarella (though it's still tasty with standard grocery store brands).

    • MollyB on August 08, 2019

      I just made this lasagna with creme fraiche in place of the mascarpone, and this was a fine substitution. I also used half hot Italian sausage, and half sweet Italian, and that was the perfect heat level for us.

    • chawkins on August 28, 2019

      Very good lasagna, a lot easier and much lighter than my favorite traditional recipe.

    • sarahmjames on March 07, 2014

      Don't think we'll ever make "real" lasagna again. This was stellar and really easy (according to hubs who made this one!)

    • MmeFleiss on January 20, 2019

      This really hit the spot for my lasagna craving, and so much easier than doing it the traditional way.

  • Candied carrots

    • westminstr on December 23, 2014

      These were way too sweet for me, personally, and my kids wouldn't eat them either. Not a keeper!

  • Pork tenderloin with double-apple sauce

    • westminstr on January 13, 2014

      I liked this pretty well but nobody else in the family did. Not a keeper for us.

  • Everyday pork meatballs

    • westminstr on January 13, 2014

      These meatballs were very, very soft. T and I agreed that they were fine but did not need to be made again. That said, E really gobbled up the leftovers.

    • MollyB on December 05, 2014

      Pretty good recipe. On their own I thought they were just average (though my husband really liked them), but I froze some and they've been nice to have around for adding to soup or lunches. Just tried them in the suggested banh mi variation, with the Magic Miso Mayo, shredded carrot and sliced cucumber, and that was great.

    • Kfaber on September 17, 2014

      These were delicious and couldn't have been easier to make. Next time might dial up the seasoning a bit for even better flavor

    • bching on November 07, 2016

      We liked these--I reheated with miso-mayo glaze the authors suggested and along with some stir fried veggies, we had an easy family meal. Leftovers are great to have on hand.

  • Clean-out-the-vegetable-drawer chopped salad

    • westminstr on November 18, 2014

      This was pretty decent, I liked the dressing. I think it really is best suited to cleaning out the veg drawer and, as they say, paired with bread, cheese and 'maybe some salami it gets the job done. My kids didn't care for it particularly but I think they will like it when they are a bit older.

  • Raw beet salad

    • westminstr on October 21, 2014

      I didn't love this but my family did, including both picky kids. So I guess it is a keeper? I found the texture boring and added extra cheese just to have a little more variety with each bite.

  • Asian-style slaw

    • westminstr on January 13, 2014

      We liked but didn't love this dressing. I made it without the mayo. There is an almost identical version (w/o Mayo) on Smitten Kitchen website and we had the same reaction. I'll keep looking for my perfect Asian slaw dressing.

    • julesamomof2 on May 14, 2020

      Crunchy and refreshing. The tiny bit of mayo didn't bother us. Used bagged coleslaw mix for a lazy side to grilled salmon.

  • Spring farro (asparagus)

    • westminstr on May 15, 2014

      I wanted to make a farro dish with asparagus, lemon and mint, so I decided to use this recipe as a guide. I subbed fiddleheads (sauteed w asparagus) for the radishes but otherwise followed the recipe. It turned out pretty good, though I probably could have come up with this dish on my own without the recipe.

  • Kale salad with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds

    • westminstr on December 07, 2014

      I was surprised by how much I liked this variation on kale salad. Great flavor combo! E liked it, O ate just the pomegranate seeds.

  • Our favorite meat loaf

    • sck on November 01, 2018

      We really liked this one but also left out the pancetta.

    • bethihearyoucalling on April 02, 2014

      Really good; the husband loved it! Subbed panko for bread crumbs, which I soaked in whole milk. Also, made it as half recipe -- it was done in about 35-40 minutes. Oh, and I also left out the pancetta. It was plenty rich without it.

    • Medamida on January 20, 2014

      This was good but several more steps than my usual loaf recipe. Worth adding to the rotation.

  • "Jump-in-the-mouth" turkey cutlets

    • cpauldin on January 07, 2014

      Very flavorful and impressive. It took longer to cook them because my cutlets weren't too thin, next time I'd pound them a little to make cooking a little faster. Definitly will put this into regular rotation.

  • Sausage and white bean gratin

    • Aggie92 on February 25, 2016

      Delicious comfort food. Used the optional greens (in our case Swiss chard). Took 3x as long to cook down the chicken broth in order for it to be "not soupy". In all fairness, that was probably due to the pan I used. Author indicates baking in a 3-quart dish, but my 3-quart 9x13 Pyrex was way too big. Fit nicely in a 2-quart 8x11.5 inch dish. Added an equal amount of fresh grated Parmesan cheese to the panko topping for some extra flavor.

    • sarahmjames on March 07, 2014

      Another winner. Such a healthy, flavourful, filling dish.

  • Creamed mushrooms with tarragon toast

    • MollyB on May 06, 2014

      Really good weeknight recipe. Will make again.

  • Shrimp with green curry

    • chefoncall on February 05, 2014

      I increased the amount of curry sauce. Outstanding!

    • lhkelsey on November 25, 2013

      Kind of bland

    • valuia on February 13, 2019

      I agree, this is bland as written. I added more curry sauce and it was still just ok.

    • Elaine.Ewing on May 26, 2019

      I followed the suggestion to add more curry sauce (I doubled, and could have even done more) and that was spot on. Ended up with great flavor.

  • Braised Brussels sprouts with bacon

    • Kfaber on November 02, 2014

      Decent Brussels sprouts recipe although not as flavorful as others I've made before. Probably would use a little less chicken broth next time since it was also a bit too liquidy

  • Japanese-style "meat and potatoes"

    • jenmacgregor18 on October 05, 2021

      I've made this twice now. It's very good. simple, quick, and flavorful. I subbed 1 T of Swerve for the 2 T of brown sugar.

    • sarahmjames on March 07, 2014

      Only recipe in the book we've made twice so far. It is SO delicious, though a strange combo at first glance. The flavours are so intense without being overpowering. Reheats well too! Love it.

    • SenseiHeidi on June 03, 2020

      Used shallots and dried minced onion as well as yukon gold potatoes. I had under 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, the stew looked 'soupy' so I made a 1Tbsp cornstarch slurry.

    • lizbot2000 on July 01, 2018

      This was great! Very easy, especially if you pre-cut the veggies and have everything ready to go. I used one of those pig-shaped drop lids, which worked really well (with holes in the pig nose for the steam to come out of - really cute and really helpful to have around!). The texture of the ground meat and the extra sweetness of the sauce were different than the Japanese stews I'm used to cooking. This was a really interesting change of pace that I think I'll be making regularly.

    • gamulholland on March 09, 2018

      This was delicious and went over well with the family. We halved the sugar and found that just one tablespoon was enough.

  • Smoky turkey chili

    • seattletony on October 29, 2014

      (p. 64) This recipe was flavorful and healthy but didn't "look like chili" to me and needed some extra ingredients to get the taste where I wanted it. The peppers in adobo sauce gave the chili a nice smoky flavor, the chili was easy to cook, and the vegetables were really prominent. I added a little extra water because it was so chunky and the chili never had the color or consistency I am used to with chili. It could be the lack of chili powder which I would probably add next time. I also want to follow the book's substitution suggestion of using the "Everyday Black Beans" recipe in place of the canned beans.

  • Green beans with sun-dried tomato pesto breadcrumbs

    • chawkins on December 14, 2014

      The flavorful crispy breadcrumbs complements the green beans well.

  • Sautéed tilapia with citrus-soy marinade

    • sarahmjames on March 07, 2014

      This one was easy and really tasty. 7-yr-old and 16 month old also loved it, which means it's added to our list of yummy fish dishes we'll make again.

  • Miso-lime chicken lettuce wraps

    • julesamomof2 on August 05, 2020

      This was a rare miss for this cookbook, which is a weeknight go-to for me. The dressing was bland, even with my tweaks, and the chicken could have used a marinade or something to give it more flavor. Probably won't repeat.

  • Turkey taco night

    • julesamomof2 on July 13, 2017

      A weeknight staple for us- I don't even bother looking at the recipe anymore. Simple but the perfect mix of spices.

  • Sautéed chicken with lemon-rosemary sauce

    • lhkelsey on July 21, 2014

      Very meh. Sauce was okay, but I would have used 1/2 cup of chicken broth, not a full cup. Chicken took forever to cook. The timing was wrong in the recipe. I'll stick with roasted chicken.

  • Lemony turkey Bolognese

    • rpepper on April 01, 2019

      Although I've generally liked the recipes in this book, I found this one bland and underwhelming. Ground turkey needs robust flavors, and this came up short.

  • Roasted cauliflower dressed up

    • lizbot2000 on July 11, 2018

      This was delicious. Really easy and fast, and much tastier than it had any right to be for how much effort I put into it.

  • Broiled fish with tangy tarragon mayo

    • gamulholland on February 17, 2021

      This was a big hit with the family, and so easy. That said, I cheated by using Trader Joe’s salmon burgers, but still, the topping was delicious. Advised by the husband that he’d be very happy if I made this again.

  • Angel hair pasta with spicy tomato-cream sauce

    • luolili on March 06, 2018

      This recipe is a tasty super quick weeknight meal. My kids especially loved it!

  • Roasted orange chipotle shrimp

    • cooking.monster on August 25, 2021

      Split reactions to this recipe. Mild palate: very flavorful. Spicy tolerant palate: dish seamed under seasoned and could have been spicier.

  • Morning chicken

    • cooking.monster on August 15, 2021

      Yummy flavors. Marinate with less oil. Keep the thighs whole.

  • Warm corn salad

    • cooking.monster on August 19, 2021

      Recipe calls for 1 deseeded jalapeno. An additional one (or perhaps a seeded solo pepper) would be possible. After melting the butter and adding ingredients, the heat can be increased.

  • One-bowl summer spaghetti

    • cooking.monster on August 25, 2021

      Halved the recipe and it was still an immense amount of pasta. Ratio of topping to spaghetti was a bit heavy on the pasta side. Next time will try 1/2 of the toppings on 1/4 of the pasta.

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Reviews about this book

  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    The two have a real gift for knocking out flavorful, family-friendly food quickly, and what these recipes may lack in newness, they make up for in shortcuts, tips, and sheer practicality.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Q&A with the authors, Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion.

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    Filled with genius tips, strategies, menu ideas, and of course, recipes (130 of them), their book really does answer the age-old question of "What's for dinner?"

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Skillet lasagna

    • Cookbooks for Dinner by T. Susan Chang

      It’s a sloppy, beautiful one-pot mess that doesn’t look a lot like the architectural pan lasagna we know and love, but it tastes every bit as good.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 1609613546
  • ISBN 13 9781609613549
  • Published Aug 20 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Rodale Books

Publishers Text

Whether they’re parents, married without kids, or single, most people want to do better at mealtime—they want to put good, nutritious food on the table, they’re looking for a more diverse repertoire of dishes to prepare, and they’d like to enjoy the process more. The problem is they don’t believe they have the time or ability to do it night after night. But it can be done, and Keepers will show them how.

Drawing from two decades of trial-and-error in their own kitchens, as well as working alongside savvy chefs and talented home cooks, Campion and Brennan offer 120 appealing, satisfying recipes ideal for weeknight meals. There’s an array of master recipes for classic dishes with options for substitutions, updated old favorites, one-pot meals, “international” dishes, super-fast ones, and others that reheat well or can be cooked in individual portions. Along with timeless recipes, Keepers is filled with invaluable tips on meal planning and preparation, all presented in an entertaining, encouraging, and empathetic style.

Keepers gives cooks all of the tools they need to become more efficient, confident, and creative in the kitchen. It will help them survive the Monday-to-Friday dinner rush with their sanity and kitchens intact, and also have some fun along the way.



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