Straight A's College Cookbook: Quick Cooking for 1 or 2


188 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-894022-94-7
DDC 641.5'55






Reviewed by Arlene M. Gryfe

Arlene Gryfe is a Toronto-based professional nutritionist and home


Finally, a much-needed book for cooks preparing just one or two
servings. No longer will they have to divide larger recipes. (How does
one measure 1/3 of an egg?)

Karen Wokes, author of Quick Cooking for Busy People, provides
students, singles, empty nesters, and the like with small-quantity
recipes that are quick, healthy, tasty, and economical, and that require
readily available ingredients and a minimum of equipment. She
demonstrates how to meet the challenges of cooking for one or two by
planning ahead and shopping wisely.

She also counters the prevailing thinking that fast foods are quicker
and more convenient than cooking for oneself. However, she does not
discount the judicious use of a convenient deli, frozen-food, or
single-serving canned foods. These, along with her recipes, are all one
needs to eat well and enjoy it.

For neophytes, there are directions regarding food safety and handling,
required equipment and utensils, lists of foods to have on hand, and
plenty of useful tips scattered throughout.

The book contains expected chapters (“Starters,” “Soups,”
“Main Dishes”), but also “Super-Quick Meals,” “Student
Survival,” and “Food, Fun and Friends.” The author’s easy-going
attitude allows latitude in amounts of some ingredients (e.g., cheese,
ground meat) or variations in vegetables or seasonings to alter flavour
or to use available ingredients.

Recipes have ingredients in bold type and clear method in point form.
Both imperial and metric measurements are given, but recipes have not
been tested in metric.

The index is comprehensive, but unconventional. For example, Apple
Pancakes are not found under “A” or “P,” but under
“Pancakes/French Toast,” a subsection of “Breakfasts—All Day”;
Chicken Tagine is listed under “Main Dishes” and “Entertaining.”
There is also a separate vegetarian recipe index, and more than a dozen
dishes are beautifully illustrated in colour.

Better proofreading would have eliminated spelling mistakes, errors in
page references, missing hyphens, and the like. Criticisms aside, the
book would be especially useful to the novice cook with limited space,
equipment, or finances, but with a zest for eating and learning.


Wokes, Karen., “Straight A's College Cookbook: Quick Cooking for 1 or 2,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,