Cook This: Recipes for the Goodtime Girl


232 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-679-31257-9
DDC 641.5





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



A goodtime girl, apparently, is someone who owns stilettos but no
saucepans. Rosen starts with how to equip a small kitchen and proceeds
with recipes and encouragement designed to wean the reader off takeout
or EasyMac. A generous touch of flippant humour and chunky cartoon-style
sketches dress up the presentation.

The recipe groupings are, uh, different. They include “Smoothing
Things Over at Work,” “Quick Bites to Eat Over the Sink,” “Rx
for PMS,” and “Lo-Fi Cooking for trailer-trash treats.” Obviously
putting all the salad recipes together or clustering the desserts would
have been boring. The logic of the recipe groupings may be obscure, but
they’re good for a smile—and the index does help.

The recipes range from the simple (Yogurt with Honey and Toasted Pine
Nuts) to the fussy (Rolled Vegetable Sushi, Caramelized Mango and Banana
in Phyllo Purses). The ingredients, listed in imperial measures only,
lean toward the exotic (ostrich loin!), international goodies, and lots
of spices. Alcohol is present throughout. The methods are clear if, at
times, somewhat surprising. Is Rosen serious about using a blowtorch
from Canadian Tire to caramelize the sugar on the crиme brыlée? A
serving suggesting (or pert comment) is given for each recipe, but no
nutritional analysis is provided.

The recipes are imaginative and showy, designed to impress and even
amuse. Nonetheless they are doable, provided there’s a large inventory
of luxury ingredients on hand.


Rosen, Amy., “Cook This: Recipes for the Goodtime Girl,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024,