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Cookbook review: 'Mad Hungry Cravings' teaches how to cook what you crave

"MAD HUNGRY CRAVINGS," by Lucinda Scala Quinn, Artisan Books, $27.95, 303 pages (nf)

The new cookbook "Mad Hungry Cravings" by Lucinda Scala Quinn teaches readers to make those mad cravings — at home.

A follow-up to her successful cookbook "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys," Quinn has put together a remarkable collection of 173 recipes for foods diners commonly go out for. She shows home cooks how to save their budgets by making things at home instead of ordering from the take-out menu, explaining that not only are the foods cheaper, but they are invariably more healthy and delicious, due to fresher ingredients and lack of preservatives.

Mouth-watering recipes include Baked Potato Poppers, a homemade Tater-Tot recipe that Quinn says she can't stop eating. Also find Chicken Tikka Masala to satisfy those Indian food cravings, Spinach Pie and Teriyaki Wings.

Many recipes have a foreign flair — staples of ethnic food restaurants, but others are down-home foods, like Quinn's mother's delicious meatloaf recipe, Lemon Iceys and Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies.

There are chapters for breakfast, dinner, sweets and one especially for noshes and nibbles. The excellent introduction tells of her yearning to make her home a place for good, comforting food and details the many benefits of taking the time to cook at home as opposed to ordering out.

The text and recipe instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. Beautiful photographs accompany many of the offerings. Thanks to this, the recipes look doable for nearly any cook, despite some exotic-sounding titles.

There are also impressive cooking helps in addition to the recipes, including tips for stocking your pantry with American, Asian, Latin and Mediterranean ingredients, a handy metric conversion chart and an exhaustive index.

Quinn has her own television show, "Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn" and has been a frequent guest on the "Today Show" and other programs. She is the executive food editor of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She maintains a blog at, which has recipes from her show, hints and tips, and links to various YouTube videos that readers will enjoy.

If you go ...

What: Cooks and Books demonstration with Lucinda Scala Quinn

When: Tuesday, April 23, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Where: Harmons City Creek, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City


Note: Registration required. Class cost is $55 and includes a signed copy of Quinn's book.

Also ...

What: Lucinda Scala Quinn book signing

When: Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City


Note: Event also includes a discussion of meal ideas and quick food tips and she will serve samples.

Margot Hovley's first novel, "Sudden Darkness," was published by Covenant Communications in the fall of 2012. Find her self-reliance blog at or read about her writing adventures at