Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: Just Desserts

Lisa Lillien, Author
Lisa Lillien . St. Martins, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 9780312676742
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-250-03191-4
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A case study in "just because you can doesn't mean you should," "Hungry Girl" Lillien continues her assault on common kitchen decency in this compilation of 200 desserts under 200 calories per serving. Favoring convenience over common sense, Lillien's unabashed endorsement of processed foods, boxed mixes, and bizarre combinations may well deliver on their promise, but at what cost? ("Candy Cane Brownies" for example, call for chocolate frosting, sugar-free pudding, devil's food cake mix, canned pumpkin, and candy canes also peppermint extract; "Fruity Caramel Crunchcakes" contain strawberries, strawberry preserves, rice cakes, caramel dip, chocolate chips, and Cool Whip.) As in her previous works, Lillien achieves low calorie counts by relying on fat-free and low-calorie ingredients (often pre-made), making her recipes more of an assembly operation than one that involves baking or other culinary skills. For those new to the kitchen, in a hurry, or simply interested in putting forth as little effort as possible, her Pineapple Bliss cake (literally yellow cake mix and canned pineapple ) or "S'mores Crunchettes"—baked fillo shells with various fillings—could be just the thing for a last-minute get-together. Those who can tell the difference between whipped cream and Cool Whip, however, will want to leave this one alone. (May)
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