New cookbook helps families save $500 annually, spend less time in kitchen, please picky eaters

Maryville, Missouri—Award-winning author Amy Houts has written a cookbook for busy families. “Mealtime Magic: Delicious Dinners in Half the Time” is neither a collection of quick and easy recipes nor a primer on make-ahead freezer meals. In her unique cookbook, Houts shares her tried-and-true method to save families money, time, and frustration.

Houts was concerned about the food she was throwing away. She wanted to spend less money on food and less time in the kitchen while enjoying family meals at home. Her research showed Houts that she wasn’t alone. Did you know? • American households throw away an average of 20 pounds of food each month, which costs a family of four over $500 each year. • Americans spend 175 hours in the kitchen per month. • Research shows that picky eaters are the biggest challenge at mealtime.

Houts thought of the concept long before her intention to write this cookbook. She developed her cooking strategy over a number of years. Combining her educational background and practical knowledge from 43 years of cooking, Houts created time-saving main dishes that have been requested by her family again and again. Her strategy, which employs intentional planning of leftovers to create completely new meals, worked. One dinner became the basis of two additional meals. And with little food waste, she saved money, too. Now Houts can share her method with other busy families through “Mealtime Magic.”

Over 200 pages of multicultural recipes in “Mealtime Magic” represent the melting pot of the USA. You will find typical American fare such as, Chicken ‘n Dumplings, Beef Pot Pie, and Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. Italian dishes include Easy Lasagna, Betty’s Spaghetti, and Meatball Heroes. Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas, Nine-Mile High Tostadas, and Stacked Enchiladas con Huevos will please Mexican food fans. “Mealtime Magic” wouldn’t be complete without the delicious flavors of Asian Pepper Steak, Pork Fried Rice, and Hot & Sour Soup, plus much, much more. Recipes use ingredients from in your pantry or local grocery store. Clear directions help cooks succeed. A semi-concealed spiral binding allows for easy recognition on the bookshelf and easy reading while cooking.

“Armed with the recipes and techniques used in ‘Mealtime Magic,’ you will always know ‘what’s for dinner.’ This cookbook should be front and center in any busy family’s household.” Lee Jackson, author, “From the Apple Orchard—Recipes for Apple Lovers”

“Mealtime Magic: Delicious Dinners in Half the Time” retails for $12.95 and is available online at and

About the Author Amy Houts is the author of over 40 books for children and adults. Her cookbook, “Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun,” won first place in the Walter Williams Major Work Award from the Missouri Writers’ Guild. She has written numerous articles on cooking for a variety of publications including “American Profile Magazine,” “Parent & Preschooler,” and “Ladybug Magazine.” Houts’s love for cooking began as a teenager, which led her to attend the Culinary Institute of America. After working in a restaurant, she began a freelance writing career while raising her family. Creating Houts & Home Publications LLC fulfills her lifelong dream of helping to create comfortable, efficient, and happy homes. Houts & Home--making your life easier.

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