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Pampered Chef: What would you recommend for this customer?

  1. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    I received the email below from a customer this morning.

    "Hi Kara, I was a little disappointed with the two cookbooks that i ordered, the two volumes of 28 min meals. they are all gourmet meals... that isn't what I was looking for. I will use them as gifts for other people but I was wondering if you can recommend a different cook book that i can use with just normal meals.

    I want to be able to use my new stoneware but don't think there are any recipes in those to books that my husband and I would eat."

    Now, I don't own either of the 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbooks, so I'm not clear on EXACTLY what she's talking about when she says they were only "gourmet meals", but instict tells me that she eats pretty simple b/c I can't imagine us putting together cookbooks of difficult elaborate meals that you put together in 29 minutes or less. :confused:

    The other thing I'm wondering is who WOULDN'T love a "gourmet" meal in 29 minutes or less? :confused: Apparently she and her husband wouldn't... I don't know what her definition of "normal meals" are. I mean, I'm making Chicken Marsala tonight- would she consider that gourmet?! :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I passed around the Weekday Dinners Done! collection at the show- she was unimpressed and said she wouldn't eat most of those recipes. I'm a bit baffled at this point- I emailed her back to let her know I was sorry she was disappointed and I would gladly make some more recommendations for her, but could she first let me know what types of recipes she likes to cook and what are some of the favorite meals her and her husband enjoy at home together? That will give me some better direction.

    Does anyone else have any insight? Can you shed a little light onto the recipes included in the 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbooks so I can see a little better where she's coming from? Thanks! :chef:
    Nov 11, 2009
  2. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    P.S. She does not own the DCB, and was not impressed by the microwave cooking idea. We made the Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini at the party she attended.
    Nov 11, 2009
  3. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

    Hmmm, that's a tough one. I personally think there are some FAB recipes in the cookbooks, and love that PC was able to simplify the meals to be ready so quickly and easily. Here are some recipes in the cookbooks that she may be referring to....just a guess:Chicken with Fennel & Creamy Tomato Sauce, Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken with Lemon Basil Rice, Polenta Lasagna, Morrocan Spiced Apricot Chicken with Couscous, Halibut Puttanesca, Grilled Fish Tacos, Brandied Dijon Pork Chops....those are a few from Volume 2.

    Maybe she'd like our Season's Best or All the Best Cookbook? Great idea to ask what she likes and her favorites. It'll definitely be easier to suggest a cookbook, once she replies.

    I personally like our Stoneware Inspirations Cookbook, and there aren't many (if any) microwave recipes....but again, not sure if it would be considered "gourmet". There's an awesome recipe for BBQ Brisket and a Jamaican Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Apples in there.
  4. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Thanks Laurie... I was thinking All the Best might have some more... traditional recipes in it that she might prefer. I was also thinking of a Season's Best, because really, they're fast, simple, and most of them are really good!

    Maybe she's just not adventurous with her cooking? I mean, I hear Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken with Lemon Basil Rice and I think YUM! But someone who eats steak and potatoes and prefers that on a regular basis might not.

    I was also thinking Stoneware Inspirations, since she mentioned she wanted to use her stoneware... we'll see what she writes back as far as her cooking and meal preferences at home. That should help a lot.
    Nov 11, 2009
  5. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

    Your Welcome Kara,

    I'm with you.....I read the recipe name and get excited....especially knowing it'll be simple and ready in 29 minutes! That's pretty much why I suggested those cookbooks. It's too bad she and her hubby won't give them a try....they might find out they like it. But it is difficult for one who is happy using the traditional methods and who like simpler foods. To each his own, right? I'm happy she's willing to try another cookbook. :)

    Keep us posted, as I'm nosey and want to learn how it ends. He He
  6. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

    You could also check to see what stones she does have (Bar Pan? 9x13 baker? Large round?) and then check in the files here. For many of the individual stones, people have made recipe flyers to hand out when they are purchased. Those would have more basic recipes and ideas for using the stones.
    Nov 11, 2009
  7. kam

    kam Legacy Member Staff Member

    I can understand what she is saying.

    When I first looked at the 29 Min VOL 1 - I thought the same thing - until I really read the recipes/ingredients and realized they are not that odd at all. There are quite a few recipes in that CB that have turned into favs at our house.

    Now, I can't quite seem to get a handle on the recipes in VOL 2. Very few appeal to me. I keep trying to go back to it and pick something - but no recipes in VOL 2 appeal to DH. I would be more willing to try something different - but DH is not. :(

    What's funny is that I think the Weekday Dinners cards are some of the most "normal" recipes we have had - and yet, those did not interest her. Hmmm. And - all of those cards have alternative stovetop cooking intructions if she doesn't want to use the microwave.

    I agree, maybe recommend All The Best.

    And, maybe have her look closer at the recipes in VOL 1...?
    Nov 11, 2009
  8. PCMomto4

    PCMomto4 Member

    I don't have the 29 Min cookbooks, but with the names of the recipes that Laurie posted they sound like meals that contain food that I already have in my house, so maybe that is what she means about gourmet. Proscuitto is expensive and not something most people keep in their fridge. She might want recipes that contain standard ingriedents that we all have in our cabinets.

    My personal favorite cb is All The Best, it has a little bit of everything in it and they are pretty basic and easy recipes. Does she have kids? because that makes a difference also, a recipe I think sounds good I might not make if I know my kids won't touch it.
    Nov 11, 2009
  9. mountainmama74

    mountainmama74 Advanced Member Gold Member

    I was going to suggest All the Best, too!! It has some more standard recipes in it.
  10. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone- I am still waiting for her to get back to me on my questions, but it is sounding like All the Best might be a winner.

    Good question PCMom about the kids, but there are no kids in the family, so I would think that would make things a little more flexible for her- but also good call on the "ingredients that aren't normally in our pantry/fridge" I hadn't thought about that part. That very well could be what she meant by "gourmet"!
    Nov 11, 2009
  11. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

    All the Best or the old Main Dishes would probably suit her better.
    Nov 11, 2009
  12. pcchefjane

    pcchefjane Senior Member Gold Member

    We have all the cookbooks that we currently sell except the 2nd Latin one. We use quite a few out of both 29 Minutes cookbooks and have made almost all the Weekday Dinners ones. She must be someone that doesn't like to be too adventurous (as in something that is not totally basic), so maybe that is why she didn't like them! As far as not using the microwave, I'm not sure how she thought she could make meals in less than 30 minutes from prep to finish in the oven! Good luck with her. All the Best would probably be the one to go with. The only problem is some of the pieces suggested are now retired!
    Nov 11, 2009
  13. Nanisu

    Nanisu Veteran Member Gold Member

    Ok, really, how many of us have ever purchased a cookbook and liked every recipe in it? if you passed around the Weekday Dinners Done....and she didn't like it, and she didn't like these two....perhaps, just perhaps....she is somewhat difficult to please?
    Nov 11, 2009
  14. cheflorraine

    cheflorraine Member Gold Member

    I have the Vol 2 of the 29 Min cookbook... and although it's interesting to read through, I'll admit I haven't tried making any yet. I'd have to say that I would agree with your customer, as the recipes do intimidate me somewhat (even though I'd consider myself an adventurous cook normally), and if I'm looking for a quick and easy recipe, I definitely would look elsewhere. Most of the time I just don't have the energy to properly 'plan' meals, so I stick with the old familiar things!
    Probably as someone already mentioned, many of us prefer recipes that call for ingredients that we don't have to go shopping (and searching) for.
    Honestly, my favorite 'cookbook' right now is the DCB one that was compiled here on CS.
    I also still like all the SBRC's...
    And I wish we had the Weekday Dinners here in Canada - those recipes sound awesome!
    Nov 11, 2009
  15. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Yeah, this is what's in my head but I didn't want to go there Nancy, lol ;)
    Nov 11, 2009
  16. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    People are typically turned off by what they don't know! She'd probably like the recipes, if given the chance...but going by title or maybe a key ingredient (like- 'what is polenta?!') *I know what it is...but most probably don't*. I think adults are pickier eaters than kids!

    I'd direct her to the All the Best. I like the "It's Good For you", and of course, the Season's Bests.
    Nov 11, 2009
  17. MLinAZ

    MLinAZ Member Gold Member

    Well I'll also chime in and say that I FAR prefer Vol 1 to Vol 2. Vol 2 for me is basically what your customer is telling you, more off the "traditional" path. Although I did just make the Moo Shu Pork which I think is in Vol 2 and it was really yummy and quite easy - and I'm NOT a pork fan!

    Is she a customer that you could encourage to pick 3-5 meals from the cookbook that week and just try them? That's what I ended up having to do. I just sat down with the cookbook, made my choices, created a shopping list and we ate out of that cookbook that week. Turns out I loved every recipe I tried even though the first few times I flipped through the cookbook I wasn't excited about the recipes. And even my eat-no-leftovers father in law has been to our house and eaten and LOVED the leftovers from these recipes!

    I'm still struggling with Vol 2 though so I would encourage her to try Vol 1 and either exchange Vol 2 or give it as a gift as planned.
    Nov 11, 2009
  18. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Thanks Michelle. Can someone post some of the recipe titles for Volume 1 of 29 Minutes to Dinner? Since I don't have it I really need to have a good idea of what the recipes are to base a conversation off of with her about "would this be something that would interest you if you tried it just once?"
    Nov 11, 2009
  19. kam

    kam Legacy Member Staff Member

    Here's Vol 1:

    Almond Chicken Stir-Fry
    Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes
    Barbecue Salmon with Radish Slaw
    Beef Enchilada Casserole
    Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût
    Berry-Pine Nut Chicken Salad
    BLT Mac & Cheese
    Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham
    Campanelle with Creamy Tomato-Clam Sauce
    Caprese Pizzas
    Chicken Posole Verde
    Chimichurri Steak Salad
    Chipotle-Herb Flank Steak with Cilantro Rice
    Crispy Parmesan Shrimp with Spaghetti
    Crunchy Breakfast Tacos
    Crunchy Whole-Grain Chicken Bites
    Curried Chicken with Couscous
    Dijon-Crusted Halibut and Roasted Asparagus
    Garam Masala Salmon
    Glazed Chicken with Apple Salad
    Gremolata Steak with Mascarpone Potatoes
    Grilled Portobello Bruschetta
    Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa
    Harvest Brown Rice Salad
    Hot & Sour Soup
    Italian Meatball Soup
    Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salad
    Korean-Style Beef Bowl
    Lightning-Fast Veggie Chili
    Mediterranean Quesadillas with Antipasto Relish
    Moroccan Pork Chops
    Pan-Fried Polenta with Vegetable Marinara
    Paprika Chicken & Egg Noodles
    Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Sweet Mustard Dressing
    Peppery Fish Chowder
    Persian Chickpea Salad
    Poached Eggs Florentine
    Pork Tenderloin Tacos
    Provençal Chicken with Brown Rice
    Rigatoni with Tuna and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    Sake-Glazed Halibut with Edamame Rice
    Sesame Tilapia with Shiitake Broth
    Shrimp Orzo Skillet
    Shrimp Panzanella Salad
    Skillet Lasagna
    Spanish-Style Stuffed Peppers
    Spicy Broccoli Frittata
    Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice Skillet
    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    Toasted Angel Hair with Sausage & Peppers
    Turkey Gyros
    Turkey Saltimbocca
    Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Stew
    Ultimate Peppercorn Burgers
    Nov 11, 2009
  20. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Thank you Kathleen!
    Nov 11, 2009
  21. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    Ok, so here is the email I just go back from her in regards to the types of meals they enjoy at home:

    "Hi kara, we like simple meals, beef stew... meatloaf, chicken and rice, we are not into alot of spices, pretty basic meals. meat and potatos and veggie.."

    So, I guess I'm baffled as to what exactly she wants out of a cookbook then? If they like these simple meals, and aren't open to using spices or anything a bit more... non-traditional or DARE I SAY exotic.... really, what is she looking for? More ways to combine meat and potatoes and veggies without spices?

    I guess I'm a bit confuzzled here...:confused:

    I definitely think All the Best would be a better selection for her, but honestly, I don't even know that the recipes in there would suit her taste! I can't imagine her making a turkey cranberry wreath- she likely doesn't cook with cranberries and sounds like she's not willing to go out of her comfort zone on this...
    Nov 11, 2009
  22. MLinAZ

    MLinAZ Member Gold Member

    These are the ones I've made and we've loved them all!

    Tell her that the names sound gourmet but the reality is these are easy, delicious recipes and the ingredients are easy to find. I hate recipes that call for a lot of ingredients I don't normally use or have an impossible time finding. For the Mascarpone Potatoes we used cream cheese because it was easier and cheaper to get (it's suggested as a substitution in the recipe) and they were still very good.

    Things like the Chipotle-Herb Flank Steak with Cilantro Rice sound difficult but it's just a sauce you make and the rice is regular rice with cilantro added in. It sounds and tastes gourmet but actually preparing it is not!

    And admittedly, I asked my MIL to make the artichoke chicken because it seemed a little daunting to me - and I don't own a stainless steel pan LOL But I ended up helping her make all of it and it was so easy! Now I just need a stainless steel pan and I'd do it on my own again in a heartbeat.

    You have my permission to just copy and paste my comments right to her if you think it would help :)
    Nov 11, 2009
  23. Maragib

    Maragib Member

    I bought Casual Cooking out of the outlet and I really like that. Not too gourmety and pretty basic stuff. If it is still there I would suggest that. Mara
    Nov 11, 2009
  24. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

    I'm going to be totally naughty and suggest she just get the Kraft food and family magazine. They use simple ingredients and the names of everything are simple and don't seem "gourmet"-like. I also agree with whoever it was that recommended checking our files and sending her recipes to go along w/ her stoneware.

    You know, it makes you wonder why she ordered the cookbooks in the first place. There are only so many recipes that you can find that will take basic ingredients that you are comfortable with and put them together. Eventually, you run out of different combinations and new flavors, and new ingredients are what it's going to take to have something new. :D
    Nov 11, 2009
  25. Chefgirl2

    Chefgirl2 Advanced Member Gold Member

    I was thinking "The Joy Of Cooking". You don't get more basic than that. I have 3 picky eaters in our home of 4. Joy is what hubby uses for a lot of his recipes.
    Nov 11, 2009
  26. beepampered

    beepampered Veteran Member

    I don't like any of the Pampered Chef cookbooks. The photos are great and they might be easy, but I rarely use these cookbooks to cook dinner. I would not recommend a cookbook to her, I would LET HER BORROW a cookbook. Ordering something else out of a catalog and being disappointed when you get yet another thing you won't use, might turn her off direct sales.

    I also like the idea for you to challenge her to choose a few recipes and do them. Or, if she lives nearby, just save her a small portion to taste. Go above and beyond might give you a customer for life. She probably ordered the cookbook because she didn't know what else to get.

    Good luck figuring her needs out....
    Nov 11, 2009
  27. kdangel518

    kdangel518 Advanced Member Gold Member

    That would be great if I actually HAD any of our cookbooks!
    Nov 12, 2009
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