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Sam Zien Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cookbooks

Just a Bunch of Recipes (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Just Grill This! (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Recipes with Intentional Leftovers (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Sam Zien is a chef extraordinaire known for “Sam the Cooking Guy,” a TV Show that combines an irreverent mix of easy to replicate recipes and humor. Before he became a TV show personality, he worked for a biotech company but always felt that he wanted to be a traveling reporter on TV.

The fact that he did not have any TV or travel experience never seemed to matter. Moreover, he thought many people he saw on TV were lousy and that he could do better. But he had the worst timing as a month before he was to launch in Hong Kong and Tokyo, September 11th happened.

Traveling reporter was thus out of the question and he opted to become a TV cook. After shooting several demos, he got offered a two minute cooking spot on a local TV Channel. It was from these small segments that “Sam the Cooking Guy” was born.

Not long after, Discovery Health offered him the job of producing an offbeat show with great tasting and easy to prepare healthy meals in the “Just Cook This show.”

While Sam has become a chef of renown, he loves to consider himself an ordinary person. He always wanted to be known as a regular guy rather than a chef, as he has never had the training to become one. His aim as a regular guy is to make recipes that make other regular people say I can make that too.
He had the idea after scanning food shows on TV and concluding that there was a void since no one was making anything relatable. There was no one making simple and casual recipes with some entertainment thrown in, which was something he thought he could do.

Even though he did not have any experience, he knew he had to make it work as he had a family to feed and he did not want to become an accountant. Soon after submitting his first demo to several stations, he was invited for a small segment on Fox 6 morning news.

“The Cooking Guy” was soon made a regular segment as the executives said it was a breath of fresh air. During his first year on air, he won two Emmy Awards and started getting a lot more recognition and money from Fox.

Things got even better for Sam Zien in 2004 when the County of San Diego’s CTN network asked him if he would be interested in making a half hour cooking show for the station.

Having his own show seemed like just the right thing to do even though many told him it would be a crazy move. Many thought that it was a stupid move since Fox was well known unlike CTN.

In the end, he took CTN’s offer and “Sam the Cooking Guy” as a half hour program began airing across the nation and in San Diego County several times a week.
Given that CTN had numerous agreements with so many affiliated cable companies, Sam was soon very popular as he got mail from all over the United States from New York City to Las Vegas.

Halley, his golden retriever is also a co-star that gets her own share of the mail and has become part and parcel of the show. He published “Sam the Cooking Guy,” his debut cookbook, in 2008.

“Just a Bunch of Recipes” by Sam Zien was an idea that was born from the author hearing all manner of people complaining that they could not cook. He believes that the problem with many people is not that they cannot cook but that they dont cook.

The problem is that there are too many cooking shows that have wrecked people’s ability to cook with their cray ingredients and thousands of complicated instructions. Many are made with impossible to find and pronounce ingredients and these make it hard for regular people to cook.
In his quest to make food more accessible, he makes food that is small in effort and big in taste rather than the bourgeois seeming foods such as Chilled Framboise Foam or Truffled Peruvian Mountain Squab.

He makes great tasting food with no over the top ingredients or fancy techniques that anyone can easily make at home from Halloween Chicken Chilli, Spicy sausage pasta, five minute stir fry noodle, fridge fried rice and Chicken pizza barbeque among many others.

In “Recipes with Intentional Leftovers,” Sam Zien writes an excellent cookbook that intends to save the regular folk from mediocre leftovers. He says no more should anyone have to deal with tragically made chicken thighs and meat loaf from yesterday, as these can be prepped and made into proper delicious meals.
The cookbook comes with more than twenty master dishes. These come with a main protein combined with appropriate follow up meals that take advantage of any other meals you may have prepared before. Sam makes sure that the kitchen is never again a boring place, as he makes quick and simple but never boring recipes.

The Sunday night leftover meatloaf can be transformed into Sloppy Joes on Thursday or Tacos on Tuesday night. The roast chicken for Monday’s lunch can become the Baked Taquitos you eat on Friday or the Thai Chicken Curry for a Wednesday dinner.

Sam has an engaging and genuine personality that he injects into the writing of the cookbook. Along with vibrant photography, this makes for a must have cookbook for regular folk, who can finally take advantage of their leftovers to make food they can still be excited about.

Sam Zien’s cookbook “Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts” provides some simple and fast ways to throw up some great meals for ordinary folk. As usual, Sam is interested in showing ordinary people how to prepare delicious meals that are short on effort and long on taste.

While he is not a Michelin rated chef, he has a refreshing approach as he makes recipes with simple techniques, basic ingredients and equipment found in everyday kitchens. This makes for satisfying, fun and simple cooking with nothing like the papillote, truffle oil, foie gras or hors d’oeuvre of TV shows.
All you get is great tasting meals with no rare ingredients or fancy techniques. Using Sam’s techniques, you can prepare simple meals without much fuss. Coming with simple and easy shortcuts, there is virtually no meal you cannot make with just a few modifications

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