Eating out is fun, but not budget friendly. Enter cookbook author Ron Douglas. He has spent the past 12 years developing recipes of favorite restaurant dishes for the home cook. His cookbook line of copycat recipes have sold 1.2 million copies worldwide. His latest, America’s Most Wanted Recipes Kids’ Menu, features dishes kids love to order. Some of the offerings include Cracker Barrel’s peach cobbler, Panera Bread’s Mac and Cheese and Ruby Tuesday’s chicken quesadillas.
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Douglas’ route to cookbook stardom was not typical. If you read the book’s introduction (like any self-respecting book nerd, I did) you learn Douglas had a good job on Wall Street. But the 60 to 80 work weeks left little time for family. So in 2004, he chose to pursue his love of cooking full time. That’s impressive enough. But I also learned that both of his parents were heroin addicts. His father actually died from an overdose before he was born.
“Statistically, I had a slim chance of succeeding in life. Neither genetics nor environment was on my side,” Douglas says.
Bonus Bit: Starbucks’ Vanilla Scones are a rare treat for my son and me. So we just had to try making them ourselves using this copycat recipe.
Here’s how it went: