My college roommate put this cookbook on my radar screen. During a phone conversation last year, she mentioned that everyone in San Angelo was raving about a new cookbook called Any Bitch Can Cook. Catchy name, huh? I finally picked up a copy at a specialty-item store in South Padre Island to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

The first page of this book puts everything in perspective: “And we mean ‘Bitch’ in a good way . . . Babe In Total Control of Herself.” The two authors, Jackie McClure and Joyce Wilde, dedicated the cookbook to their husbands: “They have cooked more meals than we ever thought of cooking through the years.” Throughout the book, quotes from famous writers like C. S. Lewis appear at the bottom of pages in addition to sayings like “Always build bridges instead of walls.” Right away you know that this is a cookbook written by women for women.

Any Bitch Can Cook begins with appetizers such as Texas Trash, and moves on through the course of a meal—breads, sandwiches, salads, main dishes like venison chili and old-time beef stew, vegetables, and finally desserts (with such items as a pinto bean pie that “tastes like a pecan pie”). While most of the recipes are for standard fare, readers are definitely in for a treat: After the index, a whole section titled “Household Hints” offers invaluable tips for today’s woman, from a list of common kitchen pans (with illustrations) to substitutions to tips on preparing various foods: “Bread that sounds hollow when tapped with fingers is baked perfectly.” Even better are the clean-up instructions. Below is a sampling of helpful advice for busy moms, working women, and babes in total control.

If the numbers on your oven dial are worn, take a yellow crayon and rub it all over the number on the dial. Gently wipe off the excess crayon and paint with the clear nail polish.

Any cola drink will remove grease spots from windows.

Dip a cloth in kerosene or rubbing alcohol to remove scum from your bathroom fixtures.

To freshen curtains, throw in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and a damp towel.

Vinegar is a must when washing crystal. Rinse in 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water. Air dry.