Author Topic: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook  (Read 3779 times)

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cskirpan

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Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« on: January 26, 2007, 02:00:30 PM »
Hi everyone! 

One of my New Year's resolutions was to become a really good cook and baker.  Now that our surprise baby is 3 weeks old, and I've got my house back into some semblance of order, I'm trying to find a good cookbook to teach me.

I've tried looking on Amazon, but it was a bit too confusing.  I don't really want to start off with the Escoffier (sp?) cookbook to start.  Nor do I want to waste money on something that teaches kids to cook. 

Do any of you have any suggestions for cookbooks?  Preferably ones that give explicit step by step directions.  Pictures are good too!

Thanks,

Cathy

lolane

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 03:59:02 PM »
I love my Good Housekeeping cookbook. It was passed down to me when I started college and I still refer back to it today. I like it because it has common sense info, substitution and storage info, and almost all of the ingrideints can be commonly foun din your local supermarket (no St. Jorge's cheese, etc.) I also like that there are pictures of every recipe so you know what it's supposed to look like.

My second favorite cookbook is Julia Child's "The Way to Cook," it's a little more advanced, and some of the recipes call for more obscure ingridients but overall it's very user friendly and she includes a lot of pictures of what your prep work is supposed to look like so if she uses a term you don't understand you can look at the picture and figure it out.

hobish

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 04:30:05 PM »

Great question! I'll defnitely be checking on this one to see the answers - that is exactly the kind of cookbook i need, too.

...and ... Wow!!! Nice to 'see' you again!!!
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dietcokeofevil

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 06:55:57 PM »
The Good Housekeeping one is a great basic cookbook.  There's also a "How to Boil Water" cookbook based on the Food Network show.  I haven't looked through it, but it would probably be worth a look.

Wordgeek

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2007, 02:17:59 AM »
Welcome back!  And congrats on the new arrival.

I've seen "How to Boil Water" and it's very, very basic.  It's aimed at college students who have never been inside a kitchen before, and give step-by-step instructions on how to, say, make ramen.

I really like the Fannie Farmer cookbooks.  There's a general cookbook, as well as one specifically for baking.  Both have clear instructions and explanations.  They're by Marion Cunningham, and imaginatively titled the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and the Fannie Farmer Baking Book, respectively. 

Your library might have copies of some of these.  It's worth looking.


Gigi

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2007, 05:08:21 AM »
The Betty Crocker Cookbooks are well written with easy to follow directions.

The Joy Of Cooking by Irma Rembauer is a classic too.

Twik

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2007, 11:46:23 AM »
THe Joy of Cooking is a good one. It covers the beginning steps, as well as obscure things such as how to prepare turtles for soup.

Fannie Farmer has been sworn by in my family for multiple generations.
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Shoo

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2007, 11:47:48 AM »
Hi everyone! 

One of my New Year's resolutions was to become a really good cook and baker.  Now that our surprise baby is 3 weeks old, and I've got my house back into some semblance of order, I'm trying to find a good cookbook to teach me.

I've tried looking on Amazon, but it was a bit too confusing.  I don't really want to start off with the Escoffier (sp?) cookbook to start.  Nor do I want to waste money on something that teaches kids to cook. 

Do any of you have any suggestions for cookbooks?  Preferably ones that give explicit step by step directions.  Pictures are good too!

Congratulations on the baby!  No wonder we haven't seen you around here in a while!! 

MsEva

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2007, 02:46:49 PM »
Cathy,

First...Welcome back  :D  We have missed you.

Second...Congratulations on the baby  ;D

Third...The Joy of Cooking is an excellent book. I would also recommend How to Cook Everything by Bittman. It's like a big cooking bible.

Fourth...How's the neighborhood??  :o

Signed
the former Corieva




Brentwood

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2007, 07:28:38 PM »
I have hundreds of cookbooks. If I could only keep two, they would be my 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and my Joy Of Cooking.

hobish

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2007, 03:22:13 PM »

I just remembered ... my mom had one she bought with me in mind called The I Hate to Cook Book. It might be more basic than what you're looking for, and is pretty small; but it is also pretty entertaining.

From this thread it sounds like i may grab The Joy of Cooking if i see it somewhere. Of course i'll have to get some smelling salts, as well, to revive Mr. HGish after he faints dead away from shock.  ;D
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TZ

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 04:05:07 PM »
Congratulations on the new baby! 

I cannot say enough good things about The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook.  It has a lot of detailed instructions for basic things, as well as more advanced recipes.  The fudgy brownies recipe makes the best brownies I have ever had!

Shoo

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2007, 06:19:15 PM »
I've got a few recipe books laying around somewhere, but honestly?  www.allrecipes.com is the only place I look anymore.

The rating system and comments system gives you a good idea of whether the recipe is any good or not.  And other people share their experience with it, so you know whether the amounts specified in the recipe need to be tweaked.  You basically benefit from the experience of others.


kareng57

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2007, 07:14:30 PM »

I just remembered ... my mom had one she bought with me in mind called The I Hate to Cook Book. It might be more basic than what you're looking for, and is pretty small; but it is also pretty entertaining.

From this thread it sounds like i may grab The Joy of Cooking if i see it somewhere. Of course i'll have to get some smelling salts, as well, to revive Mr. HGish after he faints dead away from shock.  ;D


I love the I Hate to Cook Book.  It's kind of dated in some ways but as you say it's very entertaining and has lots of common-sense advice.  Really, Peg Bracken was pretty brave to have written it in the 1960s, the era when most women were expected to be ecstatic about every aspect of housewifery.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Joy of Cooking, though my husband loves it and uses it all the time.  I find that it's simply got too much detail, especially for a beginner.  For someone just starting out, I'd go for a book with lots of large colour illustrations, I think they really help.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2007, 08:49:55 PM »
hi Cathy! Congrats on the new baby! I have been thinking abour you, and missed you. Certainly hope that no news from you means "she-who-must-not-be-named" has moved away!

On to cookbooks: I have my trusty Good Housekeeping Cookbook which covers lots of topics in clear, eay to understand manner. I have also relied on The Joy of Cooking for years, and my mother gave me the new edition for Christmas. LOVE IT! The original has been updated and is even more practical and useful. I would also check out used bookstores for any cookbooks from Southern Living, or get the Southern Living magazine. They have great recipes. EXCELLENT magazine with recipes and instructions and lots of photos - Taste of Home magazine. Check out the recipe threads here also. Whenever I post recipes, I add tips that make it easier to get those picture-perfect results, and so do lots of people.

Online sites with terrific recipes and tips:
www.tasteofhome.com
www.recipezaar.com
If you are really serious about baking, experimenting with more foods - get a GOOD stand-up mixer. Sunbeam is pretty good, but KitchenAid is the Cadillac of mixers. You can use a good mixer with dough hooks to knead bread dough, or a bread machine to mix bread or roll dough.
Tell us what you make!
Joy in Virginia