Author Topic: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook  (Read 3747 times)

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BatCity

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2007, 11:04:37 AM »
Hi, Cathy!  I made the same resolution as you did!

I have a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (okay, it's not so new anymore) that has been my bible since I was in college.  I've had people give me replacements over the years but I still use the original even though it's falling apart.  I like it because it has basic cooking temps and times for all kinds of meat, vegetables, etc.  I can use it for the basics and as I get more comfortable I can start customizing stuff.

My husband is a great cook, and he loves books by Alton Brown of "Good Eats" fame because he's more of a scientist than a chef.  Instead of just giving you a recipe for, say, soup; he'll go into stuff like what makes a good stock, how to pick the pot to use, etc.  He believes you should never just follow a recipe; you should understand the role each ingredient and each step plays in the dish. 

Best of luck!

Lara

melodrama

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2007, 04:46:28 PM »
I'd go with the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for your first and most basic book.

I love my Joy of Cooking but with no pictures and tiny print, it's a little more intimidating than the glossy "BH&G" which has tons of pictures and pretty basic instructions. 

Good luck, welcome back and congrats!

artk2002

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2007, 09:20:02 PM »
My SO has a vintage set of Meta Givens and I have a fairly old Fanny Farmer for basic cook books.  I really like the magazine "Cook's Illustrated" because they have some good recipes and lots of stuff on basic technique.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

aline

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 04:13:16 PM »
I also enjoy "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman - it really does include just about everything from basic cooking terminology to advanced recipes.

Alida

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2007, 08:15:01 PM »
Congratulations on the new little one!

I would definitely recommend Taste of Home for the new cook.  Very simple recipes.

Specky

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2007, 09:06:43 PM »
For baking (or anything made with flour) I really like the King Arthur (Flour) cookbook.  They also have recipes on their web site.

Pixie

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2007, 03:24:57 PM »
I wish they made cookbooks for people like me. I'm a dash and dab cook, I do not measure.  Whenever I try to use a recipe, it doesn't turn out.  A recipe for me is just a starting point... LOL!   I always tell my girls, "I can tell you how to make that, but I can't give you a recipe.   This drives my younger daughter crazy, but my oldest gets it just fine.

  So they call me and I talk them through it!  Just like my Mom did with me.





Just Lori

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2007, 03:47:00 PM »
Congratulations on the new little one!

I would definitely recommend Taste of Home for the new cook.  Very simple recipes.

I learned to cook using Taste of Home.

supernova

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2007, 04:38:55 PM »
Betty Crocker, absolutely.  And anything by Alton Brown.

Be prepared for making horrific mistakes; have a sense of humor about them so they can turn into funny anecdotes years down the road.  ("Remember the lasagna we had to bury in the back yard?")  Practice makes perfect; but perfection comes with time.

Don't get roped into buying tons of gadgets.  Alton's got a great philosophy on this:  the only single-use item in your kitchen should be your fire extinguisher.  Invest wisely in good-quality hard-wearing kitchen items and learn to care for them properly.  Sure you can buy a new set of T-fal every year for under $70 when the Calphalon costs $300, but the Calphalon will last you for life if you take care of it.  And you won't be feeding your family flecks of teflon as the T-fal disintegrates.  (Ew!)

Best of luck!  :)

     - saphie

sparksals

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2007, 06:24:31 PM »
Rather than buying some cookbooks that you may never use or may be too advanced for your ability as a novice cook, there are many online recipe sites that are free to join. 

Try recipezaar.com.  There are literally over 100,000 recipes, reviews and message boards.  If you're having a problem with a recipe, you can post in the Q and A section and get a quick answer. 

It's free and you can search for recipes that look easy to try.  The steps are spelled out and some even have photos. 

Once you feel more comfortable, then you can graduate to cookbooks.

ETA:  Oh my goodness!  I didn't notice the name of the OP.  I wondered where you were, Cathy!  Many people have asked for Neighbourhood woes stories!

twinkletoes

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2007, 02:30:15 PM »
First: Congratulations!  How exciting!

Second:  I'm another one for Better Homes and Gardening.  They often have step-by-step pictures so you can judge how you're doing.  Believe me, I didn't cook before I got that cookbook, but this made it easy.

I also like "Where's Mom Now that I need Her?"  http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Mom-Now-That-Need/dp/0961539011  It's very, very basic, and it's written more for college students first living on their own (there are recipes on how to make hard-boiled eggs!  And how to scramble them!  Very basic, but good.)

When I was first starting out, I also liked cookbooks geared towards kids.  Again, very basic stuff, but the step-by-step is very clear.

Mammavan

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Re: Suggestions for "how to" cookbook
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2007, 02:59:56 PM »
I think "it depends."  It depends on your personality.  I received the Joy of Cooking many years ago and sat down and read it cover to cover (as I do with most cookbooks).  I gave it to my daughter, who only uses it for reference.   She also has the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and uses that as well, but she likes the Rachel Ray 30-Minute books too.  I think they get you to the "Hey-look-I'm-really-cooking" mode quickly.  Take some time (and I'm sure with a 3-week-old you have tons of that) to visit a good bookstore and read through a couple of the cookbook bibles.  I think you'll find the ones that provide the style and amount of information that works for you.

BTW, my favorite quote from Joy is their definition of eternity:  Two people and a ham.