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Topic: Cookbooks for Morons  (Read 3402 times)
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« on: December 06, 2007 12:59:51 PM »

Let me start by saying I am a horrible, horrible cook.  I can knit a sweater in 2 days, but for some reason I am an absolute disaster in the kitchen.  I am also a complete klutz.

Last May I chipped a molar on some rice I made.  I have almost set my kitchen on fire 3 times.  I have even messed up boiling water before (turned on the wrong burner and then wondered why nothing was happening for 15 minutes).  The first time I made grilled cheese, I had to call my friend for instructions.  I was 20 at the time.

And yet, I still am determined to learn how to cook!  Ordering in or eating out for every meal is entirely to expensive, not to mention really unhealthy.  But most cookbooks I pick up I don't understand.  And they all have so many ingredients!

Does anyone know of cookbooks for people who can't cook?  With healthy, inexpensive foods?  Am I asking too much?  Should I just give up and invest in an Easy-Bake Oven?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007 01:06:02 PM »

You might try starting out with a cookbook aimed at kids.  The instructions are pretty easy, and a lot of them even list the types of equipment you'll need for each recipe.  I have quite a few, and have found some recipes that I really like!

« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007 05:29:22 PM »

I always use www.allrecipes.com.  It has varied levels of "hardness" but it's great because you can look up anything you'd want to eat, and see how people have rated the recipe before you even try it.  Also, people usually leave tips in the comments with the recipes.  You should try it out!
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007 07:46:42 PM »

Emeril Lagasse has an awesome kids' cookbook.  the recipes are easy, but they don't rely on processed foods, and they're TASTASTIC!  for down-home style cooking, you could try the "Little House on the Prairie" cookbook- most libraries have that one.  Recipezaar.com is a good website to use, too--they have a "cookbook" system that's sort of like Craftster's bookmarks.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2007 12:58:54 PM by radiationbaby - Reason: spelling error » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Oh, it's just kittens.

I want to leave this world the way I came into it:  naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood.
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007 08:01:36 PM »

I love cookbooks and read them like novels but there's two that I use all the time for basic reference:
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Both have a variety of recipes for every skill level, as well as sections on cooking basics and cooking tips.  All the recipes are well written and tell you step by step exactly what you want to do.

You might also look at crockpot cookbooks - Fix it and Forget it is a good one. It's really hard to mess up crockpot food, and the best thing is, your dinner is already cooked when you get home at the end of the day! Using a crockpot is good for saving money too - due to the long slow cook time, cheaper cuts of meat do really well in them.  And it's the only way I'll cook dried beans (cheap and healthy!)

MizMosa mentioned allrecipes.com - I second that! I use that site about 5 times a week.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007 09:18:58 PM »

Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything."

The BH&G one is good, too.

For something more encyclopedic, "The Joy of Cooking."
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007 07:20:52 AM »

Step by Step cooking

I don't remember who it's by but it looked pretty good.
Has pictures and everything!

Then you got your Dummies series these books are awsome!

They have one that I think is right up your alley

"Cooking Basics for dummies"  or

"30 minute meals for dummies"

and a plether of all kinds of regional cooking

I have several different Dummies guides
but don't have a Cooking one

I use a 1945 Culinary Arts institute Cookbook mostly but I also have about 200 other cookbooks at my disposal
I am a book-a-holic Grin

Hope these help

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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007 03:08:00 PM »

I recommend the Joy of Cooking - their instructions are totally comprehensive, and you can always find a used copy for cheap at yer local bookstore (LBS ?).

Oh, and don't feel bad. I'm actually a pretty good cook, and I still turn the wrong burner on. All the time.

Science is crafty too.

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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2007 05:43:22 PM »

When I went to college, my mom gave me a copy of "The Absolute Beginner's Cookbook".  The recipes are pretty quick and easy, the utensils you need are listed with each recipe, and most of the ingredients are affordable on a poor college student's budget.  Some of the ingredients are things like "1 can cream of mushroom soup" or "1 cup Thousand Island dressing" as opposed to "x amount of basil, y amount of oregano, z amount of olive oil, blah blah blah".  I was (and am) far from a beginner, but I still use that cookbook today.

« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007 06:50:42 AM »

Oh, and don't feel bad. I'm actually a pretty good cook, and I still turn the wrong burner on. All the time.

Me too!  Especially if I try to use the back left burner.  Gets me every time.

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