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Topic: Cookbooks for Morons  (Read 4521 times)
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2007 12:56:56 PM »

Oh wow.  Thanks for all your suggestions.  I didn't expect to get so many.  This week is exam week, but next week I will definitely be checking this stuff out!

Feel free to keep the recommendations coming!
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2007 07:07:33 AM »

You could try those 5 ingredient books, though they use a bit of canned and convenience stuff. Once you get comfortable in the kitchen with your 5 ingredients, then you can graduate to something else.

As an alternative, you can make an investment and have a personal chef come to your home and teach you the basics.

« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2007 03:15:11 PM »

 I give every bride Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Very simple recipes. Great book.
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2007 11:11:35 PM »

I would like to second (or was it third?!) the recommendation for The Joy of Cooking.  It's insanely comprehensive and very accessible.  My husband and I both use it so regularly that it hardly ever makes it back to its shelf.  There is a copy of Fanny Farmer at my husband's family's cabin, and that often proves to be a great resource too.  I also recommend watching a little bit of cooking tv...as much as she annoys me, Rachael Ray has some great time-saving techniques that I would never have thought of myself.  Alton Brown is extremely informative as well.

« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2007 12:09:34 PM »

For a basic cook book, I like the Betty crocker cookbook.....you know--the one with the cover  that is red and white checked?  They have it at Walmart, Sam's Target right now for the holidays, and it includes basic
American cooking--stuff that MOM makes........or Grandma........it is a really good reference.......

The fix it and forget it crockpot  cook books are great--it IS hard to mess up in the crockpot......

Have you ever watched How to Boil Water on food network??  It is aimed at beginer cooks.........also  SemiHomemade withSandra Lee  is a good show to watch cause she shows you how to cook using store bought shortcuts............Good Luck!!!!

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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2007 02:51:18 PM »

i have seen some that are just 3 or 4 or 5 ingredients - but don't overthink cooking!!   it 's baking that takes more precise measurements - also - always write on the recipe  you use - IE use more/ less... bake longer/ less etc...  very good/never again!
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007 09:22:56 AM »

i started cooking at 13, and since my mom is hispanic we ate a LOT of beans...burritos...sopa...gorditas growing up.  so i got my first cookbook, "chopsticks, cleaver, and wok" by jennie low.  its written for a novice cook to prepare chinese homestyle meals, and i learned every single recipe in there (except the pigsfeet.  eew.)  it covers how to shop for ingredients, how long they keep, how to store them, how to cut different vegetables and meats, everything.  and every recipe has notes on what steps can be done in advance, and how long in advance.  i can't say enough good things about this book, it literally taught me to cook. my husband got me a new copy for my birthday this year, when my old one was so stained and crusted shut it could no longer be read. (im 25.  i used that book on a daily basis for years.  it was a MESS!)  starting with this book with no prior knowledge of the kitchen, you really can make better food than you will get at most chinese restaurants.  admitteldly, there is an initial investment in ingredients you might not have on hand already, but this is the most economical cuisine you can imagine- especially if you shop at asian grocery stores. (i mean come on?  supporting mom and pop grocery stores AND getting top quality rice at 8 bucks for 20 pounds?! hells yeah.)

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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007 11:47:39 AM »

I agree with crockpot cooking being one of the easiest ways to make yourself a tasty and healthy meal. Every time I know someone moving out on their own I set them up with the two Company's Coming cook books (Slow Cooker Meals and Slowcooker Recipes) and a slowcooker since they are pretty cheap.

I highly suggest recipes for the crockpot where you throw all the raw ingredients in at once and leave it. Its an awesome kitchen confidence builder because you leave it on low for 8 hours, come home, and have something warm and delicious to eat! So Easy!

« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007 12:44:54 AM »

Alton Brown's cookbooks are pretty good too. He has a book that tells you what are essential tools for the kitchen and the others are quite good at explaining things.

Of course, I ALWAYS recommend Alton's stuff. It's good at explaining things, not only the recipe but why you get that end result or why this will react with that. Which is good to learn so that later on you can improvise a bit if you are missing an ingredient or don't have enough. I agree with him that the only thing that should be a unitasker in the kitchen is the fire extinguisher!

I do agree that cooking is much more lenient than baking! Baking is very exact and changing anything other than flavorings can result in complete disaster! (We shan't discuss some of my more memorable baking disasters! they were quite scary!)



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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007 09:47:02 AM »

YES!  Alton Brown!  that was one of the things my husband and i got together on when we first met- we both thought he was one of the raddest, sexiest guys on tevee- we have a bunch of his dvds and 'i'm only here for the food' is a GREAT book.  (i didn't get it until years after i'd entered the kitchen, though.)

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