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Topic: Cookbooks for Morons  (Read 4900 times)
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2007 01:09:02 PM »

Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything."

I second that.  It's what I started on and after years of use I threw it out because it was in pieces and I can make all the recipes out of my head now.

« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2008 11:04:48 PM »

Thirding Alton Brown. Start watching Good Eats on the Food Network... start watching cooking shows period. But Alton is really good, he teaches you how to cook, not how to follow recipes. It's the whole give a man a fish thing. He takes a scientific approach to cooking and I really like it.
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2008 01:19:38 PM »

The back left burner! I do the same thing, I'll always turn on the front left burner instead of the back one because the knobs are lined up in the weirdest order!

When I was young, like 10 or 11, I would insist on baking stuff by myself. My mom had these "look and cook" cookbooks by anne willan. They are very instructive, very comprehensive, and there's a picture for almost every step showing what you're supposed to be doing or what something should look at. Not to mention, having the recipe broken up into steps make it much easier too. There are also so many different look and cook books from pies to chicken to pasta recipes.

So as a ten year old, I never had a single thing come out badly. I credit those books.

By the way, they also have lots and lots of useful random tips in the margins and stuff.

Happy cooking!

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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2008 04:51:25 PM »

Try "The I Hate to Cook Book". It's easy and hilarious, the absolute antithesis of all those "learn how to make perfect looking pies while wearing a lace-trimmed apron" sorts of cookbooks.

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« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2008 05:00:19 PM »

I would like to restate that it's okay if you don't cook really awesome yet. I love cooking, and want to cook all the time, but it feels like every time I try, something goes wrong. Last time I made dinner, I ended up crying (it's funny now, but it was the end of a very stressful week, and I had been so excited). One of my friends has a Kraft or Betty Crocker (can't remember which one it was, she had 1 of each) cookbook and everything was 5-6 ingredients and really easy and tasty sounding. So, something like that would be probably be good for those of us who are noobs in the kitchen.

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« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2008 05:10:43 PM »

For an online reference, check out the Pioneer Woman. She does a lot of painfully unhealthy yet tasty-looking recipies that use a lot of shortcuts and few ingredients, with photos every step of the way. The writing style is fun to read, too.

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« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2008 06:40:59 AM »

If you are looking to learn how to cook, more than just follow a simple recipe, I would suggest Alton Brown's books "I'm Just Here For the Food 2.0" and "I'm Just Here for More Food"

The first one gets into the details of how to grill, sear, broil, etc. and includes magnets showing the different parts of the cow, pig, chicken and lamb to understand the different cuts. 

The second one is his book on baking which gets into the details of different types of leavening agents are used, what things like eggs do for the final product etc.  Alton has a very humorous way of explaining the how to behind the recipes so it doesn't read like a high school algebra book. 

The books aren't cheap, but worth it.  I found them on Amazon for about $22 each.  If that's a bit pricey, check out the library.  There's a good chance they have a copy.

What would you get if you crossed a goat and a sheep?
An animal that eats tin cans and gives back steel wool.
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2008 12:02:43 PM »

I hear you! I am also not a naturally talented cook, but had to learn - i went vegetarian in high school and my parents pretty much left my meals to me - i got this cookbook and i really believe it made me the much more talented cook i am today. I eat (some) meat now, but this has a great guide on how to shop for foods and the recipes are very simple and easy to follow, and cooking veggies is easier than meat so this is a good way to start. I've also found myself adding meat to some of the recipes to satisfy the carnivores. You can tell, i get really excited about this book and am always recommending it. (it also has a great chapter on mixing drinks!)

Student's Vegetarian Cookbook: Quick, Easy, Cheap, and Tasty Vegetarian Recipes by carole raymond
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2008 10:02:25 AM »

It looks like this is an American board, however if you can get it over there - then try How to cook by Delia Smith (or Saint Delia as she is known in the UK!). There are a series of 3 books and she even tells you how to boil an egg!  She got a lot of stick for that but I reckon there are plenty of people who do not know how to.

Here's a link.


All her recipes work. However she has updated her how to cheat at cooking and has gone too far I fear - tinned minced beef and frozen mash!! Horror!

But the above one starts at the basics.
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2008 10:07:27 AM »

not sure if anyone else mentioned this but the student cook book is very good, nice, simple, tastey meals, generally inexpensive too
(and it has a cocktail section in the back too)

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