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on November 21, 2011
This is a great cookbook! I would never have enjoyed cooking without this book! Not only are the recipes delicious and practical, they are written out in step-by-step instructions and explanations are included for anything even remotely questionable. Every time I make something from this book, I am constantly asked for the recipe! Some favorites: Avocado Feta Salsa and Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna (with Spicy Italian Sausage)!
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on July 22, 2011
I never learned how to properly cook when I was younger. Therefore, when I moved out I had to learn all of the basics- from what a teaspoon was to how to best cut certain types of fruit. This book helped me immensely. With an introductory chapter that tells you exactly what gadgets you need (with pictures!), it also explains what different terms like "blanch" means. Each of the recipes is ranked according to a three-tier system from easy to advanced allowing you to experiment with the easy dishes and gradually move up to the more complicated dishes. I don't particularly care for a lot of the advanced dishes in here, but it has given me the ability to learn how to cook to where I can use other cookbooks and recipes for fancier, more advanced dishes. I would highly recommend to anyone who needs help learning how to cook- especially those moving out on their own for the first time!
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on October 28, 2012
One of the disadvantages of being raised by a single mom was never learning to cook. She had to work longish hours to make sure we had what we needed, so we had a lot of simple meals or meals from a box. I never had the "gramdma's cooking lessons" or long Saturdays in the kitchen that I find so ideal. I really want to give this gift to my kids - the gift of knowing what foods go together and how to prepare them!

I got this book free with a subscription to BHG a while back and just cracked it open last weekend. It is GREAT! The first section deals with knowledge about different foods - how to tell when fruits are ripe, how to check the temperature of a piece of meat, and the meanings of words like "julienne" or chop or slice. Some may mock this book for its simplicity, but for me it was a breath of fresh air. So many people who cook throw around words that we novices don't understand! This book breaks down every term and texture. In the latter half of the book, there are recipes for starters, soups, salads, meats, entrees, and desserts! The recipes are listed by difficulty level on a scale of one to three. I haven't made any of the recipes yet but I have read through the whole book and have some dog-eared to try. I love that on each page, it states the recipe and then at the bottom, it lists page numbers of terms or methods you may be unfamiliar with. I can't wait to try a couple of the "easy" recipes.
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on January 7, 2010
What a great idea for the truly gourment challenged. The book is GEORGEOUS. The pictures are in beautiful color, the directions are easy to follow, and the DVD that comes with it is a BONUS. I recommend for not only those who have never picked up a wisk, but for those looking for easy, inexpensive, new food ideas.
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on June 3, 2010
Great cookbook for a bride or college student. Good information on how to select vegetables, preparation/techniques and great recipes.
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on October 4, 2009
I am still going through the book and still learning from it, but it is one of the better purchases I have made recently. I haven't cooked a disaster since it arrived in the mail. Of course, it is just a matter of time before I take on a recipe I am not ready for, and meet my Waterloo - but that is just a guy thing - and, yes, I have had many of those hiccups in my life!
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on December 15, 2013
I found this book in a clearance section of a discount store. I thought it would be great for my daughter who can't cook. I then ordered one on Amazon for myself because it is perfect for anyone who has limited knowledge of tools in the kitchen and the very basic steps in preparing food. I know that I sometimes run into food or methods of cutting or cooking that I never quite understood. This book answers all those very simple and basic questions. The perfect must have book for any new cook and helpful for those of us who thought we knew it all. It gives step by step instruction and all very colorfully illustrated. You can't make a mistake with these instructions.
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on December 6, 2012
I would recommend this cookbook for anyone! There's plenty of pictures and step-by-steps. Also, one of my favorite features is the "Ask Mom" at the bottom of each recipe. If the recipe calls for chopped onions (for example) the "Ask Mom" questions at the bottom of the page will direct you on how to properly chop an onion. If there are any assumptions made in the recipe, the "Ask Mom" section at the bottom will address all of those so that you can successfully complete the recipe.
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on January 10, 2013
I bought this as a gift for a friend going off to college. It's well organized, has many recipes for the basics, and explains kitchen techniques that may be unfamiliar to newbies. It has recipes for every meal, a baking section, and even a few cocktail recipes. A nice basic cookbook that will prepare someone for most occasions.
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on May 22, 2013
I've just started reading this book & so far, it's great. I've checked out the sections & recipes & they seem pretty good & practical. I need to enhance my cooking skills. I say, "Buy it!" You'll learn a great deal & it's very inexpensive. It comes in a very study binder type book with a dvd.
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