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Now You're Cooking: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know to Start Cooking Today 1St Edition Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1883791001
ISBN-10: 1883791006
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you're not sure what all those cooking utensils in your kitchen drawer are for, Now You're Cooking: Everything a Beginner Needs To Know To Start Cooking Today is for you. With straightforward instructions for everything from boiling water for pasta to what to do with a colander, Elaine Corn, a food writer, cooking teacher and author of Gooey Desserts, guides the novice through the ins and outs of the kitchen, offering 120 simple, but delicious recipes along the way. The book won the 1995 Julia Child Award in the General Category.

From Library Journal

For those who are terrified by the word saute or don't have the faintest idea of what to do with a colander, this is the perfect book. Corn is a food writer, cooking teacher, and author of the irresistible Gooey Desserts (LJ 11/15/93). Her new book grew out of a newspaper series, and it explains, in an extremely unintimidating manner, everything from how to boil water for pasta to the easiest way to clean up the kitchen. Along the way, there are 120 recipes, all of them simple but most of them intended to be served to company (as well as family). In the same vein as Lora Brody's The Kitchen Survival Guide (LJ 5/15/92) but more "grown-up," this is recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Harlow & Ratner; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883791006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883791001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Victor L. Peters on July 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book has been wonderful! As a 29 year-old bachelor I have never learned to cook and lived for years on pre-made foods. As I'm settling down now with my love, I decided I had to learn to cook. But in the past I found cookbooks and friends who tried to show me to cook very frustrating because rather than truly teaching, they assume that you know a lot of things and haphazardly tell yuo what to do on a certain recipe.

I wanted to learn to cook in a methodical well thought out way from the bottom up. This book was the solution! It starts with descriptions of essential cooking preperation techniques and what ingredients and tools you should have in your kitchen. It goes through very simple recipes and gradually builds to harder recipes. Each recipe explains the fine points of how to prepare it. In other words, it really "teaches" you to cook rather than "telling" you how to prepare a recipe. And it does it well!

I only found two small downsides. As I went through the book, sometimes I craved a few fancier and stronger flavored recipes, but the recipes were all very enjoyable and designed at an appropriate level of difficulty. It also would be nice if they had pictures to illustrate and inspire.

Over the last six months, I have gradually gone through 80% of the recipes. I'm excited becasue some of the best recipes are still to come, and now I'm looking forward to what cookbooks I'll start studying next!

This book was what I needed to help me go from a non-cooking bachelor to a cook for life. I hope it will help you too.
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By A Customer on July 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the best cookbook I have ever owned. It was one of the first cookbooks I bought, and my experience with it (rave reviews) convinced me cooking was not hard and I could master this art and really go to town for guests. I have just emerged exhausted and humiliated after exploring the high end, fancy, haute-cuisine cookbooks in an attempt to impress, and after disastrous attempts at bistro cuisine, realize that its back to the basics with Elaine for me- her recipes are delicious, foolproof, and because I grew up refusing to learn how to cook, a true lifesaver.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been cooking for almost 20 years (in university, I lived with two guys who couldn't boil water without detailed instructions, so I did all the cooking), and I've successfully pulled off small-scale dinner parties (up to 8 people). So I know which end of a melon-baller to use.
I still found this book helpful - it demystified some things, and gave me a few new ideas - and a few more rave reviews at Easter dinner!
The only thing this book lacks (and it's probably too big a topic to cover) would be a brief examination of some of the more popular spices, what flavours they impart, and what foods they go best in/with.
VERY strongly recommended!!!
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By Amy on January 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book out of the bargain books bin and it has been the BEST cookbook I've every used. It explains things well, but the recipes show you that you CAN have simple food that tastes outstanding. I will buy every book this woman writes!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an awesome find. I discovered it over seven years ago when I was in college and still refer to now that I'm more experienced with cooking. It explains the basics and assumes that you know nothing. It leaves nothing to chance and most of the recipes have a short list of ingredients so you aren't stuck with extra stuff that can't be used again until you repeat that dish. If you are debating between this book and another, this is the one to buy.
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Format: Hardcover
This year I taught seven teenagers to cook using Now You're Cooking. The recipes were delicious and clearly explained. One of the best things about Elaine Corn is that she is so practical. She explains how to be organized during the cooking process. Even with seven kids in the kitchen, we never had a mess because the book instructed the student to clean up while the food cooks. I did not expect a "learn to cook" book to have such yummy recipes. We were successful with every single meal. I will order another stack of these books for next year.
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Format: Paperback
And they are ALL delicious!! I can't rave enough about this amazing beginner's cookbook. The recipes are excellent, and absolutely anyone will be successful cooking with them. I bought this book in 1994 when it first came out and made "Your First Dinner" (baked potatoes, roast chicken, a big green salad, homemade dressing, and baked apples), and I was so incredibly proud of myself (prior to that I was pretty much the ramen noodles and take-out food queen). I'm living proof that by the time you work your way through this cookbook, you will have a very respectable cooking repertoire!

The author has a wonderful tone, friendly and confident without being condescending. The layout is great, every recipe fits on one or two pages and the directions are crystal clear. I've never even lamented the lack of photographs in this book, which is highly unusual for me since I am a visual person.

Some of my favorite recipes that I am still using 13 years later are: cold asian noodles in peanut butter sauce (although we use soy now due to kids with peanut allergies); roast chicken; roasted red peppers; dressed cucumbers; caesar salad; potato salad; sweet corn soup; linguine in white clam sauce; steak in cabernet sauce; meatloaf; crunch-tender cabbage; apple crisp; and Brenda's brownies.

A++++
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