Top positive review
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Fantastic for Those Less Experienced in Cooking
on December 1, 2008
Personal Trainer: Cooking is a great purchase for those of us who are either relatively inexperienced in cooking, or just looking for fun and tasty recipes to make at home. Someone with much more experienced (as already mentioned by a previous reviewer) will most likely find the recipes basic, however.
The game itself is a great cookbook purchase: Some technologies are just lazy while others are highly convenient. The voice recognition makes it very easy to move back and forth and get more information even while your hands are busy or covered with dough, though it can be frustrating that it tends to recognized many louder noises as a voice command - during one recipe I had it repeat and move back a step dozens of times after a plate would clink or the refrigerator would be closed.
If you like to prepare on your own, you can start the recipe steps at the cooking portion so that you don't have to go through ten extra preparation steps.
"Cooking A-Z" includes a lot of information especially useful for beginners. Preparation terms, vocabulary, ingredients, cooking utensils, possible substitutions, etc are explained briefly, and a selection of "how-to" videos are included. There are recipes for homemade ingredients to use in recipes, such as stock and pizza dough.
The recipes themselves (245 of them) can be searched by keyword, ingredients, country, type of dish... It's very easy to find what you would like to make, and the recipes vary from very simplistic and almost obvious to slightly more advanced. All information is given and a timer is included as well - preset to the necessary time. The shopping list is not the most convenient - this is one of the things in the game that is better off written down as long as nothing is forgotten: the shopping list is out of order and can be hard to go through if you have more than one recipe's worth put down. There is no way to delete ingredients from the shopping list - you simply check them off and they remain on the list for awhile with just a red x.
I would definitely recommend this to the beginner cook or someone cooking with younger children. Most cookbooks come in at around $20 anyway, and Personal Trainer: Cooking contains not only a good amount of recipes, but of variation as well. It is a wonderful introduction whether headed in a serious direction, or just looking for family dinners to prepare.