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The Can't Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! Hardcover-spiral – October 8, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Offers step-by-step how-to's (often supplemented with online videos), clear instructions, and constant encouragement...this nonjudgmental beginners' cookbook is a great choice for teens, college students, and young professionals and families. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

"With her encouraging attitude, Seinfeld is a cheerleader for beginners and has created an inviting primer designed to end kitchen phobia." (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Jessica Seinfeld is the author of two New York Times bestselling cookbooks and the President and Founder of Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clothing and equipment to New York’s families. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Spi edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451662254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451662252
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jessica Seinfeld is the president and founder of Baby Buggy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing clothing and equipment to New York's families in need. To date, Baby Buggy has donated nearly two million essential items to New York families through domestic violence and homeless shelters, parent programs and court child centers. Working with more than 80 social service partners, Jessica has made Baby Buggy an integral part of the children's services network in New York City.
She is the wife of Jerry Seinfeld, with whom she has three children. This is her first book.
Jessica says, "I'm a busy mom with three kids, a job, and a husband who travels constantly, but I'm uncompromising when it comes to my kids' health and nutrition. Leaving that to someone else is out of the question. My parents had three kids and both worked too, and we always managed to eat healthy meals as a family. That's the standard I've always wanted to meet. So when I started creating recipes from my pureed veggie experiments, I had three criteria: my kids had to love the food, the preparation had to be quick, and the process had to be simple. Believe me, if I can do these recipes quickly and easily, ANYONE can."
Jessica on picky eaters: "First and foremost, remember that not every meal you prepare for a child will be a success. Kids at this age are naturally testing preferences, pushing boundaries, and changing their minds. That's part of their development and those are urges not worth battling. As I learned the hard way, the more pressure you apply, the more kids will "hate" certain foods. And, while it would be nice if kids had a "spirit of adventure" when it comes to food, I've found it's best to eliminate adventure and stick to the basics--foods they already love, laden with added nutrition they don't know is there. Finally, be consistent, firm and patient. I have a rule in my house: you don't have to eat what's on the plate, but what's on the plate is all that's being served. Eventually, they come around."

Customer Reviews

I can't wait to try all these great recipes!
L. Jones
Bought this cook book for my daughter last Christmas and my husband took it over so I had to buy her another.
carolrow
Simple, easy recipes with very clear instructions.
Sandy Presgrove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover-spiral
Seriously, I've always been that girl that needed "a pinch" measured out. I mean, whose pinch are we talking about?? A giant, a baby, a little old lady?! I overthink everything. Jessica Seinfeld spells it out, God bless her soul!!

I never learned to cook. I'm 25 and live off fast food and frozen dinners. Imagine my dismay when I meet a man who can cook without thinking about it and doesn't know my dirty little secret! I gotta find a way to hide it...

Enter "The Can't Cookbook".

The very first recipe I tried was the Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts, and 15 (FIFTEEN!!!!) minutes later I was eating moist, flavorful chicken better than anything my mama ever made.

I'm sold, and SUPER excited to memorize these simple recipes so I can act like I've been cooking all along.

Buy this book.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Amy Y. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, I love this cookbook.

I am a pretty good cook. I tend to gravitate toward Cook's Illustrated books and the Joy of Cooking and Fannie Flag are my staples for cooking and baking.

I do enjoy this cookbook, though. First, I love the layout. At the top of each recipe it shows: Actual Work Time, Total Time, and Serves. Ingredient lists are pretty straightforward but unlike many 'beginner' or 'easy/quick cook' cookbooks, this doesn't try to limit the ingredients to just 4 or 5 items. Thus, you actually are cooking real food that actually tastes good.

Some of my favorites: Your First Chili, Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Arugula and Lemon, Mixed Berry Crisp, Drops(wheat and dairy free, vegan cookies made in the food processor!! awesome!), Roasted Sweet Potatoe Coins and dang, eveb their brussel sprouts recipe taste pretty great!!

Lots and lots of picture! If you get the spiral bound hardcopy, you'll find many recipes have fold out pages so you don't have to turn the page while cooking.

It is also filled with an excellent visual dictionary of kitchen tools and techniques. It is very detailed in explanations and contains tons of tips.

There aren't THAT many recipes, though- so if you are only ever going to buy one cookbook, this might not be the one I'd recommend. That said, I love this little cookbook and its great sense of humor. My 10 and 13 year old daughters can cook from it(cookies, entrees, soups and salads!) without any problem understanding the steps or what certain measures or techniques mean.

Great cookbook and one that I have already used numerous times! I have a huge cookbook collection because often I only find 3 or 4 recipes that I like to make regularly from a cookbook.
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81 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Sarah D on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
People that haven't checked out the book should not be allowed to review it. I was so excited for this book I pre-ordered it thanks for someone I knew that had it before it hit the shelves. I wing Pinterest recipes but am in no way a cook. A lot of cook books are daunting and overwhelming to the point they collect dust on my counter. This woman is a genius. She even explains what you need in your kitchen, why you need it and what the gadgets do that are referenced in some recipes. I so wish I owned this before I registered for my wedding.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Mommy's Review on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover-spiral
From The Mommy's Review/The Alternative Press.com

Luckily for many of us, Jessica Seinfeld has recently released the Can't Cook Book: 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified (Atria Books). This self-taught cook and author of Deceptively Delicious (a book many moms and dads have in their arsenal), has created a unique, informative, and entertaining cookbook for anyone who needs a basic primer in all things cooking. (To be honest, I'm a few steps ahead of that, but not much!)

Seinfeld starts the book with a dossier on what to have in your pantry, what basic cooking utensils are, and even directions on how to cut onions, avocados, and more. Following that, she offers easy-to-follow recipes for everything from breakfast (who doesn't LOVE Lemon Ricotta pancakes) to main dishes (Roasted Striped-Bass and Tomatoes, anyone?), and of course, desserts.

There are two things that I adore about this extremely helpful cookbook. First is Seinfeld's tone throughout the book. She talks to the home cook like an old girlfriend, offering words of encouragement and a lot of humor. (Re: the Baked Egg Noodles & Cheese recipe, she writes, "Try not to eat the entire batch before serving.") Each recipe starts off with a "Don't Panic" tip, such as "Using an electric mixer may put you off, but it's only about as complicated as using a blow-dryer," or "Using the food processor... is a big step forward. I think you're ready."

What I also love about this book is the online component, and interactive feature that will truly help the most novice of cooks. By using a scanner on your cell phone, you can access a series of videos with Seinfeld giving you a direct how-to on basic techniques and more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dixie Diamond on March 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover-spiral
I liked this better than I expected to.

This would actually be a good weeknight cookbook for pretty much anyone who isn't a super-serious cook, even if s/he is somewhat experienced. The recipes are basic--roasted vegetables, etc.--but they look good; they're not health-crazy but they're not gratuitously unhealthy, either; they don't require obscure ingredients, they don't use canned soup, they don't require a lot of ingredients (Rachael Ray's recipes sometimes strike me as overly long for the results you get), and they don't require special equipment. Even though she recommends a food processor as a long-term purchase, I think the pesto is the only recipe that really needs it (can you make pesto in a blender? If so, you don't even need the processor. I suspect more people have blenders, and they're less expensive).

Where it could have been better:
1) There are no instructions on the safe handling of chicken. Normally this wouldn't bother me except that the book is aimed at inexperienced cooks, who might not think through how foods can be cross-contaminated if you reuse your chicken knife and cutting board on the salad vegetables, etc.
2) There is an information section but it's at the back of the book. Put it at the front! It's useful! Make sure people read it!
3) It could use a small glossary. For instance, it does tell you how to poach chicken, but if you knew ahead of time that poaching just meant to cook by simmering in liquid, it would feel less like a mystery going in.
4) She frequently refers to meat cuts by weight but does not recommend the purchase of a food scale. I think a food scale is more essential than a salad spinner, pepper grinder, food processor, or panini press.
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