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4.7 out of 5 stars
What to Cook & How to Cook It
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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for anyone learning how to cook or even people who have been cooking for a while. Its very neat and the pictures are great. All the recipes include pictures from the start of the meal to the end. Ms. Hornby also took the time to show all the ingredients and what it would look like for the homecook. Most of the ingredients can be found in the supermarket or farmer's market. The recipes are economical and thats great in a cookbook. Here is a list of how the book is set up

Introduction:
Tips on how to make recipes work for you. Basic kitchen equipment like knives, roasting pan and food processor. Next is ingredients, shopping tips and basic pantry.

Breakfast & Brunch:
Smoothies, cinnamon rolls, eggs( eggs benedict and scrambled eggs), muffins, french toast, huevos rancheros, pancakes and corncakes.

Light Lunches:
Ham Cheese Sandwich, warm goat cheese salad, spicy vegetable soup, couscous& harissa salad, warm goat cheese& beet salad, chicken caesar salad, chicken &corn quesadilias, BLT sandwich and shrimp & mushroom laksa.

Simple Suppers:
Chicken stir-fry, mushroom risotto, thai curry with beef, lamb chops and mint salad, cheeseburgers, breaded fish and tartar sauce, macaroni& cheese, sausage and mashed potatoes with onion gravy, stuffed chicken with tomatoes and arugula, shrimp pad thai, cajun chicken and pineapple salsa and penne with tomato/olive sauce.

Food for sharing:
Sticky BBQ ribs, stuffed potato skins, chicken wings and blue cheese dip, antipasti with tapenade and tomato bruschetta, cheese nachos and guacamole, hummus with marinated olives and pitas, chicken tikka and raita lettuce cups, pizza margherita and chicken satay.

Weekend Cooking:
Pan Fried Fish, chilli con carne with baked potatoes, coq au vin, creamy fish pie, roast chicken with lemon and leek stuffing, eggplant parmigana, lasagne, paella, crab cakes, beef stew, chicken pot pie, fish stew and roast pork.

Side Dishes:
Roast potatoes, rataouille, coleslaw, maple roast winter vegetables, oven fries, dressed green beans, glazed carrots.

Desserts:

Apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, frosted cupcakes, key lime pie, lemon tart, vanilla ice cream, brownies and panna cotta with raspberries.

Also Ms. Hornby includes tips on planning a menu and basic preparations like cutting garlic, onions and herbs.

I did my best to list most of the dishes. I did not list them all. I just wanted to give everyone an idea of whats in the book. This book is great for family and friends. This cookbook is great for any level of the homecook. I am glad I have this book and I will continue to make more of the dishes. Last night I made the spicy vegetable soup. Tonight I made for dessert the key lime pie. I cant wait until its ready.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book, in, of all places, URBAN OUTFITTERS.

This is a new, delightfully laid-out and easily understandable cookbook which proceeds on the assumption that everyone is new to cooking.
I have not seen a book like this one, where each step of a recipe is photographed. For example, with Coq au Vin, there are photos showing the vegetables, then the slicing, then the chicken, when to put the wine in, etc.

The calm and articulate prose that accompanies the recipes is noteworthy for its gentle but authoritative ability to reassure the cook.

It's true that the internet has made recipe finding easy. But a book like "What to Cook and How to Cook It" is something one will have for years, and is as essential to a kitchen as salt, knives, butter and water.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I cannot recommend this book enough. I love cooking but I have a hard time following many recipies in other cook books and from websites. The reason is that I am quite a visual person. I need to see what the dish should look like when you are finished. This book does that but it also takes it a number of steps further.

Every recipe is laid out from start to finish with a picture for each step. Even the ingredients are shown in their measurments to make it easier for you to see where to begin. The book also has a picture of the dish at critical points in the preparation so you can see how it should look.

The recipes are easy to follow and are not overly complicated. The recipes are also all based around food that everyone loves. Things like Chicken Pot Pie, Coc au Vin, chicken wings, BBQ ribs.

This book is great for anyone who is new to cooking and even intermediate cooks who like that visual style cookbook.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Many cookbooks say that they're written for people without much experience, yet they focus too much on the recipe itself and don't realize that trouble areas for beginners are in the preparation of the ingredients. Beginners often don't know if they've chopped it up right, if they've let rise long enough, how it should look, etc. Seeing beautifully photographed steps takes out the intimidation of otherwise complicated sounding recipes.

It also lets you visualize what you need to do, instead of having to repeatedly check back with the instructions, which can be tedious.

The dishes themselves aren't anything groundbreaking, or necessarily gourmet, but that's a good thing. These are practical, delicious staples that you've always wanted to make, in a cookbook that beginners will actually use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Great for beginning cooks as well as the accomplished home cook. Hornby's book is great for many reasons. To begin with; all of these Phaidon publications are stunningly beautiful books which are very well laid out and contain very vivid photographs. There is a very thorough introduction with helpful and useful information. The recipes are divided into appropriate sections which include:

Breakfast and Brunch
Light Lunches
Simple Suppers
Food for Sharing
Weekend Cooking
Side Dishes
Desserts & Baking

She also includes tips for panning a menu, a glossary and a short section which reviews basic food prep. Another really cool thing abut the actual layout is that there are a couple of ribbons attached to the spine which you can use as bookmarks for easy access to the meal you're working on, or to keep your favorite dish easily at hand.

Each and every recipe contains a short description as well and a list of ingredients. Along with the list of ingredients, there is a high quality image of the ingredients laid out beautifully. Following this introductory page, there are step by step instructions which also include what the food should look like at each stage of the preparation. How many times have you been following a recipe and come across a set of instructions which is totally vague, you're not really quite sure what to do? You think, "Is this really what it's supposed to look like?" Well, this book shows you exactly what it should look like at each stage. In addition to clear written instructions, you get a very high quality image to help along the way.

The recipes contained in Hornby's book are ones for real people. There's nothing pretentious about any of the dishes. There are a variety of dishes that would be great for easy week nights at home, or for having friends over.

Just to give you an idea, I've cooked most of the way through Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' volumes 1 and 2 and consider myself a fairly accomplished home cook. Even still, this Hornby collection is one that I find myself coming back to rather often. If not for the recipe itself, at least for ideas.

This would make a great addition to anyones collection of cookbooks. In fact, it would most likely make it's way to the head of the line quite quickly. It would make a great gift for anyone who loves to cook, or anyone who is thinking of getting started.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I am not a great cook, but I am capable. I made chili from this cookbook and it was excessively sweet and not particularly flavorful. Frankly, a disappointment. I will try again, if only because I love the look of the cookbook. But looks are secondary to the quality of the recipe in a cook book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The layout of these delicious recipes is what caught my eye in the first place. The crisp, clear overhead angles on the ingredients and of the preparation are really useful to culinary semi-klutzes like me. I'm not a mammal eater so it was a dubious purchase in that regard, but there are plenty of other recipes for me and I've enjoyed making a few already. Several friends have loved my copy and have said they'll be purchasing 'What to Cook and How to Cook It' too.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed "What to Cook & How to Cook It" from the library and have made three recipes from it. The first, eggplant parmigiana, tasted great. Consequently, my expectations for the second recipe I made, chicken stir fry, were high. Instead I was disappointed. The recipe called for a relative over abundance of some ingredients and a lime juice based sauce which is bright but too acidic for my taste. The third recipe, onion tart (or quiche), was made strictly according to the recipe and was not thoroughly baked. Disappointed, I have decided not to buy this cookbook. There are more informative and reliable books including (but not limited to) Richard Sax's "Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef" and "Cooking Great Meals Every Day: Techniques, Recipes and Variations", Linda Carucci's "Cooking School Secrets for Real-World Cooks", Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and Cooks Illustrated's "The New Best Recipe".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My grown daughter likes to cook and try different recipes. I noticed this book being reviewed in some magazine and I thought she might like it as a Christmas gift. In less the last ten days she has made 3 or 4 dishes from the book. She said that she likes the way that the book is laid out and is easy to follow. She also commented that the book has photos of different steps along the way and how it should look after it is finished. So this book gets 4 stars in the enjoyment factor for my daughter. Dear old Dad scored with this gift. :) Paul sends
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is mostly a recipe book, not really a "how to cook" book as I'd hoped. If you already know how to cook, go ahead and purchase, if you don't - don't purchase this thinking it'll teach you the basics, it won't.
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