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Learn To Cook: A Down and Dirty Guide to Cooking (For People Who Never Learned How) Paperback – December 1, 2012
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This cookbook is amazing and has great recipes. My husband and children believe I can make great meals with this cookbook and actually look forward to meal time. The good news is the recipes are delicious and really simple. I look forward to trying new recipes from this cookbook.
The author is extremely funny and I find myself laughing out loud quite often. Seriously if you think you are the worst cook in America or struggle in the kitchen, this book is for you. (I was both the worst cook & struggling) The author is very laid back and great with explaining steps and time management so that everything is done at the same time. Buy this cookbook you will not regret it. It is the best cookbook I have ever purchased! Good luck!! You can learn how to cook!
I'm actually doing a year of volunteer service and get paid a small stipend; this book has made my transition in living simply with a community of 7 very easy with her variety of affordable and delicious meals. Since I have to cook for so many people, it's easy to jump in and find a pleasing meal that can fit our budget and people with all sorts of cooking backgrounds can learn to do. I'm especially grateful so many of her recipes are vegetarian, or are flexible enough to be either or, which helps with the budgeting (and our nutrition!). She definitely sets you up with the skeleton of what the recipe should call for, but allows you the freedom to explore with other ingredients and gives suggestions for alternative things to include.
I'll follow up with the recipes we most enjoyed later. But for now, I would just try them all since they're all excellent!
Back to the book itself, the first few chapters in this book are devoted to helping a beginner cook (or someone like me who has very little time to spend in the kitchen) plan their meals and stock their kitchen. Hilah goes over some useful kitchen tools without encouraging anyone to spend a fortune on useless equipment.
Chapter 2 explains "How to Read a Recipe" which is really important to those of us who may have had some unpleasant results in the past.
For the novice cook, pages 56 through 64, explain what the different herbs are for and how to use them effectively. Personally, I have two spice racks that were given to me years ago that I finally just tossed out because I hadn't figured out what went with what. Now I can pick up a couple of fresh spices that I will actually use in my future cooking adventures.
The appendice has some great information on volume, weight, temperature, and trouble-shooting (my personal favorite section....and yes...some of us are just not talented in the kitchen). I also found the section on ingredient substitution to be quite handy when fixing a last minute meal this week.
Over all, if you are a "foodie" this may not be your cup of tea. But if you are a novice cook or just like simple straight forward recipes, then this book is great. If you get a chance go to her website and watch her cooking videos. They are easy to follow with great results.