HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Need a cookbook for a firefighter

My brother-in-law has four kids, 12-20, and needs simple but tasty meals that he can make for his kids. They are fairly basic eaters. It's no surprise that he is great with burgers, ribs, and anything made on the grill. Any ideas out there? All of mine seem too fussy. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I vote for Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Mine is circa 1970. It gives cooking times for things like roasts and hard boiled eggs. Good recipes for things like meatloaf, tuna casserole and easy meals. It's easy to understand and follow. Some casseroles require Cream of Mushroom soup but BH&G also explains how to make a white sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dfrostnh

      I think he is a little more advanced. He can also make meatloaf and does a mean enchiladas albeit with flour tortillas. I guess I'm looking for something for entrees that are pretty simple but still tasty--not with a lot of processed stuff like the cream of mushroom soup. Does that help?

    2. I know she's not very popular around here, but what about Rachel Ray's cookbooks. I find them quick, easy and fun to eat.

      1. I LOVE my Fannie Farmer cookbook. Lots of basic cooking, with some fancier options. Most recipes from scratch.

        If you think he might want to branch out a little, you might also consider something like the Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman. Recipes are coded by how complicated/how time-intensive they are to prepare. He gives you ideas for substitutions, and many of the recipes rely on a handful of ingredients. And I think many of the recipes (for example Singapore noodles) would be pass muster even with meat-and-potatoes families. It would be a good bridge to try other things. If you think he might be interested, here is a link to some recipes from the cookbook


        1. How about Bittman's "How To Cook Everything"?
          Very simple, very clear, quick recipes - lots of variety

          1. How to Cook Without a Book
            by Pam Anderson (not of Baywatch)

            It has lots of variations on a theme to go with a basic recipe. One of my favorite books.

            1. http://www.fireawards.com/nafirebo.html
              The National Firefighters Recipe Book

              We have several fire fighters in the family. This book was gets passed around alot.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                In the same vein, "Firehouse Food: Cooking with San Francisco's Firefighters" might be a good one to try...


              2. One of my favorite "go to" books is the 365 Ways to Cook Chicken"
                I use it often, and it has from appetizers to all different ways to cook chicken. I always find something new to cook. The section on wings is great as well as the One pot meals...

                1. Check out "Kitchen Sense" by Mitchell Davis.

                  1. I have come to enjoy Ina Gartner's books (Barefoot Contessa). Her 03 cloves of garlic roasted chicken is wonderful and wonderfully easy, as is the caramelized shallots (same book). The lentil soup has become a family favourite and makes enough for a small army or group of fire fighters. Her recipes are easy, practical for the home chef, and don't require you to make your own stock if you don't have time. She even mentions brand name products she uses.

                    1. I too, have a great firefighter cookbook, called Firehouse Cooking: Food from North America's Bravest.

                      I also always go back to the original Joy of Cooking.