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Jul 18, 2007 05:16 AM

What's a good recipe book/ blog for untalented beginers? [Moved from Not About Food board]

So, I'm getting married to a man who prefers home-cooked food, and short of running to my ma-in-law for care packages (not a good idea! it could be addictively easy) I'm going to have to learn to cook myself. I can manage thawing, some grilling and can-opening, and I may resort to all the shortcuts, but its a new engagement and I still have the best of intentions, so .. looking for a recipe book/ blog for untalented beginners. I've generally been good with following precise directions but I can never season "to taste". I still want some "sexy" recipes so that he doesn't miss momma too much. Any ideas?? TIA.

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  1. Cookbooks I would recommend:
    The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker
    The Way To Cook, Julia Child
    How To Cook Everything, Mark Bittman

    Good luck and Have Fun!!

    1. There's a magazine called Everyday Food that I think is good and might work well for you. It has tons of photos so you'll know how things should turn out and the recipes are easy. I think you'd learn alot and gain some confidence by cooking from it. Pick up some issues at your library or buy one and see. By the way, they have a tv show on PBS, too, so maybe you could catch an episode.

      Good luck Bombay Curry, you'll never be sorry you worked at this!

      3 Replies
      1. re: xena

        I agree completely with the Everyday Food suggestion - the recipes are simple to follow and always work. I use the new Everyday Food cookbook - it's called Great Food Fast - quite a bit when I'm in a rush. I also recommend Marion Cunningham's Learning to Cook - she talks you through it all.

        1. re: xena

          Everything I've made from Everyday Food has been fine, but nothing I would make again.

          Here's my suggestion... get one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks. (ducking to avoid chowhound wrath) I know, a lot of people find her grating, but her recipes are very easy, tasty, and forgiving. And they generally require ingredients that you have on hand.

          1. re: Pia

            I second the Rachael Ray recommendation for the same reasons. My family has liked pretty much everything I've made from her cookbooks, and while they may take a little longer than 30 minutes, they are very easy to make. I also like the fact that I usually have most of the ingredients on hand.

        2. Any of the Barefoot Contessa books, especially the one based on french food for the sex appeal. Simple recipes that often taste like there was a lot of effort. As long as you aren't afraid of butter and cream....

          1. Bill's Food - Bill Granger. Great, very straightforward Australian cook. Sort of Jamie Oliver-ish.
            Anything by Mark Bittman. I like the Minimalist Dinner/At Home books. HTCE is just too overwhelming. You can't go wrong with these. It is how my wife and I learned to cook. If your fiance likes fish: His Fish cookbook is also excellent.
            Jamie Oliver: Great fun and can't miss. I like the new Italy book, but cook more from his earlier stuff.
            The Sicilian Gentleman's Cookbook: Great Italian recipes. Simple, but not dumbed down.
            Patsy's: Red Sauce Italian.
            Real Fast Food: Nigel Slater. Name says it all. Cool read, easy and different.
            Dean and Deluca: Great for entertaining.

            1. The Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (the red and white checked cover) is a nice basic cookbook that covers everything (just short of how to boil water, really). That was my first cookbook and the one I ran to when I wasn't sure what temp a medium steak should be or when to pull a chicken out of the oven.

              The Joy of Cooking is another good one, and I hear the latest version (2006?) is better than the last (mid-1990's) and closer to the one from the 70's.

              I also have The Best Recipes from Cooks Illustrated, which I refer to when I want to try something new and need a recipe I know will work.

              I have How to Cook Everything, but I never open it, probably because I find something in the above books.

              1 Reply
              1. re: leanneabe

                I second the recommendation for Best Recipes from Cooks Illustrated. Everything I have ever made from there is just great and would make again. He won't want momma's food if you cook from this book.