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Skinny Girl Dishes - Any good?

I want to learn to cook. I have "How to Cook Everything". Skinny Girl Dishes...is it worthwhile?

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  1. It's not on my list of cookbooks to try . . .if you want to learn to cook, best thing to do is to get yourself a subscription to one or several cooking mags. That way, you get inspired each and every month anew.

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    1. re: bebevonbernstein

      I would say also, especially if funds are tight - the library is a great place to go to check out cookbooks you might like. You can try a bunch over time and the ones you like the most you can always buy later.
      I have found the Joy of Cooking to be an incredibly great reference!

    2. You already have it, you might as well cook out of it. Then you can tell us if its worth it.. Personally I'd really like to know ;-)

      1. Cookbooks are not the best way to learn to cook. They're only references. Joy of Cooking used to have loads of basic information, but I don't know what the newer editions still include.

        For basic recipes, I'd suggest Joy of Cooking and Betty Crocker. They're not terribly imaginative, in general, but they are definitely tried and true. Imaginative can come after you've got the basic techniques down. In fact it SHOULD come after you've got the basic techniques down, so you can be more certain that if there's a problem, it's probably not due to screwing up a technique.

        For techniques, hit youtube. Watch several different techniques for what you're trying to do. Not everybody who uploads to youtube is actually all that competent, but many of them are. And there is always more than one way to skin a cat - or kneed bread, or make pancakes. This way you can find a method that suits you, or even combine methods. Demonstration of a technique is going to be much more useful than just reading about it.

        Actually cooking is how you are going to learn to cook. Expect some disappointments, and don't be too quick to blame yourself - some recipes are just lousy, LOL!

        1. It's not worthwhile and it's arguably an obstacle if you want to cook. Some of her suggestions in the book, like how you can directly replace one ingredient with another (soy for real dairy, tofu for animal protein) and putting too much emphasis on presentation are just SO wrong.

          I'd suggest that you pick a cheap protein you like and cook it using different techniques. Chicken is a great places to start, since you can cook it in every way possible. Roast, braise, burger, stir-fry, bread, deep-fry, and on and on.

          1. Hey, is this book by Bethenny Frankel? I just figured out that she is Mariska Hargitay's chef. That can't be all bad, can it?


            1. Check out the W Network show "Anna and Christina's Grocery Bag" I believe they tested the Skinny Girl cookbook and didn't like it. They have tested a lot of books, some of which I bought because of their testing. Great show - makes me laugh!

              1. Do you see yourself cooking a special kind of food? I doubt you have your eye on baking if you bought something with 'Skinny Girl Dishes' in the title, but perhaps you see yourself cooking Italian or French or Asian? If that is the case, then you would find a book with those sorts of recipes. But to learn to cook you need more than a book of recipes. You need to know technique and terms. I differ from other posters, in that I did learn to cook from an old cookbook, around 40 years ago! But there are other options now such as mags, TV, YouTube. You should be able to get lots of instruction various places.

                Joy of Cooking is wonderful; I have 3 editions. I use for reference and sometimes for actual recipes. But I think a smaller book might be best at first. I like The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters. Part I is titled Starting from Scratch. She covers several different techniques, giving step by step instruction. It is basic, which is good for a beginner, but the recipes are quite good too!

                For me, nothing beats well written step by step instructions. And you can pick a book up anytime you are in the kitchen to reread or reference something!

                Happy cooking!

                1. I think Bittman does a very good job for beginning chefs. I gave a copy to little jfood when she got her first apartment.

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                  1. re: jfood

                    It's what I gave to little mcf, too. :-) I like watching Bethenny for other reasons, but her food substitutions and recipes kind of gross me out and don't come with any healthy improvements, either.