Cookbook Review: Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook

Heather says:

I was sent a copy of the Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook for review. (You can check out my policy on reviews up there in the navigation bar under Site Administration and Disclosure, exciting stuff, I guarantee.)

I really like this cookbook, IF you keep in mind that it is geared for complete novices in the kitchen.

Got it?

If you already are comfortable in the kitchen and have a solid repertoire of recipes, you could find this book useful for meal ideas, but you probably won’t need the actual recipe instructions.

Brand new cooks will find the full-color photographs that demonstrate different techniques quite useful.  Experienced cooks may roll their eyes at a recipe that calls for *ahem* processed cheese product.

I like that the food photography is well done without being unattainable. Don’t get me wrong, I love foodporn, as an example -just  in case you need a fix- my favorite category on SpinPicks? Food and Drinks, I’ll sit there and click and click and click and drool and drool and drool. That said, one of my goals here at Home-Ec101 has always been to create attainable pics of food. Yes, I use aim to use good lighting and a few plating techniques, but I never alter the food in a way that would make it different. If I’m sharing a recipe for ice cream, the ice cream in the recipe is the ice cream you will see. Here at Home-Ec 101, there’s no substituting other foods like mashed potatoes, just because it photographs better. I don’t use torches to perfectly brown the food. The staging / presentation of the food in the Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook is very similar to what I try to do here.

Taste of Home is reliable in that they always have simple, reliable recipes which is extremely important for those just looking for their kitchen legs. New cooks should not be attempting complicated, unpredictable recipes or they may become discouraged and assume they just can’t cook. Just like leveling up a character in those MMORPG games I’ve come to loathe -for very personal reasons- over the years, sometimes you just have to grind your cooking craft.

While I’m not a huge fan of relying on BSCB or convenience foods (bouillon cubes for example) I do appreciate that all of the ingredients can be found at my local, non-fancy grocery store.

The paperback  version of Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook is on Amazon (free shipping if you have Amazon Prime -I like the streaming videos and dangerously easy two day shipping) and the Kindle Version is 9.99 (I’d recommend this for those with a Kindle App or Fire).

This cookbook is staying on my shelf and I’ll be referencing it fairly often when I’m leaving dinner instructions for my kids’ babysitter. The unfortunate downside of my new job is that I’m home to cook dinner as much, so increasing her dinner idea rotation is high on my priority list.

Have you spotted any good cookbooks for novices lately?





3 Comments

  1. speth on June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I enjoyed your blog and then i saw this sentence “Just like leveling up a character in those MMORPG games I’ve come to loathe” and now you may be my new favorite person ever. Also reading your blog encouraged me to get going on a lot of things (my monster laundry pile, and what i called “the big ugly hutch in the dining room”) The laundry room is now cleaned out and I fold every load in there as it comes out of the drye. The big ugly hutch is gone and destroying it with a hammer was a wonderful experiance.

    • HeatherSolos on June 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I live to inform and mildly amuse. I’m so glad you’ve found some motivation here 🙂

  2. 1Carolyn on June 14, 2012 at 4:05 am

    I checked out “The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day” by Wini Moranville from my local library recently.  It is lovely.  Moderately simple, very satisfying food, and writing that draws you in and lets you feel another, more relational, time and place.  I’ve loved reading it, though I have yet to cook from it.  Not for absolute beginners, perhaps, but not too challenging for anyone moderately comfortable in the kitchen.  As its description reads, “It gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.”

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