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Cookbook ideas for daughter for Christmas?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My daughter is just starting to be interested in cooking. She's young-21, single, a nurse, and is taking a couple of online classes. Obviously, she's not into spending hours in the kitchen on amazing meals, but is finally learning that there's more to dinner than a salad and rotisserie chicken from the grocery.

She has a Rachel Ray 30 Min meals, but that doesn't "teach" much. Any ideas for a good book to teach the basics that won't feel like a textbook? I have John Ash's book and will pass it along, as well as The Professional Chef, but I know she won't even crack that one open!

I'm trying to finish my shopping online today since we're positively snowed in! Figures it's my only day off....:(
post #2 of 12
For someone with her needs and skill level, I would not recommend a professional type book. The recipes are generally written in too cryptic a manner and assume a basic level of knowledge that she might not possess.

Two that I like a lot are Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and the new Joy of Cooking. I also like The Gourmet Cookbook compiled by their current editor Ruth Reichl. The recipes are well written, interesting, have a modern flair and are accessible (meaning not too many weird ingredients or requiring unusual equipment.)

All three are good basics with tasty dishes. Mark Bittman has a few others and a new vegetarian cookbook that I'd like to take a look at, but haven't yet.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #3 of 12
I'm not impressed with the Bittman (just personal opinion) but Joy of Cooking is a good choice.

Hormel had a website that had tons of basics and pictures. Shel probably still has the link. I can't seem to find it right now, but I do have a copy of the site in my computer. Since it's a copy, all of the features don't work such as the search engine, but the data is there and there is a good table of contents to get to things.

I can send you a copy, but it's 80 megs so most email accounts wouldn't accept that large of a file. I can zip (hair over 50 megs) it up for a web download or PM me a physical address and I'll burn a CD and mail it to you if you're interested.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
LOL, you're absolutely right about the Professional Chef! I'd never dream of passing it along to her because she'd use it to prop up a lamp or something! I'm going to check out the Joy of Cooking. You two aren't the only ones to mention it. With all the books I have, I don't have that one. I love Reichle, too.

Have you seen John Ash's Cooking One on ONe? I have it and got a lot of use from it. I'll loan it to her along with whatever new one I find.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Phil, I'll see if I can find the site, but I'd be interested in a copy in the event I can't locate it. Thanks!
post #6 of 12
I do like my Joy of Cooking and refer to it a lot. Another one I was given when I was younger was the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I don't know if it is considered "great" by professional standards, but I have referred to it often and find that it's very comprehensive.
post #7 of 12
This might sound like an off-the-wall suggestion, but a book that I think is an excellent suggestion for what you've said about your daughter, is "The Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs", by Bob Blumer.

It's a good read, but definitely not textbooky, it's entertaining, creative, fun, etc. Fabulous. This is his first book, IMO more inspired than his later ones. The recipes he says can all be made in under 30 minutes, which he describes as his pain threshold in the kitchen. From healthy, accessible ingredients.

The recipes actually stack up for such a fun irreverent little book. I've been in Bob's cute lil house in Hollywood, and he has a small, spartan little kitchen, very simply equipped, so this is not a book that has a mentality that you need all this stuff to prepare great food. But the recipes are well developed, with some flair, and delicious.

I recommed this book very strongly for your daughter, it has a real warmth and joy about it, a love for food, it's vibrant and interesting with great visuals, but the recipes are ones that most people would cook and cook again. It has that instructive side to it, gives quite a few tutorials in addition to the recipes, but they're presented with humor and fun. I think it would be great for your daughter from what you said.

Amazon.com: Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs: Books: Bob Blumer

there's a link to the book, but remember to use the ChefTalk link to amazon if you're purchasing, to benefit the community.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I looked at the link and agree that this book is fun! (Bob Blumer isn't hard to look at either...:blush:) So now I"m torn; Bob Blumer, Joy of Cooking, or Fannie Farmer.....?
post #9 of 12
If we're thinking of the same site and information, the knowledge base is no longer there. Very disappointing, as the knowledge base was a great feature and very helpful.

shel
post #10 of 12
I was thinking that was the case. Ahhh well, I have my locally webwhacked archive of the site to use.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 12
There are a couple of "way back" sites that may have the info. These sites take snapshots of many web sites over time, and preserve them for future use. There are two such sites that I know of, but I've not checked them yet.

shel
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I couldn't find it either.
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