Five Cookbooks for Novices

 In Blog

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank your cooking skills? Do you consider yourself to be a culinary wizard, or are you more of a beginner who’s just learning the benefits of spending time in the kitchen?

If you’re a newbie to the world of cooking, don’t worry. There are lots of resources out there to help you. You can watch television shows, hit the internet for some simple recipes, or invest in some beginner cookbooks.

Cookbooks are a great place to begin because when you purchase a cookbook, it becomes a kitchen reference book for you. And there are some fantastic cookbooks out there. Here are a few that are perfect for novice cooks!

  • The Joy of Cooking: The Joy of Cooking was first written in 1931 by Irma Rombauer, and this new edition has been updated by her great-grandson, John, and his wife. Amazon says: This new edition of Joy is the perfect combination of classic recipes, new dishes, and indispensable reference information for today’s home cooks. Whether it is the only cookbook on your shelf or one of many, Joy is and has been the essential and trusted guide for home cooks for almost a century. This new edition continues that legacy.
  • How to Cook Everything: Mark Bittman is well-known in the culinary world, and his recipes are simple but delicious. He’s known for easy recipes that rely on minimal ingredients, yet can be varied and provide you with plenty of inspiration. Amazon says: Inside, you’ll find hundreds of brand-new features, recipes, and variations, like Slow-Simmered Beef Chili, My New Favorite Fried Chicken, and Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce; plus old favorites from the previous editions, in many cases reimagined with new methods or flavors. Recipes and features are designed to give you unparalleled freedom and flexibility: for example, infinitely variable basic techniques (Grilling Vegetables, Roasting Seafood); innovative uses for homemade condiments; easy-to-make one-pot pastas; and visual guides to improvising soups, stir-fries, and more. Bittman has also updated all the information on ingredients, including whole grains and produce, alternative baking staples, and sustainable seafood. And, new for this edition, recipes are showcased throughout with color photos.
  • Cook’s Illustrated Baking Cookbook: Baking is a whole other skill set when it comes to cooking, and this book can help you master the basics. Amazon says: An illustrated “Baking Basics” chapter at the front of the book provides information on key ingredients and equipment and lays the groundwork for a lifetime of baking success. A shopping guide at the back recommends our favorite brands.   The recipes in this book represent all the wisdom of the bakers that came before us as well as all we’ve learned through literally thousands of trial-and-error sessions in our kitchens.
  • Barefoot Contessa Family Style: You’ve probably seen her on the Food Network and loved everything you’ve seen her prepare. This cookbook by Ina Garten has some of her favorite recipes that are good for everyday meals. Amazon says: For Ina, the best way to make guests feel at home is to serve them food that’s as unpretentious as it is delicious. So in her new book, she’s collected the recipes that please her friends and family most—dishes like East Hampton Clam Chowder, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, and Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. It’s the kind of fresh, accessible food that’s meant to be passed around the table in big bowls or platters and enjoyed with warm conversation and laughter.
  • The Best Simple Recipes: Need dinner on the table in a hurry? How about 200 recipes that can be ready in under 30 minutes? Then this recipe book is for you! Amazon says: Just because time is short, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for a can of soup or a sandwich for dinner or making one of the many boring and flavorless fast recipes (which often aren’t even as fast as they promise). Our test cooks have created more than 200 recipes that keep the ingredients and cooking time to a minimum and offer tons of flavor and plenty of variety.

These five cookbooks geared for novice cooks will get you in the kitchen and preparing delicious meals – and no one will even know that you’re a beginner! Which one will you be checking out?

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