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Old 05-29-2008, 01:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
James Beard's cookbooks are wonderful reading - he has a basic cookbook that is very helpful. I also vote for The Joy of Cooking as the best basic, because it explains what all the ingredients are as well as offering recipes.
I agree, Karen. If I could have only one cookbook - it would be the 1975 revision of Joy of Cooking!

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:26 PM   #12
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Smile Learning to cook

When I taught myself how to cook I bought three basic cookbooks.

1. NOW YOU'RE COOKING (1994) by Elaine Corn

2. LEARNING TO COOK (1999) by Marion Cunningham


I also watched the various TV cooking shows for techniques and food tips. I found Giada's show Everyday Italian very good because she explained why she used various ingredients.

"When the kitchen smells spicy and wonderful, it can only mean one thing... it's not my kitchen."--- Maxine
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:59 PM   #13
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I've gotten some good info, recipes and free baking guides from a site called "The Prepared Pantry". (preparedpantry.com)

I'm not allowed to post links yet, apparently you have to how a certain number of posts to add links.

Anyway there is some very good info in the baking guides. Try it you'll like it! And of course this site has lots of great info!
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:11 AM   #14
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You can't have just one cookbook, it just isn't possible to find all the information that you need in just one. Since you are into grilling I recommend "How to Grill" by Stephen Racihlen. A great cookbook for basic and detailed info is "THe New Best 1000 Recipes" by the Cooks Illustrated group. Even though it's not a cookbook per say, and the information is hard to comprehend if you don't completely understand the cooking process "The Flavor Bible" by Dorenberg and Page, is one of the most complete guides on ingredients and flavor combinations I've ever seen and is my go to book in the kitchen when I'm throwing something together on the fly. The authors interviewed hundreds of chefs around the world about ingredients and flavoring and listed what goes with what in a statistical manner based on the answers they received from the chefs and how they cook. The information will take your cooking to another level, if you understand how to use it and the context in which it was gathered.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #15
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One of my favorite reference books is The Spice and Herb Bible. It will tell you just about anything you would need to know about spices and herbs.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:59 AM   #16
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Whenever anyone I know says they want to start cooking, but don't have a clue, I recommend the "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook." It has been a tnt starter for years...decades, and makes an easy square one. There is even a "New" edition out, and they can be found in thrifts for a buck or two. You know you've seen it...the ubiquitous red and white tablecloth-checkered cover. It will not be your only cookbook, but makes a good first.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:40 PM   #17
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As you are discovering flavors, remember to not add too much new at once, both of any one ingredient or many ingredients, particularly the latter.Too much of one ingredient can be reduced next go round; too many new ingredients make it difficult to isolate which ingredient(s) are not jiving.

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