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Old 09-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Advice on Cookbook to buy [beginner]

Is there any good cookbooks for with detailed recipes/instructions and pcitures of end prouct.

Something maybe for beginner/intermediate and maybe even some advanced..as I progress.


PDfs or Hardcopys will do.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC! I'd take a look around at various cooking blogs. So many of them are very well-written and the good ones have photos and videos showing various stages of the prep. Manu's Menu and Herbivoracious are two of my very favorites. Cook's Illustrated is also chock-full of great tips and their recipes are pretty well developed--I'd say it's great for anyone beginning or advanced.
Over the past few years I've gotten away from cookbooks and moved to following blogs, which tend to keep up with trends and offer new techniques.

That said, if you buy any cookbook, I'd highly recommend starting off with McGee's On Food and Cooking. No cook should be without it, in my opinion.

Good luck. I'm sure more than a handful of cookbook recommendations will flood into this thread as well. Lots of good advice on this forum.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook is a good basic one. It is available new or used all over the net, give it a google!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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I loved my first cookbook, Betty Crocker. It had all the basics and great directions. I made my first Thanksgiving dinner using the recipes. Dinner was perfect.

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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The very first cookbook to provide accurate measurements, The Fannie Farmer 1896 Boston Cooking School cookbook, in a recent update by Marion Cunningham (No, not Richie and Joanie's mother!) is perfect for beginners. Not only are the ingredients everyday items and the instructions easy to follow, but you most likely have actually heard of the food the recipes allow you to prepare, and anything your mother or grandmother cooked for you is probably in there.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
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Cooks Illustrated or one of the Americas Test Kitchen cookbooks. They are great because they tell you WHY their recipes are working. Its great for learning to cook because it teaches you how ingredients work together.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is great for beginners.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
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Mark Bittmans "How to Cook Everything" is the best out there because it has tons of doable recipes but explains technique as well. Beginners obviously need both and it helps also as you move up in skill.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Mark Bittmans "How to Cook Everything" is the best out there because it has tons of doable recipes but explains technique as well. Beginners obviously need both and it helps also as you move up in skill.
There's also an app for that! Really good step-by-step.

And another vote for BH&G.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:34 PM   #10
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Why limit yourself to just one. Visit your local public library.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
Why limit yourself to just one. Visit your local public library.
It's always good to have at least one basic cookbook as a permanent fixture in the kitchen.

I agree about the library, though. I used to get cookbooks from the BPL but they don't have more than a handful now. I have no idea why, except for the fact that more and more of their shelves seem bare.

To the OP, you might consider writing down the books recommended here and take a trip to Barnes and Noble to check them out in person.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, 1997 edition, is my cooking encyclopedia. It has great instructions, loads of useful info (substitutions, measurement conversions, how to skin a rabbit, etc.) The index is very good.

I don't recommend the 1997 edition. I have been told that there is a newer-than-1997 edition which is good, like the earlier ones.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:09 PM   #13
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I vote for Betty Crocker or the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking. Not too many pictures of how-to's in the WD, but there are many descriptions of foods, cooking techniques and other things that are great. I learned to cook a lot of stuff reading that set of books. I'm sure there are used ones on ebay, craigslist or somewhere like that. I also like to just Google a recipie or technique that I need information on and go from there. Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
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I have to quit reading these cookbook threads Amazon is setting up a direct delivery chute to my house.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:46 PM   #15
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Bittman's newest version of "How to Cook Everything: The Basics" is probably the best "new cook" book out there. Tons of pictures, and lots of short, easy to understand directions. And it includes just about all of the food I grew up with.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #16
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Welcome to DC! You've gotten great suggestions. I have over 1000 cookbooks, so I'm a poor source--I like The Joy of Cooking (so much so, I have two copies, different editions), BH&G (from 1953--the same edition my mom has), I have a newer one as well, but BH&G was the one I used when I was learning to cook, and I still use some of the recipes (waffles, buttermilk biscuits). My DH only uses The Joy of Cooking, and he makes just about everything--jam, jellies, roasts, turkey, pies, casseroles, stews, soups, etc. Although, he seems to add a lot of hot pepper and garlic to almost everything <g>.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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My first cookbook was "Bride In the Kitchen" by Betty Watson. I bought it in 1974. It has crumbled into a series of individual pages now, since I've read and reread it so much. It is out of print now but I loved that book. It doesn't have the photo's you're looking for but it did give information that at the time I didn't find anywhere else, such as what order to prepare the meal in, lists of pantry items, recipes for weekday evenings (it assumed that a woman worked outside the home, which was hot stuff in 1974!), leisurely weekend recipes for when you had more time, how to impress your guests and in-laws. Fun stuff.

I agree with the recommendations for Joy of Cooking. It really is my go to book (I have dozens and dozens.) I also got Southern Cooking recently (not a new book, seems I'm attracted to books published back in the day) and while it has photos, they are not step by step. What both of these books do have are recipes you will really make. Unfortunately, most of the books I own contain only 3 maybe 4 recipes in each one that I would actually make. I do enjoy reading them and learning about the food they discuss but in my experience you get to know a few great items and they are your go to dishes that you make from memory a few times a week. After you get some experience under your belt you go to them for weekend or special meals. Experience is the key.

I also agree with the poster about visiting blogs there are tons of them and most of them do show photo's through out the preparation which is what you're looking for.
As you probably know, YouTube is a fantastic source of cooking videos. Many many people are documenting their travails in the kitchen and for me they are a great source of entertainment and education as they are from all over the world. Since YouTube has a 15 minute limit most of the videos are short and sweet. Just type in what you want to make and you will find the video. Usually attached to the video is the website of blog of the person preparing the food and the recipe is there. I've fallen in love with some of the hosts. I'm on an Indian food kick right now and "Manjula's Kitchen" is a channel I follow now. Sorry I'm off topic now.
I did hear that Rachel Ray has a cookbook with step by step photo's that was recently published but I don't have that in my collection. You can get it at the library or check out Amazon, often they let you click on the book on the left side of the page and see inside to see if you'll like the contents. As far as I'm concerned it is one of the best features about the site.
Good luck!
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