When I first got married, my cooking skills were limited to say the least. I believe I knew how to make macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup. Needless to say, I learned to cook rather quickly.
Most of what I learned, I taught myself by pouring through cookbooks and trial and error experimentation. I had no idea what some of the terms in the cookbook meant or exactly what kind of pan or cooking tool they were referring to.
I really would have loved a cookbook that that included step by step instructions for someone who was brand new to cooking.
I wish I had the Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook: 400 + Simple to Spectacular Recipes because it has the step by step instructions and expert advice that would have made learning to cook much simpler. There are more than 400 different recipes and 140 how-to’s, secrets and tips that have been shared by Taste of Home Cooking School experts. Each recipe includes a full color photograph.
When the recipe introduces a new technique like shredding meat, coring an apple, or making a crepe, a side box is also included with photographs and written directions to explain the process from start to finish. The recipes also include a brief description, the name and location of the person who authored the recipe, a detailed ingredients list and step by step instructions.
There is a handy section at the bottom of each recipe that includes the nutritional information, including calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber and protein. I love the section at the beginning with a guide to cutlery, cookware and bakeware. It’s very handy for someone just starting out in stocking their kitchen.
The recipes themselves are broken down into appetizers, drinks, better than takeout, soups, beef & pork, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, side dishes, breakfasts, baking, and desserts. For the most part, the recipes require no special cooking knowledge and when a special technique is needed, it’s very well explained.
For those who are pressed for time, there are recipes that have a special icon *cheat it,* which are low-effort recipes. Many of the recipes include pre-made ingredients like a can of condensed soup or package of stuffing mix. When you have more time in your schedule, there’s no reason why you can’t make these ingredients yourself.
The recipes included in Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook will easily take care of almost any occasion you need to cook for. Recipes like the chicken with country gravy and the jumbo chocolate chip cookies will appeal to families with children.
However, you could easily wow your guests with a seafood lasagna or individual beef wellingtons. We tried the gnocchi with white beans and it was delicious!