Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cookbook Review: Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook

About the Book:
No matter what you crave, cook it with confidence with taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook! Whatever your skill level in the kitchen, you will learn step-by-step techniques and discover new favorites with more than 400 best loved recipes and over 600 full-color photos from our expert instructors. Create a memorable game-day-get-together with nacho dip, hot wings and yummy pizza. Master the grill with succulent ribeyes, monster stuffed burgers and a whole salmon fillet that’s a real showstopper. Whip up sumptuous holiday meals with all of the trimmings from citrus-rosemary rubbed turkey with artichoke stuffing to chipotle sweet potatoes and caramel apple trifle. The Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook features delicious dishes from breakfast to lunch to dinner and including dessert, of course.Sample recipes include:

  • Eggs Benedict Casserole
  • Brie Phyllo Cups
  • Sweet-Tangy Wings
  • French Onion Soup
  • Lemon Chicken Tortellini
  • Taco Lasagna
  • Roasted Chicken with Oyster Stuffing
  • Sizzling Ancho Ribeyes
  • Creamy Parmesan Spinach
  • Chocolate Mousse with Cranberry Sauce
  • Easy Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

Contemporary topics are comprehensively explored with techniques ranging from simple basics to true wow-factor recipes. Each recipe has been tasted and reviewed in the Taste of Home test kitchen, plus there are over 140 practical, proven tips from our Cooking School experts—so you’ll enjoy perfect results every time.

My Comments:
This is a cookbook for people who have to cook dinner every night, not necessarily for gourmet cooks.  In making the recipes in this book, you will not need to go to the fancy gourmet food store to buy ingredients, you will not dirty every pot you own, and, if you have the basic cooking supplies usually given via wedding showers, you will not need to buy new kitchen equipment that you will never use again.  You will not spend all day in the kitchen and, if you can read and follow simple directions, you will not end up with a failed dish.

As far as ingredients go, I'm a pantry keeper.  I keep a large variety of staples in my house so that I can cook what I want when I want.  If I want to try a new recipe, it is best if it uses things I usually have on hand; if it needs something else, my preference is that it use a purchased unit of it--in other words, I don't mind buying a leek for a recipe, but use the whole leek, not a sliver of leek.  Spices that I'll never use again if we don't like this dish make me hesitant to try things; more than one of those spices practically guarantees I won't try a recipe.  I decided to look up the recipes above and see if I could make them with what I had in the house or by buying something that would be pretty much used up with the recipe.  I found:
  • Eggs Benedict Casserole--yes
  • Brie Phyllo Cups--yes
  • Sweet-Tangy Wings--needs 2 teas. fresh gingeroot, 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • French Onion Soup--yes
  • Lemon Chicken Tortellini--needs 1/2 small sweet red pepper, 2 teas. lemon peel
  • Taco Lasagna--yes
  • Roasted Chicken with Oyster Stuffing--yes
  • Sizzling Ancho Ribeyes--yes
  • Creamy Parmesan Spinach-- needs 1/2 c whipping cream, 1/8 teas. red pepper flakes, 2/3 cup croutons
  • Chocolate Mousse with Cranberry Sauce--needs 11/2 cup whipping cream, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1/3 cup cranberry juice, 1teas. lime juice
  • Easy Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie--needs 5 cookies, 1/3 cup Junior Mints (of course the left-over extras here won't mold in the back of the fridge).
If you are familiar with the Taste of Home magazine or website, you are familiar with the types of recipes and ingredients used (yes, they use condensed soups, packaged seasonings and packaged stuffing mixes).  The book is printed on reasonably heavy glossy paper and each recipe has a color photograph of it.  Besides recipes there are quite a few sidebars that give "how tos" on various cooking techniques.  There are pages about basic needed kitchen equipment and on using herbs and spices in cooking.  The book lays open  well, making it easy to actually use as a cookbook.  

I'd like to thank FSB Media for providing a review copy.  Grade:  A.
I'll be back soon with more posts about this book.

Other Taste of Home Books:

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