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Beginner Cooks Book Reviews

Family Fun Cookbook
by Deanna F. Cook

Disney's FamilyFun magazine has a readership base of more than 500,000; here are recipes, tips, and projects, most from the magazine, presented in a lively format with lots of four-color photographs. The recipes are usually easy, designed to appeal to kids whether they are finicky eaters or not; most chapters include a special cooking lesson for parents and children to do together. There are also FunFacts, suggestions and anecdotes from readers, and many ideas for mealtime and kitchen activities.Quick recipes include Oven-Baked Home Fries, Three Bears Porridge, Breakfast Pizza, and Peanut Butter and Jelly Surprise Muffins.

Family Fun Super Snacks: 125 Quick Snacks That Are Fun to Make and to Eat
by Deanna F. Cook

After a long day at school, kids need something to eat-and fast. Lunchtime was a long time ago, and dinner is hours away. Before your kids faint from hunger, take a look at this collection of wholesome finger foods and mini meals from FamilyFun magazine. Here you'll find quick-and-easy after-school snacks that kids and parents can make together. Not only do treats such as homemade tortilla strips, bagel critters, or munch mix take the edge off an end-of-the-school-day appetite but creating them is a great way for parents and kids to cook, eat, and, most important, spend time together.

Family Fun Fast Family Dinners : 100 Wholesome Kid-Friendly Recipes Your Family Will Love
by Deanna F. Cook

In a hurry to get dinner on the table? Before your kids start raiding the snack cupboard, take a look at this collection of super fast recipes from FamilyFun magazine. Here you'll find dozens of delicious dishes that will appeal to kids-and their parents. The recipes, from Apricot Chicken Drumsticks to Fish Fingers to Baked Ziti, take anywhere from only five minutes to an hour to prepare, so parents can choose just the right meal to fit their busy schedule.

FamilyFun's Cookies for Christmas: 50 recipes for You and Your Kids
by Deanna F. Cook

This bright, colorful cookie book is as much fun to look at as it is to bake from. Glossy photos of Sweet Sugar Plums, Candy Cane Twists, and many other sugary delights will make your taste buds tingle. These 75 recipes are ideal for kids and parents to make together--and many call for icing on top. This messy but creative task is bound to be the best part of the whole cookie process (aside from eating them, of course!). Since Christmas is the main focus of the book, there are several seasonal novelties to create. A cookie advent calendar is sure to make December extra exciting, and a holiday garland will be gobbled up in no time. Every recipe could quite happily be given as a holiday present, so the authors offer terrific advice for wrapping and mailing these fragile gifts. Finally, don't forget to leave some cookies out for Santa--but not too many!

Classic Dinners in One Hour
by Tom Griffith

No need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. No need to coordinate timing from several recipes and no need to worry about everything being ready at the same time. Classic Dinners in One Hour contains over 50 complete dinner and brunch menus that can be served in one hour or less, preparation and cooking time included. This is a unique cookbook, it has taken professional cooking techniques and adapted them for the kitchen without the use of commercial equipment or appliances, allowing you to cook quickly and efficiently.

Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham
by Marion Cunningham

This is a cookbook designed to instruct and inspire beginning cooks who don't know how to cut up an onion or scramble an egg--and who are reluctant to try. Marion Cunningham, author of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, weaves 150 recipes through eleven seductive chapters, such as Soup for Supper, a Bowlful of Salad, Thank Goodness for Chicken and Extras That Make a Meal. She reveals the secrets of relaxed and efficient home cooking and stresses the importance of thinking ahead. The side dishes she recommends are simple and are coordinated with the timing of the main dish. Often she gives a recipe in which everything is cooked together: a chicken is roasted along with onions, carrots, and potatoes, so everything is ready at once. This simple to read book is a great learning tool for anyone just beginning to cook.

Now You're Cooking
by Elaine Corn

Elaine Corn loves to teach people how to cook. Lucky us! In this book, which won both the Julia Child and James Beard cookbook awards in 1995, you will learn how to chop an onion, mince garlic and hold a knife properly as well as grilling, sauteing, baking and other fundamentals. Over 120 terrific recipes help you put your newfound skills to the test. With tons of useful tips, you're sure to get an "A."

Now You're Cooking for Company
by Elaine Corn

Ever worried about cooking for company? It's a thing of the past, thanks to Elaine Corn. Her book will put even the most jittery host at ease. She'll give you confidence by teaching you how to take a few basic recipes and combine them for winning results. You'll also learn how to plan a menu, set your table and even clean up quickly. The chatty "Let's Talk" section next to each recipe is the next best thing to having Ms. Corn in the kitchen with you.

Phyllo: Easy Recipes for Sweet and Savory Treats
by Jill O'Connor

As experienced pastry chef Jill O'Connor writes, there is one pastry dough that is easy to use, versatile, and accessible to every cook: phyllo. Readily available in the freezer case of most supermarkets, phyllo can be used to create both sweet and savory dishes. It can be pressed into muffin tins to form nests that holds fresh fruit, ice cream or even chili, it can line a pie dish, or be molded into a free-form shape. Phyllos uses are numerous, varied and delicious! In this new book, O'Connor presents more than forty easy-to-prepare, sumptuous recipes perfect for a grand social event, a simple rustic dinner, and everything in between. The recipes in Phyllo include such mouthwatering appetizers and entrees as Pork and Pepper Jack Quesadillas; Pear, Gorgonzola, and Toasted Walnut Strudel, and Fresh Blackberry Tart with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream. With this useful guide to working with phyllo, suggestions for reducing fat, and convenient tips on preparing dishes ahead of time, O'Connor's book is a delightful homage to this most versatile of pastries.

What's For Dinner?
by Maryana Vollstedt

From hors d'oeuvres to desserts, the recipes in What's For Dinner? are practical, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious. Perfect for beginner cooks, Vollstedt's recipes will also expand the recipe base for experienced cooks. Written for people who want and expect good results with a minimum fuss and minimum time spent in the kitchen, this is a great, basic cookbook that provides interesting choices, little prep work, and solid results. It is a reliable cookbook that home cooks can turn to faithfully again and again, for everyday cooking and entertaining.

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