Mollie Katzen’s Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen is like a food blog in book form. This isn’t because you’ll be blown away by out-of-this-world food photography and cute, personal stories, but because it really is put together like a food blog. Each recipe has a paragraph or two describing the dish, what goes into it and any tips you need to know to ensure that you get a good result. Each recipe also has an accurate, but simple picture (which Katzen took herself), accompanying it that makes the dishes look extremely accessible and easy to make.
This cookbook is intended to be a cookbook for cooks who are just getting started in the kitchen and don’t have a lot of kitchen experience. The recipes are for simple dishes and include salads and soups; burgers; pastas; vegetarian, chicken, and meat mains; side dishes and dessert. The instructions are very clearly written and easy to follow along with. Katzen takes the time to explain many kitchen tips that frequent cooks take for granted so that newer cooks will be able to not only achieve success with the recipes, but understand how they come together. That said, the recipes themselves are flavorful and inventive – even some of the most basic recipes in the book – and experienced cooks will find themselves flipping through this book for new ideas and easy recipes, too.
The recipes in the book are made with fresh ingredients and cooked from scratch. While you might see the occasional shortcut, such as a suggestion to use store bought pizza dough, this is a book about easy home cooking. It is worth noting that the book has lots of vegetarian options and includes suggestions about what ingredients can be omitted or changed to make some of them vegan, as well. There are also plenty of suggestions for variations on the recipes given in the book, allowing you to turn one favorite recipe into a half dozen favorite recipes as you try them out.
Stephanie P.August 2, 2011
I feel the same way you did. Definitely for a beginner, but well worded enough for a more advanced cook to enjoy the read.