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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook



Released March 2012

Taste of Home

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I've been a huge fan of Taste of Home for years. The magazines are always filled with delicious recipes, not necessarily the healthiest out there, but they work and usually satisfy a craving. Plus, I find many of the less healthy recipes are easily converted to something a little healthier simply by switching things like butter with olive or grapeseed oil.

Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook is a huge collection of some of the best Taste of Home recipes. This selection focuses on their cooking school and each recipe contains instructions that anyone can follow. Sections in this cookbook include:
  • Appetizers
  • Baking
  • Beef and Pork
  • Better than Takeout
  • Beverages
  • Breakfast
  • Desserts
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Side Dishes
  • Soups
  • Vegetarian
There's also a comprehensive reference section and an index that makes it easy to find a specific recipe. Heading back to the beginning, there is a section on equipment you should have in your kitchen, including knives, pots, pans, and skillets. The most useful part of this book for a beginner would be the section on measuring correctly. Given this, that's also where I had reservations. If you're a beginner, novice, or pro, I highly recommend purchasing a digital scale and using recipes that have weight measurements over the standard cup/teaspoon/tablespoon. It's impossible to mess up a recipe when using weight measurements. I wish that the Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook did that. I know from experience that a cup of store-bought flour can be a number of grams heavier than King Arthur flour.

That reservation aside, I marked a full week's menu of recipes I wanted to try. The one I made last night was Lemon Chicken Tortellini. It's a very simple, delicious recipe that I think anyone could make. The instructions are extremely precise and some ingredients are things that you'd have on hand anyway.  I did have to run to the store for the red pepper, baby spinach and frozen tortellini. Lemons, salt, pepper, hot sauce, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chicken broth, butter, and flour are staples in my home.

This recipe was a winner. It took little time to prepare, and it suited all members of the family, including my daughter who eats boneless chicken breast and little else when it comes to meat. I'm always on the look out for new chicken dishes and this is a keeper. Best of all, you can make it ahead of time and pop it in the freezer for a later date.

Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook has more than 400 recipes and includes loads of color photographs to guide you along the way.










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