I found the Cooking Light Way to Cook: The Complete Visual Guide to Everyday Cooking at my local library. What a gorgeous book, loaded with incredible color photos just like in the Cooking Light magazine. While the book isn’t large sized (it is thick but not large) the step by step photos are not small. They are large enough to see details.
As stated by many other reviewers on Amazon, it is more of a reference book, as opposed to a cook/recipe book, although there are a few basic recipes scattered throughout.
There’s 480 pages of detailed instruction on many basic and not so basic cooking techniques, along with descriptive summaries for many food ingredients like oils, fish, cheese, salt. Lots of how to’s like how to bone a chicken, de-vein shrimp, seed a pomegranate, and freeze foods. And of course, in Cooking Light style, the nutritional data for each recipe is included. I love that! There was a
“seasonal produce guide” in the back of the book, along with an “ingredient substitution” and “metric equivalents” guide.
I considered purchasing a copy of this book myself, but decided not to. Yeah, I learned a few new techniques and ideas from reading through the book, but it’s really geared toward a newbie home cook. I’m certainly not an expert, but don’t consider myself a novice cook. Plus, I already own lot cook books with detailed techniques, like the Cook’s Illustrated books. So, along with Google, I can usually figure out what I need to learn.
I did notice some yummy recipes in the book, and I found them online on the Cooking Light web site. Here is one favorite:
So, bottom line, the Cooking Light Way to Cook: The Complete Visual Guide to Everyday Cooking is a perfect book for someone just learning how to cook. It is also a good choice for someone without a prior collection of reference cook books.
If I were just starting out, I think I would choose this book in place of the any of my other reference cook books, like Cooks Illustrated. It’s got everything you need in one book, with gorgeous photos, and basic non-intimidating details.
I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.