For the Beginning Cook

We cook a lot more now. It’s cheaper than eating out, better for us, and comfy and communal.

But this also means that I cook a lot more now because, really, I’m the one who does it the least. My efforts have been a lot more tasty lately thanks to a couple of books.

Right now, these are my two favorite guides.

“How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman of The New York Times. This is a big, fat book that also includes chapters on ingredients, equipment and cooking techniques. I’m not a vegetarian, though. Bittman’s book offers some really good, simple meatless meals.

And simplicity is important to me. I like simple. I like easy.

Martha Stewart’s “Great Food Fast” really fits the bill. Last week I made the hot steak sandwiches and parmesan potato wedges. Martha breaks down the recipes by season, so I skipped ahead to fall because that is my favorite time of the year.

If you have a favorite cooking guide or book, please share it.

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