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Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham [Hardcover]

By Marion Cunningham (Author)
Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 158544  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.3" Width: 8.23" Height: 1.11"
Weight:   2.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 1999
Publisher   Knopf
ISBN  0375401180  
EAN  9780375401183  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewMarion Cunningham, renowned for her revision of the The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, turns her attention to the novice cook. Cunningham's passion for simple, home-cooked dishes, along with her extensive teaching experience, is evident on every page.

In Learning to Cook, 150 recipes and 100 color photos are woven through 11 chapters with tempting titles like "Soup for Supper," "Easy Fish," "Meals Without Meat," and "Thank Goodness for Chicken." Cunningham's recipes are clearly written--free from hard-to-decipher cooking terms and elaborate preparations. Directions for preparing items such as vegetables are included in the recipes, so readers can prepare them as they cook, without perpetually referring to the ingredients list. Many of the recipes are meal-in-one suppers.

In addition to recipes, the book includes lots of reference materials, such as a list of essential kitchen tools, as well as lots of tips on basic techniques--how to whip cream, cook rice, carve ham, and much more. An uncluttered, user-friendly layout empowers even the fearful cook to prepare dishes like Poached Halibut with Fennel, Old-Fashioned Beef Stew, and Simple Vegetable Soup.

Cooking with this book will teach beginning cooks to read a recipe, organize a complete meal, recycle today's dinner into tomorrow's luscious lunch, gauge quantity, season to taste, and even end up with a cleaner kitchen after they've completed their meal! Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham is a timeless cookbook useful to any novice cook. --Amy Cotler

Product Description
Here at last is a much needed 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, today's Fannie Farmer--
who embodies the best of American home cooking--is the perfect guide for the uncertain cook. Not only are her recipes simple, they are easy to master, because she writes in clear, straightforward language that anyone can understand. She addresses the needs and concerns of beginning cooks: how to shop, how to determine the quality of ingredients, how to store fresh produce and to ripen fruits, what basic kitchen utensils to use, and how not to waste food.
With 150 recipes woven through eleven seductive chapters, such as Soup for Supper, A Bowlful of Salad, Thank Goodness for Chicken, and Extras That Make a Meal, Ms. Cunningham reveals the secrets of relaxed and efficient home cooking. She stresses the importance of thinking ahead--not just one recipe at
a time. Today's dinner can be recycled into a lunch treat for tomorrow, Sunday's leftover polenta is fried up and topped with Parmesan for a weekday supper dish, small treasures in the fridge can make an omelet filling, a pasta garnish, or stuffing for a baked potato, and homemade biscuits can be transformed into strawberry shortcake.
The side dishes she recommends are simple and are coordinated with the timing of the main dish. Often she gives us a recipe in which everything is cooked together--for instance, a chicken is roasted along with onions, carrots, and potatoes, so everything is ready at once, and when you're finished there's only one pan to clean; easy fish is baked over a bed
of vegetables; a steak supper combines watercress, mushrooms, bread, and a delicious steak all in one.
Above all, Ms. Cunningham demonstrates that the satisfaction of cooking lies not only in the good taste of all these wonderful home-cooked dishes but also in the pleasure of sharing them with friends and family. See (on the back of the jacket) what some
beginning students, whose questions and concerns helped her to formulate this invaluable book, have
to say about the rewards of learning to cook with
Marion Cunningham.

Buy Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham by Marion Cunningham from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780375401183 & 0375401180

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More About Marion Cunningham

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marion Cunningham (1922-2012) was born in southern California and lived much of her life in Walnut Creek. She was responsible for the complete revision of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and was the author of The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, The Breakfast Book, The Supper Bok, Cooking with Children, and Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham. She traveled frequently throughout the country giving cooking demonstrations, contributed numerous articles to Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Gourmet magazines, and wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle. In May 2003 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the James Beard Foundation.

From the Hardcover edition.

Marion Cunningham currently resides in Walnut Creek, in the state of California.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent First Cookbook for Amateur Home Cook. Buy It.  Dec 19, 2005
`Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham' by, you guessed it, old school cooking expert, Marion Cunningham, is one of the very few books I have found which effectively address the adult novice amateur cook. Recently, there are a few important books for teaching kids to cook from Food Network personalities, Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray and there are several important new tutorials on methods for experienced cooks and avid foodies, such as Jill Norman's exceptional omnibus volume, `The Cook's Book' and Anne Willan's `The Good Cook'.

I stress that this book is for the novice and amateur cook, to distinguish it's audience from the aspiring professional well served by such great books as Madeleine Kamman's `The New Making of a Cook'. The only book I can think of which addresses exactly the same audience is the very quirky `How to Cook' by Raymond Sokolov.

Madame Cunningham's credentials are impressive. Not only was she a colleague of the great James Beard, but she was the chief author on revisions of the `Fanny Farmer Cookbook', the OTHER major American source for household recipes. She was also the consultant to none other than the very literary Jeffrey Steingarten on the ins and outs of making a perfect piecrust. She is also very `old school' in that her pedagogical approach is based, either intentionally or by good fortune, on the principles of the great American educator, John Dewey, who believed that the most effective way to learn was by doing.

Therefore, her `teaching cookbook' is simply arranged in exactly the same manner as a conventional cookbook, by course, with chapters on:

Appetizers / Odds & Ends
Soup for Supper
A bowlful of Salad
Easy Fish
Thank Goodness for Chicken
Meaty Main Meals
Meals without Meat
Good Vegetables
Breakfast Can Be Supper, Too
Extras That Make a Meal
Here Comes Dessert

This really fits my long-term analogy of learning cooking with learning chess. The general principles of effective chess would probably fill no more than two or three pages, yet it takes years to master chess through practice and studying the games of the masters. This may also be why cookbooks by successful chefs are so popular. Unfortunately, this is where the analogy breaks down, as amateur cooking is much more like playing simply for fun rather than playing for a club, national, or world championship.

So, Cunningham has no chapters or articles on sautéing, braising, baking, poaching, or frying. Rather, she gives tutorials on these techniques in excellent sidebars on these matters, plus very carefully worded procedures for her recipes.

I am especially happy that Madame Cunningham has included a chapter on breakfast dishes, as few average sized cookbooks cover this subject, and it means she gives us an omelet recipe I can compare with the 20 other omelet recipes I have read. I give this omelet recipe an A, falling short of an A+ because she did not suggest you have the eggs come to room temperature before adding them to the hot pan. On the other hand, she adds the advice few others mention, of testing the readiness of the pan when you add the butter.

Similarly, I really enjoy reading her instructions on making a piecrust. While I personally object to her using shortening in place of butter, I find her technique flawless, especially since, like the very new `Martha Stewart Baking Handbook', it focuses on nothing more than the four basic ingredients, flour, salt, fat, and water. Add to this the better than average pictorials on key steps, and you will find yourself as illuminated as Jeffrey Steingarten when Madame Cunningham gave him a personal tutorial. The same simplicity in detail can be found in the `Extras That Make a Meal' chapter, which includes staples such as dressings, sauces, and biscuits.

One sense in which this book is `old school' is in the fact that unlike some modern culinary teachers such as Shirley Corriher and Alton Brown, there is little or no synthesis or explanation showing, for example, that making biscuits and making a piecrust are very similar techniques.

Another sense in which this book is `old school' is because there is not much concern with historical accuracy in recipes for named dishes. This is not a bad thing in general, but it may raise an eyebrow, as it does mine, in a teaching cookbook. The recipe for the famous Caesar's Salad leaves out two of the seminal ingredients for this dish, anchovies and coddled eggs and goes so far as to suggest rather poor substitutes for the expensive ingredient, Parmesan cheese.

To end on a very high note, I also find the variety of recipes to be perfectly delightful, as it includes all the basics, plus a few genuine surprises, such as the orange and red onion salad I simply had to try, because I had a hard time imagining how these went together. I was very pleased with the result.

If you are a raw beginner at cooking and simply need some serious, high quality handholding, you cannot go wrong with this book. For a next step, however, go for a cookbook by a more modern writer such as Mark Bittman's `How to Cook Everything'.

For beginners who want a real home cooked meal  Apr 3, 2002
I bought this book when I moved out of the dorm rooms with my husband. He didn't know how to cook at all and I could cook. I could cook marvelous cheesecakes, fabulous beef stroganoff, meals that take hours, but nothing for I've just come home from work and need dinner Now. That is what this cookbook is for. Learning everyday recipes you can do if you have a lot of time or a little. She also give suggestions on what to do with the leftovers(lamb curry is exceptional) and, occasionally, what to serve the dish with. More than improving my cooking skills this book has been invaluable in improving my meal planning skills.

Of course, no book is perfect. I found her black bean soup to be rather bland. (Try the original Moosewood Cookbook's Brazilian Black bean soup) Her recipes use milk, cream, butter, and oil like your grandmother used to, so if you are nervous around any fat at all, this is not the book for you. And I recommend using corn starch for gravies rather than flour since it is simpler and comes out smooth no matter what. Finally, some recipes are time consuming and being a busy modern person I rarely get around to making chicken broth as she suggests. But it is still nice to know.

Otherwise, this is a simple cookbook with clear instructions for a novice. Nothing fancy (a few dishes and all the appetizers would do well at a dinner party, but for the most part this is every day cooking), just good home cooking.

Great for a true novice like me!  May 14, 2001
I am a true novice in the kitchen. As a girl growing up I no desire to cook - so I never learned how to even boil an egg! (Hard to believe, but I had to call my mother long distance to get instructions.) I have tried almost all of these receipes and they are great and simple. I actually can cook meals for friends now. I purchased one as a gift for my cooking novice cousin and she loves it too.
Refreshingly simple and do-able cookbook!  Feb 27, 2001
Here's what I like about this book:

1. With so many cookbooks featuring exotic ingredients and techniques, this book is so refreshing and simple! I can easily make all of the recipes in this book, and the ingredients can be found in local grocery stores.

2. Ms. Cunningham explains every details that I need to know, from how to pick the ingredients, how to properly prepare them, how to tell when the dish is done, etc. etc. Nothing is too detail. I can really learn a lot from this book.

What I don't like about this book:

1. The recipes are too basic, everyday type of food.

This is one book I keep referring over and over and a keeper. But, I'd like to see more slightly complicated/special recipes. Thus I give it 4 stars!

Unsatisfactory  Jan 26, 2001
First of all, I am no cook. A busy lifestlye keeps me from spending more money on takeout food, and less time in the kitchen. When attempting to make an effort to amend that, I bought this book eagerly, based on the previous reviews.

Perhaps it was me screwing up the recipe (as I've said, I am no cook), but out of the 5 recipes I've tried in this book, only 1 of them was passable...barely, and 2 which were trashworthy. Additionally, the recipes weren't very healthy, relying on way too much butter and oil. I am very disappointed, as I thought that this book was geared for novices and had easy, but good instruction.

Some of the material is alright. The informational charts and hints are helpful. But, I am no longer sure if I trust the recipes though. It is a waste of time and money to continue investing in something that produces an inferior product. Hopefully others will have better results


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