One of the questions I’m asked the most is, “Can you recommend a great cookbook for someone just learning to cook.” There are variants of the question, of course, such as, “What cookbook do your recommend for…”
- new brides
- college kids
I have a few reliable favorites that I always list. I was recently sent a wonderful cookbook to review and it hasn’t just joined the list, it has redefined the list. Kitchenability 101, by Nisa Burns, is packed with fun, easy, creative, and delicious recipes. Ideal for new cooks (such as college students, new brides and grooms, etc.), the entire first chapter is an introduction to cooking, cooking terms, techniques, herbs and spices, kitchen tools and appliances and more.
Kitchenability 101 includes recipes that new (and even not so new) cooks will use again and again. A few of these recipes are listed below!
- Banana Cinnamon Waffles
- Avocado Lettuce Wraps
- Nutella Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chunky Chicken Chili
- Mint Iced Tea
- Twisted Sugar Sticks
- Chicken Soup
- Miss You, Mom, Oatmeal
- Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon
- Mediterranean Pasta
- Chili Burritos
- Pigs in a Snuggle
- Roma Tomatoes with Feta and Basil
- Fish Tacos
- Jalapeno Sliders
- Cranberry Relish
- Many, many more.
These recipes will allow the new cook to impress (and feed!) his/her family and friends. Their confidence will soar with each successful creation, and as we seasoned cooks know, confidence is one of the most important elements of being a good cook.
My daughters never went “away” to college (thank goodness… I’m not sure this mother hen would have survived), but if they HAD, a couple of things I would have worried about were that they were eating good, healthy food (as opposed to existing on greasy fast food) AND that they were making good friends. This type of cookbook would have addressed each one of those concerns. I’d have known they were fixing great meals for themselves and could have rested assured that many, many kids would have flocked to their table!
College students may miss home-cooked meals, fear the Freshman 15, or feel sluggish from eating too many instant or fast food meals. Or they may want to cook for themselves, but dont know how. In this book, Nisa provides the confidence and motivation for college students to expand their abilities, so they can cook for themselves and their friends. It offers shopping plans, supply lists, budgeting, skills and recipes for cooking in college spaces including dorm rooms, apartments and houses.Includes 10 QR codes linked to instructional videos.
While Kitchenability 101 is geared toward (and ideal for) college students and even new cooks, I have to tell you this: I love this cookbook AND I use it frequently – so don’t think you have to be a newbie to love this cookbook.
Below is one of my favorite recipes from Kitchenability 101. It’s called Nana’s Peanut Butter Pie and it has become my favorite Peanut Butter Pie recipe of all time. It’s a total can’t miss winner. The recipe calls for a 9 oz. container of whipped topping, but the small containers of whipped topping in my area are all 8 oz. I used that and the results were beyond perfect.
Nana’s Peanut Butter Pie
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 9-oz container whipped topping
1 graham cracker piecrust
Chocolate syrup or shavings, optional
- Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until creamy.
- Fold in the container of whipped topping.
- Spoon the mixture into the piecrust.
- Cover with parchment paper and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
- Drizzle chocolate syrup or sprinkle shavings on top if desired.
See Kitchenability 101 for more information. This cookbook is filled with quick, easy, fun, and inexpensive recipes – who could ask for more?!