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Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens and Other Beginners

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You're young, you're hungry, you're clueless The kitchen looms before you like something from a bad horror film. There's food in there, but then what? It'll have to be cooked... or at least peeled. Probably both. It's enough to scare even the foolhardy, but then so is a diet of macaroni and cheese. And you can't afford to keep ordering pizza. Aaarghh! Relax! You're not alone You're young, you're hungry, you're clueless The kitchen looms before you like something from a bad horror film. There's food in there, but then what? It'll have to be cooked... or at least peeled. Probably both. It's enough to scare even the foolhardy, but then so is a diet of macaroni and cheese. And you can't afford to keep ordering pizza. Aaarghh! Relax! You're not alone. Author Evelyn Raab (mom to two teenage sons) understands that the kitchen is alien territory, and she is going to teach you everything you need to know to produce something deliciously edible out of actual ingredients -- in other words, cook -- and live to tell the tale. Incredibly thorough, never condescending, and with a dash of humor, Clueless in the Kitchen leads culinary neophytes through the entire range of kitchen experience -- from cleaning a stove and outfitting a first kitchen (cheaply), to unplugging a drain and identifying that stuff in the bulk-food bins. Two hundred easy-to-follow recipes show how to make all kinds of simple and scrumptious dishes for every meal and occasion, beginning with "Breakfast: A Cruel Joke" and ending with Snacks and Munchies." There's even a chapter devoted exclusively to the "Vehemently Vegetarian." And there's more! Each recipe is coded with an icon symbolizing vegetarian meals, cheap eats, couch potato, mom, or family food, food to impress, and snacks and munchies. And useful menu planners will help you tailor the perfect meal to every guest, whether that guest is your shallow but fun boy/girlfriend, your aunt Gladys, or (gasp!) your entire family. Whether you're living on your own for the very first time or you're just on your own for dinner, Clueless in the Kitchen will be the first and -- hopefully -- only guide you will ever need. You may never eat macaroni and cheese again!


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You're young, you're hungry, you're clueless The kitchen looms before you like something from a bad horror film. There's food in there, but then what? It'll have to be cooked... or at least peeled. Probably both. It's enough to scare even the foolhardy, but then so is a diet of macaroni and cheese. And you can't afford to keep ordering pizza. Aaarghh! Relax! You're not alone You're young, you're hungry, you're clueless The kitchen looms before you like something from a bad horror film. There's food in there, but then what? It'll have to be cooked... or at least peeled. Probably both. It's enough to scare even the foolhardy, but then so is a diet of macaroni and cheese. And you can't afford to keep ordering pizza. Aaarghh! Relax! You're not alone. Author Evelyn Raab (mom to two teenage sons) understands that the kitchen is alien territory, and she is going to teach you everything you need to know to produce something deliciously edible out of actual ingredients -- in other words, cook -- and live to tell the tale. Incredibly thorough, never condescending, and with a dash of humor, Clueless in the Kitchen leads culinary neophytes through the entire range of kitchen experience -- from cleaning a stove and outfitting a first kitchen (cheaply), to unplugging a drain and identifying that stuff in the bulk-food bins. Two hundred easy-to-follow recipes show how to make all kinds of simple and scrumptious dishes for every meal and occasion, beginning with "Breakfast: A Cruel Joke" and ending with Snacks and Munchies." There's even a chapter devoted exclusively to the "Vehemently Vegetarian." And there's more! Each recipe is coded with an icon symbolizing vegetarian meals, cheap eats, couch potato, mom, or family food, food to impress, and snacks and munchies. And useful menu planners will help you tailor the perfect meal to every guest, whether that guest is your shallow but fun boy/girlfriend, your aunt Gladys, or (gasp!) your entire family. Whether you're living on your own for the very first time or you're just on your own for dinner, Clueless in the Kitchen will be the first and -- hopefully -- only guide you will ever need. You may never eat macaroni and cheese again!

30 review for Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens and Other Beginners

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie Suzanne

    Tested by one typically apathetic 14-year-old boy who agrees it's better reading than any of the novels I've recommended this summer, and is finally, FINALLY pumped about cooking dinner. He made an awesome dish out of ground beef & Top Ramen (and loads of vegetables, but it was still technically "ramen" so therefore acceptable), cake from scratch, and even felt undaunted by the lack o' frosting in the house. He said, "It's okay, there's a recipe for frosting in here, too." Laden with factual inf Tested by one typically apathetic 14-year-old boy who agrees it's better reading than any of the novels I've recommended this summer, and is finally, FINALLY pumped about cooking dinner. He made an awesome dish out of ground beef & Top Ramen (and loads of vegetables, but it was still technically "ramen" so therefore acceptable), cake from scratch, and even felt undaunted by the lack o' frosting in the house. He said, "It's okay, there's a recipe for frosting in here, too." Laden with factual information about food, food prep, grocery shopping, etc., it uses language that feels authentically teen casual, thus making it far superior to Home & Careers textbooks & his mom's cookbooks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Canadian cooking made dead easy. I've used this book over and over for the last 20+ years, and some of the recipes are regular favorites in our rotation: Chowder From The Black Lagoon, Idiot- Proof One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. And now my kids are learning to cook by following these instructions, too. How to cook rice, boil an egg, make coffee. It's the best. Canadian cooking made dead easy. I've used this book over and over for the last 20+ years, and some of the recipes are regular favorites in our rotation: Chowder From The Black Lagoon, Idiot- Proof One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. And now my kids are learning to cook by following these instructions, too. How to cook rice, boil an egg, make coffee. It's the best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Seri

    This is the only cookbook that is easy for me to understand. I actually made some food successfully! It is also really helpful because it has guidelines on how to pick vegetables, dismantle a chicken, etc.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alistair Miller

    This book covers all the basic recipes that you could want to make and also gives useful basic information on how to keep a hygienic kitchen. There are plenty of colour pictures to give the amateur a handy visual guide as to how the dish should turn out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    Great cookbook for beginners!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kadee Bachmann

    This book had some very fun and exciting recipes. I’m very excited to try them out!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Sartor

    GENRE: Nonfiction: Cooking. SUBJECT/THEMES: Cooking, teens in the kitchen. SUMMARY: Evelyn Raab seeks to give teens instruction on kitchen basics, everything from what spices they should keep in stock, to what appliances are necessary (and which are just nice to have), to full recipes. None of the ingredients list any processed foods, yet they are all fairly simple and perfect for a beginner. The recipes are divided into these sections: breakfast, salads and sides, meat dishes, pasta, eggs, fishy, GENRE: Nonfiction: Cooking. SUBJECT/THEMES: Cooking, teens in the kitchen. SUMMARY: Evelyn Raab seeks to give teens instruction on kitchen basics, everything from what spices they should keep in stock, to what appliances are necessary (and which are just nice to have), to full recipes. None of the ingredients list any processed foods, yet they are all fairly simple and perfect for a beginner. The recipes are divided into these sections: breakfast, salads and sides, meat dishes, pasta, eggs, fishy, vegetarian meals, baking, desserts and snacks. EVALUATION: I love to cook, and I have a strong affinity for cookbooks. However, I am prejudiced towards the cookbooks that have drool-worthy, large, full-color photographs. I pulled out each cookbook in the young adult section of my local library, flipping through them, trying to find one that had glorious pictures of the recipes. None of them did, to my dismay. Instead, I had to rely on the layout, the look of the recipes, and the other information. Despite its lack of pictures of food, this book delivers on the other counts. I especially like all of the helpful advice the author offers in the beginning. She even tells the reader how to defrost their freezers, and how to get dishes clean in the dishwasher! I did not try any of the recipes, though I looked them over. Both metric and standard measurements are given. Especially nice were the little icons next to the title, which denoted things such as “mom food”, or “couch potato food”. The back has a list of cooking terms and their definitions, and an index. What I liked best about the back matter, however, were the meal plans. For example, for “The Intellectual Boy/Girlfriend”, the reader should make the following: pita crisps with hummus, Irish lamb stew, cole slaw with un-creamy dressing, cornbread and crème caramel, all included recipes. WHY I WOULD INCLUDE IT: I know a number of adults, both male and female, that do not cook, cannot cook, or both. This boggles my mind, and makes me feel sorry for them. To me, cooking is a basic skill that everyone should have. I have vowed that my sons will not be going off to college before they know how to cook a proper meal. Therefore, to me it is vital that a cookbook/guide to cooking be included in a young adult nonfiction section, and this one is a very good one. ITEMS WITH SIMILAR APPEAL: • Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat, by Megan Carle. • The Absolute Beginner’s Cookbook, Or, How Long Do I Cook a 3-Minute Egg? By Jackie Eddy. • Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook, by Sam Stern.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Easy-to-follow recipes that teach the basics of working in the kitchen. Geared to teens that don't have experience in the kitchen. I wish I had this book when I was a teen. I lived on Mac and Cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheap take-out from the Taco House. Now I'm struggling to learn how to cook for real. I liked that this book has REAL recipes. It doesn't have "easy" short-cuts like using canned soup or packaged hamburger helper. It's downfall is that it is for "Teens". Do teens want Easy-to-follow recipes that teach the basics of working in the kitchen. Geared to teens that don't have experience in the kitchen. I wish I had this book when I was a teen. I lived on Mac and Cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheap take-out from the Taco House. Now I'm struggling to learn how to cook for real. I liked that this book has REAL recipes. It doesn't have "easy" short-cuts like using canned soup or packaged hamburger helper. It's downfall is that it is for "Teens". Do teens want to read something that is for teens? Especially teens who are on their own (which this book seems to be geared for). And the snappy jokes are a little grating. But the recipes are great! Just an example of the snappy language: "Oh, yuck. You've got yourself a whole chicken, and now you have to dismantle it. And though you don't need a degree in veterinary medicine to take a chicken apart, it might be helpful to get to know your victim before you begin." (p. 85)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Even if you're not a teen, university/college student or an absolute beginner to cooking, this book has decent options with recipe choices (including vegetarian and some dairy-free options) and it is organized/grouped in an easy to follow way. There's also a great section on kitchen supplies as well as pantry supplies that you should keep regularly stocked. There are handy guides on how to cook rice and other things that may seem simple but that someone has always wondered how to do correctly. M Even if you're not a teen, university/college student or an absolute beginner to cooking, this book has decent options with recipe choices (including vegetarian and some dairy-free options) and it is organized/grouped in an easy to follow way. There's also a great section on kitchen supplies as well as pantry supplies that you should keep regularly stocked. There are handy guides on how to cook rice and other things that may seem simple but that someone has always wondered how to do correctly. My only complaint is that the book isn't spiral-bound, because even though that format presents its own challenges, a spiral binding would make cookbooks so much easier to put on a table and follow along with. Still, in spite of that, this is a great and simple book for beginning cooks and it's not overly complicated to follow, nor does it insist upon hard-to-get ingredients so I would recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lbaker

    I purchased this book at a used store on a whim, having two teenagers I thought a book that gave matter of fact recipes and advise would be welcome. What I didn't expect was how much I like the advise and the simple, straight forward recipes. Most of the recipes I add a little of this or that, but the book encourages that and gives a base to begin cooking. I use this book nearly weekly, and my kids are not getting my copy when they move out! I purchased this book at a used store on a whim, having two teenagers I thought a book that gave matter of fact recipes and advise would be welcome. What I didn't expect was how much I like the advise and the simple, straight forward recipes. Most of the recipes I add a little of this or that, but the book encourages that and gives a base to begin cooking. I use this book nearly weekly, and my kids are not getting my copy when they move out!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    My sister gave this book to my son and it's a wonderful introductory cookbook with some practical recipes for young adult just starting to cook on their own but that stand the test of time for the more experienced cook. The vegetarian chili is a favorite, and the beef stew is pretty good too. I always forget the name of this cookbook, so thought if I added it to my goodreads list, I could find it! My sister gave this book to my son and it's a wonderful introductory cookbook with some practical recipes for young adult just starting to cook on their own but that stand the test of time for the more experienced cook. The vegetarian chili is a favorite, and the beef stew is pretty good too. I always forget the name of this cookbook, so thought if I added it to my goodreads list, I could find it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Pushing 30, I still love this book. My grandmother bought it for me when I left home, it goes over things like "how to shop" that a kid who had no interest in cooking might not know. Some of it is pretty basic (even for me!) but considering how much most cookbooks assume you know everything... well, I like this. The recipes are tasty, easy to follow, and man, I make EXCELLENT cheesecake thanks to this book. :) Pushing 30, I still love this book. My grandmother bought it for me when I left home, it goes over things like "how to shop" that a kid who had no interest in cooking might not know. Some of it is pretty basic (even for me!) but considering how much most cookbooks assume you know everything... well, I like this. The recipes are tasty, easy to follow, and man, I make EXCELLENT cheesecake thanks to this book. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Bought this cookbook for Georgia when she was about 11. She made several things from it. It is written in an entertaining, amusing style, the recipes use very little "convenience foods", and everything that we have tried has been delicious. A wonderful book for the young, beginning cook. The Bruschetta recipe has become one of our standards. Very simple, very quick, the best! Bought this cookbook for Georgia when she was about 11. She made several things from it. It is written in an entertaining, amusing style, the recipes use very little "convenience foods", and everything that we have tried has been delicious. A wonderful book for the young, beginning cook. The Bruschetta recipe has become one of our standards. Very simple, very quick, the best!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hendricks

    Love love LOVE this book! Most things in here are fairly simple cooking techniques, with easy-to-find ingredients, but no convenience foods. I laugh all the time at the jokes, and the food hasn't failed me once! I love the self-saucing chocolate fudge brownies and fish in foil packets. Great gift for teens who are interested in cooking - and even those who aren't! Love love LOVE this book! Most things in here are fairly simple cooking techniques, with easy-to-find ingredients, but no convenience foods. I laugh all the time at the jokes, and the food hasn't failed me once! I love the self-saucing chocolate fudge brownies and fish in foil packets. Great gift for teens who are interested in cooking - and even those who aren't!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Crnbryeggshls

    This book offers a fun approach to cooking for beginners, and a lot of kitchen jokes for more experienced cooks. Besides covering the basics of cookware, ingredients, cleaning, techniques, and tool maintenance, there is also a great, if idiosyncratic, guide to menu planning. It makes a great gift, whether you're giving it someone else or just treating yourself. This book offers a fun approach to cooking for beginners, and a lot of kitchen jokes for more experienced cooks. Besides covering the basics of cookware, ingredients, cleaning, techniques, and tool maintenance, there is also a great, if idiosyncratic, guide to menu planning. It makes a great gift, whether you're giving it someone else or just treating yourself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    AMAZING COOOKBOOK. My Mother got this for me when I was a teenager (I'm 24 now), and I still use this maybe once a month or more frequently? Everything is spelled out for you, easy to read and make, and just all around a great cook book for those of us who aren't born to cook or bake. I highly recommend it. AMAZING COOOKBOOK. My Mother got this for me when I was a teenager (I'm 24 now), and I still use this maybe once a month or more frequently? Everything is spelled out for you, easy to read and make, and just all around a great cook book for those of us who aren't born to cook or bake. I highly recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    This is a great cookbook for beginning cooks and great basic cooking instructions for those wanting to learn more. It has mostly from scratch cooking recipes and focuses on eating nourishing, inexpensive meals. I learned a lot from it and continue to use it almost every week.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    Just pure awesome. This book will answer just about anything and every question you have about cooking.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bri Norton

    I enjoyed this very much :) very cute and simple for people who actually do just wanna learn how to cook!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Avrelia

    I think this is one of my favorite cookbook, lack of colorful pictures notwithstanding. No-nonsense, witty writing + smart and easy recipes = love.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shahna

    Was given this as a gift when I turned 13 and started highschool. I still use this cookbook all the time. Got some pretty handy recipes in there. My favourite part is the desserts. Nom Nom NOM

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie Streeter

    This is an excellent cookbook for beginning cooks and a great reference for those who already know their way around a kitchen.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barb Mason

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katelynn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Foster

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Delana Stewart

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