Lot of people aren’t natural cooks, but they—we—still need to eat. So what are the options for these tummy-grumbling kitchen armatures? Well, they could boil up a big pot of ramen noodles. Again. Or they could bite the bullet and find a recipe. From personal experience, I’ve been led to believe that this is the reason there are so many cookbooks on the market. So with so many cookbooks weighing down the shelves at the local bookstore, how does one standout? For starters, you make sure you have yummy recipes that are easy to recreate, that you’re using tools that are easy to find, and that your cookbook is laid out and illustrated in the clearest way possible. Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101 manages to do all of that and then some.
One of my favorite parts of this cookbook is the four pages that are dedicated to Moulton’s favorite tools. She gives information on what each tool is used for and what makes it necessary for a well-functioning kitchen, allowing you to prioritize which tools you need immediately and what can wait—something this starving college student took full advantage of. Each recipe is complete with a list of ingredients and cooking instructions (as all cookbooks are), but what makes this cookbook stand out is that every recipe also includes helpful tips—often on damage control. There’s a great mix of difficulty levels demonstrated in the recipes, which makes this cookbook a universal kitchen resource for cooks of all levels.