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Is there such a book?

delice's picture

I need a gift idea(cookbook)for a dtr. whose serious boyfriend and his family are a little hard to cook for.  She is a very good cook but is a little limited by their (dull)palates.  Spice is out of the question, nothing innovative, lots of "just plain food".   She is running out of ideas and I wondered if there is a book that could offer some inspiration?  I don't cook like that and have run out of suggestions.

Jean's picture

(post #62926, reply #1 of 12)

Hoo boy-- how about the Good Housekeeping or Betty Crocker Cookbook (s).


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Astrid's picture

(post #62926, reply #8 of 12)

I agree, Betty Crocker is decent and downright good cooking.

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delice's picture

(post #62926, reply #9 of 12)

Thanks to all for the great suggestions!  I think she might have one or more of the Julia books and i think Joy of Cooking, maybe the old version.  I actually considered a Rachael Ray because they are both busy and she doesn't have time every day to do a lot of prepping.  A lot is done on the fly so things that come together easily would be great.  Luckily, she is a good cook and is not in the learning phase, just needs new ideas.  I think the master recipe sort of books are a great idea too--I will definitely check them out. 

EVEN's picture

(post #62926, reply #10 of 12)

The barefoot contessa books might work too. She has a lot of easy to make dishes that aren't off the wall. And it has pictures, sometimes it helps to know what your dish is supposed to look like :-)

delice's picture

(post #62926, reply #11 of 12)

I had forgotten about her books!  Great idea. 

Wolvie's picture

(post #62926, reply #2 of 12)

Joy of Cooking maybe??


I would get her to start prodding their taste buds - little by little. It can be done - my Mom is the proof. :-)


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Gretchen's picture

(post #62926, reply #3 of 12)

Racheal Ray? No foolin'. 
And Cooking New American, the FC cookbook from a couple of years ago is a great cookbook. I just got it back out and am enjoying it.
Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook has a lot of selections of all kinds.


Cook something "plain" and put some "condiments" on the table--garam masala, herb mixes, garlic salt, citrus salt, etc.


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pamilyn's picture

(post #62926, reply #12 of 12)

I love Cooking New American too.

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MadMom's picture

(post #62926, reply #4 of 12)

I always recommend How To Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson.  It is great for people with limited experience and/or limited palates.  Instead of recipes, she gives master recipes and people can come up with their own combos.  She has often written for FC.



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Marie Louise's picture

(post #62926, reply #5 of 12)

I think I'd use it as an opportunity to master some of the classics that every cook should know how to make. These are the things that can be amazingly hard to do well, because there are no complex sauces or spices to hide the fact that you've overcooked the fish or cooked the chicken at too low a heat.

Simple sauteed sole w/ a lemon butter sauce (it has a French name I can't spell)

Fried chicken/ veal/ pork tenderloin cutlets

Roast chicken

Perfectly sauteed steak or chops-especially pork chops!

Scalloped potatoes, Macaroni and cheese

Sauteed vegetables

Rice pilaf

Angel food cake

Brownies

You get the idea. These are things they already eat, but not great versions of it. For a cookbook, I'd look at one of Julia Child's later books (the one w/ Jacques or the one she did in the 90s). Aidell's The Complete Meat Cookbook, and Ann Willan's book about cooking basics. I'd be happy to find exact titles if you need.

Florida2's picture

(post #62926, reply #6 of 12)

How about a cookbook on bread?

chefathome's picture

(post #62926, reply #7 of 12)

How about the "Ultimate Cook Book" by Bruce Weinstein?  It is a general book but published in 2007 so has a more modern slant to the usual.  Something easy but intriguing and just a little different. 

"The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries and times; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

"The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries and times; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss."
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste