Friday, December 18, 2009

Book Review of Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen by Mollie Katzen

I have often used Mollie Katzan's Moosewood Cookbook and was very excited to review her latest cookbook, Get Cooking. Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen

The blurb:
Get Cooking is the first book from bestselling cookbook author Mollie Katzen designed specifically for beginners, whether you are just starting to cook for yourself or trying to kick the restaurant habit. Unlike most cookbooks, the goal in Get Cooking is to get you in the kitchen no matter what your experience level might be. Along with her own color photographs of each dish throughout, Mollie gives you clear, step-by-step instructions from making everything from classic mashed potatoes to Broccoli-Cheddar Cheese Calzones to Hot Fudge Sundaes (with homemade hot fudge!). With this book, anyone - (you included) can make delicious, fresh food with a lot less expense (and a lot more satisfaction) than ordering in.

You may know Mollie as the author of famous cookbooks as Moosewood Cookbook or The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest. Get Cooking has all the accessibility and personal warmth of those beloved books but is Mollie's first cookbooks for vegetarians and carnivores alike. With Get Cooking, you'll be serving everything from salads (such as Wilted Spinach Salad with Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, and Golden Raisins) to desserts (try the Cheesecake Bars), with stops along the way for party snacks, a full array of side dishes, and a brilliant assortment of hand-crafted burgers (bean, tofu, and mushroom - as well as beef, turkey, and tuna). Here at last is the cookbook that will make a cook out of everyone.

Get Cooking takes the beginner through all the steps, clearly and briefly, from how to study a recipe to make sure that you have all the ingredients and tools and to understand the whole process of preparing the food to getting it on the table on time.

Each chapter begins with the essential facts about the type of food, the tools and ingredients that you will most often use, and even an assessment when the inexpensive or moderately priced tools and ingredients will suffice and the times when the added expense is worthwhile.

Katzen describes the cuisine as "'Big Tent,' accommodating a broad base of tastes and needs, vegetarian, meat-loving and everything in between." Most of the dishes are familiar - the items that you'd find at a party, picnic, or enjoy at home. We've made the teriyaki chicken thighs and the poached salmon - which were both easy and tasty! I am eager to try the recipes for carmelized balsamic-red onion soup with cheese-topped croutons, linguini with clam sauce, linguine with spinach and peas, green pea and feta quiche, and deeply roasted cauliflower.
The three bean salad, mac and cheese, spaghetti with meatballs, pasta with tuna, white beans, and artichoke hearts, chinese-style peanut noodles, chocolate-chip mint cookies and intensely chocolate brownies are sure to become regulars at our home.

Get Cooking would be excellent for someone just learning to cook - it gives you the essentials of cooking in simple steps and offers tasty rewards for your effort.

Publisher: HarperStudio (October 13, 2009), 288 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of Amazon:
With more than six million books in print, Mollie Katzen is listed by the New York Times as one of the bestselling cookbook authors of all time. A 2007 inductee into the prestigious James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, and largely credited with moving healthful food from the "fringe" to the center of the American dinner plate, Mollie has been named by Health magazine as one of the "Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat."

In addition, she is a charter member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable and an inaugural honoree of the Natural Health Hall of Fame. An award-winning illustrator and designer as well as a bestselling cookbook author and popular public speaker, Mollie is best known as the creator of the groundbreaking classics Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Her other books include the children's trilogy Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels, and Salad People (referred to as the "gold standard" of children's cookbooks) by the New York Times), and a collaboration with Walter Willett, M.D., of Harvard, on Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less.

Since 2003, Mollie Katzen has been an adviser to Harvard University Dining Services, and co-creator of their new Food Literacy Project. This is the first volume of her new Get Cooking series, continuing Mollie's lifelong mission to spread cooking knowledge and food literacy as broadly as possible.

Visit the Get Cooking website for cooking tips, as a companion to the book, and for a chance to win a copy of Get Cooking.

Thank you so much to Mollie Katzen, Sarah and HarperStudio for this review opportunity!


  1. Great review - I love Katzen's cookbooks and am glad to hear you enjoyed it! I'm definitely going to check it out when I have a change.

  2. I have been lucky enough to see and hear Mollie Katzen cook at a medical conference last year. She is great! She makes cooking sound pleasurable and eating even more so. She talks about vegetables like they were edible jewels. She's really cool.