Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Kitchenability 101

Summary: Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious food, by Nisa Burns, features A+ recipes anyone can make anywhere.

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 don’t 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. -- Kitchenability Press

One of the best things about blogging is that I have the opportunity to discover a lot of very interesting cookbooks. I love skimming through all types of cookbooks, but I admit that I'm always on the lookout for one that has something new to offer. And I think I've just found one! It's called KITCHENABILITY 101: THE COLLEGE STUDENT'S GUIDE TO EASY, HEALTHY, AND DELICIOUS FOOD by Nisa Burns; and it's perfect for college students or young adults who are branching out on their own.

I don't know about you, but I couldn't cook a thing when I left for college. (I also couldn't do laundry but that's another story!) It wasn't so bad when I was living in the dorms and eating at the dining halls, but when I got my first apartment, I was basically eating Kraft Mac & Cheese and Ramen noodles all of the time. (I now shiver at the thought!) With KITCHENABILITY 101, I wouldn't have had to eat like that! This handy cookbook shows college students how to become comfortable in their kitchens. The author's basic idea is to offer some quick and easy, and most importantly, healthy recipes that kids can make with little or no training in the kitchen.

KITCHENABILITY 101 is set up in such a way that it will appeal to college kids. The first chapter is titled "Orientation" (isn't that cute?) and gives instructions for basics that every kitchen needs. It even focuses on appliances that are ideal for the dorm setting. In addition, there are so great ideas for entertaining, some advice for shopping, budgeting tips, and basic cooking techniques.

The following chapters include the recipes, and the titles are as follow: Wake-Up Call (breakfast items), Grab and Go (lunch-ish recipes), Choose Your Major (main course options), Amazing Grazing (snacks), Cram Sessions and Study Groups (desserts, drinks, and more quick snacks), and Party! (party foods and drinks). There are a huge variety of recipes and most, if not all, are very simple.

As many of you know, I love cookbooks that include photographs; and KITCHENABILITY 101 has loads of them. I was pleasantly surprised by not only the amount of full color photos (there was pretty much one per recipe), but also the quality of these pictures. They were absolutely gorgeous!

There are a few cute things about KITCHENABILITY 101 that make it special. First of all, each recipe has colored tabs to indicate where you can most likely cook them -- i.e. D for dorm room or A for apartment, quad or shared house. In addition, there are QR codes throughout the book which will link readers to Ms. Burns' video demos. This is just an amazing (and very helpful) tool for new cooks!

As far as recipes go, I think there is a wide enough variety to appeal to any picky eater. While some of the recipes were fairly obvious to me and probably not what I'd consider a "real" recipe, I tried to remember just how inept I was in the kitchen in my early 20s. I actually needed a recipe for everything and anything, and I probably would have found this cookbook to be extremely useful. Some of the recipes that I would have enjoyed (and still occasionally do!) include Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon, Cheese Toast, Egg Head Noodles, and the Ridiculously Easy Tomato Sauce.

Even as a more seasoned (I'm so punny!) cook, there were some recipes that looked terrific... and easy! The Mediterranean Pasta looked fabulous as did the Lemon Cilantro Chicken, the Greek Salad with Lemon, and the Nutella Peanut-Butter Brownies. I especially appreciated that most of the recipes were low-fat and healthy... except for the Nutella Peanut-Butter Brownies!

I think KITCHENABILITY 101 is a wonderful resource for college students or young adult who are just starting out on their own.
Thanks to PR by the Book for providing a review copy.

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rhapsodyinbooks said...

I also don't remember cooking anything in college except those Kraft boxes (macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti)!

Beth F said...

I knew how to cook when I got my first apartment but those Raman noodles were a big help. This sounds like a great cookbook.

bermudaonion said...

Vance has been out of college a few years and could probably still use this! lol I think his repertoire consists of 2 or 3 dishes. This sounds fantastic for beginning cooks!

Anonymous said...

This is one I could have used! To me pictures are a must in cookbooks. I like to see how presentable looking a dish is before I cook it so I know I would appreciate the beautiful pictures in this one.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I didn't actually start taking the time to cook anything until my senior year with my roommate in our apartment. I love the idea, I'm just not sure if college kids are going to make the effort. I know I wouldn't have. Too easy to grab something! Too lazy! Too many other priorities! But, maybe if the idea is introduced before they go, they might give it some thought.

Tina said...

You sound like me when I first got married! Looks like a good book and that's a nice review.

Sue Jackson said...

Sounds interesting!

I was lucky - my mom taught me to cook. so I did a lot of the cooking when I moved into an apartment with 3 roommates in college for the first time.

But I bet my college son would like this, I HAVE tried to teach him to cook and he can manage a few things, but he's never been motivated or all that interested. I'm sure that will change when he moves out of the dorms and into an aprtment!

Thanks for the great review -

Book By Book

Michelle said...

This would make a great present for a high school graduate! I was lucky in that I knew something about cooking, but everyone could always use more help. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!