After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School includes practical, healthy tips that boost listeners' culinary self-confidence, strategies to get the most from their grocery dollars, and simple recipes that get listeners cooking.
©2011 Kathleen Flinn (P)2011 Tantor
"The author's humble approach is inviting and shows why her students were enthusiastic." (Kirkus)
Much less fast-food.
I don't particularly have a most memorable moment in the book but when I realized, while painstakingly bookmarking each location (107 so far) I wanted to revisit, that I was becoming a very good cook. At least in comparison to what I was before and even better than my wife.
The recipes and/or references to ingredients are very hard to follow when they are being read so fast. This is one of the reasons for my more than 100 bookmarks. On top of that, I slowed the audio down to 1/2 speed when going over recipes and/or cooking instructions.
Her stories were interesting however as I said before, this was more of a self-help book and the emotion accumulated slowly, as I learned to become a better cook and really understand what I was doing, not simply following someone's written instructions.
I have since began to make dishes of my own accord, without recipes, which before was all but impossible except for the simplest of dishes.
There is a down side to reading and putting these lessons into practice. Meals that are eaten at a restaurant are scrutinized much more. They often seem bland and I''m second guessing the cook or even the chef in some cases.
I understand food MUCH MORE than I ever have in my life. I know that on average about 75% of the sodium that I eat comes from processed (packaged) foods. All the credit doesn't go to Kathleen Flinn however because I also recently read "The body fat solution" by Tom Venuto. It's not a cookbook so there isn't a comparison here.
I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever walked into the kitchen and felt challenged to cook a good meal, anyone that has children, that cares about their body condition and health and anyone that isn't rich enough, or lucky enough, to have someone else prepare your meals for you.
I like that she takes examples from the from grocery store boxed items and trys to show how they could be made more simply, cheaply at home without all the chemicals. I also liked the fact that she gives you some basic starting points for getting started at home cooking. This book would be best for those just starting out in the kitchen or those of us who have been stuck in a rut and have resorted to eating more processed foods. Overall, I enjoyed this book and as a health coach will recommend it to many of my clients to help them get started in the kitchen.
Although I like this narrators voice, there were several places where either the editing was chopped or she didn't pronouce the word properly. These are very minor, but I did notice them and usually replayed it just to make sure I was hearing her properly.
Unfortunately, she doesn't give all the recipies, which would be out of scope for this book. However, for the recipes she does give, a PDF companion would have been very helpful. Without it your stuck writing down all the recipes as she gives them or buying the book.
Kathleen Flinn has inspired me to learn how to cook properly. No more can and box meals for me. She makes learning to cook from scratch fun and easy. The narrator Marguerite Gavin lends a fantastic voice for the reading. You can easily follow the different characters just by the change in her reading. Great job.
What a great read. The author totally demystifies cooking and helps the reader embrace home cooking. After listening this book, I have increased my cooking skills and decreased the money I spend on food! I had no idea how easy cooking was! The only thing I wish is that they made a pdf of the recipes and cheat sheet for followup cooking!!!
I LOVED this book! As a matter of fact, I ordered it in hardcover from Amazon after I'd finished it so that I can refer to it and to the recipes in it as I'm getting used to the stove.
Don't get me wrong...I can grill anything that won't grill me first and I can rock with a wok, but the stove has always intimidated me. I just didn't have much practice with it as I grew up and I thought it was something I could always learn later. Well...later is here and thank God, so is this book!
The author begins by explaining how the idea for this experiment came to her. Then she explains the experiment that is the focus of the book. She taught a group of women to cook by examining and critiquing their refrigerators and cabinets and then examining and critiquing what and how they cook. She taught these women about nutrition, basic ingredients, basic kitchen and shopping techniques, and basic combinations of ingredients. I used the word "basic" several times, intentionally because unlike Julia Child or Martha Stewart, Kathleen Flinn managed to keep the tone, the techniques, and the ingredients at a level that people who are unfamiliar with cooking would understand.
During the discussion of the progress of the women who participated in her "cooking school," she presents recipes, explanations of technique, and autobiographical information. Think Julie and Julia written as an instructional guide. Of course, by now, you are thinking..."But...as an audiobook? Recipes? Kitchen technique? Really? That sounds boring." I have to say that I didn't find it boring in the least. It was, for someone unschooled in the culinary arts, difficult to follow or remember everything about the recipes (thus my decision to purchase the hardcover) but it was not difficult to glean useful information that I could incorporate into my own life and view of cooking.
I found myself empathizing and commisserating with several of her students as they faced their cooking challenges and fears. The author was also very sympathetic and did not approach them in a judgmental way. Therefore, I did not feel judged as I listened to this book, I just learned better ways to approach food and cooking.
I particularly enjoyed the last part of the book where the author discusses the end results. In other words, what the participants took away from the training and how it changed their lives. It was a poignant and honest look at what and how people learn when they are properly trained, and what information was important enough to be remembered and utilized. I almost cried about the lady who was just grateful that she no longer had to feel judged about her cooking abilities, which allowed her to to try, and then to succeed in the kitchen.
I will utilize a lot of the concepts I learned in this book and I may listen to it at night before I go to sleep to incorporate the concepts into my dreams (okay...maybe this is going too far...but really...who doesn't want to dream about a good recipe?)
As a proficient cook who is over-reliant on Cook's Illustrated, I was hoping this book would help me learn to freestyle in the kitchen, rather than always be chained to recipes. It doesn't provide that kind of information, and I found it lacking in the useful tips that others have discovered here. More damning, the book is bogged down by long passages of personal detail from the author, telling us about her blessed professional career as a chef, her lucky life in Seattle, and her fortuitous luxury cruises. I didn't care. An additional problem is that there's lots of recipes in the audio, so you end up having long lists of ingredients being read to you. The everyday people that she selects to enlighten with her wisdom in scenes of instruction are hot-pocket-heating neophytes with everything to learn. If you have basic cooking competence, I would suggest passing on this one.
Feeding my brain is crucial.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was well-thought out, in that the author gives recipes, reasons why we should take time to cook what we eat instead of eating our of cans and boxes. The narrator does not leave you bored, but wanting to listen to what is happening and coming next. I have gone through culinary school and still learned a few things while being reminded of some things that I had forgotten. This book is great for a beginner to a seasoned chef.
Inspired life-navigator, self employed twenty-something, a-book-a-week-minimum-listener, loyal sweetie to my family& buddha loving do-gooder
I wish I could give this book extra stars. I feel bad for having him-hawed over whether or not to listen to this one. I love cooking from scratch and thought that perhaps there would be a few basics or tricks covered in here I wasn't already familiar with. And there were lots of things I learned. As a non-fiction lover though, generally a narrative is not my favorite form of delivery- I loved her voice in this! She found a balanced sweet spot of personal stories & anecdotes with quality content and structure. I adored every min of this one!!
The book is great. I'm a fan of Kathleen Flinn.
An avid audible.com listener, I've never taken the time to actually complain about a reading, but Ms Gavin's performance is read in such a womanly baritone register that it's eternally aggravating. Imagine an aspiring newscaster reading eight hours of a food blog aloud. You get my drift..
So so. It was a light enjoyable listen for the most part. But I sort of was hoping for it to be over at the same time. It wasn't a very compelling story nor very enlightening in the kitchen. I appreciated her desire to help America get back in the kitchen.
Yes. Although her characters were not memorable I'd be interested if only for the kitchen tips. The characters were interesting enough just not well developed past their initial encounter. I couldn't remember who was who. I did like the relationship between her and her husband.
As far as the culinary aspect, which is why I chose the book, I felt a bit gipped. I want to learn more about putting it all together and this really wasn't all too helpful. It seemed more novel than kitchen info. I would have preferred the reverse.
Was she drunk?
Sure. I think any of the cooking lessons could go into far more depth. But I sure hope she uses a different reader and gets some help in making it more interesting and followable.
A few PDF's of recipes and tips would be great.
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