fresh When I think of cookbooks, they fall into 2 categories: those for gourmet or professional cooks and those for non-cooks or beginners. But authors Max & Eli Sussman merged the two categories in their  new cookbook: Freshman in the Kitchen. Recipes are created to instruct “from Clueless Cook to Creative Chef.” They don’t just tell you to boil the egg, they teach you to do it.

This cookbook has everything I look for in a cookbook: pictures, simple instructions, and binding that stays open easily. Its also printed on a glossier stock so that it wipes clean easily from spills and splashes. And I love that they give you tips to alter your recipes. Because I always alter my recipes.

The introduction helps readers set up their kitchen and pantry and teaches you how to grocery shop and save money. It also introduces you to the authors, brothers who learned to cook from scratch in the kitchen with their mother and now cook professionally.

As soon as I opened the cookbook, I knew I wanted to make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie, which I found to be a great, simple snack. This week I’ll be making eggplant parmesan, from scratch. I love that throughout the book cooking terms are defined and tips, like “leftover tips” and “Sophisticated Crowd-Pleaser Tip” (as found on the page for Eggplant Parmesan), teach you as you cook. Plus there are friendly little notes about the foods from the authors.

I’m planning to gift Freshman in the Kitchen to a few members of the family. Especially the one who calls, like I did in the past, for instructions on boiling an egg and for a definition of braising. Its all in the book.

Freshman in the Kitchen was provided as a sample for review on MWS.

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