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Thread: What kind of cookbook do you want?

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    giz
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    What kind of cookbook do you want?

    I've been thinking of writing a cookbook for a long time, got a lot of recipes plus a lot of love for both cooking, and reading cookbooks. To get published though, I probably need a niche. I've got a few ideas, but was wondering what all you fellow readers would like to see? Anyone else out there either read a lot of cookbooks, or can't cook but know what they'd like to see published? Thanks.

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    Obama '08! Callie's Avatar
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    I think Rachael Ray is brillant with her "30 minute meal" cookbooks!

    I'd love to see a cookbook with lots of recipes in it, that don't involve alot of fancy cooking techniques, but still delicious meals that fill you up. Plus meals that are all types of food. Italian, French, Meditterian, Spanish, Cajun, all in one cookbook.

    Maybe even a cookbook that has recipes for cooking for like 2 people. I'm young, no family, and usually only cook for myself, or my boyfriend or bestfriend and myself. I bet theres some single people out there that agree with me on this.

    Just some ideas

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    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Callie, I've seen cookbooks geared toward single people, with recipes sized for one person. But I agree, it's an underserved market, because I've only seen those once or twice.
    Honestly, the cookbooks I use the most are either all-encompassing "how to cook everything" Betty Crocker types, or a binder that I have that's a compilation of my mother's recipes . However, I'd love a cookbook that told me how to make simple, easy -- i.e. not involving a lot of ingredients that I wouldn't normally have on hand -- ethnic dishes, like Greek, Italian or Mexican. I have an Italian cookbook that involves all kinds of odd ingredients that are hard to find -- I never use it.
    I've never seen a cookbook that compiles a lot of different ethnic foods into one book. Which is what Callie suggested. I'd like that.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

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    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    When I buy cookbooks, I look for two things: 1) good pictures of the finished product and maybe some pics of 'how to' for trickier processes and 2) recipes that contain ingredients that I don't have to go to 4 grocery stores for. I have a couple of these great finger food/party food recipes, but most recipes have really specific hard-to-get ingredients. I can't always make it across town to the international store.

    My absolute favorite 'cookbook' isn't a cookbook per se, but a cooking magazine. It's called "Cuisine at Home" and it has really awesome instructions even for very complicated things. So, maybe if you found a niche, you could also have an instructions section for that niche...ex: cooking for two book, so you show how to best freeze left overs to be used as take-to-work lunches. Oh, that gives me an idea: I'd buy in a minute a book of recipes that had something you could make on a Sunday and package up and take to work in individual servings for the rest of the week, things that traveled well and did well being reheated in crappy office microwaves.

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    Under Investigation Tirlittan's Avatar
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    I like cookbooks that are just fun to read, fun to watch (I appreciate good layouts with a twist) and very specialized. Or cookbooks full of good useful recipes. That is, my favorite cookbooks are Moosewood "series", "Bread Alone" (nothing but awesome bread recipes), and this one really fun cookbook a group of Finnish stewardesses/mom's put together called something like "the cookbook for one handed people" (referring to carrying a child under one arm, trying to get everything else done with the other...). This last mentioned cookbook is fun to read, plus it has super easy (not too many ingredients), super good everyday foods. It is not very long (only 140 pages), but then again it is the one cookbook I could not live without, I actually do use it, and it is the only cookbook I have ever bought for anyone as present.

    Lots of cookbooks I just like to read, but never cook a thing from them. I do not particularly like cookbooks filled with boring overly set up pictures of the dishes. I do not care for actual photograps, the dishes never end up looking like the photos anyway . Drawings and decorations on pages are more fun. Sometimes photograps are ok, for example explaining a complex cooking method, but not too much.
    ps. This is just my opinion in the matter.

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    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    I want what we all want: a cookbook filled with delicious 4 ingredient recipes to make in under 30 minutes that can be whipped up at a moments notice. Not asking for much, is it?

    For some reason I tend to gravitate toward "home cooking" recipe books - I don't know why, since that's all I usually cook anway - I should know how to cook it all by now.
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    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    I have two cookbooks that I absolutely love using: 1) From Simple To Spectacular- Begins with a basic recipe and as you get handier in the kitchen the basic recipe turns into three or four variations of that from medium to difficult 2) The Bread Bible- pretty much the greatest all in one bread book.

    I agree with Lucy about the "single" scene. Some of us single people like to dabble around as well.

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    Right Here, Right Now Britannia's Avatar
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    I like cookbooks that just encourage you to throw stuff together...having said that...Nigella Lawson's cookbook - fantastic!
    It's a fair cop guv - you got me bang to rights and no mistake!

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    giz
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    Wow! thanks so much you guys. This is why I need input. I live in a mid-sized city, so finding ingredients is never a problem. Our grocery store, for example, has fresh okra, cactus pads, freshly made sushi, about five kinds of rice, poppadoms, a kosher section. Etc. So it never would have occurred to me to do ethnic with more easily found ingredients. Plus, when the grocery store doesn't have something (had orange water, but no rose water for example) I love going to the specialty shops, but then not every has those shops, or it's outside of their comfort zone, or they might not want a cupboard full of stuff they only use once. So that's a really good idea. I cook for a family, (mine), so I'm not sure I can revert to singles! I'm leaning toward baking, as that's my real love, and where I think I've got a contribution to make. Our youngest is in full-time school now, so I've got time to work on this. I'll let you know how it works out.

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    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    One of the cookbooks I especially appreciated running across was all about how to make (salvage) something edible even after blundering by adding an ingredient that shouldn't have been or using too much of one that was supposed to be included.

    Pictures in cookbooks don't move me, unless I'm just looking to gaze at creations I never seem capable of duplicating when following the directions.

    One of the problems I run across with most cookbooks is the author assumes (incorrectly in my case) that the reader already knows the basics backwards and forwards, understands and has applied the terminology and used the utensils that are being discussed.

    Carls Jr isn't just woofing with its "Without us, some men would starve" ad campaign.

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