Sunday, September 1, 2013

Review: College Cooks

Title: College Cooks: Simple Ingredients, Easy Recipes, Good Tasting Food
Author: T.C. Stephan
Editor: Danielle Carlson
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 1st 2012
Source: Netgalley/Cool Eatz Publishing


Four stars.

This cookbook is geared for readers who are either going off to college for the first time, or are at least on their own for the first time. Using the back story of how these six collegiate friends started learning to prepare food for themselves, this is a lightly written collection of simple, easy to follow but nonetheless delicious recipes for those of us who are afraid of burning or slaughtering something as simple as Ramen.

Even in the introductory pages, there is a lot of useful information. One of the things that I thought was a good idea was the recipe key, or the little symbols posted at the top of the recipe that easily identify it as cheap, vegetarian, and things of that nature. They also go over measurements, how long it's safe to keep certain foods, how long to cook meats, culinary terminology and even a section on microwave safety. All in all, the intro is a great 101 class for those who don't frequent cooking.

And then of course, there are the recipes. They're divided into categories: Breakfast, Sandwiches, Salads, Soups, Pastas, Dinner Entrees, Roasted Chicken (10 Meals), Side Dishes/Veggies, Desserts, Salad Dressings, Dips/Spreads, Sauces, and Marinades. There's also a final section of sample menus. They vary from easier dishes, such as pancakes and BLTs, to more laborious foods like lamb chops and risotto. A picture is included of each recipe, which is a huge plus for me. I hate when I can't get a glimpse of the end result for some comparison.

The recipes are easy to follow and well written. They also do a great job of discussing how and when you can use your left overs to make a new meal. The book is also peppered with (no pun intended) tips and tricks on how to elevate or ease the cooking process.

As a college student myself, I have to say that this is a solid guide for those who are just realizing that they have to, in fact, learn to cook for themselves. I'll be keeping this nearby on days where I can't be bothered to go to the dining hall. I did find a few of these recipes to be too simple, but I'm biased. I'm not new to the kitchen, and I respect that a lot of people who'd pick this up are. So if you're moved out and wanting to learn how to make tasty, simple things so you don't starve or overdose on Ramen, this is the book for you. If you're a well seasoned cook, there's no need for this one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Cool Eatz Publishing for my copy.


  1. This sounds awesome, I'll definitely pick up a copy for myself!

  2. Oh I've never seen a review for a cookbook before! This one sounds great, I'm glad you liked it a lot. I'm going to college in two years so I'll need to learn how to cook. Thanks for the wonderful review!

    1. This'll be a great starter for you then. Many ramen and microwave meals can be avoided, haha.

  3. I wish I'd had this when I first moved out on my own haha