Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

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April 30, 2010 by Flora Dawn

I recently took a gluten free cooking class and I noticed that the majority of the attendees were not familiar with cooking. They were forced to learn to cook because of their new dietary restrictions.

I, on the other hand, have been cooking since I was a kid because my mom worked nights. I was “chief cook and bottle washer” as my grandma would say.

I have over 75 cookbooks and at any given time I have two or three checked out from the library as well. I tend to read them cover to cover, devouring all the information.

Out of all the cookbooks I have read or owned, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook would be top on my list as a must have for a home cook.

As with all things Martha, it is well designed and organized, with beautiful illustrations and recipes that will exceed your expectations.

I must confess I own more Martha books than any one person should. I just love what Martha has done for homemaking. She has elevated it to an art form and all of her books reflect this. And although they are beautiful, they aren’t coffee table books, these are manuals to use.

She has a knack for taking tasks and breaking them down step-by-step, so that even the beginner is not overwhelmed. This goes for everything she teaches: gardening, crafts, decorating, and yes, even cooking.

This book perfectly illustrates this ability. The directions are very clear, the photos beautiful, and the book well-organized.

The chapters will guide you through an entire course on cooking; everything you really need to know and possibly even more.

Whereas most cookbook give you just recipes, this book give you 200+ recipes while simultaneously teaching you the skills and techniques required to cook them.

Everything from necessary equipment to how to butterfly a leg of lamb is included. How to choose produce or cook dried beans, it’s in here.

These tips, recipes, and techniques will most likely save you time, energy, and money in the long run. And hopefully save you the frustration that comes trying to learn cooking from trial and error.

This seriously has the answers to almost any cooking question I think you could ever have, and chances are, with over 500 photographs, there will be a photo too.

For those of us cooking gluten free, there are some adaptations that will be needed and few recipes that obviously won’t work at all. Like the section on making pasta and many of the desserts.

But don’t despair. The pasta sauces and fillings are still classic, and many of the desserts, such as custards and creme brulee are naturally gluten free.


  • Beautiful full-color photography
  • Step by step instructions
  • Fabulous recipes for classic dishes
  • Definitions for all those cooking terms no one can remember


  • Some might complain the recipes are a bit complicated for a true beginner; but I think the book does a great job of walking you through the steps
  • This is a big cookbook, and it doesn’t necessarily lay flat when you are trying to use it

In a nutshell:

I purchased this book to teach my teenage daughter kitchen skills. However, even after all my years of cooking, I find I am constantly pulling this book off the shelf and referring to it.

If you need a really good reference cookbook or a great gift for Mom or a new bride, I think there could be no better choice then Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook.


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