Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Can't Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld

Inspired by the friends and family in her life who lament that they're failures in the kitchen (including her husband Jerry), Jessica Seinfeld set out to make cooking an endeavor that elicits as little anxiety as possible. In The Can't Cook Book, Seinfeld takes you by the hand, explaining what utensils and pantry staples you will need to be successful in the kitchen, then lets go of your hand to be your cheerleader through the daunting process of cooking actual meals for you and your family rather than just ordering take-out.

There are many cookbooks on the market that claim to teach non-cooks to become competent in the kitchen, but what makes Seinfeld's book stand out over all the others is the sarcastic wit that must come from being married to one of the most famous comedians in the world. I particularly love this passage:
And that humor continues throughout the entire book, with each recipe containing a DON'T PANIC mantra at the top of the page that basically tells readers, "I know you're going to see this part of the recipe and start to freak out, but here's why you can do this!" I particularly like the chili recipe's motivational speech:
As someone who considers herself more than just competent in the kitchen, I am not the main audience for The Can't Cook Book, but as someone who remembers what it was like to try to teach myself to cook (there were a couple years there where it seemed like I watched nothing but Food Network on TV), I know I would have appreciated a book like this "back in the day." Seinfeld has made the layout simple and easy to follow, and most importantly, fun to read.

The Can't Cook Book: 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld
Published: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Cookery
Audience: Adults
Disclosure: Library Copy


  1. This looks like a great gift for young people getting settled in their first apartments. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. Worth reading just for the humour. Another one that is fun is Marian Keyes, Saved by Cake. Cheers

  3. This looks like my type of cookbook :)

  4. What a fun book. I like the motivation for the chilli too- yes everyone can do that.

  5. That looks fun! What a great Christmas gift for a beginning cook!

  6. Perfect for young people striking out on their own or newlyweds lacking in skills! I like her sense of humor which probably comes in handy married to Jerry!

  7. haha this sounds fabulous, I'm a confident cook but I'd read this for the humour. Might buy it for one of my cooking challenged sons ;)

  8. I can imagine that there is quite the audience for this book, though, not at my house. I started cooking during girl guides as I wanted those badges and haven't stopped. Both of my kids grew up having home cooked meals and quickly realized that's what they wanted when they left home. Son sent messages all through college asking how to cook certain items. He does very well now as long as there is meat involved. Daughter has a different approach adding one casserole at a time. Thanks for introducing me to this book, it would be a great gift book.

  9. What a great premise for a cookbook - I know a couple of people this would make a great Xmas gift for.