Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,020 ratings  ·  58 reviews
How many minutes should you cook green beans? Is it better to steam them or to boil them?
What are the right proportions for a vinaigrette?
How do you skim off fat?
What is the perfect way to roast a chicken?

Julia Child gave us extensive answers to all these questions–and so many more–in the masterly books she published over the course of her career. But which one do you turn...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published (first published 2000)
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Steven Peterson
Julia Child describes the focus of the book thus (Page ix): So often you can be in the midst of cooking and you just can't remember whether that leg of lamb should roast in a 325 degree or a 350 degree oven. . .This book aims to give quick snappy answers to many of these questions."

Chapters within this book include: Soup and sauces; Salads and dressings; Vegetables; Meats, poultry, and fish; Egg cookery; Breads, crepes, and tartes; Cakes and cookies; Kitchen equipment and definitions.

Examples of...more
Bailey
This book is basically a crash-course in making delectable treats for those who might be too intimidated by the behemoth that is Mastering the Art of French Cooking, kitchen novices, or people who want to brush up on their kitchen skills. Not all of the recipes are simple, but she provides a good amount of detail and there really isn't a lot of questioning the methods - they're straightforward and understandable. I like that she sometimes explains why a certain technique works scientifically, be...more
CJ
A small book, a little over 100 pages, packed with 'a lifetime of cooking' expertise of Julia Child. The book arose from Julia's looseleaf notebook she kept in her kitchen. A Cliff Notes, as it were.

The book assumes the reader knows his/her way around a stove and has a reasonably furnished kitchen. What is does is present a 'master receipe' and several different ways to change it to be something else that is wonderful. More than once, Julia tells the reader to consult a larger cookbook for more...more
Trina
I just love Julia Child, as you read her recipes you can see that she has a REAL love for food. You know that every recipe she wrote she injoyed it. She wouldnt write anything that she wouldnt eat herself. And you dont see that with much cheifs this days. God Bless Julia Child.
Kathleen
a great book for a beginner cook who wants to learn a few very adaptable recipes and techniques to start out with. if you're an experienced cook and already have a lot of cookbooks, this one probably isn't so useful for you.
BespectacledBookGirl
For someone who doesn't know super basic things about cooking (what even is an endive? how do you cook meats? it's possible to MAKE mayonnaise??) such as myself, I'd recommend grabbing a physical copy of this to keep in your kitchen as a quick reference. Split up into the basic meal types--ie, salads, fish, eggs, etc--the book has Julia's basic, go-to recipe for everything, provides a few variations, and includes one slightly more elaborate recipe per section. Favorite part = sauces! And the pro...more
LJ
Hardy har har. I love Julia Child, I really do. I think her "Mastering the Art..." cookbooks belong in a museum, let alone in the kitchens of people everywhere. However, let's not kid ourselves that ANY of this is simple or basic. For pete's sake her recipe for making hard boiled eggs is almost a page long! That being said, she is still adorable and her love affair with food is definitely admirable, if not contagious.

So this book is not the "cooking for dummies" that I thought it might be, but t...more
Nichole
Loved the simplicity of this book. Julia provides some easier "Master Recipes" but reminds us that once you know a recipe, you don't necessarily need to glance at it every time you prepare a dish.

I highlighted a lot of "master recipes' and some beautiful take homes that only Julia:

Once you have mastered a technique you hardly need look at a recipe again, and can take off on your own.

When you have a few cake formulas and filling ideas in your repertoire, you will find that it’s pretty much an ass...more
Terry
This book is not a standard cookbook. It does provide recipes, but is not meant to provide exhaustive collections for every dish and variation. Rather, it emphasizes a way of cooking based on mastery of fundamentals, or as she puts it, a small set of master recipes. Using a master recipe as the basis, one can eventually developing a familiarity and ease with technique for whole classes dishes derived from the master recipe, leading perhaps to improvisation and certainly improvement of one's cook...more
Ashley
This is a useful book, although I imagine it was more useful 10 years ago before the internet was so prevalent. It has some basic recipes, but also lots of hints and tips from JC. I think, though, that many of her hints are easily available online now. I got this book for free from Borders when they launched their e-Reader iPhone app, and I'm glad I flipped through it, but unless you cook a lot of fancy/french food, it's probably not worth paying a lot of money for.
Nomad
VERY good for the home cook. All the tips are arranged in a logical manner and the recipies that make the best demonstrations of said tips are immediately following the tips.

I think this is a kitchen essential. No home chef should be without it. It doesn't matter if you want to cook French food or if you would rather skip Ms. Child's other cookbooks. This is all solid cooking advice that defies genre. Well worth the money.
Kimberly
Even if you skim this book and pick up one or two techniques you hadn't previously employed, you will be a better cook for it. sometimes I think we tend to do too much to things; cook them too long, season them too much, instead of preparing good, fresh items simply and letting their own character shine. This book teaches you how to do that in a matter of fact, accessible way.
Janet
Julia Child's own reader's digest version of her cookbooks. Think of them as "reminder recipes." Chocolate ganache is 1 cup heavy cream and 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, BUT if you've made ganache before, you know it needs to be attended to. Also Alton Brown's method for french fries is much better. But a nice little book to have around, and it doesn't take up much shelf space.
Tabitha Beck
While reading other books on French lifestyles, I became ...enamored of the food described...of the meals described in several different books...American fare ... and American ... processes...seem to me to be so sadly lacking...I decided to see what I could learn from the best of all chef's...not to knock Gordon Ramsay...plus, his books are next on my list anyway...
Heather Marks
Julia is always great, and so funny. I was hoping for more pithy commentary, not just a how-to. Very useful, especially for someone who really likes to cook, but I like my cookbooks (and how-to books, for that matter) to have lots of pictures - and this one doesn't! Otherwise a 4 (if they added lots of glossy photos).
Julianna
Aug 14, 2009 Julianna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Candance
Recommended to Julianna by: LPB
I liked that this book was a summary of basic tips from all her PBS shows. I always wondered when I watched chefs on TV poke meat how they could tell it's doneness. Because of this book I learned exactly how to tell(how it has been cooked rare,med.,well)by poking it with my fingers. A lot of practical tips for the home cook.
TallOrangeAngry
If you've never had anyone take you under their wing and show you the basics of how to cook, this book will be invaluable to you. Full of little tricks and advice that you'd probably never come to on your own.... but would be obvious to anyone who grew up in a family that cooks.

I love it.
Katherine
I didn't use this much the first few years I had it because I still needed to get more comfortable with the basics. Now I find a great resource for understanding the details involved in making something the best way, not just the okay way.
 Barb Bailey
Who could possibly go wrong using Julia Childs recipes? She is a Master Chef! And this book has lots of helpful kitchen hnits as well as good basic recipes like Julia's Tuna Salad. I have tried many of her excellent recipes.
Lbaker
A book published in 2000, showcasing Julia Child's lifetime of cooking experience. Lovely photos from her seven cooking series, teaching basics and advanced recipes to the reader. I particularly love the egg cookery chapter.

Vickie
I like this smaller Julia book. After watching "Julie & Julia" I was inspired to make one of her recipes, but I was not ready to Master the Art of French Cooking, so I'm thankful I found this one at the library.
Becca
I really mostly browsed in this book instead of reading. It is full of Julia's advice on how to do all sorts of things in the kitchen. I didn't try any of it, so I can't comment on whether it was good advice or not.
Matthew
Ohhhh MAN! Everyone needs read this book! Gives you all the basics so you can be one of those cooks that improvises and throws ingredients around like its no big deal, without a recipe in sight.
Becky
She makes her own crème fraîche, too! Only she uses sour cream, instead of buttermilk, in heavy cream. I'll have to give that a try. And I'll keep this book in my kitchen.
Elizabeth
SO useful. So many tips and tricks and explanations for how things work! I love how she writes - it's like you are her friend and in her kitchen (with the wine!).
Tonette
I'll keep this on the currently reading shelf because I pull it out now and again. I like Julia's positive attitude, seriousness about cuisine and irreverent process.
Nathaniel
This book has the best tips for cooking, as well as tips for cleaning and general ease in the kitchen. A necessary addition to any cook's library.
Kim Greenhalgh
Julia Child is a culinary treasure. Her insight and recipes stand the test of time. This is a great reference with some very useful recipes.
Meghan
A bunch of very basic techniques and recipes you can adapt to fit your fancy and your fridge. Better than a recipe book, it tells you how to cook.
Lee Ecklund
This is a handy book to keep nearby for reference about commonly used recipes, and cookinginformation, like times and oven temps.
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Julia Child was a famous American cook, author, and television personality who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her many cookbooks and television programs. Her most famous works are the 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, showcasing her sui generis television persona, the series The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

More about Julia Child...
My Life in France Mastering the Art of French Cooking The Way to Cook Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol. 2

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“Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again” 40 likes
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