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The I Hate to Cook Book

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  83 reviews
"There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don't cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind...The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from m ...more
Hardcover, Updated & Revised 50th Anniversary Edition, 224 pages
Published July 26th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1960)
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Community Reviews

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Rachelfm
This rating is based entirely upon the writing and not upon the recipes. I'm not sure I have any intention of ever trying any of these recipes*, but would sort of love for a book group to read it and take them all pot-luck.

Essentially, Peg Bracken was the Amy Sedaris of 1960. She was the woman who thought it was your god-given right to have a cocktail during cocktail hour and not be fussing in the kitchen. Bracken acknowledges that many women don't like to cook, and that especially for a mother
...more
Shesten
The Story: This cookbook was first published in 1960. You know, before cholesterol was counted and before we knew better than to serve each baked potato with a stick of butter. This fiftieth anniversary edition is just as delightful as the first edition, with a Foreward by Jo Bracken, Peg's daughter. The book itself witty and funny, and perfect for the a)college student who is just learning to cook; b) newlywed who focused all of his/her time on lecture and not enough time on lab; c) the busy pr ...more
Vy
I used to roll my eyes at the idea of actually reading a cookbook and not just using it as a reference for recipes, but *this* one is worth reading! The author is funny and down-to-earth. Sure, the book is dated in a lot of ways (I don't think I can find an ice cube tray where the sections can be removed, and now that there are hair elastics that don't pull, I don't think I could convince my daughter to use a pipe cleaner for her ponytails). That's part of the charm, though. It's a nice little s ...more
Haley Mathiot
The I Hate to Cook Book starts off like this:

Some women, it is said, love to cook.
This book is not for them.

Basically, this book is for me.

The I Hate To Cook Book has tons of great recipes sorted in to simplistic chapters, each focusing on another important aspect of the chore of cooking: how to use leftovers, soups, salads, fancy meals for guests, last minute meals, cooking tips etc.

I loved the recipes in this book, and I actually (almost) want to get into a kitchen and try some of them out (
...more
Sterlingcindysu
I'm old enough that I actually have one of her receipes (stayabed stew) clipped from Women's Day or some such magazine from the early 80's!

This book is a time capsule--there's no mention of microwaves, I think butter is an ingredient in every dish and she thinks the perfect desert is an Irish coffee. (She doesn't repeat the old joke, what's the perfect food? Irish coffee because it has the 4 food groups, caffeine, sugar, fat and alcohol!) It's written during the time when kids' birthday parties
...more
Marsha
Do you HATE to cook? Would you rather do almost anything else, like paint the garage or weed the lawn? Do you resent having to slave over a hot stove night after night after night? Whatever happened to women’s lib, anyway?

Okay, maybe in the 21st century, women don’t always have to cook. But in 1960 the burden of housework still fell on women’s shoulders for the most part and Peg Bracken was fed up with it. Why would she want to waste hours on some gourmet meal her family wasn’t going to appreci
...more
Gigi
One of the funniest reads I have had in a while. This is quick and enjoyable. I guess I should give it 4 since I won't make 95% of the recipes, but I just had such a good time reading it. Plus, there is this cool section at the end with all these tips that are like gold nuggets of household wisdom. A witty time capsule that still holds up today. However, I think many of these recipes are the reason my husband shutters at the word "casserole".

Update: I've made the Elevator Lady Spice Cookies twic
...more
Elise Noorda
Since I love to cook, and wonder about people who don't, I had to pick up this book when I saw it at the library. I actually kind of liked it, although the recipes didn't do much for me. What I liked was the idea that although she doesn't naturally like to cook, she recognizes that it is an important part of family life, and therefore something she needs to do. Many days I feel like that, too. A very funny section about how to sound like you are a cook. "Fatigue my lettuce" - I think the author ...more
Library-KAT
6. An emotion or mood:



★ ★

I can comprehend why when this was originally written in 1960 it was such a hit..... What could be better than Traditional 60's comfort food..... All those canned goods (soups, condiments, veggies, & grains) mixed together or layered with the main ingredient (meat) in one pot, casserole/baking dish set to cook for 1-3 hours.... You walk away, finish up what-ever else you have to do, come back & serve it up nice hot & fresh to your happy family!

BLEECH, I woul
...more
Pam
Enjoyed the commentary, not the recipes. Peg Bracken is the 1960's version of Rachael Ray or Sandra Lee - get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as you can. Too much condensed soup, bouillion cubes, etc. for my taste. But it's good to know that there were some women in that era that wanted to bust out of the kitchen and get to the party!
Vicki
I used to love to cook and bake. Now I only do it to keep us from starving and going broke from eating out.

This book is full of recipes that were popular in the 60’s. The book has many recipes that are quick, easy and have just a few ingredients, which are my favorite kinds of recipes. Many of the recipes use a “cream of” soup, but it would be easy to use healthier choices like “low fat” and “low sodium”, if you’re eating healthy. To make this cookbook even better, there is humor spread througho
...more
Janice
Sep 28, 2013 Janice added it
LOVE IT! And all her other books. Hate to cook, hat to cook cookbook, hate to housecleaning, her travel book. If she has other books, I need to read them, too!
Jennifer Slone
I just found this too antiquated to be useful, despite recent reviews I've seen. Originally published in 1960, the 50th anniversary edition was released in 2010. Too much cream of mushroom/onion/celery/chicken/shrimp, creamed corn, heavy cream, sour cream, etc. I swear, every recipe revolved around cream. The 75 household tips at the end were interesting, despite this one, which really dated the book and turned my stomach: "36. If you want to lose weight, paste a picture of a pretty, slender gir ...more
Jennifer
From My Blog...[return][return]On July 26, 2010, the 50th Anniversary edition of Peg Bracken’s classic, The I Hate To Cook Book will be released. Bracken’s book would have made for a brilliant wedding gift for me twenty years ago, yet is one I am thrilled to own and will be using on a daily basis from now on. Let me be upfront, I am an extremely lazy cook, which is to say I avoid it at all costs much to the delight of the takeaway places near me. When I heard the title I just knew I had to give ...more
Christine
I had never heard of the original I Hate to Cook Book let alone read it so this was a whole new experience for me. Does that make me uninformed? Probably. But, cooking isn't something I care to be informed about.

I Hate to Cook Book (50th anniversary edition) is a lovely book with both quirky commentary and easy recipes designed to get women out of the kitchen and into life.

You probably aren't going to win any awards for low-sodium cooking or avoid using processed foods but the recipes are quick,
...more
Mary (BookHounds)
I thought this book looked familiar and sure enough, my mom gave me a copy when I first got married 25 years ago. I have been using the Turkey Divan recipe for years (I substitute chicken) as a lazy way to make a casserole for pot lucks. I finally sat down and read through the whole thing last night. Not only are the recipes wonderful, easy and elegant, but I never noticed the humor there as well--you have to READ this cookbook for the off-the-cuff humor that hasn't dimmed in time. I found mysel ...more
Eileen Souza
I never thought I would fall in love with a cook book, but this is the one!

When I told my brother about this book, he said I should wait around for the soon to be released 'I'm too Dangerous to Cook Book'. In his defense, I have had my arm trapped in the oven door (the burn mark is hardly noticeable), had my shirt catch fire while attempting to spray a pan, stuck my fingers into boiling sugar at that perfect moment when it hardened so fast that my fingers were trapped in the molten pan, and turn
...more
Wendy
Won this through first reads!

To be fair, I should say that I might not be the intended audience for this book. While the title really caught my attention, in truth I do not HATE to cook. But sometimes I hate HAVING to cook, so I figured there would be some nice tips and tricks and fast recipes in the book.

The problem is that most of these recipes are just not appealing to me. It is the 50th anniversary edition of the book, and the ideas and ingredients in it seem dated despite the cover proclaim
...more
Chrissy
Let me start by saying I Don't Hate To Cook it does rank a little higher on my list right above going to the dentist and a couple above getting my yearly physical. I love when the meal hits the table it makes me feel good that I made the meal for my family. I just hate the hours in the kitchen to get to that spot.

I was so glad to receive this cookbook for review. Finally a cookbook that sounds like it was written just for me. I am always looking for not only healthy recipes to fix my family but
...more
Gwen
Jun 10, 2013 Gwen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
Surprisingly entertaining cookbook with fascinating insights into midcentury American food. Most of these recipes I would never actually make, but I love reading cookbooks for their historical and cultural value.

Food in 1960s America:

--I was surprised to learn that curry powder was considered a staple of Bracken's pantry, even in 1960!(8)
--As I learned from my reading of Meet the Austins, lamb (14-17) was a very popular meat in the 1960s, and I wonder what political/economic forces made lamb vir
...more
Margaret
I am really loving this cookbook. In passing when I told my mother about it, she asked if it was the old Peg Bracken I Hate to Cook Book or if it was a new, but similar idea. I was delighted to discover that some of her favorite staple recipes actually originated from this book. I do not really hate cooking per say, but it has been a troublesome thing up until lately. This book has given me some great inspiration and guidance in getting back in the kitchen and not just giving up (again). The per ...more
Desiree
I had received this book from Goodreads First Reads for free.
This book has a very charming quality to it; the introductions and prose has a sense of humor and is inviting to the readers. Being able to read a book comfortably means the reader will not stress over the small details, and be able to succeed in creating wonderful dishes. The recipes in this book did take me by surprise however. I was expecting very simple, plain, boring and tasteless dishes; the results were quite the opposite. the
...more
Kathleen
when i was little, my mom used to talk about how when she first married my father and started cooking, she learned from this book. i am grateful and very happy to say that my mom became quite the cook and did not (with one exception) cook from this book.

this book was very interesting as a snapshot of late 50s, early 60s culture. there were chapters on things like ladies luncheons and multiple mentions of the cocktail hour, that however charming, aren't really a part of my modern life. this book
...more
Kathy Smuz
Probably the first cookbook I ever read all the way through, and even as a teenager in the 1970s I found it incredibly easy to follow the recipes. What I liked even better was Peg Bracken's slightly snarky comments throughout and her no-nonsense, no-airs approach to cooking. I still think her Cock-Eyed Cake is the best chocolate cake EVER!
Janeen
Simple recipes with surprisingly good turnout (I would replace the cookie in Chewy-fudgy cookies to brownie = delicious!). Also, some good tips to simplify recipes and not stress out over the gourmet ingredients.
Laura
This cookbook is not for me. I am not a fan of curry, which is an ingredient found in many of the recipes. I'm also not a fan of drenching everything in butter or heavy cream. I eat a relatively low fat diet and when the author is telling me too add sugar to my vegetables after soaking them in butter, I just have to pass. If you want more flavor all you need is a little olive oil and a dash of seasoning. Ingredients like American cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, whole milk, heavy/sour cream, and butte ...more
Pat
"The 50th Anniversary Edition of the American Classic" updated and revised by the original author's daughter, Jo Bracken. The 1960 original is more evident in this edition than any updates, leading to an unflattering look at the 1950's in the kitchen for some "stay-at-home" moms. Yes, there are recipes that are fairly simple...healthy is often another matter. Peg Bracken was the "Erma Bombeck" of an earlier era and the daughter,Jo, attempted to honor the mother with this edition.

Five stars go t
...more
Kristen Northrup
I actually love to cook, but I still love this book. All I have to do is substitute cleaning for cooking in order to totally relate to and appreciate the saucy, rebellious attitude. And the nice thing about recipes like this is that they're quick/easy for anyone, which is useful for those evenings when energy flags. People ate a lot more sherry and olives and artichokes then. And chutney, remarkably. Apparently it went away and then came back. I think the children's birthday party chapter would ...more
Mary
she is funny. The recipes are quite fifties. But a fun read.
Alison
I was delighted to win this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Thanks to the publishers' generosity, I am now the proud owner of a book I had already read and planned to cook from, but didn't already own. (Yes, I am weird enough to read cookbooks for fun.) Unlike most cookbooks, the commentary is hilarious. I am planning to start cooking from it soon, since I can always use more easy recipes.

(I have been provided a complimentary copy of the I Hate To Cook Cookbook for review from The Hach
...more
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The Compleat I Hate to Cook Book The I Hate to Housekeep Book A Window over the Sink: A Memoir Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book I Try to Behave Myself. Peg Bracken's Etiquette Book

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“There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don't cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind...The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest." - Peg Bracken” 4 likes
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