"This book is designed to provide basic tips to help you prepare delicious and healthy foods for family and friends."

This volume delivers exactly what the title promises: a simple and easy-to-follow guide to cooking basic meals. More than just a recipe book, it provides advice and helpful tips on everything from selecting the best quality ingredients to storing food. The author appropriately describes the collection as a "playbook" in the subtitle. By focusing on simple processes and techniques, the volume encourages readers to feel confident in their playing and experimenting with cooking. It includes sections on kitchen safety and cleaning, cooking equipment, common ingredients, meal planning, and recipes for everything from main meals to snacks and ready-made mixes.

There is a certain elitism in many cookbooks, which often assumes levels of leisure time, know-how, and access to expensive ingredients that not everyone can enjoy. The strongest aspect of this book is the focus on simplicity that avoids such elitism. There are no fancy or exotic ingredients, and the recipes do not require difficult or complicated techniques. Instead, each recipe uses basic staples and fresh produce accompanied by simple, easy instructions. The result is a highly accessible set of recipes that allow anyone to cook from scratch. Written by a professional home economics teacher, the emphasis is on instruction rather than impressiveness, making this an ideal cookbook for anyone intimidated by the idea of cooking for themselves for the first time. Best of all, these are recipes for meals people will actually want to eat. From cinnamon pecan bread to a cheeseburger sandwich bake, these recipes represent comfort and healthy home cooking.

Winner in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award Home Category.

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