The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart: A Cookbook (2024)


966 reviews29 followers

January 12, 2018

This cookbook has some really great recipes, some are a little exotic, many are classic, all involve simple ingredients and easy to follow directions. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because there's only one picture for about every 4 or 5 recipes. Some of the most intriguing recipes I saw included Veal Osso Buco (which I've been dying to try ever since reading A Gentleman in Moscow), roasted carrots with cumin and coriander, pure corn soup, shrimp bisque, braised pearl onions with peas and bacon (am I the only one who loves pearl onions?), roasted asparagus salad with chopped egg and cayenne (similar to Martha Stewart's mimosa asparagus which is one of my favs), and not to even mention any of the desserts, cookies, cakes and fruit.



85 reviews64 followers


July 4, 2021

I cooked quite the disaster from this: a recipe for eggplant parmesan. Despite my alarm bells telling me otherwise, I did the whole "cook the recipe as it was written before you change it" method, and I'm lucky my boyfriend ever let me cook again. The eggplants were fine, but the sauce that came with it was 50% onion, and I definitely should not have added 2 full tablespoons of red pepper flakes so confidently.

Following recipes requires a certain level of trust, and I hate that the first thing I cooked did me so dirty. There are other things in here that sound interesting, but I'm not sure I'll be giving this book a second shot.

Edit (7/3/21): I made another recipe from this, Easy Beer Bread. This is a cozy, homey bread that's good toasted with butter and honey. She says it's a good sandwich bread, but mine didn't rise much so I can't imagine using it for that. It could be my baking powder is bad. This might be worth remaking regardless!


Robyn Schultz (ladyrobyns)

299 reviews7 followers

February 12, 2018

Tons of great recipes! I shouldn't have to worry about what to cook for a long time. Just found a Kindle edition for $2.99. Score! Looking forward to hitting the kitchen.

    cookbook non-fiction


350 reviews6 followers

May 10, 2019

This book was chosen as the cookbook for a Physician Moms Cook group challenge. For the last 6 months we have cooked from it. Personally I have cooked at least 2 recipes from every chapter and with my colleagues I think we cooked at least 75% of the book. That said, we found the book lacking in consistency- some flavors too strong, some VERY salty- some others excellent and repeatable. I don’t think it was very well edited with ocasional missing instructions for ingredients listed and once again mistakes in the amount of salt called for. Did we expect more from this famous chef? Yes, yes we did. Are there some recipes that we’d make again and again in our home kitchens? Again, the answer is yes.


206 reviews15 followers

October 25, 2017

This cookbook is one of the best and I haven’t even made anything from it yet. I bet I will cook 80% of the recipes - from the Pure Corn Soup to the Lemon Take. Every recipe is presented with very clear directions and personal notes and tips all of which are so often missing in most of today’s cookbooks. Most of the recipes are for my kind of comfort foods like Cacciatore, Lasagne and Crispy Potato Cake. Most are easy enough for a weeknight meal but special enough for company. I can’t wait to get started!

Honest Mabel

905 reviews38 followers

December 7, 2022

it’s not bad

I would definitely borrow it again. There are several recipes I want to try. But they are not recipes I would use regularly.



738 reviews64 followers

October 22, 2018

I love this cookbook! Guarnaschelli really knows how to put a dish together, and this cookbook has a great selection of soups (my favorite), main dishes, desserts, and sides- every one that I tried I thoroughly enjoyed. There was also a solid selection of flavors ranging from spicier chicken dishes to hearty root vegetable soups. Plus, most of them were fairly easy and there were not a lot of difficult to find ingredients. I know I'm gonna be making quite a few of these recipes again this autumn!

    2018-favorites cookbooks-and-food nonfiction
February 19, 2018

I read all of this book— from the interesting introduction to the delicious co*cktails at the end. There are some wonderful recipes in this detailed volume.

I bought the Kindle version ($2.99 versus about $25 for the hardcover book), and I couldn’t be more pleased.


321 reviews11 followers

May 5, 2021

This book was a simple introduction to cuisine with complex flavors. I will make several of the recipes soon, especially the mushroom ones and her dad’s lemon chicken. Great pictures and easy to follow instructions and techniques.



267 reviews

November 13, 2017

An eclectic mix of American, Italian and Asian recipes haphazardly arranged by sometimes the ingredient (The Onion Family), sometimes by the meal (Soup for Dinner), sometimes by category (Sauces & Dressings) and sometimes by cooking method (One-Pot, Slow-Cooked Meals). Compared to other recipes I've seen, these classic recipes shouldn't be this complicated, but perhaps that's what makes them gourmet? Personally, I believe I shouldn't need active yeast, a pasta maker and a couple of free hours just to knead together a batch of cheese straws. These recipes are more like "Always Home, Lots of Time to Cook" than "Home Cook."

Jessica Hicks

330 reviews7 followers

October 3, 2020

I like her writing style and the pictures are great but I made 7 of these recipes and only liked 1! The chocolate cocoa cookies are amazing even when I made them gluten- and dairy-free.

Julie H.

1,453 reviews24 followers

November 13, 2022

My usual test for a prospective cookbook purchase is to flip randomly to pages and ask myself (1) would I want to eat that? (2) would I want to prepare that? (3) is the recipe well organized and reasonably easy to follow? (4) do text and image correspond? (nothing irks me more than to look at an image that clearly contains items absent from the list of ingredients) and (5) does it bring anything new to the party? Alex Guarnaschelli's The Home Cook ticks all those boxes and more! A couple of examples should suffice. Are you adding finely chopped red onion and red pepper flakes to your spanikopita hors d'oeuvres (the small ones you enjoy as snacks), parsnips to your carrot cake, or cayenne pepper to your creamy biscuits? Neither was I. That is, until now. After purchasing and sitting down for the page-by-page consideration, there is literally nothing in this book I wouldn't want to make or eat. And don't even get me started on the dips! This book is very nicely produced, well organized, and would make a lovely holiday gift to any of your home cook friends who, like me, may have a cookbook problem but will sincerely welcome creative spins on things their friends and family will greatly enjoy.



2,929 reviews259 followers

April 11, 2018

"I remember it distinctly: sandwiches made using portobello mushrooms as a stand-in for the bread."

This cookbook just wasn't what I was looking for.

While there are some great recipes for Italian food and for go-tos like spaghetti sauce I was surprised how run of the mill this book seemed to me. The book assumes that you have some knowledge of cooking and has a lot of "season to taste" so if you're working on your skills as a cook this might not be the place to start. I was also a little bit put off that these were the authors ideas of "easier" recipes now that she had children and some of them are still rather time intensive for cooking. The dishes are mostly themed and based on experiences in the author's life and each has a story about it. Also there's not pictures for each recipe - that is a must for me in a cook book.

It's not a bad variety, but as someone who doesn't eat seafood and was looking for staple recipes this didn't really fit my expectation.


1,805 reviews29 followers

October 24, 2017

I love watching Alex Guarnaschelli as a judge on Chopped or cooking as an Iron Chef. But, this cookbook is not geared toward professional chefs, it's geared toward The Home Cook, hence the title. It's broken down like a traditional cookbook by type of food - appetizer, soup, main dishes, etc. Almost everything seems really easy to make and nothing has a huge list of ingredients. Many of the dishes could be pulled together with things you already have in your pantry. There are definitely some recipes I'd like to try. Guarnaschelli hopes that this will be one of your go-to cookbooks that you pull out on a regular basis. This is definitely a cookbook worth checking out.



21 reviews

February 24, 2018

I have been reading cookbooks for years and leaving them off Goodreads. Stealth mode no more! I’ve decided that if I’m counting graphic novels now (I am), then I’m counting cookbooks. This was a great one. The foreword talks about the well-used cookbooks of author’s parents’ kitchen and how they shaped her life. It reminded me of when my dad wants a recipe of my mom’s and I’m able to tell him exactly what cookbook it’s in and what she changed about the recipe to make it taste the way he remembers. Thoroughly enjoyable read, and the last chapter is co*cktails. Sour cherry bourbon slush? Yes please.


2,116 reviews20 followers

January 12, 2018

I love watching Alex on the Foodnetwork, her food always looks so inventive and yummy. I was so excited about this book, but it was not set up in a good way. There were not enough pictures for the amount of recipes. All of the food sounds good, even the food items that I do not normally eat sounded really good. I just didn't like the set up and it seemed that with almost every recipe that there were an over abundance of ingredients. I guess that I wish it seemed more low brow friendly so to speak.


1,462 reviews2 followers

March 11, 2018

The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart is a little gem of a book. In some books the recipe story is condescending and trite. Here they are not. They are interesting, especially for those of us who 'know' Alex Guarnaschelli and her personality from the Food Network.

Will I ever know these recipes by heart? Not a chance. But I will enjoy them.

4 stars, mid B because many of the recipes are those with which I am already familiar and make for my family. Also, I guess I expected more Italian!



1,499 reviews

April 20, 2018

A large collection of recipes for the serious contemporary home cook. This is definitely not Betty Crocker cooking. I’ve tried the stuffed mushroom recipe and it was very good. I made note of a few others to try.

E-book note-One thing I did notice in the e-book version is the font color for the list of recipes at the beginning of each chapter is unreadable in the format I got from my library. I had to switch to the night reading mode to view it. Don’t know if it was my reader or what but thought I’d mention it for others who might have had a similar issue.


104 reviews3 followers

June 27, 2019

I'm a big fan of Alex Guarnaschelli. This is a great cookbook with a large variety of recipes. Nothing too exotic or hard to find. That being said, it's not one I see myself cooking from anytime soon. This is mostly due to the amount of time needed to prep and cook many of these recipes. Being a mom of three small children, I often need to get meals on the table in 30 minutes or less after working a 10 hour day. These would have been fun recipes to try back in my pre-children days, and maybe again when the kids are older.


868 reviews49 followers

January 23, 2018

I’ve made quite a few things out of here so far and they’ve all been delicious, and they were also all pretty easy. I love Alex Guarnaschelli on “Chopped” and I was hoping her cookbook wouldn’t be a disappointment- so many chefs put out “home cook” cookbooks that are anything but simple and require so much in both ingredients and money. This one advertises itself correctly. I’m glad to put it on my shelf.

Brianna Sowinski

771 reviews1 follower

January 24, 2018

I really liked this one, the recipes are formatted beautifully and are not too lengthy, almost all are one page. The introductions are well written and the flavor descriptions are enticing. The recipes are not overly complicated for a home cook, I saved quite a few to try and make. Almost all of the recipes are accompanied by a photograph which I appreciate. There is an whole chapter dedicated to mushrooms if that is your thing.


43 reviews

February 6, 2018

I bought this cookbook because it was January's selection in my cookbook club... And it's awesome. I honestly don't think I would have picked it up without the push from my club, and everything I've made from it is delicious! The ingredients are accessible, the recipes are written clearly and I really like the way the book is arranged as well. It's easy to find what I'm looking for! I highly recommend this one!


156 reviews3 followers

October 17, 2020

There are a lot of recipes to choose from here. Salads, dressings, deserts, sides, and mains are all covered. Not every recipe had a photo though. Some of the dishes require a little more work than I am willing to do. It’s a helpful book with many choices but not many of them appealed to me, unfortunately. Despite my large cookbook collection, I’m still a mess in the kitchen. These recipes might be a bit above my skill level. I’m still giving it 4 stars because I feel it’s a good resource.


806 reviews41 followers

December 3, 2017

Some nice recipes with good directions. I liked that Me. Guarnaschelli stated whether to use the paddle or whisk attachment with the stand mixer. I think that's often overlooked and definitely needed for a mediocre cook/baker. I'm not sure that all of these recipes are needed to be "known my heart" but most are pretty easy and interesting. I felt there could have been more photos.


2,190 reviews29 followers

January 19, 2018

As in all cook books I place on this list, I don't read all of the recipes in each book, but look over them and occasionally make a copy of one or two that I think I might use some day. This book had quite a few that sounded tasty, but it was heavy on the meats and fat, with many recipes including cream or other fat ingredients.


246 reviews1 follower

May 18, 2019

Like it a lot

I love Alex on Food Network so I looked forward to using this cookbook. Great recipes and sectioned really well but needs pictures. I am a visual person and there is one picture for every 10 recipes. I'll keep it but I have other books with similar recipes but with pictures.

Natalie Tasker

28 reviews1 follower

January 21, 2024

This one hit all of my cookbook requirements to stay on my shelf:
Easy to follow recipes, with subs for more “exotic” ingredients (or things that are more seasonal/locational), beautiful photography, well-written, and somewhat relatable.
It will join my “kitchen cookbooks” shelf & I can definitely see myself cooking a good handful of recipes frequently & trying a few handfuls more.


905 reviews

January 30, 2018

This book shows that a famous gourmet chef can share recipes that are useful and manageable for a novice at home! Lots of appealing choices here, with identifiable ingredients and simple prep. Nicely formatted, with most recipes on a single page, and photos where useful.

    2018 4-stars cookbook

Rachel Rogers

1,319 reviews7 followers

February 15, 2018

Haven't tried anything yet but the sheer number of recipes I want to try from my first read makes me like this book. At first I figured I was simply hungry, but then I read more after supper and the to be tried list grew. Looking forward to trying some of these!

Keri Murcray

1,013 reviews55 followers

January 22, 2019

This is a wonderful cookbook that will definitely be added to my most-used shelf. Delicious recipes for home cooking that are fairly simple yet very elegant. Something I will certainly turn to again and again. Excellent addition to my collection

The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart: A Cookbook (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5817

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.