Cookbook giveaway - Twelve Recipes

Twelve RecipesCal Peternell, chef of legendary San Francisco restaurant Chez Panisse, has always cooked for his family. However, when his oldest son was leaving for college, Peternell realized that while he prepared delicious meals for his family, he never taught them how to do it for themselves. This inspired him to not only teach his son how to cook, but also to write a cookbook, Twelve Recipes. You can learn more about Peternell's philosophy on home cooking in our author interview.

We're delighted to offer 10 copies of Twelve Recipes to EYB Members. Click on the contest below to view all entry options. One of the options is to answer the following question in the comments below:

What basic cooking technique do think people should learn first?

Please note that you must enter the comment after signing into Rafflecopter or your entry won't be counted. The contest ends December 5, 2014.


  • raechef1  on  11/7/2014 at 8:28 AM


  • Kerrey  on  11/7/2014 at 8:28 AM

    Oven roasting. It's hard to mess up, and the results are always good.

  • Titch  on  11/7/2014 at 8:35 AM

    How to boil an egg

  • sarahawker  on  11/7/2014 at 8:51 AM

    Making a Roux!

  • jammydodger  on  11/7/2014 at 9:00 AM

    Making soups and stews.

  • mskonieczny  on  11/7/2014 at 9:07 AM

    How to cook pasta :)

  • wester  on  11/7/2014 at 9:07 AM

    Making a salad - washing and drying (!) and cutting the vegetables and making a simple vinaigrette.

  • Bloominanglophile  on  11/7/2014 at 9:13 AM

    Not a "cooking" technique per se but tied to it--how to shop for food. Knowing growing seasons, where to source your food, and using your senses to help identify quality ingredients is crucial, IMHO. Start with great ingredients, and you're more than halfway there to a great meal!

  • lavenderashgrove  on  11/7/2014 at 9:19 AM

    How to saute.

  • sipa  on  11/7/2014 at 9:41 AM

    Children should learn what good food is before they even attempt to be taught how to cook. After that I think baking is always a great to learn at a young age because of the reward factor. Learn to bake and you can always have a treat.

  • sir_ken_g  on  11/7/2014 at 11:38 AM


  • ldtrieb  on  11/7/2014 at 12:48 PM

    Soup, beautiful soup.

  • GillB  on  11/7/2014 at 1:06 PM

    White sauce (Roux method)

  • camtncook  on  11/7/2014 at 2:14 PM

    Cook an egg in multiple ways...

  • BlytheSpirit  on  11/7/2014 at 2:38 PM

    how to cook eggs

  • jenniesb  on  11/7/2014 at 2:39 PM

    I always wish I had been properly trained in knife skills.

  • genericgenre  on  11/7/2014 at 2:51 PM

    How to boil water.

  • fjain  on  11/7/2014 at 4:02 PM

    Knife skills come first on my list.

  • Zosia  on  11/7/2014 at 5:52 PM


  • ravensfan  on  11/7/2014 at 6:10 PM

    How to cut and chop

  • bogie  on  11/7/2014 at 6:38 PM

    Dicing and sauteing.

  • bching  on  11/7/2014 at 8:25 PM

    Using the oven--you can roast a whole meal and as the oven cools, accomplish some tasks for upcoming meals--toasting nuts or breadcrumbs, for example. Tamar Adler's the Everlasting Meal is wonderful on this topioc.

  • jaelsne  on  11/7/2014 at 8:42 PM

    I think that a roast chicken is a great basic skill to have in your repertoire, because the leftover chicken can be used for many meals.

  • sgump  on  11/7/2014 at 9:15 PM

    Knife skills

  • Queezle_Sister  on  11/7/2014 at 9:20 PM

    tasting your food as it cooks, ok that's not a technique, so maybe I should say sautée - as in onions and garlic.

  • BarbW  on  11/7/2014 at 9:31 PM

    I think to sauté. It can be harder than it looks, & I'm not so sure I've mastered it, after all this time.

  • ae.bell  on  11/7/2014 at 9:49 PM

    I agree with knife skills

  • Analyze  on  11/7/2014 at 10:12 PM

    Learn when and why to follow a recipe.

  • dbielick  on  11/7/2014 at 11:59 PM

    knife skills

  • RNJessicaK  on  11/8/2014 at 3:11 AM

    Knife skills for sure. They're needed no matter what you like to cook!!

  • pwsnook  on  11/8/2014 at 8:42 AM

    How to boil water.

  • kayanelson  on  11/8/2014 at 8:52 AM

    Make an omelet. Can vary the mix-ins and have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plus eggs are relatively cheap.

  • priyamaine  on  11/8/2014 at 10:56 AM


  • pgarcia  on  11/8/2014 at 4:15 PM

    Reading a recipe all the way through before beginning to cook.

  • Sharylmk1  on  11/8/2014 at 6:23 PM

    Learning how to follow a recipe

  • finnsmom64  on  11/8/2014 at 7:18 PM

    Without a doubt an omelet. Everyone has eggs in the frig along with odds and ends and voila dinner.

  • TrishaCP  on  11/9/2014 at 6:25 AM

    Knife skills.

  • ballen  on  11/9/2014 at 7:54 AM

    Starting with the best and freshest ingredients.

  • jaburg  on  11/9/2014 at 4:52 PM

    How to boil an egg.

  • vinochic  on  11/9/2014 at 7:32 PM

    Another vote for knife skills.

  • jennyatkinson  on  11/9/2014 at 9:05 PM

    Reading through the recipe and good mis en place

  • karenemills  on  11/10/2014 at 9:07 AM

    How to roast meats and vegetables. If I had known this in college, I would have eaten much healthier, learned creative uses for leftovers and wouldn't have gained the freshman 15!

  • decklededges  on  11/10/2014 at 12:09 PM

    Knife skills

  • hillsboroks  on  11/10/2014 at 1:09 PM

    I taught my kids to make scrambled eggs first. Young folks can survive on scrambled eggs for quite a bit of the time on their own.

  • ciliatanchun  on  11/10/2014 at 6:50 PM


  • tjnelson1hotmail  on  11/10/2014 at 9:33 PM

    How to boil water....with salt, to a roiling boil, how to make sure it is hot enough. (Reminds me of a cooking class called how to boil water which taught the basics.) Then go on to simple recipes which focus on techniques.

  • sharifah  on  11/11/2014 at 9:13 AM

    how to deal with eggs - scrambled, fried, omelette, etc

  • slimmer  on  11/12/2014 at 8:38 AM

    My first thought was knife skills. I can't believe how much easier things got once I learned how to cut.

  • kimtrev  on  11/12/2014 at 4:45 PM

    How to follow directions. Once you know how to do that, you can follow any recipe and learn to make virtually anything.

  • kidzcook  on  11/13/2014 at 6:47 AM

    How to cook eggs

  • kidzcook  on  11/13/2014 at 6:48 AM

    How to cook eggs

  • homeeccentric  on  11/13/2014 at 2:13 PM

    Knife Skills

  • reno2014  on  11/13/2014 at 3:57 PM

    How ingredients react to each other when combined in a recipe. I would bake when left alone in the house when I was a lot younger. Thought I was pretty clever until I had a few mishaps, by substituting ingredients in recipes for things that weren't on hand. Laugh Out Very Loud

  • Julia  on  11/13/2014 at 4:52 PM

    I think knife skills are a good first technique to master.

  • bhasenstab  on  11/13/2014 at 5:14 PM

    I'd get micro and say poaching an egg, as just as about everything tastes better with a soft-cooked egg on top of it.

  • adukeman  on  11/13/2014 at 5:58 PM

    Knife skills--Chopping, dicing, mincing

  • Nancith  on  11/13/2014 at 8:27 PM

    making a white sauce

  • lovelily1001  on  11/13/2014 at 9:31 PM

    i really like idea of teaching egg cooking, and the knife skills. maybe mise en place should come between the two of them. but eggs lead to so much.

  • Grywhp  on  11/13/2014 at 10:23 PM


  • calmond79  on  11/13/2014 at 11:40 PM

    How to chop and cut! And...maybe making some basic eggs!

  • JanScholl  on  11/13/2014 at 11:58 PM

    I have seen more people turn rice and pasta into paste than I care to admit. it should be so easy, but for some, not so much.

  • SLane  on  11/14/2014 at 1:07 AM

    Understanding cooking terminology is important.

  • chawkins  on  11/14/2014 at 3:43 AM

    Start with knife skill.

  • hihelen_westbrook  on  11/14/2014 at 5:16 AM

    I learned to make cakes as soon as I was tall enough to see over my little red plastic kiddie table. It made cooking into something fun of which I wanted to do more and more.

  • RickPearson54  on  11/14/2014 at 9:38 AM

    Dicing an onion.

  • nicolthepickle  on  11/14/2014 at 4:39 PM

    I think knife skills. I don't really know how and I'd like to.

  • infotrop  on  11/14/2014 at 6:47 PM

    I was going to say how to saute, but now I agree with knife skills. That has to come first.

  • weetzie188  on  11/15/2014 at 4:25 PM

    stir frys

  • trudys_person  on  11/15/2014 at 7:31 PM

    Sauteing, and simmering ...

  • lucycury  on  11/16/2014 at 8:55 AM

    How to cut and chop

  • toffee  on  11/17/2014 at 12:06 PM

    Roasting a chicken

  • rahiscock  on  11/18/2014 at 3:48 AM

    Roasting anything; you can apply the technique to meat and vegies, and it builds confidence in using an oven, which acts as a springboard towards baking

  • kalex426  on  11/19/2014 at 3:06 AM

    How to sauté

  • stitchan  on  11/19/2014 at 8:19 AM

    To boil egg in desired doneness. This Is an essential skill for me because I eat them everyday.

  • contest718  on  11/20/2014 at 12:04 PM

    people should learn how to properly boil eggs for hard and soft shell dishes.

  • Missanne  on  11/20/2014 at 5:49 PM

    Definitely how to use all sorts of knives. This not only saves your fingers for all future tasks; it draws your attention to how that one ingredient fits into the whole process.

  • dbcurrie  on  11/22/2014 at 12:07 PM

    Proper use of a knife. There aren't a whole lot of recipes where you don't need a knife for something.

  • t.t  on  11/25/2014 at 4:42 PM

    knife skills

  • Gorge_us  on  11/25/2014 at 5:09 PM

    How to season properly without overseasoning.

  • lkl  on  11/25/2014 at 5:21 PM

    How and why to use salt.

  • Julimorr  on  11/25/2014 at 6:26 PM

    Knife skills

  • Sasvif  on  11/25/2014 at 6:57 PM

    Making soup.

  • bvgardner  on  11/25/2014 at 11:14 PM

    Knife skills

  • aargle  on  11/25/2014 at 11:26 PM

    Definitely knife skills.

  • chikadulce  on  11/26/2014 at 8:09 AM

    I agree, knife skills are so important....along with sharp knives!

  • kellyscookbooks  on  11/26/2014 at 9:40 AM

    seasoning and knife skills

  • mfl  on  11/26/2014 at 9:56 AM

    mayonnaise, so easy!

  • zubs1990  on  11/27/2014 at 7:54 AM

    I would have to say roasting a chicken. It's a basic skill that everyone should know.

  • chach  on  11/27/2014 at 1:09 PM

    breaking eggs

  • sallyjoy  on  12/3/2014 at 6:39 PM

    How to use up what is available in the fridge - starting with a basic stirfry and moving on to more complex dishes and sauces.

  • JessieBsMom  on  12/5/2014 at 1:41 PM

    The different ways to cook eggs

  • angelanorr  on  12/5/2014 at 5:42 PM


  • patsylu  on  12/5/2014 at 10:00 PM

    Knife skiills

  • Ayun  on  12/5/2014 at 10:05 PM


  • mombaker247  on  12/6/2014 at 7:02 AM

    knowing where your food comes from and eating only humanely treated animals and learning to use the whole food and to compost and have zero waste

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