For The Crippled In Cuisine

Summertime. For some people it’s not all about kicking back and relaxing, it’s about moving on and moving in. The realty market is never hotter than the hottest months of the year, mostly because living in Canada means you probably aren’t too keen on hauling your gear through the snow that covers the ground for half the year.

Beyond that, a lot of younger folks are branching out for the first time. Whether finally leaving the roost and buying that first home or apartment, or heading off to University somewhere else in the country, the young uns are often finding themselves on their own for the first time.

When I planned to buy my house two summers ago, among the other household goodies I’d been stockpiling, I picked up the Help! My Apartment Has A Kitchen cookbook co-written by a professed cooking noob named Kevin Mills and his guardian kitchen angel mother Nancy.

I wasn’t totally clueless when it came to cooking – in fact I’m pretty damn good at it these days (some might call me a tad OCD) – but I was glad to have this tome for those first few months, and I’m sure any family members or friends branching out on their own for the first time will appreciate this humorous but thoughtful and practical gift.

It’s a pretty diverse range of recipes – from the ridiculously simple to the slightly more involved including appetizers, entrees, dairy, desserts, and more. The instructions are broken down to the nitty gritty, with helpful tips from the author’s mom thrown in to make sure you don’t burn down the joint in the process. While some of the items are laughably easy to make – corn on the cob? – it’s a nice book for people that really *just don’t know* and are maybe a little afraid to ask. I do wish it had pictures to simplify things that much more, but the recipe instructions are so straightforward it’s almost not necessary.

Another great pro? This gift is gender neutral. Given that it’s written by a guy and includes a lot of personality and humour in the stories that accompany each recipe, guys will certainly appreciate it and feel a little less embarrassed to pull it down from their kitchen cabinets every now and again. So gift givers, band together and buy this cookbook! Save your friends and family members from a lifetime of microwave meals and belly flab.

The Help! cookbook is available online at both Amazon and Chapters for about $15 – making it a great, affordable Bon Voyage or Welcome Home gift for that Betty Crocker wannabe in your life.

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