America’s Test Kitchen School Review

I signed up for a trial membership of  The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School.  I stayed about an hour and tried out two of the lesson plans.  Boy was I disappointed.

...or how to make your cooking look repulsive....

Oh, they have thought of everything.  There was more reading to do than I like.  I have to read stuff all day long and the videos work just fine for me.  Yes, I admit to being lazy. The lessons include:

* IQ Quizzes – These fun quizzes appear at the start of Technique Lessons and In-Depth Course sections and are designed to both gauge your current understanding of the topic and teach you some basics before diving into course material. Detailed feedback is supplied for each response and a summary of your results is supplied at the end.
* Concept Reviews – These are interactive quizzes that test how much information you’ve learned. Do you understand the key concepts that will ensure good results in the kitchen? You’ll receive detailed feedback as you answer each question and a score at the end.
* Core Technique Videos  – These videos, found in Technique Lessons and In-Depth Courses, are focused on a single important core technique and will help build cooking knowledge. You will learn techniques that apply to thousands of recipes, such as how to sauté chicken or how to make risotto, as well as more specialized techniques, such as how to tie a roast or how to blind-bake a pie shell. Watching these videos will prepare you for the recipe tutorials where you’ll be applying many of these core techniques. Most importantly, these videos review key concepts that will increase your understanding of course material.
* Recipe Tutorials – Recipe tutorials are where the cooking happens. After we introduce a recipe to you and list the required tools and ingredients, you’ll watch Bridget cook in an extensive step-by-step video tutorial and hopefully, cook along with her – that is if you’ve got an ipad or laptop and can bring her into your kitchen.
* Discussions – Class discussion is a key part of your learning experience. Clicking the discussions icon in the upper right-hand corner will allow you to start/or contribute to these at any point in a lesson. As a student and peer, your participation is key. You will add valuable insight by participating in discussions, enriching the learning that takes place, and allowing other students to learn from you. We encourage you to participate in class discussions often!


Instructors are available, but that’s extra.

The reason I didn’t stay a member?  I took the tutorial on Eggs.  They had the nerve to say that store bought eggs were just as good as farm fresh eggs.  Excuse me?  I raise farm fresh eggs and nothing could be further from the truth.  They also claim there is no nutritional difference.  Saying it does not make it so, you can see the difference.  I don’t care what they say.  Just crack an egg open.

They are being politically correct and not telling people the truth.  Most store bought eggs come from chickens who are eating GMO’s.  You can’t talk about food and not hit on this subject and pretend it doesn’t exist.  So, I cancelled my free membership, that I had to give a credit card number to get.  It’s so not worth it, when you can get good accurate information for free.

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Please Unsubscribe Me

My pet peeve for the day are  people who manage to sign up on a list but can’t figure out   how to get off.

I could see having trouble managing subscriptions if it weren’t for the fact that Yahoo Groups provides instructions at the bottom of every single email on how to unsubscribe. Yet, almost daily someone on one  of my lists will write, “I would like to cancel my subscription, thanks!”

Why is it that people can manage to sign themselves up on a list but can’t manage to figure out how to get themselves off? It simply boggles my mind. Are people just lazy or incredibly stupid — maybe it’s both.

I’ll be the first to admit that technology isn’t always so simple to use and too often it is faster, easier and cheaper to do  things the  old fashioned way — with pen and paper. If you ask me — any person who can’t figure out how to get off a list that  they signed up for, then perhaps it’s best to leave the computing to others.

I guess the reason it bothers me so much is that training is cheap and easy. There are free tutorials online for just about every topic under the sun — probably even open heart surgery — though I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Anyone, can use a search engine like to find the answers to the meaning of life. You would be surprised what interesting things you can learn — for free — by searching on for topics like,  “how to build a bird house.”

My son was having trouble in math. I searched on for “math multiplication tips” and similar searches – it brought up some very nice tutorials.

If you learn better one on one many libraries offer free computer lessons, check with your librarian for local computer clubs, members are generally very helpful. Most computer technicians offer training at reasonable prices. I know we have quite a few elderly clients, we encourage them to write their questions down and any issues they are having, so that their problems can be solved, whether it be with training or some other “fix”.

My point – help is available — use it. You are never too old to learn new tricks – so go unsubscribe yourself.   🙂