In the last few years I've been taking an increased interest in learning how to cook well. I've always considered my Dad a great cook, and I figure knowing how to prepare some decent meals is a handy skill to have. I'm still learning, and I still struggle in some areas (primarily having everything come out at the same time, something my father does very well), but I'm not too shabby. I enjoy cooking, and All Recipes is in my bookmarks, so there's always something new to try.
Britanny also decided she wanted to learn how to cook, but she took a different approach. She went out and bought Personal Cooking Trainer for her DS. It turned out to be a pretty handy little application.
Monday evening she decided to cook us her first dinner using the Cooking Trainer. It has this neat little feature where you can browse the ingredients of the different recipes you're interested in making, and if you don't have one of the ingredients, you click it and it adds it to a shopping list. So she was able to make a list and just bring her DS shopping with her and get all the ingredients.
Well... most of them, anyway. The Cooking Trainer has recipes from a bunch of different countries (nearly 250 recipes in total), and some of the more exotic recipes call for ingredients that may be harder to find than others. She chose an Asian theme for dinner, with some dishes from China and Japan, and had no luck finding Chinese cabbage at the store up the street.
Still, the DS walked her through the steps to making each dish, and she could switch back and forth between multiple recipes, pause and rewind to review steps with ease.
We did notice that the program, which is supposed to react to sound (you can say "continue" to move the program along) was a little too sensitive to audio. We'd be chopping vegetables and the program would be skipping right along. Thankfully it's easy enough to back track and pause.
The food came out great, even with a couple of substitutions for ingredients we couldn't find. The instructions were (from what I saw) very explanatory and easy to follow. I know sometimes when I'm cooking from standard recipe books or recipes I find online, they act or mention techniques as if it expects you to know all this stuff, and if I don't I've got to Google it, etc etc and it adds extra steps. But the Cooking Trainer seems to give you all the instruction you need.
It has some other nice features I saw... you can mark a calendar for the dates you made a particular dish, or add notes about a recipe for future reference.
All in all, if you've got a DS, I'd say it's a great way to get yourself into cooking and start making some fun recipes.