Recipe testers wanted. Bad cooks welcome.

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I’m hoping that the name of my second book says it all: Changing Courses: A Mission to Get People Off the Couch and into the Kitchen. Like my last book, this is a memoir with recipes. This time, instead of the classic and complicated French cuisine that I learned at Le Cordon Bleu, the recipes are all straightforward numbers designed for home cooks. Most of the recipes incorporate a lesson, from knife skills to roasting to mastering a simple saute.
If you didn’t figure it out from my last post, I want people to cook more from real foods and rely less on process, takeout and fast food. Why? It’s better for you, it’s better for family, your wallet, your waistline and the environment. I’m not suggesting an hour or more every day. Most of my own meals are pretty basic affairs that take less than, well, 30 minutes. (Sorry Ruhlman.)
I am assembling a small army of volunteer recipe testers from all walks of life and with all levels of skill to test the recipes and offer feedback to help make them clear enough that even cooks without much experience can follow them with success. The best testers will be acknowledged in the book. You up for it? Email me.

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. What a cool thing to participate in Kathleen, I am totally up for the challenge.

  2. Suzi Beerman says:

    My husband and I would love to participate. I also know lots of families who need recipes for real life, and who could benefit from your book.

  3. Kathleen Flinn says:

    You’re both on. I’ll send you the info via email. I have 22 volunteers so far!

  4. David StClair says:

    My wife and I would love to help as well!

  5. Kristin Cowan says:

    This sounds great! My husband and I both cook and love to try new things. If you are still looking for volunteers!

  6. lizscott says:

    Can I play? Also, can I forward a link to this post to some friends of mine, who cook at a variety of levels?

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Just go to this group and apply for membership for my super secret recipe testing site. Looking forward to see what you cook up! Feel free to send this to a couple of friends, too. Just advise them that the recipes are not to be written about publicly or posted anywhere since they are not yet published!

  7. Todd Jackson says:

    I would love to participate as well. I have two boys who cook with me every other week and the 30 min time for preparation is perfect.

  8. I am interested, but I’m a vegetarian. Would that work?

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Oh sure. There are plenty of vegetarian options.

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Sure, there are vegetarian options and I’d be intersted in hearing your thoughts on the meaty ones and how you would want to see those shifted to include non-meat proteins (such as tofu).

      Just go to this group and apply for membership for my super secret recipe testing site. Looking forward to see what you cook up!

  9. Hi Kat,

    A mutual friend told me about your post. First I really like your great idea for getting a conversation going among your readership.

    Secondly I’m interested in taking part as a volunteer, just curious of the level of committment your expecting from your cooking tribe?

    Will the recipes be from a specific cuisine or ethnicity, region of the US, like PNW? Is a goal for me to be able to prepare them in 30mins?


    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Hi Will,
      All are welcome as recipe testers. You’ll find more information on the testing site. You can do one recipe or all of them. just need to go to this group and apply for membership for my super secret recipe testing site. Looking forward to see what you cook up!

  10. Lizzy Lacey says:

    My sister Mags is living in Vancouver and bought your 1st book in Seattle. When she came home to visit me in Ireland she brought it home for me and i couldnt put it down i loved it. My sister and I would love to get involved. I love to cook and my passion is rubbing off on my sister. Our plan would be to cook the dishes on the same day and send each other pics of the final result.This sounds so much fun

  11. Catherine says:

    Sent you a twitter DM and would love to help if you still need volunteers. Will cook anything.

  12. Would love, love, love to be a recipe tester for you!

  13. Kathleen Flinn says:

    I’ve created a private Google group and you’ll all be getting an invite to join it in the next day or so. Thanks for offering to help out!

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Hey all, please send me your direct addresses and you’ll get the invitation to the super secret recipe-testing society that I’ve created online.

  14. Sounds like a great idea would be great to get involved!


  15. This sounds positively intriguing to me.I have a passion for food,it’s history,and all things related.My background is mostly culinary,and I am pretty adventurous in the kitchen.I would love to be part of this experience.Thanks for your consideration.

  16. Hi there

    I know a year has past but was wondering whether you still need recipe testers?

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Funny, I am just getting ready to mail out all the recipe testers. I’m finally ready with a whole new set of recipes to test!!

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