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Modern recipes and preparing advice
from Contemporary Cookery for Private People by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the introduction of the printing press in the 16th and 17th centuries, numerous publications were prepared on how best to handle families and prepare food. In Holland and Britain competition became between the respectable people concerning who can prepare the most extravagant banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had evolved to an art form form and excellent chefs were in demand. Many published their particular books detailing their recipes in competition using their rivals. A number of these publications have now been translated and are available online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery writing in their modern form. Though eclipsed in popularity and respect by Isabella Beeton, the initial contemporary cookery author and compiler of recipes for the home was Eliza Acton. Her groundbreaking cookbook, Contemporary Cookery for Private Families published in 1845, was directed at the domestic reader rather than the professional cook or chef. This was immensely important, establishing the format for modern authoring cookery. It introduced the now-universal training of listing the ingredients and suggested cooking situations with each recipe. It involved the initial menu for Brussels sprouts. Modern cook Delia Jones called Acton “the very best writer of recipes in the British language.” Modern Cookery long survived Acton, remaining on the net until 1914 and available now in facsimile.

Acton’s perform was a significant effect on Isabella Beeton, who printed Mrs Beeton’s Guide of Family Management in 24 monthly areas between 1857 and 1861. This is a guide to running a Victorian family, with suggestions about style, kid treatment, animal husbandry, poisons, the administration of servants, technology, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, over 900 covered recipes. Most were highlighted with colored engravings. It’s stated that many of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier in the day writers such as Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never stated that the book’s contents were original. It had been supposed as a reliable manual for the aspirant center classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) published in 1896 her famous function The Boston Preparing School Cookbook which contained some 1,849 recipes.