Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekend Cooking; My favorite cookbooks.

My mom is going to be here tomorrow for Easter dinner.  I'm Spring cleaning today.  Deep down cleaning.  Dusting, rearranging, organizing, dispelling clutter.  Soon I'm going to vacuum all the pet hair.  A natural offshoot of cleaning is to cull some of the old and this idea brought me to my cookbook cabinets.  I blew a fine layer of dust about and took a long look.

I know I get many recipes from the internet; blogs and Pinterest and I do have several magazine subscriptions, thanks to my mom, but my cookbooks are somewhat sacred. Something my mother taught me.  I don't get rid of them easily and I don't buy them very often.  As I reorganized this cupboard (I tend to stuff printed recipes in randomly even though I have folders to put them in)  I reflected on my top 5 favorites.

In particular order with recipe titles linked to my posted recipe:

The Healthy Kitchen; Recipes for a better body, life, and spirit by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daly. (2002).  This book has been so well loved it is coming apart at the binding.  It splits open right at the Vegetable Lasagna recipe I've made dozens of times in the last 10 years.  My other top recipes in this book include the Miso soup, Tomato, Corn, and Basil soup, Seared Salmon with orange glaze, and the Lemon cayenne tonic.  Filled with pages of healthy information about spices, eating mindfully, and tips from both Weil and Daley I've learned plenty.

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. (1997).  This one looks used as the top is peppered with post-it notes sticking out like a yellow mohawk.  My favorites recipes include the page of peanut sauces, Thai tofu and Winter squash stew, and Sweet potato muffins with candied ginger.  My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas one year and the inside front cover still holds the sticky note she included telling me how much use she thought I would get from this book.  She was right.

Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker by Robin Robertson. (2004). This one my mother-in-law also gave me when she gifted me with a new slow cooker.  I've made the Caponata for book club, the No-Hurry Vegetable Curry, the light and easy vegetable stock, the Pintos Picadillo, and the Lentil Soup with Kale.  Right now I have chili cooking in the same slow cooker and I'm excited for our chili and baked potatoes.

Not Your Mother's Casseroles by Faith Durand.  (2004) This one I actually bought myself and it is newer than the other three.  The Baked Cheesy Chili Grits, the Simple Pot Bread, the Pot Chicken and Potatoes in Cinnamon-Saffron Milk, and the Baked Buttermilk Pancakes are all fantastic recipes from this book.

Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentis. (2005).  My kids could eat buttered pasta every day of the week, making this book a perfect match for us.  Now they love several of Giada's pasta dishes, making it easy to upgrade their taste buds just a notch.  I also started making my own pesto from her recipe and love it even more in the winter as a pull it out from the freezer.  The Checca sauce is an easy summer favorite, the white bean dip with pita chips is perfect for happy hour, and the Lemon Spaghetti is too die for because I have a thing for lemons.

Now that I've made myself hungry by paging through my favorite cookbooks I realize I need to explore them more, perhaps challenge myself to choosing a recipe from one of them on a regular basis.  I don't want them to get old and dusty.  Cookbooks are like friends, something I want my daughter to experience as well.

I happened upon an article in my Real Simple magazine and found this pie baker extraordinaire, Beth Howard of The World Needs More Pie.  She lives just down the "road", well, a few towns over but I'm thinking Summer ROAD TRIP.  I want to check out her pies, she has a new cookbook out, and she lives in the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa.  

Happy Cooking~
This post is linked to Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  Click her link to find many other food-related posts from a wide variety of bloggers.