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Cookbook junkie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My name is Annie and I'm a cookbook junkie.
I like food.
I like grocery stores.
I like restaurants.

Instead of shaping my passion, my passion has shaped me.
And that's why I'm at Spark.

I have a bazillion cookbooks. You name it; I probably have it. It can be quite a mind boggling experience to try to remember which favorite recipes are in which book!

No, I am not a chef or a food editor. I am not a gourmet cook. My profession was not related to cooking or food.

I like to read cookbooks. I search for recipes online. I surf cooking websites. I visit cooking shows or the food channel. I clip recipes to add to my notebooks. I should be a fabulous cook, sigh.

I make notes in my cookbooks, listing date and what I thought of the recipe, whether to make it again, if it would be good to serve dinner guests, if a family member loved or hated it. I note other options to improve or change the recipe.
I laugh when I see used cookbooks on online auction sites where the seller smugly lists their pristine condition. I love to get a cookbook that someone has written in and added recipes in their own handwriting. There must be other cookbook junkies like me, because the bidding can get high for a falling apart book full of a lifetime of notes and added recipes.

I like cookbooks that are a collection of recipes submitted by real people. Fundraising cookbooks and Taste of Home cookbooks are a few. Fix it and Forget it are a series of spiral bound books for the slow cooker. The Quilters cookbooks are favorites. My most falling-apart cookbook is a soft cover by Women's Circle, with real recipes by real people.

I experiment. I improve. Win some, lose some. For that reason, having dinner guests is unpredictable. Pizza, anyone?

One of my favorite cookbooks, especially this time of year, is the GardenWay's Joy of Gardening cookbook. GardenWay also put out the Zucchini cookbook, by far the best one I've seen. This year I put together my own zucchini cookbook when I ran out of places to write in the Zucchini cookbook. It has grown to include other vegetables.

I visited the zucchini recipes on Spark today. There are many similarities in the recipes. One that I found last year on Spark, is baked zucchini (or zucchini crisps, or other variations.) The simplest version tells me to spray a cookie sheet, slice a zucchini in rounds, spray the rounds with cooking spray, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake. Yummy. I could make a meal of them. They are best piping hot.

More about where this all leads in a future blog.

* * * * * * * * * *
Log, blog and salad challenge - Day 26

Woohoo, it's a perfect 30 day!
Nutrition and fitness logged. Smileys given to spark friends. Blog will be done by the time you read this. Duh.
Salad? Oh, yes! A green replacement salad for dinner tonight. Give me 5 points.

One would think the salad would be a breeze, the easiest part of this challenge. I enjoyed creative salads when I was doing low carb... lots and lots of meal-replacement salads. Even breakfast was tomatoes and cucumbers, or cheese and bacon wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or whatever was on the online menu I was faithfully following. Dinner was a huge bowl of lettuce with all kinds of exciting options.
Since major surgery last Fall, some things that I used to like, don't taste good now. Most greens fall in that category. After a disastrous experience with a Spark recipe, my stomach revolts at the smell of spinach in any form.
My salad tonight was greens. Just do it!

There are salads and then there are salads. Not all salads start with greens. Where there's a will, there's a way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi, I saw your post on Passionate People team and was intrigued that you LOVE cookbooks! I used to have more, only a few now, cuz I had to move too many times and couldn't take everything. BUT I have a whole, huge collection of online recipes saved and organized on "my favorites" on my yahoo page. Plus +, I have saved pages and pages of recipes ripped from magazines, etc. I have them organized in folders and put in a regular file box. It is so fun to "play" with them, putting together meals and holiday feasts. I know that I won't be cooking many of them for quite awhile for myself, but hope to meet some more people in my town who I can have casual dinners with and share the recipes so I don't eat too much or the wrong things but still enjoy the recipes. I also mark on them what I think and my adjustments. My fiance' and I are exploring what thrifty meals we both like and although we're not completely kosher, I try to stick with it as much as possible - that's a challenge! (No meat and dairy together.) Thanks for giving me an excuse to write about one of my passions!
    3750 days ago
  • MREE777
    Annie, yet another shared interest. Although I have to say that you are way beyond me! I love cookbooks, and cooking, but I don't watch tv. I don't have the zucchini book, but it sounds good. LOVE zucchini. My dad used to grow it and tomatoes in a garden and all summer long we'd have my mom cook fried zucchini for us. She would mix Krusteaz with salt and pepper, dip the zucchini in egg, then in the Krusteaz and then fry it in butter. YUM! Of course, fattening. I do have an artichoke cookbook. One of the most complicated and yet delicious recipes I've ever made came from that book. It was pork chops with artichoke hearts and mustard cream. I love to prepare a recipe and then modify it over and over until I have my own recipe. I was so excited the other day when I came across my grandmother's cookbook and some of her hand written recipes! I don't know if I'd ever be brave enough to fix her lemon meringue pie.
    3750 days ago
  • SAL2525
    I love that Garden way Zucchini cookbook. Mine is falling apart! All my cookbooks are lovingly written in and marked up. I even have some of my Moms and I love to read her comments. This year I have not baked much at all. Last year I made up my own recipes for zucchini, banana, and cranberry breads. I still have cranberries that I picked from the wild cranberry bog next to our land. This year I have really not done much with our gardens except eat the salad type stuff from it.
    Good for you for having a 30 point day yesterday! Later Sal
    3750 days ago
    Oh Annie, another thing we have in common, last year at a yard sale I lucked into a collection of recipes being sold, they belonged to an older lady that had passed away, they were well worn and used..the ones I loved the most were her recipes for preserves. There is one for a pumpkin loaf that is to die for!

    Elaine emoticon emoticon
    3751 days ago
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