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Zeedee  (Level: 222.2 - Posts: 1088)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 10:39 AM


Hello. I'm Diane. I am a cookbookaholic.

[Listening for the "Hello, Diane. Welcome" chorus...]

I have a few hundred cookbooks -- and that is after culling many boxes of them and giving them away. But, like almost everyone, there are just a few that I go back to again and again. At one time, my stalwarts were the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book (with the red and white plaid cover) and that basic reference, the Joy of Cooking. Then I pretty much switched to the New Best Recipe book from the editors of Cook's Illustrated and a "sister" of that book, America's Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook. I love Cook's Illustrated magazine and almost all of the books they have published because they tell you WHY they have crafted a recipe a certain way and what other methods and ingredients they tried.

What is your favorite cookbook or other source for recipes?

Bbear  (Level: 159.3 - Posts: 2301)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 11:48 AM

Hands down - Tom Fitzmorris' New Orleans Food!!! Great, simple recipes (and my favorite radio host)

Summertime  (Level: 108.9 - Posts: 1122)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 12:06 PM

Thanks for the vivid memory that popped into my mind while reading this post. The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, with the red and white plaid cover in the original three ring binder version, was the first cookbook I owned. Actually, it was a Christmas gift from my parents....I believe Christmas of 1960. One may ask why I recall this memory so vividly. Was it because it was a gift from my parents? Was it because I had already developed a passion for cooking and was thrilled to have a cookbook of my own? Those would be the logical reasons one would think...right? No...wrong. Again, the cookbook was the three ring binder version so, the book was not flat, but slanted as a binder is. A vivid memory was the only "hidden", wrapped Christmas present that I could figure out what in the world it was...even with my brother's help! Though we had figured out what all of the other wrapped presents were by Christmas Eve, my first cookbook was a total surprise on Christmas morning.

Zeedee  (Level: 222.2 - Posts: 1088)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 12:19 PM

Yes, mine was a Christmas gift as well, and I have had it for about 40 years. I also have a newer edition, but I still reach for the old one first. I cannot tell you how many of them I have given as gifts to people who are moving away from home for the first time -- new brides, college students, etc. It is such a good basic book -- a place to look for how roast a chicken or make a meat loaf.

Summertime  (Level: 108.9 - Posts: 1122)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 2:30 PM

Again I can relate..plenty of good, solid standard recipes for the young and/or inexperienced cook. Even the newer editions stay away from anything that rings of gourmet. I think the bulk of the recipes are geared to the old and sadly outdated adage, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach". Suggesting the cookbook as a wedding gift brings to mind yet another topic...

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 5:37 PM

My name is Bev: I am also a cookbookaholic. I cannot tell you how many I have, but they take up three shelves in a bookcase.

But, some are in categories: Asian, BBQ, Mexican and general. I USED to have 'em all filed under "Miscellaneous" but knew where each one was, and could put my hand straight to any given one immediately.

Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 6:00 PM

I will NEVER buy another cookbook again as long as I am connected to the grid. I started using a fidonet connection to get in 1993 and I haven't looked back since. At first, I printed every single recipe out...who on earth knew if you were going to be able to find it again when you needed it? I even have the old 'original' Macy's/Filene's/Bloomingdales $275 chocolate chip cookie recipe around here somewhere.

When I was using cookbooks, I loved my mother's old McCalls or Farm Journal cookbooks from the 70s and I used to regularly use my bread machine cookbooks, which are still around here somewhere and are the only ones I didn't give away or swap.

Taco24  (Level: 129.2 - Posts: 589)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 6:02 PM

I also have a special place in my heart for the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Other favorites include the San Antonio Texas Junior League "Flavors" Cookbook, Better Homes & Garden, New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook, and the standby "Joy of Cooking". Another one that I dearly love is the Institute of Texas Cultures Cookbook. Very original recipes from the various cultures who settled Texas.

Chyenn  (Level: 200.8 - Posts: 1332)
Tue, 19th Aug '08 10:18 PM

a few years ago i joined a book club called "The Good Cook". i bought several books and got a number of books free or just for shipping because of the volume i purchased. when i moved to FL in 2004 i gave all those books to my youngest daughter. 3 large boxes full.

among my favorites were 3 i had by Paula Deen.. (love to watch her on the Food Network too). '365: No Repeats' by Rachael Ray was dog-eared from frequent use.

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.5 - Posts: 1302)
Wed, 20th Aug '08 2:32 PM

I love "365: No Repeats" too! My daughter gave it to me for Mother's Day last year. She can't stand Rachael Ray and told me when she gave the book, "You know I love you, Mom, if I would buy anything with her name on it!" Funny thing is, one of the recipes in it is now one of my daughter's most-asked for dishes!

Summertime  (Level: 108.9 - Posts: 1122)
Wed, 20th Aug '08 5:31 PM

And.....the name of that favorite would be what?

Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Mon, 25th Aug '08 12:23 AM

California Pizza kitchen has a couple of cookbooks out - I have both. I have tried several of their recipes and have been very impressed! The tequila chicken pasta is especially tasty!

Summertime  (Level: 108.9 - Posts: 1122)
Mon, 25th Aug '08 12:40 AM

Will you please share the Tequila Chicken Pasta recipe or must we beg....?

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.5 - Posts: 1302)
Mon, 25th Aug '08 1:56 AM

Honey Chicken over Snow Pea Rice, which is recipe #356 for those who have the cookbook.

3 T veg oil
1 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 large handfuls snow peas, thinly sliced across the width
2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 large onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 T honey
1 T cornstarch
5 scallions, thinly sliced

Melt butter in medium saucepan; add 1 T of veg oil and the rice, salt & pepper and lightly brown rice. Add the wine and allow to evaporate; add 3 cups of the chicken broth and the lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until tender. When rice is nearly done, toss the snow peas on top, don't stir, and put lid back on to allow peas to steam.

Meanwhile, heat remaining veg. oil in large skillet or wok. Add chicken, season with salt & pepper, and brown for 3 minutes. Add onions, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and honey. Stir frequently and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until onions are tender. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Combine cornstarch with splash of water and add to chicken mixture until thickened. Add the scallions and lemon juice and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serve chicken over rice.

Notes: I use 1/2 as much oil/butter. I also add the onions in with the chicken before the recipe indicates because I like them cooked more.

Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Mon, 1st Sep '08 9:43 PM

Hey DeeDee,

I will be glad to post the recipe for the pasta. I will figure out how to scan and post tomorrow - it really is delicious. And it impresses everybody - looks pretty!


Erin0620  (Level: 77.2 - Posts: 737)
Tue, 9th Sep '08 11:55 AM

I'm with Robin regarding searching for recipes on line (and I've made those cookies, too ). I can easily match a recipe to the items I have on hand. Or, for cooking, I just surf for a few recipes to get an idea of the proportions of acid to fat or whatever, and create my own version based on what I have. With baking, I try to closely adhere to the recipe, but can still match a recipe to the ingredients I readily have.

I do love cookbooks, though, and I do have a favorite. Its a Better Home and Gardens "Complete Step by Step Cookbook" that my mom got from her "mah jongg buddy's"about 30 years ago. I ganked it (with her blessing) when I moved out. The layout is great, very instructive and helpful advice, times, temps, substitutions, conversions. Great for those little questions that pop up while learning one's way around the kitchen.

Zeedee  (Level: 222.2 - Posts: 1088)
Mon, 10th Nov '08 4:07 PM

I'm smiling -- I wasn't expecting to learn a new word here. I never heard the expression "I ganked it" before!
Always love to increase my vocabulary. Thanks.

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