Sunday, January 15

Cookbook Round-up

I tend to order cookbooks from the library in threes, because experience has proven that so many of them are useless, redundant or full of ridiculously expensive rare ingredients that I usually end up flipping through and immediately sending back 2 out of every 3. 

Sometimes, I'll get a whole string of terrible ones, rant about them on and be grateful for the good recipes I have already collected to hold me over. On occasion, however, I get a lucky streak and find several in a row that are great! Having just hit such a streak, I wanted to share my findings with you.

First up: The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever. This is pretty simply put together but it has a bunch of frugal, delicious recipes I haven't seen before - including many dips and spreads that would be perfect for parties any time of year. A lot of these are easily adaptable for a crockpot and most use simple, inexpensive ingredients - something I give high points to! 

Next up: Bubby's Brunch Cookbook. The format on this book makes it easy to read and user-friendly. The author focused on everybody-friendly comfort foods, but avoided being a repeat of other brunch cookbooks. Possibly the best thing about this book is the perfect balance between breakfast, lunch and beverages in here. You'll have no trouble putting together a scrumptious brunch for any occasion with this in hand. 

Surprise Contender: 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know. I've never been a reader of Glamour magazine, but the editors there did a great job putting together this book! With many recipes simple enough for even the most inexperienced cooks, this book is everybody friendly.

Engaging and cheerful, this book acknowledges the realities and needs of modern women and shows you how to make real, healthy and satisfying food that fits your life. Although it's a little more geared towards working girls living in a city, it avoids the mistake of calling for expensive or hard-to-get ingredients. By centering recipes around events or situations in life (Engagement Chicken, He Stayed Over Omelet) the authors make it easy to find what you're looking for and take the guess work out of deciding what's appropriate for a new situation. (Note: This would make a great graduation or wedding gift.)

 Finally: Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans and Other Good Things. Let's cut to the chase: this modest book has made my must-have list! There are no pictures in this book and the page format is not ideal.

But the recipes are simple, direct, and delicious. There are a ton of them, and they don't call for crazy ingredients, complicated cooking methods or a refined palate. Whether you have a bursting garden, got a deal too good to be passed up at the farmer's market or are trying to make the best of what you've been given this book will be your best resource for cooking veggies of any kind.

What's your favorite cookbook?


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