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Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by RWBlue, Feb 8, 2008.
Talk to me about your cook books
I own too many
With the exception of breads, cakes and the like, I never follow a recipe as written
I own too many
I do love looking thru them to get ideas. I have about 250-300 :embarassed:
I need to type up some of my Mexican recipes that are "in my head" that my students taught me to make.
I own too many.
Hmm.... I've got half a dozen.
First one I ever got was "A Man, a Can and a Plan"
Pretty worthless in terms of "cooking" but it makes come great 10 minute rot gut meals
Next was the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. This is the one my mom got first and it's my fall back. Tons of great recipe's, the real backbone of my cooking.
I used to have a book dedicated entirely to one dish meals made in a rice cooker, but my dog ate it. The book. Yes ATE it
"366 delicious meals with rice, grains and beans" - got this one on a health food kick. Lots of good recipes, but lots of crazy bean sprout/tofu type recipe's too.
"Not your mother's slow cooker" Good guide to one person meals made in a 3 qt slow cooker. Often the only way I get a warm meal through the week (stupid college ).
Then a couple of wild game cook books which are gathering dust while I'm too busy to hunt. The true tragedy of my college lifestyle.
Too much info?
MissKitty - can you recommend a good beginner baking cookbook? I'm really wanting to learn to cook breads, biscuits, rolls, and the like.
I have at least one bread book. I have never used it! I had forgotten it until just now. I will get the title and ISBN for you, and see what else I have.
My favorite bread I make is foccocia from the Italian Cooking for Dummies (I am a *huge* Dummies books fan). It is easy and always comes out great. I can post the recipe if you want it?
I am bad at biscuits. The best I can get them to come out is by using lethaltupperware's recipe. They are a lot better than others I tried but still not fluffy. I may handle the dough too much? I don't know what I am doing wrong but I simply suck at biscuits. I just use the frozen Pillsbury ones now and there is no mess to clean up which is a huge bonus! I make such a horrid mess with flour.
I have too many as well.
But I still want more. I am waiting for someone to buy me Julia Child's guide to French Cooking as a present
Besides all the standards (Joy of Cooking, Better Homes/gardens etc.) my all time favorite has to be "Cooking with a Jug of Wine." It is old and out of print, but I can always find an interesting twist of a recipe in there. Most of the recipes I have found in there need to tweaking.
That would be awesome! I LOVE foccocia
Oh, and I can relate on the biscuits. Mine are either hard as rocks or falling apart and my whole kitchen is dusted white by the time I'm done
I cook with wine all the time...sometimes I even put some in the food.
Joy of Cooking is the bible...get the newest edition. Paula Deene has a couple out there if you like southern style food, the rest of the Food Network folks have some too. Their web site is great for looking up recipes.
Two absolute necessities are Barron's Food Lover's Companion and RD Home Handbook's Cook's Ingredients.
Both will give you tremendous help in knowing what things are and how they work.
Cooking- in my mind, anyway- is art. Every artist or musician or creative person I've ever known likes to cook, as well. Furthermore, many many people I've met, who aren't "artists" themselves, per se, are great cooks. I view it as their art form.
Baking, on the other hand, is science.
It's Chemistry and Physics and stuff. Don't mess with the recipes, because you're only inviting disaster.
It was my mom's cornerstone, as well.
My stepmother gave me a copy for Christmas probably ten years ago or more now, and I'd estimate I still pull it out at least 2 or 3 times a month. Some recipes you can just follow verbatim and get something great, some provide a great launching pad for experimentation, some you look up just because you need a reminder of basic proportions for something, and it always delivers. Plus the 3 ring binder format is great in that A) it lies flat and B) you can add stuff to it. I have an appendix a quarter inch thinck of recipes I've collected elsewhere and added to the end of my BH&G cookbook.
Including the directions that came with my Jell-O Brain Mold.
My cornerstone was/is "America Cooks". My Mother gave it to me 25 years ago. It got me started on my career as a chef, which I've been for 20+ years.
The Joy of Cooking (required)
The New Professional Chef, Culinary Institute
On Food and Cooking (Harold McGee) a must read for all food geeks
Mastering the Art of French Cooking volumes 1 and 2, Julia Childe--a timeless classic
Classic Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni
The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, Dianne Kennedy
The Breath of a Wok, and The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young
The French Laundry Cookbook by Keller...probably the most beautifully done cookbook I've ever seen
Louisiana Real and Rustic and New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse
Garde Manger by the CIA...a superb reference for appetizers
The Frugal Gourmet cooks Italian and the Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines, Jeff Smith
I have more but these seem to get the bulk of my attention...
I have approximately 75 cookbooks, mainly deserts :embarassed:
I love decorating cakes and hopefully, after I graduate from college this semester, I'll have time to try my hand at making candy. My mother-in-law makes candy at Christmas for gifts and I'm the only daughter-in-law into that stuff, so I figure that it will be up to me in a few more years. She's getting on up there and it won't be too much longer before she won't be able to do it by herself. This past Christmas I made cinnamin-sugar roasted almonds for everyone, those things are so addictive.
My newest one (and soon to be favorite) Cooking with Jack Daniels(mmmm)
my g/f made a recipie from there last night cornish game hen with a Orange juice, molasses, and Jack glaze
Best salad dressing.
2 cups canola oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB kosher salt
Best hot sauce
1lb ripe Habanero Peppers ( red or orange, green are unripe)
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tea spoon salt
1 TB spoon black pepper
de steem the peppers. Boil peppers until soft, cook for 5 mi.. put peppers and boiled water in blender, add in all ingredients and liquefy all of it
The best set of recipes that I have came from other people. Several years ago I was on an internet board for nothing but restaurant type "cloned" foods. I copied and ran off a bunch of items I got from there.
I still copy recipes I find here and put them into word and print them out. They are all in one collection in a ring binder on top of my refrigerator. That collection represents the best "cookbook" I own.
I picked up one of Justin Wilsons cookbooks. Great stuff. Sadly most of the ingredients are hard to find/expensive up here.
I do have too many cookbooks though, way too little kitchen to cook in.
If you like Italian there is a new--to the US market--cookbook that is like the Joy of Cooking in Italy. Its called "The Silver Spoon" Hardcover about $44. Its AWESOME!
The best Italian cooking is simple and uses few ingredients. It lets the quality and flavors of a few key ingredient's stand out... This cookbook is a beautiful example of that.
With my Barnes and Nobel discount card it only cost me ~$30...
Check it out!
How to Cook Everything: Mark Bittman
The Best Recipe: Cooks Illustrated editors
better homes and gardens
the bread book
the joy of cooking ain't so all that. i ain't a joyful sort.
I see...then perhaps
"The Curmudgeon's Kitchen"