My favorite cookbook is always the one I just bought. I don’t buy many anymore, because I find almost everything I could ever want online. I have an idea, I can find it, or something similar to it, and then mess around with it until it’s just right after having the base recipe right in front of me…for free. Before the internet – do you remember back then? – I had subscriptions to a half dozen cooking magazines, and still have binders full of my favorite copies of Taste of Home and Taste of Home Quick Cooking. A couple of my standard make-all-the-time recipes are from more than a decade ago from Quick Cooking.
But sometimes I just can’t resist a good cookbook! I usually buy them in second-hand stores or at discount bookstores. Sometimes I cave and buy those little ones at the checkout stands at the grocery store – but I’m usually disappointed in those. I have two cookbooks right now that stay next to my bed. Yep, I read cookbooks in bed. Mostly because I can sit there and watch TV with my hubby and still feel like I’m doing something productive, like figuring out what I should make for dinner the next day. I also tend to read them as I would a normal book the first time, cover-to-cover, reading each recipe.
My two current bedside cookbooks are one I picked up at Book Warehouse (love this store) in the outlet mall in Seaside, Oregon. It’s a book put out by Splenda, and is filled with yummy treats using Splenda. The pictures are pretty – I must have beautiful food pictures if I’m going to buy a cookbook! – and the recipes sound fabulous, though I have discovered on my own that if you buy the right kind of Splenda, you can sub it anywhere it calls for real sugar. Still, it is full of new ideas. It’s also a nice binder cookbook, which I appreciate.
My all time favorite standby is Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book – what we always referred to as the Red Plaid Cookbook in our house. My copy is from the early 90’s when my mom got me my own. Hers I believe is from the 60’s, the pages yellowed and stained with blops of this and that, but it’s still the best cookbook on the market for new cooks. Someday when my kiddo moves out, I’ll get her a copy. The three-ring binder style seems to last forever, whereas I’ve accidentally ripped pages out of normal book-type cookbooks when using them.
The second cookbook on my nightstand is my newest acquisition. I love, love, love the TV show Chopped. Get a bunch of weird ingredients and make something not only edible, but restaurant worthy. My daughter and I can watch it for hours on end. I haven’t gotten far into the book yet, since I just picked it up the other night from the post office. This book I paid full price for, from the Food Network website, because when I saw it advertised, I caved like cheap luggage. So far I’ve got several recipes I’m going to try. What’s great about it is that most of the recipes in it only take an hour at most from start to finish, each entree only takes a few ingredients, and all the rest of the extras, like spices, I already have in my kitchen.
I’m sure I will have plenty of recipes to share from it in the not so distance future.