Every now and again the cooking bug bites me and, like this afternoon, I spend a few hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes. I never really learned to cook, so I always have to start with a recipe. Even still, it manages to feel like a science experiment. Any *serious* activity in the kitchen catches my husband's interest and before long he's sniffing around and peaking under pot lids to see what kind of poison I'm whipping up.
Today I made a barbeque sauce with at least fifteen different ingredients and a nice bite that we'll use tomorrow - the chicken breasts are marinating overnight. I also made an avocado and tomato salad and a corn salad with fresh Jersey white corn. I've sampled both already and they're pretty yummy!
I'm curious if the rest of you have any favorite cookbooks to recommend? My father swore by the Fanny Farmer Cookbook so I bought one when I first got married and rely on it for basic stuff like what cut of meat to buy or how long to cook a poached egg. For years my favorite *everyday* cookbook was the New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but lately I've been sampling from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks by Ina Garten.
My friend Linda at work is crazy about her and finally I got tired of listening to her rave about the dishes, so I bought a few of her cookbooks and have been very pleased. Any recipe that I've tried so far has turned out wonderfully. For Christmas Eve I used her recipe for spiral ham with a mango chutney glaze and also made her recipe for baked beans that went nicely with the ham. Christmas morning I made her banana crunch muffins which have turned into a family favorite. All the things I made this afternoon were from her books also.
What I like about her recipes is that they're simple and not intimidating; she uses common ingredients but insists on quality. I hate having to search out some oddball ingredient in gourmet shops in order to make a dish. More often than not I spend a lot of money on something that I'll never have the chance to use again.
So, any good cookbooks to recommend? Have you done any experimenting in the kitchen lately? Please share your successes (or failures)!
a return Visit
9 months ago