Friday, January 4, 2013

Cooking: I got a new book (or two)

I am obsessed with cooking right now.

We had our usual, calorie laden deliciousness over the holidays. 
I made cookies, Delaney made cookies, I made cake, Delaney made fudge.
We cooked lots of hearty dishes as well. Chicken chili, tortilla soup, Delaney made from scratch chicken noodle soup, etc.
 We ate a lot at home and out as well.
Basically, we ate the holidays.

We had a really wonderful Christmas,which went on for days, just like I like it. The theme of it was family and moderation, which is how Steve likes it. I haven't seen him this happy at Christmas in years. Our gifts were very heart felt and perfect. 
I asked for the Dinner, A Love Story book/cookbook and received it AND this one as well. I was so giddy when I opened them. It was like getting diamonds AND sapphires.

I have mentioned before I love cookbooks and I have over 70 of them. Some I cook out of regularly, some I read for ideas, some are heirlooms and others I just have because they represent an era in my life that I don't want to forget. 

Cooking With the Dead: Recipes and Stories from Fans on the Road [Over 65 fabulous kynd and caring vegetarian recipes prepared with love]
Ah, yes...parking lot burritos courtesy of this book.

My two newest I have read cover to cover, like a greedy addict (which I am). 
I have been a reader of the blog Dinner, A Love Story since my friend Meg, told me about it. I think her husband, John is the one that found it. I believe (but don't quote me on it) that Jenny Rosenstratch and her blog helped fuel  what was already her weekly menu planning. I have been planning a menu for a few years as part of my family's goal of not being wasteful and my plan to lose weight a few years ago . I lost 25 pounds that I gained training for a marathon and have kept it off except for my yearly holiday 5. Writing down what we were going to eat made it easier to stay on task at the grocery store and in my mouth.
I have saved years of planners with our dinners in them, sometime remembering to put where the recipe was located, mostly not. Reading Jenny's book has inspired me to take better notes when I plan my meals.  I have done that in my cookbooks, noting things such as "great for a taking a meal to someone who had a baby" and "Ellie actually ate this" and " Substituted...".  But unless I open said cookbook, I have a hard time remembering those recipes were important or good. 

So,  notes are being added to my planner. Thanks, Jenny!

As I read her cookbook, I felt like I was talking to a friend. One with whom I have a lot in common. She has two girls very close in age. I have two girls very close in age. She had a daughter who is a
 " demanding eater", Ellie was an easy baby, but would eat nothing green, spicy, or at dinner. 
We both care about food and believe eating good and real food is important. We both move the "healthy" food to the front when guests come over.Needless to say, I loved her book and now could be a stalker of her family, if they lived anywhere near me in the south. "We NEED to be real world friends..." Joking, Jenny, just joking.

Does this look like the face of a picky eater?

If you have not read her blog, do it. She and her husband write it together and I have to say their writing styles are so similar, I often wonder if she is writing as him. They are smart, funny and really into food and books, with which I can personally identify. (The books and food...well, I hope I am smart and funny, too.)

The cookbook is an extension of the blog. Reading it felt like a conversation. The recipes are easy to follow and don't require much outside of what most experienced cooks would have in their kitchen. 
My family is going to love the book, as a lot of meat recipes are contained within, meaning I might actually cook more than my fall back chicken. In fact, tonight we are having pork ragu. 

In Season is a lovely cookbook as well, but with recipes for things such as emu eggs and eel, neither of which are available in Chattanooga, even at The Wholefoods, makes it more of a read for inspiration cookbook. Summer will be the season I cook from the most. 

Here is the link for the meal we are eating for dinner. The crew is camping in the yard, so we will be eating it outside in 40 degree weather. I will be eating defrosted Tortilla soup. There will be s'mores. 

Come on over!

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