cookbooks … to buy or not to buy

i’m on a recent kick of reading cookbooks in my spare time. one might ask why read cookbooks when you can find so many recipes and helpful hints & tips online? being an avid reader, my answer to this is that it is much more fun to hold a book and smell it than it is to surf online. don’t get me wrong, i do a lot of online research when it comes to cooking & recipes. but there is something about holding a book or seeing the stains in it from the various recipes i’ve made, that i love. my cookbook collection is one of my favorite shelves on our bookshelves. i have everything from the basics (the joy of cooking & betty crocker) to the obscure (a cookbook on “bubbles” (drinks w/a sparkling element) & small bites). they make for delightful reading material before bed or when one is settled in by a fire w/their feet kicked up. An author I am currently hooked on at this moment is Ted Allen. You might know him from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” but he has become a food authority and aficienato.

The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes – this book includes several basics, mac&cheese to fried chicken to southern style green beans along with a few more chic items as white bean dip & creme brulee. Ted’s style of writing is light hearted and humorous with great tips on basic techniques and how to pick a cut of beef or what to look for in a good fish market. this book is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks – this book is a little less of the basics and a few more recipes w/a bit more flare. While not overly complicated, they have a “dinner party” feel without feeling overwhelming.

My favorite quote from this book is “For me, the kitchen is the most special room in the house, and it’s a place for adventure – not drudgery, but discovery …”. I couldn’t agree more! With that philosophy, you can’t help but love the guy & the discoveries he’s making and writing about.

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