Sunday, February 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite cookbooks

I have a pretty hefty cookbook shelf--whenever I've moved, they pretty much take up a whole box. I love the internet for quick ideas, but to me, nothing beats flipping through a cookbook and choosing delicious recipes to try. I use a few cookbooks that are pretty standard in the Mennonite world, but may not be as well known to my (few) non-Menno readers. Enjoy!

1. More-with-Less Cookbook: This is the first of the World Community Cookbooks (I call them the trilogy). The premise of this book is learning how to consume less of the world's limited food resources while eating well. This is a popular Christmas gift for young Mennos going off to college, because it is full of basic, cheap, and filling food. Some of my absolute favorite recipes come from this cookbook: cornbread, baked lentil casserole with cheese, quiche with shredded potato crust, and more. I also love all the thrifty tips and its focus on consuming less meat, eating cheaply, but still eating healthfully.

2. Simply in Season: This is the third in this series of World Community Cookbooks (the second, Extending the Table, is about foods from around the world--also great, but I don't use it as often as the other two). This one is all about eating locally and seasonally. The book is divided into 5 sections: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and All Seasons. For each season, there is a list of produce that is in season during that time of year and then recipes that use those ingredients. This is my go-to cookbook. The recipes are simple, delicious, and a great mix of vegetarian & non-vegetarian recipes. Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos, Hazelnut Coffee Brownies, Lemon Asparagus Pasta, and more! This is a great resource when you buy something new at the farmer's market: what should I do with kale? How about kohlrabi? There's several recipes for most things I bring home, and they are all delicious.

3. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home: Mollie Katzen & the Moosewood Collective write amazing vegetarian cookbooks (they have a restaurant in Ithaca, NY that I am dying to get to some day). Whenever I am in a rut with my vegetarian meals, I turn here. This particular Moosewood cookbook is all about quick recipes that can be made in 45 minutes or less. I haven't found a dud yet! I also love this one b/c for each recipe they give menu suggestions--really helpful when you're short on time and want a full meal. I made James Asian Salmon from this book for his birthday, which was flavorful and amazing!

4. The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest: Another Mollie Katzen cookbook. I also use The Moosewood Cookbook as well and both are chock full of great, creative veggie food. They generally use ingredients I keep on hand anyway and are full of flavor.

Please check out these cookbooks if you're looking for creative and interested vegetarian or non-veggie fare. They've never disappointed me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


After spending time with some lovely CO blogger ladies yesterday evening (thanks for a wonderful time Heather, Laura, Kathleen, Lauren, Katie, Beth--and especially Ashley for hosting! I look forward to hanging out with you all again sometime soon!), I am inspired to do two things I rarely do: blog and take pictures of my food.

Valentine's Day started off on the wrong foot when I rolled over in bed and James said, "It snowed." I went out to investigate to find about 3 inches of powder on the ground! We debated whether we'd go to church or snuggle back into bed. We got up and headed to church, which I definitely did not regret. Great hymn singing today, as well as a really fun combined children's/adult choir singing spirituals, followed by me eating half of the world's best cake donut ever (got to love donuts after church every Sunday).

James and I came home, planned meals for the week (including a very special Valentine's feast), and headed out to do grocery shopping. I actually love grocery shopping, especially Whole Foods for fun finds and yummy samples. :) We came to home to complete Operation: V-day Feast.

We had a fun time cooking together in the kitchen...we don't get the chance to cook together that often, but I think we're a good team. We had decided the day before that we wanted to do something with chicken sausage, and with a little searching on one of my fav cooking sites, we found Tomato and Sausage Risotto, which we planned to pair with some roasted green beans.

Oh man, this recipe did NOT disappoint! Yum. I'm looking forward to the leftovers. The recipe's supposed to make 4 servings, but this is so rich and creamy that I think it'll be more like 6 in this house. After lunch, we snuggled up and watched Community and Modern Family while nibbling on chocolate my parents sent us. Both highly enjoyable, especially Abed's antics on Community.

We've spent the evening in a cleaning frenzy, and have an organized fridge, clean kitchen, sparkling kitchen, and vacuumed floors to show for it. I love having a clean house on Sunday evenings! We had planned to make crepes with a blueberry sauce for dessert, but were too stuffed after lunch...we still may execute that plan yet this evening. What a fun foodie filled weekend! I'm so glad I have tomorrow off from work so that I can study and further organize my life.