I have an affinity for cookbooks. My mom always likes to tell the story of when I moved home after college. See, after graduation, and my 2 week Europe trip (REQUIRED FOR COLLEGE GRADS), I had a solid month before being propelled in to my full-time job, or what some people may refer to as, “real life”. So what did I do? What any normal twenty-something would: I slept until 10 every morning, enjoyed a lesiurely, hearty breakfast which consisted of (on most days) two bowls of cereal, two pieces of peanut butter toast, and copious amounts of coffee.
Hey, I was going in to a career of retail, you guys.
I was just carb loading.
Stop judging me.
These marathon morning meals were also inclusive of stacks of cookbooks from the library. Let’s just pause and recognize the fact that AS I WAS EATING, I was also planning other meals.#sorrynotsorry
Anyway, the obsession and infinite research of these ingredient filled pages was born from an epiphany I encountered far too late in my college career: I should have gone to culinary school. I actually fantasized about what it would be like to be in a kitchen, learning different chopping techniques, traditional preparations, and classic sauce recipes – and calling that “class”. I would totally be the teacher’s pet, that annoying know-it-all in class that seems to think they know more than everyone in the room (the professor included). It excited me to learn more about cooking; I was thrilled to be a student, and to know that there would always be a different cuisine, cooking style, or recipe to master.
So what did I do about it?
I kept going to school.
Nothing to do with broasting, baking, or braising.
But, when I wasn’t at the library, learning about the 4 P’s of marketing, or studying accrual accounting (yawn)… I was in the kitchen.
Trying new recipes. Experimenting with techniques. Developing. Tweaking. Learning.
Deep fried ice cream for my roommate’s birthday.
Baba ganoush for girls’ nights.
Hand squeezed margaritas for Cinco de Mayo.
As opposed to the very black and white world of school work, cooking allowed me to be creative. To take risks. To be inventive in a different way. I loved how the end results (good or bad) always offered a lesson. More salt next time. Bake 5 minutes less. Don’t substitute onions for shallots (personal preference).
All this is to explain my particular obsession with cookbooks. There’s something so nostalgic in flipping through kitchen-worn pages, earmarking those to try, and being inspired by new and mouth watering recipes. Which is also very ironic, given the type of cook I consider myself. Starting this blog was not exactly easy for me. I’m not the type of cook who writes things down or memorize what I do. Countless times I’ve been asked, “What’s in this?”, and I rarely can provide a complete response. It’s been hard for me to test a recipe, tweek it, make it multiple times to perfect it, and ultimately create an easy to follow recipe that I can share. But, it’s good for me! It’s strengthened my knowledge in the kitchen, and allowed me to remake my “go-to’s” with consistent results. Which is why I am so excited to share this little project I’ve been working on for the past couple months, which has allowed me to be a true student of some of the chefs, authors, and fellow foodies I admire so much.
For the entire month of October, I will be sharing one recipe each day from one of my favorite tried-and-true cookbooks. I’ll share the recipe, share which cookbook it’s from (pay credit where credit is due, of course!), and photos from my experience. It is my sincere hope that this month inspires you to pull out one of your cookbooks, try a new recipe, or get inspired in the kitchen.
All recipes from Cookbook Month:
- Pumpkin, Sage, & Brown Butter Cupcakes
- Cornmeal Crusted Scallops with Mint Chimichurri
- Curried Chicken Salad
- Fish Tacos with Chipotle Crema
- The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour
- Grown Up Mac & Cheese
- Egg, Kale, and Tomato Breakfast Wraps with Hummus
- Orzo with Artichoke Pesto
- Spicy Homemade Ginger Beer
- French Onion Soup
- Oatmeal Cream Pies with Ginger Cream
- Sidecars with Dried Cherries
- Easy Coq au Vin with Brown Butter Egg Noodles
- The Bloody Anytime (The BEST Bloody Mary vodka base)
- Caramelized Garlic Tart
- Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts
- Pumpkin and Oregano Butter Gnocchi
- Homemade Chicken Stock
- Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
- Salmon with Sriracha and Lime
- German Apple Pancake
- The Best Green Juice
- Caramelized Pear, Sage, and Orange Biscuits
- Arugula Salad with Port Roasted Pears and Roquefort
- Engagement Roast Chicken
- Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
- Apple and Brie Soup with Bacon and Pumpkin Seed Granola
- Homemade Soft Pretzels
- White Turkey Chili
- Crusted Pumpkin Wedges with Sour Cream
- Harvest Cheese Board