I am currently blogging about everything. Jump in where you are and thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cooks and Books

My favorite things in the world are food and books and I definitely need both to live. Or I need both to live happily for sure. Here is a list of some books about food and even housekeeping that I find indispensable!

CookWise by Shirley Corriher, she deftly reveals the science behind recipes. Why does bread dough change with what type of flour you use? The answer (different levels of protein affect gluten formation) and a billion other answers are here.

Bernard Clayton's New Book of Bread (along with a few frantic phone calls to my friend Donna Lea) taught me to bake my own bread. Whole wheat, white, multi grain, veggie breads, they are all in here! Fabulous!

Seasoning Savvy by Alice Arndt (my cousin!) I go back to this book over and over again. It is an encyclopedia of information on herbs, spices and flavorings. My number one tip from this book is if your recipe calls for juice of a citrus add zest, if it asks for zest add juice. Wonderful. I miss her so much.

Salad People by Mollie Katzen, a children's cookbook with unique illustrations that allows even pre-readers to make their own food with minimal help from Mom and Dad.

Homekeeping Handbook by Martha Stewart, if I can't figure out how or when or how often to clean something guess who knows? Martha. She is my idol and I love her.

Big Book of 30 Minute Dinners by Better Homes and Garden, well before Rachel Ray I had this awesome little book filled with terrific weeknight dinners. I don't use it as much now, because I have absorbed the techniques and adapted them to my own cooking style and ingredients I have on hand.

And an indispensable resource online? www.savingdinner.com all recipes by LeAnn Ely. She is a mom and a nutritionist and her food is delicious and easy to make. You can sign up for a Menu Mailer to make grocery shopping and meal prep super easy! I like her 5 for the Freezer series. You make 5 meals in 20 minutes and freeze them for future use! I did some before I had Bela and they helped out on those frantic first few weeks home with the baby.


  1. Hands down, Maya Angelou's "Hallelujah!". Less about how to cook, although there are GREAT recipes full of horrible things like lard, and more about the things that happen at tables and in lives around food. Awesome stories.

    Along the lines of your 30 Minute Dinners is my rediscovery of Southern Living's "Easy Weeknight Favorites". Sort of like the 30 minute Gourmet feature at the end of the Gourmet magazine. I like to pull out the SL one not just for easy weeknights but for when guests are coming so we have something yummy and impressive, but there's not all the stress of spending a day cooking ahead of time or having to be in the kitchen forever when they're arriving.

  2. I don't think lard is soooo terrible, at least as it compares to things like Crisco or shortening. I have been using some lard and bacon fat in my cooking, not with every meal of course, but sometimes. I will definitely check that out, I love Maya Angelou's poetry of course! I love it when poets/novelists write about food.

    Two of my favorite in that genre are "Like Water for Chocolate" and "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" which both include recipes. They are wonderful insights into the time and region in which the books take place. In my next life I will be a nutritional anthropologist. :)