Jan 26, 2009

Show and Tell: Cookbooks

Musings of A Beautiful Mess

I am not a great cook. I'm a good cook, just not fantastic. That's mostly because I get so nervous to try new things. That has changed!

My MIL gave me a cookbook with her favorite recipes for Christmas in 2000. I used it a few times, but mostly it just hung out in my drawer with my apron. When we lived with our friends, he did most of the cooking. He's a way better cook then I am, so it was the best idea. There were a few meals I would make that everyone raved about, but generally I left the cooking to someone else.

Last year, my MIL updated the recipe book and gave me another copy. It has more recipes in it and some of them have pictures in them. That is a HUGE bonus for me! I feel so unsure of myself when I'm trying a new meal, that pictures really help me out.

Since we moved, I have tried more recipes in those 2 cookbooks, then I have in my whole life. I've even gotten brave and tweaked them a little. Most of the recipes are from my husband's childhood and while he enjoys them, they are very bland. So, I generally add a little garlic or a few shakes of spices to bring out some kind of taste. All this experimenting has gone really well. So far, everything has turned out edible and there was no need to break out the frozen corn dogs or call for pizza. Even this weekend, when I tried a stew. EVERYONE liked it! Some even went for seconds.

I'm really happy to have these cookbooks and I can't wait to try more recipes and expand our taste buds. Maybe once I get my picky family use to new foods, I'll introduce a few Indonesian dishes we use to have when we were growing up. I'm sure noses will be turned up at them, but if they just take a bite they may find that they actually enjoy it!

Go and visit Mel and check out what everyone else brought to class.

9 friends have commented:

JuliaS on January 26, 2009 at 10:07 AM said...

I love cookbooks - especially with pictures! I think pictures of the food are a must - more likely to make the recipe that way.

What fun - happy cooking!

Brenna on January 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM said...

This is one of the things I'm trying to do more of in 2009--trying new recipes! I like Cooking Light magazine, that's always a fun place to start. What a neat thing, that your MIL passes on the family recipes like that.

Stacie on January 26, 2009 at 4:15 PM said...

What a neat present to get from your MIL. (it sure beats the presents I've gotten from mine!)

Happy cooking!

Here from ICLW

Coffeegrl on January 27, 2009 at 4:25 AM said...

I love the idea of maintaining a family legacy of favorite recipes. I may not always like them (and may tweak them as you suggest) but what a great place to start. My husband and I come from very different backgrounds (cultures and countries) so having that kind of information for our kids would be such a gift! I may have to make one of these myself!

Third times a charm on January 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM said...

I made a cookbook of family recipes in 1998. It really needs updating to include new family favorites and recipes from my sister-in-law. Pictures are a great idea. I better get to work now if I want to have it done by christmas.

katery on January 27, 2009 at 6:20 PM said...

well, at least sometimes you succeed at being patient, i ALWAYS fail when it comes to patience.

eden on January 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM said...

I am so glad that you are feeling better.

How cool are your cookbooks, especially with pics. Go the Indonesian, we love that down here!! I reckon your family will totally love it, especially all the rices.

Hugs to you, Beautiful-est Mess!! XOXOX

Cassandra on January 28, 2009 at 8:38 AM said...

My MIL makes maybe 5 dishes, and my mom hasn't cooked anything in 15 years, so between the two of them, comprehensive cookbooks of all of their recipes would cover a couple of cocktail napkins.

If the Indonesian dishes turn out well, let us know and maybe post some recipes!

seussgirl on January 31, 2009 at 7:50 AM said...

Wow, pictures in a homemade cookbook are a great idea! I'll have to remember that if I ever pass on my recipes. I'll have to start taking pictures each time I cook something. :)

Thanks for commenting on my blog!

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