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cooking the books in 2019 - lesmel


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Jan 5, 8:19pm Top

I got three cookbooks for Christmas. I also buzzed through a bunch of cookbooks from the library at the end of 2018. Now I just need to actually make some of the recipes!

While not in a cookbook, I'll be making two instant pot recipes tomorrow:

https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-chili/#recipe -- my go to recipe for chili (minus the beans b/c chili does not have BEANS!)
http://www.bruceandmark.com/recipes/2018/2/2/instant-pot-ramen-broth.html -- first time for this

Jan 5, 8:40pm Top

Oh cool! Is this going to be your cooking journal? Love the title. :D

Jan 6, 12:58am Top

>2 MrsLee: That's my plan! I'm hoping to keep track of my cooking adventures this year. :)

Jan 7, 10:33pm Top

Made sous vide egg bites on Sunday as well as the ramen broth (fantastic) and chili (always exceptional). The eggs bites are divine. Super velvety. Tender. Flavorful. On Saturday, I took the Anova Nano for its inagural run on a NY Strip steak. I got it more done than I planned; it is was also fantastic.

I am sort of in awe over some of the things I see people cooking via sous vide. Turkey. Prime rib. Pork shoulder. We are talking two DAYS of cooking. That is insane. Bet it is incredibly tasty, though. LOL

Jan 9, 2:24pm Top

I thought I'd add a couple pictures from my most recent culinary adventure:

Sous vide steak:

Sous vide egg bites:

Jan 9, 3:18pm Top

>5 lesmel: Without question, I'm coming to visit.

Jan 9, 4:20pm Top

>6 Lyndatrue: I have a spare room! LOL

I'm still kinda on the fence about sous vide at the moment. Mostly, the safety factor is freaking me out; but I'm reading up on food safety and technique and set ups.

Jan 10, 9:38am Top

Sous vide is something I have not paid much attention to. Mostly because I have no counter space for large appliances. In fact, I am wishing my microwave would die so I could either get a smaller version or do without.

Your photos are lovely, and I'm sure the food was delicious!

Jan 10, 4:23pm Top

>8 MrsLee: Our micro died back in 2012? and we never bothered to replace it. Toaster oven, real oven, and stovetop, that's how things get heated/cooked! Zero regrets!

Jan 10, 4:42pm Top

>8 MrsLee: My Anova Nano is a stick with a clamp. I use a stockpot placed in a towel in a thermal grocery bag. I could up my game and make a sleeve (or buy one) or go all out and buy a polycarb container/lid, rack, and sleeve. Still, the space taken up wouldn't be that much more than with my stockpot. I could sous vide on my stove (burners off, of course) since I have plugs within easy reach of either side of my stove. Time will tell...

Thinking appliances, I have a HUGE Sharper Image counter oven with two top burners. We used it to make the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving this year. It is monstrous and lives just outside my kitchen on a large cart (with the rest of my cookware and appliances). I could leave the cart in my kitchen, but I find that I move it around the space constantly. If I park it just outside the kitchen, it stays put.

Jan 11, 9:53am Top

>10 lesmel: I obviously have much to learn about sous vide! I thought it was a big box-type thing that you fill with water. :)

Edited: Jan 11, 3:31pm Top

>11 MrsLee: Totally is (a huge box that eats up counter space) in restaurants, Iron Chef, and industrial/commercial kitchens. Apparently, it's on planes, too. I'm learning all kinds of things with this new gadget!

Edited: Jan 11, 4:40pm Top

Went through The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, Weinstein and marked down a list of recipes that looked good, didn't have super special ingredients, and didn't feed a battalion.

I'm sort of disappointed in Sous Vide at Home, Fetterman. There's lots of great info; but the recipes are very "unicorny." In fact, it reminds me of how Bon Appétit has gotten. The recipes in that magazine used to be solid, easy to follow, no crazy techniques or ingredients. Now, the recipes are sometimes ridiculous. Granted, sous vide is a crazy technique; but I was hoping for more of a primer on sous vide and not food porn. Still, I marked down several recipes on my little notepad. And if I'm daring, maybe, some day(s), I'll sous vide for 36 hours straight to make the (supposedly) most perfect Puerto Rican Pernil. Yes. Thirty-six hours. Overall, the book is good; just not what I wanted to start off with.

Jan 12, 4:39am Top

>13 lesmel: "are very "unicorny." In fact, it reminds me of how Bon Appétit has gotten"

Why do good food magazines do this? I treasure my late-60s copies of Gourmet, and their books from the 1950s are gems, but after that they went "upmarket", with articles and recipes of no relevance or interest to real human beings. I was not in the least surprised that the enterprise failed what? over 10 years ago?

Jan 12, 5:39am Top

>14 hfglen: It is definitely a problem. Instead of trying to be useful they will try to be trendy and unique. As if that's what makes for good food! grr.

Jan 12, 10:04am Top

Well, I for one am adding "unicorn ingredients" into my vocabulary. I had never heard them referenced as such before this thread.

I like to DIY a lot of products, but so many of the recipes are full of unicorn stuff. I don't care if you tell me where to buy all the exotic things, if I have to spend $100 to make 2 oz. of lotion, I'm not going to do it. Coconut oil for the win.

Edited: Jan 12, 12:46pm Top

>14 hfglen: I was just thinking how much I missed old Gourmet Magazine. When Borders was dying and they were having the huge markdowns sales, I bought two Gourmet cookbooks. The books could kill someone that's how thick they are. I also have my mother's two volume set of Gourmet cookbooks from the 80s(?). All four have good recipes that don't require exotic ingredients you only use once. Yes, some are a little unicorny, but it is rare.

>15 .Monkey.: I have been listening to Cooking with Bruce & Mark podcasts (for weeks now). Mark talks about two trends that have happened in cooking (and thus cookbooks) -- "overprofessionalization" and hrm, I've now forgotten the other term he used. Basically he says that people have veered so for into the art of cooking, they forget the basic science of cooking.

>16 MrsLee: Funny you mention lotion. I scanned a recipe for lotion from my mom's collection over the holiday and it calls for unibase. Neeeever heard of unibase in my life. Mom shrugs and says, "it's unibase. You buy it for lotion." Still have no idea what it really is. LOL

Jan 12, 12:26pm Top

>17 lesmel: Subject to correction, I believe that the first edition of the two-volume set came out in the late 50s; you should be able to find out from the books themselves. I have Bouquet de France (1952), British Bouquet (1963, surprisingly) and Old Vienna Cookbook (1959). I agree about the size and weight.

I googled unibase and got half-a-dozen references to software. Can't imagine putting that into lotion.

Jan 12, 12:41pm Top

>18 hfglen: I had to go look. My older Gourmet set is Gourmet Vol I and Gourmet Vol II from 1976. The newer books are Gourmet Today from 2004 and The Gourmet Cookbook from 2009.

Jan 12, 1:07pm Top

May I suggest that your older set is a second edition or at least a later printing? I've just looked in my set of 1969 magazines, and it's already advertised in the January number. (BTW, I managed to find all 12 months plus the index secondhand, and bound them myself. The result weighs a ton, but has some good recipes.)

Jan 12, 1:11pm Top

>18 hfglen: I believe that Unibase (the glycol-based item for lotions and similar) isn't made any more. Here's a reference to it:


Please note that although it says "side effects" there aren't really any, other than the standard allergy items (skin rash, etc.). For further amusement, UniBase (note the capital "B") is a paint additive.

Jan 12, 1:14pm Top

>21 Lyndatrue: That makes a lot more sense than the software references! Thank you.

Jan 12, 4:50pm Top

>20 hfglen: Oh yeah. I knew they weren't first printing. That's why I said 80s. I knew the volumes have been printed multiple times.

>21 Lyndatrue: It looks like, maybe, Fagron still sells unibase. Although, that may only be for commercial volume. Wonder if a compounding pharmacy would have it or order it. Hrm.

Jan 12, 7:32pm Top

Used the Anova to make some shrimp. In this case, I absolutely love sous vide!! I love seafood, but hate cooking it because I always overcook it. It would take a lot of effort to overcook seafood via sous vide. Also, I need to practice my water displacement method for removing air from the bag.

Jan 12, 8:25pm Top

>24 lesmel: That sounds like a perfect method for seafood!

Jan 13, 3:17am Top

>17 lesmel: Here ya go: https://www.ndrugs.com/?s=unibase%20ointment#doctor_description. It does contain glycols, as lyndratrue suggested. "Butyrospermum parkii butter" is shea butter, if it isn't already obvious.

Jan 13, 9:31pm Top

Apparently one of my nieces tried to order Everyday Dorie for me. The first copy had loose pages so she returned it. The second copy was coming off the spine, so she returned it and just got a refund. She gave me a Belk Gift Card instead.

Jan 14, 7:02am Top

>27 thornton37814: That's a shame. That's just the sort of thing that drives down sales and keeps people from buying decent cookbooks.

Jan 14, 7:52pm Top

>28 lesmel: I will probably try to find it at a bookstore where I can see the condition. It was one that I really wanted because so many raved over it.

Jan 14, 9:36pm Top

Today, I listened to a Bruce & Mark podcast about just what we have been talking about -- the over-romanticism (is that the right word?) of cooking. It's an interesting 12 minute editorial/conversation.

If you are interested, four of the platforms where you can listen:





Group: Cookbookers

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