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Monkey makes a mess in 2019

Cookbookers

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1.Monkey.
Jan 7, 2:32pm Top

I'm going to make a thread, too! Maybe this will help motivate me to use the cookbooks I am so eager to collect! haha. I tend to get stuck making the same handful of things because I know them so well so it's simple, and of course we enjoy them, and also in larger part because for most of them the ingredients are always on hand, maybe one or two might need an item or two specially, but it doesn't really take any pre-planning, which I am awful at doing. More like, hey it's 16.00 what are we having tonight? lol. But I have all these books with all kinds of good stuff, I really need to be more proactive at using them! Perhaps having a thread will give me a little accountability?

Since it's just the two of us meals typically have at least 2 nights of leftovers, more often 3, and rarely there's even 4, so usually only 2 meals are made per week; so, while I'd love to go for one new recipe/week, I think every other meal would likely be a bit of a stretch. So I guess I will shoot for one every 2wks instead, and if I manage more, yay! and if not, still on track! haha. I may also post the first time I make the "standard rotation" meals this year that are a little more worthy of note than, say, the veg, Quorn, tomato sauce, and pasta meal we had the past few days. ;P I will try to remember to take pictures, but especially during winter that can be a pain, with it being dark out and our warm yellow lighting, lol. But we shall see!

In addition to the dinners, I think I'd like to bake a dessert ...hmmm... let's say once a month? 12 seems so very small :( but, my husband isn't really much for sweets, hence my lack of ever baking, which makes me sad as I love a good dessert and they're so satisfying to make and have come out well! So, forget him, I want to make yummies! XD

2MrsLee
Jan 8, 9:26am Top

Happy exploring in your cookbooks! Whenever I take photos of my food, they come out mostly unappealing. I read an article once on how food photographers get those mouthwatering shots. It wasn't very appetizing! :)

I also like baking a good dessert now and then. My problem is getting the thing eaten before it isn't good anymore. Tends to make me eat more of it than I should. I try to save the baking for when there will be people around to eat it.

3.Monkey.
Jan 9, 3:54pm Top

Yeah exactly, with just the 2 of us, and the husband not normally partaking... but I don't care, I'm gonna make yummy treats anyway! I've gone like a decade now of next to no baking, time for a change-up! ;P

Hahaha well one of the big things is either cooking it all in the morning or afternoon, and/or having a whole lightbox setup, neither of which am I about to do! So until around summer any photos of dinner will be rather yellow looking, even if they'd otherwise look somewhat decent. xD

Meanwhile, to help facilitate cookbook usage, I am going through them and writing out a list of the recipes (pg, what sort (meal, side, sweet etc), and title) that I think would work well for us, to stick in the front. So then I can just pull out a book, peruse the list, and pick something, no fuss! I finished with one of the larger ones so far, and am currently working on one that MJ sent me. :D I probably won't get through too many right away, will get bored, haha, but I'll do at least a few before setting it aside for a later date. :)

4lesmel
Jan 9, 4:24pm Top

>3 .Monkey.: Oh! I like this list idea! Maybe I'll go through some cookbooks in what is left of this week (I usually cook on the weekends only) and make some notes on what look like doable recipes. Since it's only me, I just can't do recipes that feed more than 7-8. I don't have the freezer space for leftovers.

5.Monkey.
Jan 9, 5:31pm Top

It's really handy! I might also consider scanning (or being lazy and just taking cell phone shots, lol) each of the lists to have an easy to look over "master list" without pulling out the books, too. :)

6MrsLee
Jan 10, 9:36am Top

Clever and cleverer! I have been putting a little marker in the cookbooks I use frequently, by the recipes in them that I use regularly. Hoping it will help with the "now where was the recipe for?" My ultimate goal is to come up with a personal cookbook that has all the recipes I return to (including my own) in one place. So far that plan is only in my head.

7.Monkey.
Jan 10, 12:13pm Top

>6 MrsLee: Yes, me too!! I've even bought the binder rings and various other supplies I want (or, think I want, while plotting, who knows what will happen once it comes to actually trying to make it! hahaha) to use for it, but still have not actually started anything!

8PhaedraB
Jan 10, 1:02pm Top

I use a 3-ring binder for recipes I've printed out from websites or cut out from magazines or copied out by hand. I put them in clear page protectors then use a clip or a clothespin to put them where I can see them while I cook. If I change the servings, I put the recalculated measurements on a slip of paper and tuck that in the page protector sleeve, too. Keeps me from absentmindedly using a full measure instead of a half, which I have been known to do if I do it all in my head as I go along. I'm a household of one, so I halve recipes regularly.

My bread machine was a freebie which came with no instruction manual, so I downloaded a PDF onto my laptop. I didn't want to print it out, but it's a pain to have the laptop in my micro-kitchen. So I hand-copied the ingredients list for the ones I make most often (for both full-sized and smaller loafs) and tuck those into a plastic sleeve, too.

If it's a familiar recipe I can't resist messing with it, especially with breads. I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing down what I changed and what I thought of the results. Yesterday I made a pear and cranberry crumble using a halved recipe for an apple cranberry crumble I printed out from the NY Times years ago. I wrote down what I changed (and what I forgot -- the lemon zest) and a little review of the results. That slip of paper is now in the page protector along with the original printout.

Sometimes I highlight recipes I've used in the index of the cookbook, but mostly I use sticky notes to mark the pages.

9lesmel
Edited: Jan 11, 4:09pm Top

I went through one cookbook (from Xmas) last night. I looked at every recipe and triaged the book, really.

1. did the recipe title sound good. yes, continue / no, find another.
2. did the recipe have unicorn ingredients. no, continue / yes, find another.
3. did the recipe make more than 8 servings. no, write page and name on my little notepad paper (smaller than a 3x5 US index card) / yes, find another.
4. stop when notepad page is full

I figure if I try this with three cookbooks to start with, I might actually start spending more time in my cookbook collection! Now if I can just follow through with making those recipes to start with from the book...sometime this year. For now, I have to freeze and pantry cook. I need space in my freezer!

Edited b/c I'm a space cadet this week.

10MrsLee
Jan 11, 9:50am Top

>9 lesmel: Where do you find unicorn ingredients?

11lesmel
Jan 11, 4:08pm Top

>10 MrsLee: Good question. Honestly, I live in a very diverse city (ok, just outside the city). I have access to nearly everything my heart desires (when it comes to cooking)...but am I REALLY going to need a bottle of butterfly eyelashes when the recipe calls for ONE? What am I supposed to do with the other 50 that are only good for 6 months?

12MrsLee
Jan 11, 11:00pm Top

Group: Cookbookers

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