The One Where She Goes a Little too Martha S.- A Cookbook Challenge

It makes sense that I'd turn to cookbooks when meal planning, and this week I took it one step further (this is where summer boredom starts creeping up). I've decided that for the next five nights I will only use recipes from the many, many cookbooks I have. I'm pretty good at mixing things up in the kitchen, and refuse to cook the same thing two (or even three) weeks in a row, but this week I was drawing a blank. So, I took all my books down and spent two hours in front of a new guilty-pleasure show (that shall remain nameless) and picked out a few recipes.

1. Pot Stickers from Cook This, Not That by Dave Zinczenko- A healthier take on normal deep fried pot stickers with a homemade Asian sauce and snap peas. I really love how this book takes popular restaurant dishes and remakes healthier versions.

2. Pancetta Carbonera from Dinner at My Place by Tyler Florence- This is definitely not healthy, and it has pork, something I cook maybe two or three times a year. I also plan on whipping out the pasta maker and making the noodles from scratch. Don't be too impressed- homemade pasta is challenging for me and my noodles tend to be really thick, so hopefully this goes well.

3. Macaroni and Cheese from The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendlesohn- I'm changing this recipe
up a little by not adding bacon. I know my opinion is definitely the minority, but I think bacon is disgusting and abhor cooking it. Spike's cookbook is fabulous for homemade burgers (the only kind I'll eat) and shakes, if you're looking for some nontraditional twists on classics.

4. Crunchy Garlic Chicken from Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution and Creamy M
ashed Potatoes from The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel- I like how Jaime gives an option for baking or frying his panko and garlic crusted chicken, and I love his philosophy on whole, organic food (although I don't follow it as much as I should). I obviously know how to make mashed potatoes already, but Katie Lee Joel uses cream cheese and I needed a good ratio.

5. Mexican Rice Casserole from Food Network Kitchen's Favorite Recipes- I've actually made this before, a long time ago, and we both loved it. It has fire roasted tomatoes, cubes of jack cheese, chiles and different spices. Don't let the taboo "casserole
" term get you down! I'll serve it with plain cheese quesadillas.

None of this is particularly, healthy, meaning I'll have to be careful during breakfast and lunch. And most of this is a little time consuming, which is okay right now since I'm on vacation, but ordinarily I prefer to throw in one or two "easy" meals in the mix that d
on't require much prep work.

And for those that love cookbooks as much as I do, or want to start collecting them, I buy them used on Amazon for far cheaper than the regular price. I don't buy my normal books used, but these days it's the only way I'll buy cookbooks. You have to pay for shipping, but when you're getting the book at a fraction of the price it's worth it.

I leave you with a picture of Spike Mendelsohn, author of The Good Stuff Cookbook (also from Top Chef). I'm a firm believer that any man that hangs out with giant rubber duckies can make some good food.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, everything looks delicious. I had Mexican food a couple days ago and now I want some more!