I am a frequent cook and I enjoy doing it. Cleaning up and doing dishes is a different story. I'm usually pretty comfortable tackling a new recipe, but I try to keep in mind that I am cooking for myself, two small children, and a hubby with some dietary restrictions. Not every recipe will work for us. It's also very difficult to make a dinner with 72 steps when you have a toddler clinging to your leg and a first grader shouting for help with his homework.
The first cookbook I checked out from the library was Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen. I have used many recipes from her blog and I thought this would be a good pick for our family. Perelman admits that she started cooking (and blogging about it) not because she attended cooking school in Italy or came from a proud tradition of chefs. Instead, she started cooking because she was picky. In fact, she calls herself "an obsessive home cook."
She shares pictures of her tiny New York City kitchen and writes about the quest of every home cook - "Will the time and effort of making this dish be worth it?" There are even sections about the items you must have in your kitchen and how to throw a dinner party that won't make you hate cooking altogether
The Smitten Kitchen is a beautiful book. It's one of those cookbooks that you might just leave on your coffee table because it's too beautiful to put up on a kitchen shelf. I meant to take lots of pictures before I took it back to the library, but I forgot. Whoops. Trust me when I say that the photos are gorgeous and I really appreciated that Perelman includes photos of the steps instead of just one of the final product. (See these pictures from her website for a Carrot Graham Layer Cake recipe.)
The book is divided into breakfast; salads; sandwiches, tarts, and pizzas; vegetarian main dishes; main dishes with seafood and meat; sweets; and party snacks and drinks. Each recipe gets an introduction as Perelman describes her love for a certain food or the experience that led her to experiment in the kitchen.
I'm especially excited to make a marbled pumpkin gingersnap tart and the cheddar swirl breakfast buns.
What cookbooks are you using lately?