Vox Hunt: This Gets Me Cooking

Book: Show us one of your favorite cookbooks.

I tend to use cookbooks more for inspiration than for actual cooking. Everytime I look at a cookbook, the conversation in my head goes like this:

“Oh that looks good…oh wait, I’m missing that ingredient. And that one. Crap – can’t cook that today.” If I’m really intrigued by the recipe, I’ll make a list and buy those things the next time in the grocery store. If I’m just curious, I’ll make a bastardized version of the recipe. Or I just say screw it and make an old favourite that requires no recipes.

I rely on those favourites a lot.

That said, I love reading cookbooks. These are a couple of my favourites

Joie Warner’s No-Cook Pasta Sauces
I love pasta, and this book reminds me that the simplest recipes are often the tastiest. The books photos and design match that simplicity and it really appeals to me. The book even smells good to me!

This book introduced me to the power of fresh herbs mixed into a hot plate of pasta. I may not stick to the recipes precisely, but I live by lots of fresh herbs and her rule of “when it comes to garlic, when in doubt, add more!” and it always turns out good.

If I was to have a dinner party (which is difficult as my kitchen table only seats two people), I would probably cook something out of this book. Easy, elegant and tasty!

Kraft Kitchens: Dinner on Hand

This book understands that people come home at night with no idea for what they want for supper and that they don’t want to spend hours figuring it out, prepping and cooking. Recipes for everyday dishes are simplified so they cook quickly and with minimal effort. The best part about this book is that it gives you an idea for a recipe then lists several substitutions. Chances are if you don’t have the items in the original recipe, you likely have at least one of the substitutions. Lots of one-dish meals here too, so cleanup is quick too.

I have cooked things out of this book. I substituted where I needed to and things turned out well.

As is the proper thing to do, I’ve saved the best for last.

The Hummell Girls Cookbook
This is the cookbook that the women from my mother’s side of the family produced six or seven years ago. The cover art is a painting done by my second cousin. This cookbook contains lots of family recipes from all the different branches of the family tree. They range from simple stuff (Easy Curry Dip: Mix sour cream with curry power until it is a mustard yellow colour. Refrigerate. Yes this is verbatim from the book.) to my grandma’s icicle pickles that take 11 days to finish. (They really stink up a kitchen!)

It’s got a surprising amout of recipes in it for the size and there is lots of variety. There is one recipe I make out of this for almost every party I go to – Feta and Garlic Paté. Remind me to post the recipe sometime! I only contributed one recipe to this book, which was actually a (heavily) bastardized pasta recipe from the first cookbook I listed here! I wanted to contribute more, but I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking when I was 22!

We talked about doing another one last year, but I haven’t heard anything about it since. I do hope it happens sometime though because I want to design it and really wow my family with the results. I may not be able to contribute a lot of recipes, but I can make everyone else’s look even better!

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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