Friday, February 28, 2014

Favorite Cookbooks

Because an important part of knitting is eating, I thought I'd share my top five favorite cookbooks.    Or should I say, my top five most used cookbooks.  I have others that have much more sentimental value or that have better food porn photos, but these five are the ones I use over and over and over again.

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is the answer to a obsessive knitter's busy homeschooler's prayers.  Make it Fast is the only slow cooker cookbook I've ever liked and I've looked at thousands.  Most slow cooker cookbooks only give you recipes for stews & barbecue but this book has everything!  Not to mention, the recipes are easy, contain simple ingredients & taste great.  Artisan Bread shows you how to make a huge amount of dough that gets stored in the fridge to be taken out & baked as needed.  With these two cookbooks, I can toss dinner into the crockpot in the morning, run the kids all over the state to their various homeschooled classes/outings (or sit on my butt watching Netflix & knitting all day,) then toss some dough into the oven in the evening.  By the time the dogs are fed & the table is set, we have a hot meal and fresh bread.  In fact, I like & use Make it Fast so much, I bought several additional crockpots of various sizes so that I can cook multiple things at once.

Dining on a Dime is pretty much what the title says it is.  The recipes are very inexpensive to make and every one I've tried so far has tasted great.  Well, except that time I forgot to add the water in the spanish rice.  Liquid-free baked rice is not great, let me tell you!  But hey, the more money I save on meals, the more money I have to spend on yarn.

1,000 Vegetarian Recipes is just flat out excellent.  I'd bought this book a few years ago when my daughter & I went vegetarian and fell in love with it.  Neither of us are following a vegetarian lifestyle anymore, but I still use this cookbook frequently.  I don't even like vegetables all that much (I'm much more of a meat & potatoes & cake kind of girl) but every recipe I've tried so far has been excellent.

Last but not least on my list is Necessities & Temptations.  I've been using this cookbook for almost 20 years.  You'd think I'd have the recipes memorized by now, but I don't.  Not because they are difficult, but because I seem to be incapable of memorizing anything.  Necessities & Temptations has, for the most part, simple recipes with simple ingredients that end up tasting like I've slaved away in the kitchen for days.  With most cookbooks, I find that I tend to only use one category of it's recipes.  I only use the meat recipes, or the side dishes, or only like the deserts....  But with Necessities & Temptations, I find myself using, and enjoying, recipes from every section.

So, if you are looking for a bit of kitchen inspiration, click on one of those links or simply go to your local library and check out those cookbooks.  I'm sure you'll be glad you did.

For knitting news, I've only knit nine more stripes on the fair isle scarf since my last post.

That brings the total number of stripes so far up to 29.  I probably have another 12 or so to go before it's long enough.  Progress has been extremely slow on this scarf because I've been on a scary movie kick.  Intense, scary movies are not the best knitting option when every row is different.  I either get absorbed into the movie & forget to start a new pattern row or something jumps out at me, I scream like a little girl & drop a bunch of stitches.  It's not helping that I rearranged my desk/knitting/crafting area & now my back is to the room/door.  The family keeps sneaking up on me.  Sneaking up on me when I'm absorbed in a scary movie makes me scream & drop that many more stitches.  I think I have knit every single pattern of this scarf twice, sometimes three times, now.  First, I knit it wrong, then I frog it, then reknit it.  It's a good thing I enjoy the knitting process.

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