The Cookbook Hoarder Confesses

I love cookbooks. And most importantly, I love reading cookbooks! Before bed, during breakfast, during a lunch or dinner alone, plus while meal-planning, of course – you’ll often find me perusing whichever of my stash catches my fancy at the time. I love seeing what cookbooks other people have, and the cookbook section in bookstores draws me like a magnet.

I have quite the collection of cookbooks, as pictured above, ranging from my mom’s first cookbook from the 1960s to The Joy of Cooking (2006 edition) to The Chocolate-Covered Katie. I have a Thai cookbook that’s actually from Thailand and a big ol’ basket filled with cooking magazines.

You’d think I’d be a more adventurous cook than I am. But I’m not.

I read somewhere that most home cooks regularly make meals around the same 40 recipes, and that’s definitely the case with me. Despite my impressive cookbook stash, like most of us, I pretty much make the same dozen or so meals, week after week, with little variation except for holidays and special occasions.

A little while ago, I took on a marketing project where I made recipes from an international cookbook, took photos, and wrote blog-style articles about them. All the recipes I made were ones I had noticed before from the cookbook and never taken the time to make. To my surprise, they were all huge successes that I know I’ll be making again.

And it hit me that I have sort of a mental list of recipes from all those cookbooks that I want to make “someday.” An interesting vintage cookie recipe. An appetizer that looks like it would be perfect for a holiday party. An unusual pasta dish from a Marion Cunningham book. A cake I saw on The Great British Baking Show. I finally decided to make my mental list into an actual list! I’m making this blog my accountability tool to smash out of my cooking comfort zone and do some culinary exploration.

My grand goal is to make at least one new recipe from my cookbook stash each week. Or at some level of regularity. I’m only human. 

I’ll try to keep some amount of balance between main dishes, sides, desserts, breads, etc. But again, if I go on a cookie kick or an appetizer bender, so be it.

I hope this blog inspires you to break out of your cooking routine and try some new recipes on your people!

My Cooking Philosophy

I rarely make a recipe perfectly exactly as-written, and I am not about to start doing so now. I tinker and make adjustments on the fly based on what I like (and what my family likes), my time constraints, what my pantry is stocked with, and my mood at the time. I may pull my final plan together from several recipe sources. I’ll generally note if I deviate from the recipe in any way, unless I forget to, which could easily happen.

I’m not a test kitchen or a professional food photographer. And while I enjoy baking and cooking, I lean towards recipes that fit into my life, not the other way around. So speed and efficiency in recipes is very attractive!

Okay, let’s get (egg) cracking!

*Note: this blog was formerly a fitness/running focused blog and I’ve kept some of the old posts up for prosperity. Might also be some kid/family-related/travel content floating around.*