Thursday, February 27, 2014

Great Recipes Galore

This morning I was flipping through several cook books looking for a recipe for baked rice pudding.  I had a big container of cooked rice in the refrigerator, and I knew I had seen a recipe (somewhere) in one of my cook books for making rice pudding with cooked rice.

I did find the recipe I wanted without too much trouble.  But what I found so interesting (and not for the first time) was all the delicious sounding recipes that popped out at me as I skimmed through a few books.

When I'm bored with cooking the "usual" fare and hungry for something new, I've always found that just casually looking through a cook book gives me all sorts of ideas for new recipes to try.


Even though I've done it for fifty-plus years, I can't say I'm tired of cooking.  But I will admit to getting tired of (often!) eating my own cooking.  Side note:  I have a husband who does not care for eating out.  His standard line is, "Why should I go out to eat when I can have a much better, more satisfying, nutritionally well-balanced meal at home?"  (Boy, I obviously did something very wrong way back when.)

We've never eaten out a lot (obviously) but I will admit that doing so these days doesn't hold the appeal it once did.  Going to a lot of work and effort to insure the food we eat is of the highest quality and freshness, free of chemicals and other contaminants has always been very important to us.  Today when eating out, I'm never sure how the food has been raised, where it's been raised, and the conditions under which it's been prepared.

This brings me right back to needing to frequently try new recipes and ways of preparing our food.  And you know what?  There's no doubt there are some attractive, well-written, interesting, appealing cook books out there.


And I think I may own a couple hundred of them.  This is just one area in my kitchen where my cook books live.

If I never bought another cook book in my life, I'd always be able to find plenty of new ideas for food to prepare and serve.

I do know cooking can be a real challenge if you hold down a full-time job away from home.  Been there, done that.  One of my priorities in those days was to spend a portion of a weekend day cooking for the upcoming week.  With refrigeration, home freezers, crock pots and home canned goods on the pantry shelves, it's not impossible to have a week's worth of meals ready.

What have I been trying to say here?  When you get down in the doldrums of what in the world to make for the next meal, if you're just plain bored with cooking the food you set on your table, gather up a couple/few cook books, find some time to get comfy on the couch or in your favorite chair with a glass of wine or cup of tea, browse through the books and you'll be amazed at the new ideas and tempting dishes you'll come up with in short order.

Oh, and that recipe for rice pudding I tried this morning?  A real dud.  Ya can't win 'em all!  (Big grin.)

35 comments:

DFW said...

That is so true. So many recipes from Pinterest look so good, due to the beautiful photography but they just don't taste good. I've created a folder just for those that I've tried & liked. On a side note, at the quilters retreat we have all agreed to bring a favorite cookbook to browse through when tired of sitting at a sewing machine.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Sometimes we run into dud recipes, but most aren't so bad.

My husband prefers eating home cooked food every day, and this isn't a problem. However, some days I find myself trying to figure out what to make. So like you, I pull out the books, and I also research the internet for workable recipes. Then I make a menu up for the week.

Weekend-Windup said...

Nice to hear about your cooking interest. My husband also like to eat in home since outside food doesn't suit his health.
I don't go for books, i just surf internet for new recipes!!

Sparkless said...

Even I have a cook book collection and I don't cook! Well I don't cook often because my husband does the cooking when he's home. I can cook but I'm usually disappointed in how things I make taste so I avoid cooking because I can't afford to throw away food. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Tami said...

I think the only time we "eat out" is when we're traveling on vacation. SM and I both think that the food you get in restaurants is just bad anymore.

The girls at work order in all the time. Meh. I'll pass.

Lisa said...

Timely post as I've been feeling stuck in some sort of cooking rut lately. We like eating out but seems it's becoming more and more irregular due to the same issues you presented. Also, I like to see if I can 'duplicate' some of our favorite restaurant dishes - and what's happened over the years, is that we like my version, better than the restaurant's! Have a good weekend Mama Pea!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I don't really love cooking but I don't love restaurants much either - so much of what passes for "cooking" there is little more than warming up overpriced frozen meals. Pass.

I remember once going out with my family to my grandparents favorite restaurant. My sister wasn't happy with what she'd ordered and asked the waiter about it. He came back to the table to show her the box it came out of - ha!!

I love flipping through my cookbooks from time to time. There are favorite recipes I go back to time and time again but sometimes something new pops out at me and I wonder how have I missed this one all the other times? :)

Susan said...

Gosh, you look just like a young Judy Garland in that picture! :) I keep forgetting that I have my cookbooks to page through. Thank you for reminding me! I need some inspiration.

Sarah Lienaar said...

I totally understand you. 3 months ago i bought my first cookbook online, and it has changed my life! Fine dining recipes with cheap, healthy ingredients that you could only find in expensive restaurants. I rarely even eat out with my husband anymore. Send me an e-mail if you're curious, i'll gladly help you out.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Hope lots of good food is provided at your retreat 'cause going through those cook book is going to make you hungry!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I used to make up weekly menus but now with just the two of us, it doesn't seem as necessary. Especially since I keep a well-stocked pantry and have the ingredients needed to make just about anything I come up with. (I'm sure your pantry is the same!)

Mama Pea said...

Weekend-Windup - Having the Internet available for any and all kinds of recipes has changed things quite a bit, hasn't it? I still love my books that I can hold on my lap and page through though!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Good excuse! Wish I could pull it off! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Tami - When you eat out all the time, I don't think you actually know what good, homemade food tastes like. Sooooo much better!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I just don't have the knack for recreating a recipe I've sampled elsewhere. Even though I've been called a good cook occasionally, I pretty much adhere to my recipes. I've never been able to create dishes without the guidance of a recipe. I envy you that you can do that!

Mama Pea said...

Jen - I think our moods (and tastes!) change from time to time, from season to season. And that's probably a good thing.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yeah, it's remarkable, ain't it? (I look NOTHING like Judy Garland!) You do such a good job of making good, nutritious meals I don't think you need cook books!

Mama Pea said...

Sarah Lienaar - Cheap, healthy ingredients . . . that taste good. Can't go wrong there!

Candy C. said...

I so agree with what you said to Tami! :) Not only is the food better at home but it's so much cheaper too! It really irks me when my hubby wants to go out for breakfast and spend $10 each for $2.50 worth of food!

Mama Pea said...

Candy C. - Cheaper? You bet! And that's an understatement! That's another thing that has put me off eating out . . . even as infrequently as we do. I look at the total bill and think of all the food products I could buy with that same amount of money. Doesn't seem to make sense.

Ilene Jones said...

I have lots of cookbooks. I also like AllRecipes.com, especially the search function where you can enter what ingredients you want in the recipe and what you DON'T want.

We watched someone wiping off tables at a local fast-food place one time with a rag and a pail of what looked like dirty dish water. Every table, same rag, same water.

Hubs loves to eat out. I don't. I say, "Why would I want to get dressed up, go out into the weather, burn gas to go there, only to sit down at a table where someone else sat that may have had a bad cold, to eat food that may or may not have been stored correctly or come from a safe source, and may have been cooked or handled by someone who just went to the bathroom and didn't wash their hands, or had their hands down their pants while they were cooking? Why do you think they call that thing over the salad bar "a sneeze guard"? YUK! When I have to go out to eat, I always visit the bathroom first. If it's dirty, we leave, and Hubs is irritated but oh well.

Willow said...

Ha Loved the post and that perfect vintage picture to go with it !

Michelle said...

I collect a lot of cook books also. I love to cook and try out new recipes. Most of them have little side notes in them. Where I have changed them or put don't make.

tpals said...

The only time I go out to eat is when a craving hits for my favorite chinese or vietnamese foods. I wish I enjoyed cooking though. I've never liked doing it so never got very good.

Mama Pea said...

Ilene Jones - Your inspection of the bathroom in a restaurant is a GOOD test of general conditions! Wise woman.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Willow! Thanks for commenting and the nice words!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Yes, I make notations and write on my cook book pages also. The great ones I come across get put on a recipe card and filed in my recipe box. If you see a big red cross over a recipe, it means "don't ever try it again!" :o}

Mama Pea said...

tpals - Hahaha! I'm betting you're a little bit of a thing . . . people who don't like to cook are always thin!

judy said...

Good ideas and Ya ,you betcha ,you spoiled him ,I did the same but mine weren't as healthy as your ,I;m really nosy right now and I can see beyond those good cook books .Look at that ,not a mud smudge on that shinny kitchen floor .I think I better send my whole crew up there ,just to give you something to do

Mama Pea said...

judy - I can't believe how lucky I got in picking out the kitchen flooring when we remodeled. It's sooo easy to wipe up, and the best thing? It doesn't SHOW the dirt!! I keep waiting for it to disintegrate or something because it wasn't expensive either.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I have a homemade cook book I use a lot, recipes from all over the place. I love looking online too, lots there!

Mama Pea said...

Little Homestead in Boise - Your homemade cook book is the very best kind!

simply living said...

I do love baked rice pudding. Even though it is dryer, it has a very satisfying tooth to it. I love it for breakfast with a little syrup!

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Mama Pea said...

simply living - Yes, it was the drier texture I would have liked in mine also. Even though I baked it in the oven, when a scoop was taken out a lot of "water" was left in the bottom of the dish. Ugh.