Welcome Cactus

Welcome!

This is a blog for the curious. I'm happy you stopped by. 

Let's Talk About Cookbooks

It’s October, and I’m happy about it. I love this month! I love the colors on the trees, the consistently cool weather, football and soccer games, and warm and comforting meals. Today I want to focus on the warm and comforting meals part.

Last month I shared my favorite fall meals and a pinterest board of recipes I want to try this season, but there are other recipes at my fingertips I sometimes forget about. I have a shelf full of cookbooks, and to be honest I don’t use them as much as I should. As someone who loves books and reading, I’m surprised at my tendency to turn to my computer to find recipes rather than to my cookbooks.

Cookbooks

This weekend I was reminded of this great stack of books when my husband suggested we make our favorite tomato soup recipe for a friend who was visiting. The recipe is from one of our most used cookbooks, and it got me thinking that I need to start cooking from these recipes more.

To get myself, and hopefully you, inspired to use cookbooks I want to share my favorites from my cookbook collection.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten

Foolproof.JPG

When my husband and I got married we took a “mini-moon” to his parent’s cabin for a few days after our wedding. Nick’s mom, Grandma and godmother had stocked the cabin with cookbooks, a menu, and all the groceries we needed to try some new recipes from the cookbooks. Our first meal as a married couple was Ina’s tomato soup from this cookbook. It’s still one of our favorite meals.

TomatoSoup.JPG

I like this cookbook because the recipes are straightforward, but the meals are delicious and seem fancy. Basically, the meals aren’t all that hard to make but when you share them you seem really impressive. It’s a win-win! The tomato soup is delicious, but we also love the meatloaf. We’ve made the meatloaf for several family members who have also enjoyed it. This book also gives lots of tips and tricks for entertaining. It was a great wedding gift!

BestEverMeatloaf.JPG
365Recipes.JPG

This unique cookbook features a different recipe for every day of the year. There’s a good mix of main courses, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, you get it. I like to flip through this book and see what the recipe is for certain days like a friend’s birthday or our anniversary. Today’s recipe is a fancy baked potato.

20171001Recipe.JPG

I like this book because it serves as a reminder that there’s always something new to try. If you’re in a cooking rut of eating the same things over and over, this might offer the inspiration you need to try something new.

Pizza: How to Make and Bake More Than 50 Delicious Homemade Pizzas by Carla Bardi

I love pizza. It is without a doubt my favorite food, and the one thing I could never give up. I got this cookbook from my college roommate years ago, and it still makes me smile everytime I pull it off the shelf. I mean this pizza cookbook is shaped like a pizza! How clever.

PIZZA.JPG

I like this book because it has recipes for different types of dough and such a wide variety of pizzas. You’ll find everything from simple and traditional pizzas to pizzas topped with roasted peas or a freshly cracked egg. I also just love the way the photos are displayed. This book is fun just to look at, even if you aren’t going to make one of the delicious recipes. But you really should just make the pizza.

PizzaBook.JPG

I’m going to try to cook at least one recipe from each of our cookbooks before the end of the year. I bet I’ve got some absolutely delicious recipes I’ll want to make again and again right under my nose. I'll let you know what I find!

Questions: Where do you find your recipes? Do you have any favorite cookbooks I should check out? What’s the best recipe you’ve made from a cookbook?

Not Your Average Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Friday Favorites