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I like to cook.
Surprise. Who'd have expected that on a cooking website?
Cooking, like any art, is about joy and self-expression. When you make something that others enjoy, and they get it, you feel a connection with them. When you create something new, you're filled with a sense of accomplishment. If you're not joyful, then you're not doing it right. Follow your passion, and it will always lead you in the right direction.
The term chef isn't really accurate when applied to me. I never went to the Cordon Bleu nor studied at C.I.A. I'm someone who cooks as a hobbiest. If it tastes good, I eat it. If it's bad, it goes in the garbage.
I am a fan of the older cookbooks by James Beard and Robert C. Ackart, and I have to admit that their influence has been very formative of my tastes. It is my fond hope that by posting some recipes from their excellent books that their dishes will continue to be of interest to fellow cooks in the future, both young and old, rather than perishing in obscurity. I like a satisfying casserole more than anything, hand-made loaves of freshly baked bread, cooking with wines and liqueurs, but I am also very fond of elegant desserts, and some of my very favorites appear here on this website.
Slowly, as I make them, I will add photographs of the dishes since a picture is worth a thousand words. I want to apologize in advance for the quality of the photos, however, as I'm not a gifted photographer, and many of the dishes will appear unappetizing, but they are actually very good.
Here are some of my favorite cookbooks that I have drawn a great deal of guidance and inspiration from over the years, and I sincerely hope that others will find copies of these older but substantial books through venues like Ebay, Half.com and Amazon and get as much satisfaction from them as I have. The recipes that I post from these books have been improved upon with my own ideas, so as not to violate any copyrights.
Ackart, Robert. Cooking in a Casserole.
Ackart, Robert. The One-Dish Cookbook.
Ackart, Robert. A Celebration of Soups.
Beard, James. The New James Beard.
Beard, James. Beard on Bread.
Ruhlman, Michael. Ratio.
Cook's Illustrated Cookbook.
I hope that some of these recipes find their way into your stomach and your heart.