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I have a cookbook collection that threatens to exceed my home's capacity.
I firmly believe that every Christian housewife's journal must include two things: good recipes and good sermon notes - not necessarily on the same pages, but you get the idea. :D
I love to get up in the morning, brew a nice cup of coffee and sit at my computer and check out the new Zaar additions and add them to my cookbooks!
My favorite cookbooks are little church cookbooks that you find in second hand stores. There's something about a casserole or sugar cookie recipe from some little Baptist or Presbyterian church in some little town which makes it irresistible.
I love practicing hospitality in my home and preparing meals for people who have just had a baby, are grieving over the loss of a loved one, or for people whose family members are ill.
Even with Zaar, I like to keep my book collection, because you never know what you'll find, looking for the perfect recipe to match what you have on hand. I am way too addicted to cookbooks and very happy about it.
Just some of my pet peeves include soggy cooked vegetables, peeling veggies, as it wastes time and nutrients; poppy seeds, cooking on electric stoves and Chinese restaurants where you have to ask for chopsticks. I was raised near the San Francisco Bay Area, so I'm spoiled horribly when it comes to Chinese and other Asian cuisine.
Cooking quotes that have inspired me:
"I'm your cook, not your nurse!" ~ Paula Deen
"Tips for cooks at home: Always start with a glass of wine, don't sweat the small stuff, and always relax. The food knows when you're not having fun. Remain flexible." ~ Alan Greeley
"Be comfortable and confident to try what you know tastes good. People have been eating for thousands of years. It's very difficult to create something entirely new." ~ Suzette Gresham-Tognetti
"Follow instructions in recipes but use your common sense. Don't be intimidated, just dig right in." ~ Emily Luchetti
"A great cook is someone with an excellent palate, a curiosity about foods, a willingness to experiment and make mistakes - then make them right." ~ Margaret Fox
"There is no magic to being a good cook. You just have to care." ~ John Downey
I love using exotic spices - garam masala, curries, chutneys, horseradish, etc.
One of my favorite vegetable dishes is simple vine tomatoes with avocados and cukes sprinkled with salt and pepper. I also love the South Beach Diet's roasted vegetable platter recipe. That's really the only use I have for that book since I'm not into low carb diets!
A plant-based diet works best for weight control and energy for me, so I do enjoy cooking and eating vegetarian and vegan meals. I'm not anti-meat or anti-dairy. I just try to eat those things in moderation as I do sugar and salt. I believe that not only is feasting good once in awhile, it's a command for Christians:
Thou mayest not eat within thy gates, the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds. But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose (Deut. 12:17-18)
I'm most adept at cooking standard American comforting casseroles, Tex Mex and Italian American dishes, because these are what my family enjoys, and the basic ingredients are easy on the budget.
I don't like cooking with my microwave. I only use it to heat TV dinners and leftovers!
Favorite Restaurants: Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Sushi Bars, Real Chinese Restaurants, and Japanese Steak Houses - but I love eating at places like Coco's, TGIF, Schlotzky's Deli, Red Robin and other All American places too!