Do you own a lot of cookbooks but never cook from them? Don’t let them get lonely on the shelf – cook from them!
First I would suggest going through your cookbook collection and purging ones that you don’t enjoy or fit your current lifestyle. I recently purge 100 books from my collection (I still have about 150). Many of my books were for entertaining, cooking for (little) kids and cakes – my lifestyle has changed and I just don’t have a need for these anymore.
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Tips for cooking from your cookbooks
one: Each month pick a different book to cook from. One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with a book and read from beginning to end and marking the recipes with Post-it page markers as I find ones I want to try.
two: Make a goal to make a certain number of new recipes each month
three: Start a cookbook cooking club. Meet together for a dinner once a month where everyone brings a dish from the chosen cookbook of the month (or cook the meal together).
four: Cook with a friend (in person or virtually) once a week picking a different cookbook each week
five: The Cookbook Number game. Years ago before Facebook when message boards were popular, I was an active member of the Cooking Light Message Boards. They hosted a Cookbook game where they would pick 2 numbers – the first was for the cookbook number. Count in your collection until you hit that book (if you have less just start over from the beginning). The second number was the page number. If that recipe just didn’t fit for you, you can choose the recipe before or after. Then everyone would share the recipe they cooked. This is a fabulous way to encourage you to try recipes you would never try.
six: Cook with a new theme each month and dive into books that fit those themes. Asian, vegan, Crock-pot, Bread baking…. Have fun with it, dig in and become an expert.
seven: If you have a larger collection and they’re stored somewhere other than the kitchen, place a few in a basket on your counter to focus on for a while. Rotate the books in the basket every few weeks
How to keep track of your favorite recipes?
When I find a recipe I love (and the family loves), I don’t want to forget about it. I used to start with a lot of recipes and overtime was down to cooking just a few over and over as the wins slowly got forgotten.
My solution – I created a notebook with tabs and page protectors. If a recipe is a win for us, it gets photocopied from our cookbooks or printed out if it’s a blogger recipe and put into our notebook. I pull out this notebook each week when menu planning.
Want to know what are my favorite cookbooks?