How Many CookBooks do you Own vs Use? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-04-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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I have about 50 cookbooks and many, many food magazines. I don't use them all, but I'm loathe to part with any. I never know when inspiration will strike and I'll pull one off the shelf. I have cooked from most of them or used them as reference to learn about particular ingredients or cooking methods.

Recipes clipped from magazines and newspapers and printed off the computer go into multiple pocket file folders from an office supply store. I have 3. One holds main dishes (seafood, chicken, pork, lamb, beef, pasta, vegetarian). One holds lighter fare (beverages, appetizers, egg dishes, salads, soups, perserves). One holds baked goods (cookies, muffins and quick breads, yeast breads, fruit-based desserts, pies and tarts, cakes).

When I travel, I try to find a good local cookbook as a souvenir.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I have 1 massive go to cookbook. I also have a ton of lose recipes on papers and cards.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I have a lot of cookbooks, and I use most of them... some are mostly for reference, others I keep for one or two specific recipes, and occasionally try other stuff in them... Once in a while (maybe once a year?) I go through and try to pare them down a bit... but I'm constantly adding to them from the goodwill (ours gets an amazing amount of neat cookbooks!!!)
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Coconut Chronicles View Post
I like Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and Indian Spice Kitchen. Both are excellent and easy to follow.

Thank you! Are there several versions of M. Jaffrey's cooking?
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:25 AM
 
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One? I don't know where it is now that I think about it, lol.

I have ALL recipes saved on my PC (backed up as well!). I have them in a main recipe folder, and then separated out into desserts, main courses, breakfast, etc.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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What's a mini cookbook? sounds cute!

They are put out by two companies here...Family Circle and Womens Weekly. They measure about 5 x 6 inches and are quite thin so you can stack a lot in a small space.

This is a pic of one I found online.

http://www.oztion.com.au/vshops/item...=10621468&tid=

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Old 10-05-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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Thank you! Are there several versions of M. Jaffrey's cooking?
I think she came out with an updated edition awhile ago if that's what you mean. She has quite a few books. I have two. The one I mentioned and Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. Both are really excellent cookbooks that I reference a lot (DH is a huge fan of Indian cooking). Quick & Easy is cheaper than Indian Cooking if you are looking to spend a little less.

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I have about 15-20. I purged and got rid of about 15 sometime in the past last year or two. As part of the purging process I let myself buy one book that I really enjoyed and had checked out of the library at least 3 times. I use some of them constantly, some occasionally, and I have couple that I placed "on probation" that I couldn't quite get rid off, but I could now. I also have a couple more I would love to buy
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I have 1 massive go to cookbook. I also have a ton of lose recipes on papers and cards.
May I ask what is your massive go to cookbook?
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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It looks like I have about 40 cookbooks. There are a handful that I use all the time which tend to have cooking fundamentals instructions as well as recipes (like Alton Brown). I have a cookie book with lots of additional notes taped in from my experiments for my Amazing Allergy Girl. A stack of internet print outs also tend to have these sorts of substitutions scribbled in on the side. (I started adding dates to these notes which make them sciency and historical. )

Another subset of my cookbooks is historic recipes. Again the text around the recipes is very interesting and useful. I like when they have the original recipe so I can compare redactions.

What I should get rid of are the well intentioned spur of the moment books bought usually from the bargain shelves at the bookstore. I've only ever used the vegetarian cookbook once and never even cracked the lower your cholesterol one.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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I like Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and Indian Spice Kitchen. Both are excellent and easy to follow.

Thanks so much! I found the Indian Spice Kitchen used on Amazon--score!
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I pulled out the books today and don't have as many as I thought, so I organized them and decided that yes, I can order the Soup Bible as part of my anniversary gift.

How about a stir fry or Chinese cookbook suggestion?

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Old 10-06-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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How about a stir fry or Chinese cookbook suggestion?
My two favorite Chinese cookbooks are Breath of a Wok and Land of Plenty. Breath of a Wok is a fantastic all purpose Chinese cookbook. Lots of tips and the recipes are very easy to follow and usually don't require a super long list of ingredients. Land of Plenty is also excellent. It only covers Sichuan style cooking (which can be spicy) but it's comprehensive and very uncomplicated but the recipes are out of this world good.

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I've got 30 to 40 cookbooks and a stack of Cooks Illustrated. Most I use rarely. Some I use a couple times a month. But I use Joy of Cooking frequently. It taught me to cook and it's my go-to book.

I've got a binder with clear sheets for magazine rip-outs, email recipes from my dear departed mom, internet printouts. And I wrote out by hand the recipe for Nestle's Toll House cookies from the back of the package, because I like the recipe but wanted to use other chocolate chips.

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Originally Posted by Masel View Post
A stack of internet print outs also tend to have these sorts of substitutions scribbled in on the side. (I started adding dates to these notes which make them sciency and historical. )
I write notes and date them in my cookbooks, too. To me it's a bit of family history and a record of my progress as a cook over the years. I have this fantasy that my daughter or son will 'inherit' my cookbooks and appreciate the history and my accumulated experience and wisdom ( Jan. 7, 1999, too much salt...)

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Asian.../dp/080481791X
This is the Asian cookbook I own that covers 14 countries or so. I have an old version though that you can often find in used bookstores. My parents kitchen burned down about ten years ago along with all of thier cookbooks.... this was one that they replaced... and I bought a copy for myself.

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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I only keep the cookbooks I use a lot. I probably have 7-10. The ones I only used a couple of recipes from I copied the recipes out and swapped the cookbooks at paperbackswap.

Online recipes I print out. These days you can often automatically print them into sizes like 3x5 inches. I usually try the recipe first and if I like it I add any notes I need, cut them out, laminate them and put them in my recipe box. Others end up in a binder in plastic sleeves.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Well over 100, possibly over 200.

But only 5-6 that get used for actual cooking...much more often I do a google search for ingredient X + ingredient Y + ingredient Z. Mostly DH and I read cookbooks as literature or flip through them as a sort of pretty picture/inspiration thing. I listened to an interview on NPR once where the guy being interviewed had written a book about how people use cookbooks (and how that use was rarely actual cooking guidance)

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Old 10-13-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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Mostly DH and I read cookbooks as literature or flip through them as a sort of pretty picture/inspiration thing.
Exactly! I have 50-60. Its so relaxing. Occasionally I will cook out of them, but I am a practised cook on my own and don't really need to follow any recipies. I just enjoy browsing them and fantasizing. I do the same with gardening books too!

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Old 10-22-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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I have begun scanning in all the recipies I like and them save them in files like holiday, chicken, etc. Takes up way less space. I have also started doing this with all the random aticles I pull out of magazines. I have saved a ton of space doing this. And it makes it easy to send to friends.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I own zero, I use dozens. The library is my friend.

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Old 10-22-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I have over 100 cookbooks, some of them are heavily used and some of them I've haven't got around to cooking a recipe from. I have a few hundred random recipes that I've accumulated also. I have my most used recipes saved to macgourmet so I have them with me all the time in case I need to know the ingredients when at the store.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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does anyone have a good Indian cookbook? they seem to be either too involved or not what I want to make...
My favorite is 1000 Indian recipes by Neelam Batra because she covers just about everything. The Dance of Spices by Laxmi Hiremath is my second favorite. I love her tandoori recipe.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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I'm so jealous of those with 100+ cookbooks. Wow.

We have probably 30-40. Honestly, for most things we go online for recipes. The cookbooks we do have are very specific and are from chefs who really do not post their recipes online. Or we've bought them because we're doing an entire dinner around one chef or restaurant or such. We use them several times a year for entertaining usually. Sometimes for just us. And I went through a bread baking phase where I used a couple every single day.

And to the PP who said they use the library! DUH! Why have I never thought of that? I use the library for everything else - why have I never looked at the cookbooks? I know what I'll be doing next time I go.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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Recently I've considered photo copying all my fave recipes from all my cookbooks...then putting them into 1 or 2 binders and donating the cookbooks. Hello recipes, goodbye clutter! Now if only I can get the time to actually DO this project....heh heh heh

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