Friday, January 16, 2009

Cookbooks Galore

It's been so cold and miserable outside this week that I've pretty much gone out only to collect eggs and feed and water my birds. The ducks have spent the past 3 nights in the coop and it looks like they'll spend one more tonight. It's supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow so I'll let them out after it warms up a little more. This morning it was -11° outside with windchills down to -30° below. It's so cold they cancelled school today and yesterday. Brrrr!

So I've been staying inside reading my new cookbooks, including this one from Molly Stevens called "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking ". It's fascinating because she actually takes time to explain the process and how it works as well as all the types of pans you can use for different ingredients to be braised. I'm looking at the chicken and beef recipes but there are also some cabbage and root vegetable recipes that sound great.

But today I want to focus on my book from Ina Garten's series, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients. I love her simple approach to cooking with good quality ingredients. If you start out with crappy ingredients your food is going to be crappy, right?

So anyway I'll be roasting a pork loin and some winter root vegetables from Ina's book tonight. Then I want to try a chicken and mushroom soup in the Dutch oven. It's going to be a flavorful weekend. The weather is doing me a favor by keeping me confined to the house!
If I get real ambitious I just might make that apple galette in Ina's book too. You should see it, it's over the top.


  1. Brrrr! It was -13 here this morning. My nose hair froze before I even got off the patio. It was 10 degrees in the coop, even with the heat lamp going all night. I hung up a space heater when I went out. The chooks seemed to be fairing well though. They sure are complaining about being cooped up day and night. I didn't let them out at all yesterday and won't today either. Hopefully it will be warm enough tomorrow.

    I just had that Ina Garten book from the library! I think it's one I will buy eventually. It has some wonderful-looking recipes in it. The braising one looks good, too. I'll have to see if they have that one.

  2. Ina Garten is one my favorites. I think her husband, Jeffrey, is real cute.

    If you had the choice of any chef/cook to come to your house and fix the dinner of your dreams, whom would it be?

    I think I'd have to go with Tyler Florence, I like his southern style of cooking.

  3. Susan, it's still bitter cold up here at -6° at 1 p.m. at night. I'm tired of this weather! My poor birds are stuck in the coop all day and going nuts I'm sure. Definitely get yourself an Ina Garten book. Even if you never cook a single recipe out of it, you'll still have a beautiful book to read and enjoy.

    Joanna, ooooh! Good question. Without a doubt I would choose Alton Brown to cook with me. He's such an excellent technician and he explains why things happen the way they do when you cook. It helps me a lot to know the how and why of things when I'm learning something new. Tyler Florence is also an excellent cook/chef. Like Ina Garten, he keeps things simple and uses ingredients you can readily find. He also shows you how to do things and helpful tips that make cooking easier.

  4. Yay! It's supposed to be 25 here tomorrow. The chooks are getting their freedom....well, as far as the run anyway. They'll think it's the big wide world after being in an 8 x 10 cell for two days and nights.

    Ooh, ooh, I want to vote, too! I would invite Giada de Laurentis. I just want to see if she looks like a midget next to me!

  5. What is it about cold weather that makes use think of food in any form, cooking it, eating it or even reading about it. Cold just seems to make us want to be near it. Well better go, I'm hungry
    Nice cookbooks.


  6. Wow! I'm just imagining how wonderful it would be to sit in your cozy kitchen smelling all of those scrumptious things cooking. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

    Sure wish I owned a teleportation device, so I could get there without taking one foot outside in your brutally cold weather, too. :)

    Stay warm and eat well, my cheffy friend,


  7. Hmmmmm..... wish I had read your post the other day when you were making that pork loin! I'm afraid though I would have forgotten my manners and invited myself to dinner!

  8. Wintertime is THE best for cooking and having the comforting smells surround you when you walk into your home.....I generally don't have the time to cook much but I've been finding more time lately!!


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