Thursday, February 21, 2008

30 minutes or less

As always this time of year - as in late winter ah my lawdy when is Spring going to come... HALP! - I find myself growing restless with what we are eating. It seems like finally in Indiana there comes a point where I think even the fruit and veggies from Ecuador look terrible. Generally up till this point you can generally get decent stuff but the last two VERY EXPENSIVE visits to the grocery turned up a rotten cuc that I threw away because it was YELLOW inside but looked/felt perfectly fine on the outside, an avocado that was more black then green on the inside (again fine on the outside) & lettuce that seems to turn the moment I get it home plus multiple other food failures I shall not bore you with.

Oh and we need coffee - the shit they give us here at work is like black sludge that surely could kill a horse from its smell... Not only are the fruit & veggies not so great but I am sick of the same old crock pots & pasta dishes which always seem so great at the start of the winter months but have grown boring as of late. OHH, another staple: soup with warm bread & butter has even grown boring...

On Sunday, we were out running some kind of errand which we completed and I was just not ready to go home so I asked Kevin if we could go for a drive. We did drive around a little then we decided to head to Barnes & Noble to let Matthew play with the train table there. *Matthew loves that table but I also think he likes to go because he almost always ends up walking out with some new (sticker) book.

I was on a mission. To find a cook book that has good 30 minute recipes. And when I say 30 minute recipes I mean 30 minutes from prep time start to eating finish. Not 30 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking because come on people that math is easy even for me - that is ONE hour and I just hate spending an entire hour of my evening cooking then another hour cleaning up. GAAA...

I had every 30 minute cookbook I could find. Kevin helped with this process. Initially I thought Rachael Ray for sure - I think I had FIVE of her book. And while her stuff seems good, it falls into the TOO many odd ingredients and longer cooking times then we wanted (plus why don't they put photos in her books?!)

We settled on the Betty Crocker Quick and Easy Cookbook: 30 minutes or less to dinner. I have not made a recipe yet but they are doable with most of the ingredients already living in my pantry!

We ended up with a bonus cookbook as well -
Betty Crocker Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today. We had a version of this cookbook when I was kid & seriously this cook book rocks!! My mom still has her copy and I am pretty sure that one is from 1963 (the year she moved here from Holland.) Seriously it has the best pie crust recipe ever and even though I fear the pie crust from scratch thing this book makes it look easy. As an aside, I think crusts are actually super easy to make if you can follow directions and be patients but well, HA we are talking about me here BUT I am willing to try armed with this book!

Mostly, I am excited to try some of 30 minute recipes next week. I totally sat in bed reading both cook books and
alternately drooling. It made me excited to cook again armed with new ideas. That will help with the doldrums that I am currently feeling though Spring coming would be really dandy as well!

Do you have favorite cookbook? If so, why do you like?

*Matthew did get a Pirate sticker book from B&N BTW - little bugger!


melissa said...

You're going to have to post some recipe reviews!

We've been into the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. I've done several of the recipes and liked most of them. Lily really likes the grilled cheese with sweet potato!

Welcome to our World said...

I checked that book out at Kroger of all places and I definitely want to look into that more! Especially since feeding Matthew at home has been, er ah challenging as of late!
Good to know you are having success with it! I love that!

Mandy said...

Ok, thank you for letting me not be the only one who thinks "lets go to B&N so the kid can play at the train table" ..we do that often .. just get out of the house!!

And I agree, Rachale Ray recipes seems to be a bit "harder" then "normal" ... I have my favorite cookbooks but mostly I rely on .. I love reading the reviews on what not to do or different ways of making a recipe.

PS I have loved reading your blogs this afternoon, hope you dont mind:)

Welcome to our World said...

Mandy - Welcome! Love to see new readers! I always forget about unless I do a search for something specific. I really ought to bookmark it!

OMG the B&N train table has saved us on many a HOT summer and COLD winter days! It is such a scam on the part of B&N but we just do not care!!

el-e-e said...

Hey there, new bloggy friend! I'm getting a minute to play online while baby naps on my lap and thought I'd pop over to see you.

I have a couple of favorite cookbooks but they're locally published deals, you know, the ladies' club-type cookbooks. ;)

LoriD said...

My favourite cookbooks are the community ones, where all the ladies submit their favourite recipes(and some men, I suppose, but I mostly picture it being grandma's with an old, tin, recipe box with tea-stained recipe cards). The recipes are always good (because who would submit a so-so recipe?) and the ingredients list is normal.

My mom always buys me a Taste of Home magazine subscription. Truthfully, I don't make a lot of things from it (there tends to be a lot of meat/high fat stuff), but I do leaf through it frequently in front of the TV or in bed.

Tessie said...

I echo all of these suggestions. I get Taste of Home as well, but there is also a sister magazine called Light and Tasty that has, well, lighter magazines.

My favorite cookbook is How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Most of the recipes are simple and it's a great reference.

Tessie said...

Lighter RECIPES, not magazines. BAH.