Monday, March 23, 2009

Where Do You Get Recipes Menu Monday

I am what you might call a cookbook addict. Some people collect teapots, little spoons or (these days) gold. I collect cookbooks. I go on vacation and I almost always search for an odd, local cookbook. 

Even in this day and age of having hundred of recipes at your fingertips, I love having those cookbooks with the pictures. 

I have an odd collection of favorites:

1. Anything by Jamie Oliver. Jamie is my favorite chef; he uses lots of fresh ingredients and keeps it simple. I love this combination--fresh and simple. My very favorite is this one. I make something from Jamie at least once a week.

2. Cookbooks from the church or pre-school. True, there are many, many recipes that rely on canned soups (I make my own to substitute) or a very processed ingredient (I make an acceptable substitute) but when you really dig deep, you find a treasured recipe handed down by family members made from the freshest ingredients and the right amount of love. Also, you know nothing in the book is going to be 'bad' because everyone wants to display her finest meal for the church/pre-school.

3. Wise Guys By Henry Hill. If you have seen the movie "Goodfellas", you know Henry Hill. Ray Liota played him the movie and yes, he's a real person. Now if you remember the movie, you'll remember how crazy Hill was about food and how he loved how his friend in the pen could 'slice garlic with a razor so it melted like butter when it hit the pan'. The book also includes tales of his days in the mob and with the FBI. I cannot read the recipes in this book without getting hungry.

When I make my menu, I try to grab one Jamie Oliver cookbook, one local (preschool/church/junior league) Wise Guys and one of my others (vary from famous chefs to different types of food). I look through and mark ones I like with post its. Then I bring the recipes down to seven and refer to my calender. Based on what is going on that day, I figure out when I need a left-over or if I can make something a tad more complicated. By the time the menu is in place  (I plan all meals because that is how crazy I am!), I have used maybe 3-4 recipes from the book along with left-overs and those meals that are my stand bys (salmon and greens, grilled chicken, etc.).

This is the result of this week's planning:

Monday: "Jail House Spaghetti" from the Henry Hill cookbook (called oven penitentiary sauce but the kids couldn't say that when they were little so jail house it is!) and broccollinni 

Tuesday: Irish Stew (leftover from last week--stored in freezer)

Wednesday: Roast Chicken (Jamie Oliver favorite) with swiss chard (sauteed with garlic)

Thursday: White Fish Wrapped in Bacon with asparagus (back in season!)

Friday: Five Bean Chili (local cookbook) --email me for recipe

Saturday: Chicken Enchiladas and Calabacitas (from Canyon Ranch cookbook) If you make this, add some veggie stock to sauce and use less chicken too.

So where do you find your favorite recipes?


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Brian and Staci said...

WOW! And this is why your menu always sounds waaay better than corndogs and ABC fries vs. chicken enchiladas and calibacitas! hee hee :) I generally stick with the "tried and true" recipes. And I wonder why my kids don't like new things??? I do make them take a bite of something new...but terrible at making them eat all of it :( I love The Heavenly Homemaker's blog. I have founds lots of recipes there.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Yum. I just wish someone else would do one step for me. Either the planning or the shopping. That's all! I just can't seem to do the planning, shopping AND cooking...

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I am thrilled beyond words that asparagus is in season now...we love it! I think we've eaten it 3 times this last week...and I've found some really great deals on it, so it's even better.

Your menus always make me so hungry.

Amanda said...

My favourite T.V cook at the moment is The Barefoot Contessa. I have four of her cookbooks that i just love to read. I don't cook too much from these books though because they are all so high in fat (she usually starts her recipes with umpteen sticks of butter!) So just special occasions only!

Jamie Oliver is on our T.V's everyday! I do enjoy watching his programmes though.

Your weekly menu looks good. I'm hungry!

Amanda x

Loukia said...

How yummy and delish! I hardly ever cook... luckily for me, my hubby is great in the kitchen. But you have some great ideas here... thanks for sharing!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

I confess I checked out a Jamie Oliver book upon your recommendation and did not like it. I'm just not into any ingredients that are not mainstream. I know... I should be adventurous. But my kids won't eat things like Leeks or crawfish or bamboo shoots. I mean, holy hell I can't even get them to eat meatballs and gravy.

But, the best recipe book I have ever gotten is from the Junior League of St. Louis. It is called "St. Louis Day, St. Louis Nights" and every recipe I have ever made from it gets rave reviews. There are a lot of recipes from local restaurants of their signature dishes as well as "traditional" recipes from St. Louis home cooks. And, lots of simple stuff tweaked with good ingredients. I got it as a wedding present but it's still in print (in case you're ever up in st. louis!)

PS I want you to know that I read every single one of your posts but don't always comment because you write about such interesting stuff and I think "Hmmm I have nothing to add... she pretty much said it all better than I could!" So I'm with ya in spirit, even if you don't see me comment.

dani said...

lisa, i think it is awesome that you mix-it-up the way you do!!! i have a bunch of cookbooks, too, but none of those you mentioned. i will have to check them out the next time i'm shopping at barnes & noble. thanks for sharing your sources:D

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

I really enjoyed stealing your recipes last week, but the next 2 wks I'm going no-carb diet for myself...and your menu makes me hungry!!! :)

Momo Fali said...

I have lots of cookbooks from all different sources. I tend to make the same recipes over and over (whatever works!) and I should just tear out the pages I use. It would save some space!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Wow....I'm in awe.

I think I need to start collecting cookbooks again.

I am amazed at how together you are. You are really inspiring. Just thought I'd let ya know.

BTW, sorry I've been gone for so long. It's been crazy around the asylum, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and keep up with all my favs again!

EatPlayLove said...

While I have a number of favorite cookbooks, I have a few go to websites that I couldn't live without.

I am a huge fan of the Real Food recipes on Martha's site. I also like Real Simple's recipes. Sometimes I joke about never needing to buy a cookbook again, it's all on the web!