There are three things in my life that ignite the super organized, type-A human within me. Just three.
My closet, my reading list and my cookbooks.
Growing up, my room would be an utter disaster but my closet would be immaculately organized, with color-coordinated hangers and a number system carefully designed to help me make the most of my wardrobe. Yes, a number system. However, that's a different post for a different day.
This post is about the cookbooks that live in my kitchen.
I have a list of them at bottom of this post as well as links if you’re looking to add to your collection. I haven’t made headway with all of them, but I can tell you I LOVE both of my Skinnytaste books for recipes that are easy to follow, delicious and guilt-free. The Whole30 cookbooks are lifesavers when you’re doing the program or just want to clean up your diet. "Magnolia Table" is filled with cozy comfort food. Rachael Ray’s cookbook is super visual, easy to follow and creative.
There’s really no rhyme or reason for the ones I have. Some were gifts. Some were on clearance the day I happened to be strolling through a bookstore. Others were purchased to help my journey through learning to cook without sugar, grain and dairy. A few were added to my Amazon cart because someone I follow on Instagram is on the cover.
Regardless of how they arrived on my counter, I cherish them all.
They represent such an intimate space for me. A space where I can replace stress with creativity and throw out the notion of striving for perfection and just get excited about trying something new or revisiting a delicious victory of the past.
Despite the impression my Instagram stories likely give off, I haven’t always liked to cook. This is a new development that came about in the last few years. I have living on my own and my first round of Whole30 to thank. Also, my mother, who always told me “if you can read, you can cook.”
She was right.
If you are someone who wants to get in the kitchen but don’t know where to start, I encourage you to grab a cookbook that’s on sale and just get started.
For now, I want to explain how I cook through my cookbook collection, and I will warn you- it’s ridiculous. Simple, but ridiculous.
So, here we go.
They sit on my counter. The order isn’t intentional, other than the fact that I tried to space them out and mix them up a bit to create a diverse at-home dining situation.
For example, I tried to evenly space out the Whole30 books and the Skinnytaste cookbooks. Also, I tried to alternate between the super healthy cookbooks and the less-than-totally-clean ones.
As I move through each cookbook, I select one recipe from each section of the cookbook I’m working on. After I finish a recipe, I write the date I cooked it and usually a note on how I liked it. Once I finish at least one recipe from each section, I move on to the next cookbook and do the same thing. The goal is to cook all of the recipes. A lofty goal? Yes. Fun? 100%.
I’ve started working on dishes that intimidate me and challenge me to cook things that I thought I didn’t like. It hits different when you make something with your own hands and invest in the process.
There are a few losses, but so many wins. Honestly, creating anything fills me up. Creating something delicious, getting comfortable tweaking recipes for my specific taste and learning to find solace and familiarity in dishes I can claim as my own is seriously the best.
As I finish each round of a cookbook, I want to share wins, losses, photos, thoughts and (most importantly) links for the dishes I cooked.
In a few days, I’ll finish up the last recipe of this round with the "Skinnytaste Fast and Slow" cookbook. It’s a shrimp and avocado salad that I’m super excited to pair with chips, salsa and a good white wine.
The world may not be back to normal quite yet, but warmer days are here.
The potential for culinary adventures is limitless. So are the reasons to smile and love on yourself.
With Love & Glitter,
PS- Here is my list...