Joy of Cooking

Everyone who will ever make any attempt to cook anything, should own The Joy of Cooking. I guess you really wont fully understand until you have made a few recipes from this book. But I will try to explain, in my own words, why this book is so awesome.

The style of writing is simple, recipes are not these complex page long paragraphs (Not like Martha, whose recipes can be so long and intimidating, sorry Martha – I love you). I find myself getting lost in long recipes, with my hands covered in flour and oil, trying to figure out what the next step is.

The book is like a reference guide. It gives you tips, and the recipes are broken down into basics – for example, I made a Chicken Tetrazzini (awesome), and the recipe (which is the length of my index finger, simple) calls for Sauteed Mushrooms, which is a basic, and you turn to another page to learn how to do that.. Now, sounds complex.. But next time a recipe calls for Sauteed Mushrooms, I know that basic.

This book teaches you to cook, doesn’t just blindly pull you through steps that you’ll never be able to recreate without the crutch of the recipe. Its different, and I feel – the best Cookbook that anyone will ever make. Period.


Strawberry Preserve Bars

New favorite dessert.. Strawberry Preserve Bars – from one of my favorite recipe sites –

I made my own strawberry jam from my recent strawberry picking session, and making your own homemade jam makes such a difference – ill post the recipe for the jam later.. But I should note, my new favorite farm for pick your own is Lees Turkey Farm in NJ.

anyway, so many favorites – so little time, so back to the recipe

20 bars (change servings and units)

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  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Beat 3/4 cup margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add combined flour, soda and salt; mix well.
  4. Stir in oats and nuts.
  5. Reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  6. Spread the strawberry preserves over the first layer.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool.
  8. Melt Chips and 4 teaspoons margarine over low heat (or microwave), stirring until smooth.
  9. Drizzle over crumb mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour; cut into bars.

This recipe is perfect for after you go strawberry picking, and have made a ton of jam to give away and still have too much jam left over.. make bars and put that jam to use!
SOO good served warm on top of ice cream, and most people have the ingredients handy to make it on a whim.. thats another reason I like it so much!

LA Burger by Bobby Flay

yummy.. the secret of this burger is the avocado spread, it pairs so nicely with the spicy watercress.. for the spread: 1 avocado – chopped, 1/4 onion, 2 tbls chopped cilantro, 1/2 lime juiced, and 1/2 a jalepeno – chopped (take out the seeds).. mix it all up put it on your burger along with some watercress, and a thick tomato, and throw on some american cheese.. we put it on a whole wheat bun, (since this is the L.A. burger).. hee hee.