Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Rambling: Cookbooks (Again)

For some reason I keep coming back to cookbooks on these rambles. I've started joking that the cookbook section of the store is a dangerous one for me, as I keep finding books I want. This is even though I haven't tried most of the recipes in the books I have. The latest book to add itself to the "want" list is Ina Gartner's book Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics.

The recipes and photos just look so good. Especially the roasted tomatoes and the buttermilk and cheddar biscuits. I'm sure if I look in my other books (most likely Marc Bittman's How To Cook Everything) I'll find something very close, so why do I want to get this one?

I know what attracts me to cookbooks. Simple recipes for food I'll actually eat, and good photographs. Jamie Oliver's good for that. I keep coming back to the two books of his that I have: Jamie's Food Revolution and Cook With Jamie. Most recently I tried the brownies and the sweet and sour squash out of the latter and they turned out really well (The brownies were a bit decadent, but they were good).

What catches your attention when it comes to cookbooks? The show the writer has on the T.V.? I have to admit that I've not seen one episode of any of the Jamie Oliver shows or any of the other cookbook writers either, so I don't know how much of a draw that is.

Is it the recipes themselves? That and the presentation are what does it for me.

The presentation? For all that this is what you'd think is the least important part of the book, it's the layout and the photos that pull me in. All of the cookbooks in my collection are laid out in a clear fashion that's easy to read at a glance, making it easier to check what I'm doing mid-recipe quickly.

And, when you do get a cookbook, do you find yourself sticking to just a few recipes or do you end up using most of the recipes in the book? So far I've just found myself using a few from each book repeatedly, but I'm also starting to work to change that.

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