What are your favorite family cookbooks, and what are your cookbook reading habits like? For this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we asked our Facebook fans to weigh in on those questions, and after hearing from dozens of moms, we learned a lot about reading styles:
> The Novel Reader: Moms like Sandi G. read cookbooks cover to cover — “I read cookbooks like a novel. They are by my bedside, in the car, and I read them at work on break.”
> The Recipe Flagger: Danielle P. looks at the recipes to see what catches her eye — “I flip through them over and over and over again. I mark the pages I like with Post-Its, write notes on those I’ve tried and go through them again every few months to see if there are some that interest me this time around. Sometimes a recipe will jump out at me that didn’t before.”
> The Index User: Molly P. relies on the index — “When I get a new cookbook, I flip through it first checking out photos, reading recipes and generally checking out what sounds good. When I want to make something I look for what I have on hand in the index and then go from there.”
As for favorite cookbooks, it ran the gamut from The Joy of Cooking to America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 to Junior League and church cookbooks. Recently, we received three new cookbooks for review, and for this month’s giveaway, we’re sending them to three lucky winners: SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue (St. Martin’s Griffin – $17.99) by Aviva Goldfarb, Blue Ribbon Edition ($21.95) by Debra Stark, and Slim & Scrumptious (William Morrow Cookbooks – $24.99) by Today Show nutrition editor, Joy Bauer.
To enter to win (U.S. residents only, please), leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite cookbooks. You can also tell us about your cookbook reading habits and whether you have a favorite cookbook recipe of all time. We’ll enter you a second time if you Tweet the giveaway (just leave a separate comment). The giveaway ends on Friday, June 4th at noon EST, and we will use Random.org to pick our three winners.
We decided to cook up a few recipes from each of the books. For Joy Bauer’s book, check out Liz’s review on our blog from May 10, 2010.
Janice and 10-year old Leah took a crack at SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue and had a hard time deciding what to cook (Leah went a little crazy with all her sticky notes). They finally decided on the Vegetarian Enchiladas (see below). The book’s subtitle sums up the spirit of the book: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families. The recipes are presented by season, and there are lots of sidebars woven throughout: tips for stocking your pantry, composting, eating more whole grains, eating on a budget, and packing healthy school lunches. The author, Aviva Goldfarb is the creator and publisher of the family-friendly weekly menu planner, The Six O’Clock Scramble, so be sure to visit her site.
Makes 6 Servings (from SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue)
- 1 can (15 ounces) enchilada sauce, mild or spicy
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 strips, and diced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 10 to 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese (or use Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
- 1 cup nonfat or low-fat sour cream for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread about one-fourth of the can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan.
2. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds, and then add the onions and zucchini. Season them with the cumin, chili powder, and salt (optional). Sauté the mixture, stirring it occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
3. Wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and heat them in the microwave oven for about 1 minute until they are soft. (Alternatively, warm each tortilla over medium heat in a nonstick skillet for 20 seconds per side, or until soft).
4. On a plate, fill each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture, and about 1 tablespoon of cheese. Roll it and place it in the pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until all the filling is used. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly on top of the tortillas, and top them with any remaining cheese. Bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbly. (Meanwhile, make the guacamole, if you are serving it.)
5. Serve the enchiladas hot, topped with the sour cream, if desired. (Alternatively, let them cool, cover tightly, and freeze them for up to 3 months).
Liz and the boys tested a few recipes from Debra Stark’s book, Blue Ribbon Edition: From Our Kitchen to Yours. Debra is the owner Debra’s Natural Gourmet in West Concord, MA, so the book draws upon the amazing array of locally-sourced and organic ingredients available at her store. Liz made a few recipes from the book including Quinoa Breakfast Cereal (which we’ll share in a later post) and Zucchini Orzo Pudding, but the one her boys loved the most was The Best Cookie Ever. Josh and Simon have actually dubbed this cookie, The Best Cookie in the World!
The Best Cookie Ever
Makes 8 – 12 Servings (from Blue Ribbon Edition)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie plate or 8×8-inch brownie pan.
2. In a small bowl, beat together the sugar, egg and vanilla with a wooden spoon until “liquidy.” Mix in flour and salt. Add walnuts and mix well. Batter will be sticky and hard to mix. Good exercise for flabby arms! Spoon batter into pie plate or pan. Pat out (easier to do with wet hands).
3. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown and edges slightly pull away from the sides of the pie plate. Remove pie plate from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. While cookies are still warm, cut into pie wedges. Cut while still warm or you won’t be able to cut at all. (These cookies are best eaten the day they are made, but they freeze beautifully.)
* Liz didn’t have coconut sugar on hand (but she plans to get some the next time she’s at Debra’s store!) so she used 2/3 cup granulated sugar. She also added 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips for a fun variation.
We can’t wait to read your comments and hear all about your cookbook faves!