It's just WEIRD having had a project consume so much of my life and then not having to add to it anymore. I'm kind of sad. Am I allowed to mope? Hand me some dark chocolate, I'll feel better soon.
But, in news unrelated to writing, I wanted to share two awesome, probably well known, cook books I've been enjoying the past month. The first, which I got as a Christmas present a few years ago from mom, is The Taste of Home. Not only is it full of scrumptious recipes like Cherry Chip Scones, Baked Herb Puffs, Frosty Cranberry Pie, Coconut Macaroons, Hard Maple Candy and my all time favorite Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes (all in which I've cooked -- can you tell I love to bake?) but it also has tips in every index on how to purchase poultry, cooking methods, cutting up a whole chicken, grill safety, soaking methods for beans (and a list of each kind of bean and how long to cook). types of pasta and how much uncooked amounts to when cooked, handling produce and basic cooking methods, kneading and shaping bread . . . you get the idea, right? A 674 page book with tons of pictures and How-Tos, sure to make any beginner comfortable, and any intermediate cook (chef, baker . . . ) giddy with the copious amounts of projects available to try.
I've also tried the Bacon Swiss Bread (um, drool) Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Creamy Braised Chicken, Crepes, among many other things. All in which I didn't burn or fail miserably at, so that says something about the instructions, right? I tend to be a little ADD, or, you know, have a hard time foc---oh, hey, look, shiny!
Wait, where was I? Oh, right, cook books. Then there is the one cook book I've relied on quite a bit since I got it this Christmas (no, not from my mom, awesome neighbor-friend). Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook . I never knew you could cook so many things with Bisquick! Seriously, people. 29 breakfast recipes, 19 snacks and breads, 28 dinners, 17 Impossibly Easy Pies (only 6 of those are sweets!), 22 desserts, 14 Light Meals (as far as calories, I'm guessing?) and 12 kid friendly recipes including one for paint and another for play dough. Dude! Bisquick is versatile!
Since I received this on Christmas, I've tried the Chicken Pot Pie...so easy, and my family inhaled it. I never imagined I'd ever be able to make a Danish (I always thought they'd be hard) but this cook book's recipe makes it simple! I made strawberry, finger lickin' good! Crumble-Topped Cranberry Muffins (I um, ate most of those . . . daughter loved them too!), Steamed Beef Dumplings...and whoa!!!! The one dinner that was a little more time consuming, but I made steamed dumplings! Now I feel like I can do anything! Maybe even bone a duck! (hahahaha) I've tried others, and can't wait to try more.
So, for the chef in you, if you haven't checked these books out, I recommend! From a busy mommy of two, cooking has become a part of me again (thanks to Julie & Julia for reawakening my favorite all time hobby after having baby #2).
And dang, now I'm STARVING. It's past 11pm and I want to cook.