Friday, October 10, 2008

Our Favorite Cookbooks, Part II: Francesca’s Favorites

As usual I have waited until the last minute to write my “5 favorite cookbooks” article (Ken writes with ease and in such an interesting, creative way . . . not me, i have a tendency to try too hard with my limited writing skills and I’m too wordy), but since today I need to pick my “Wednesday night dinner” choices, this is perfect timing.

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
When Ken and I first started our romance together, I was a strict vegetarian (salmon once a year on my birthday) and he was still eating meat & chicken, supplementing with his love of fish & pastas. Our eating habits soon changed . . . I started eating more fish and he stopped eating meats. Christmas morning at my parents a few years ago, one of the presents to my mom was this cookbook. Ken and I immediately snatched it from her and began to look inside like two little kids. This cookbook offers a variety of creative main dishes, breakfast & brunch ideas, soups, pastas, casseroles, stir-fries, salads, and condiments. Accompanying this storybook of vegetarian cooking is an array of beautiful pictures to feast upon.

Vegetarian Planet
“350 big-flavor recipes for out-of-this-world food every day” . . . filled with little tidbits about some of the more unknown, hard to find, obscure ingredients.

Horn Of The Moon Cookbook
I happened upon this cookbook when planning a self-catering-accommodation vacation to Vermont to enjoy the autumn colors. In addition, we have a border collie whose name is “Moondoggie” and I seem to gravitate to anything with the word “moon” in it. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful little cookbook. The recipes (which come from the restaurant of the same name in Montpelier, Vermont) are quite simple using basic ingredients, yet fun and inventive.

Café Paradiso Seasons
Each chapter is devoted to a particular season – late spring, summer, autumn, winter, and early spring (with a chapter on outdoor cooking as well). At the beginning of each section is a list of the fruits & vegetables grown during that time of year. The pictures are deliciously enticing, the preparation instructions are incredibly vague, but the end results are very tasty and I love challenging my experience in the kitchen.

Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers
We have several Moosewood restaurant cookbooks, and this one is definitely my favorite. Excellent every day recipes for a wholesome, well-balanced diet . . . down-to-earth cooking fun.

(See Part I, Ken's favorite cookbooks, on this previous entry.)