About The Project

I own shelf upon shelf of cookbooks, collected over many years.  After hauling them from Chicago to North Carolina to Virginia to Ohio (all within the last three years!), it’s high time I do SOMETHING to justify their place in my life and my homeHence, this blog.

Cookbooks: One is too many; a thousand never enough!

I finally organized most of my recipe clippings into binders. I love them, but they do make my sideboard look rather sloppy.


The Project:

I’ll make one recipe from each cookbook, moving through them according to how they’re placed on the shelves.  I’ll use no additional sorting logic.  After I’ve completed one pass, I’ll start again at the beginning.  If I can’t find more than a couple recipes I want to make in a cookbook…well, time to send it to the local used bookstore so someone else can enjoy it.

The Challenges:

Being recently under-employed due to my move to Cleveland, I find myself on a food budget for the first time in several years.  Gone (at least temporarily) are the days of choosing a recipe simply because I wanted to make it, with no regard for the specialty ingredients required, or the cost associated.

Take the aforementioned financial constraints and combine them with a desire to create menus that are healthy, delicious and interesting.  Though far from 100% perfect, I prefer to eat local foods, free-range meats and poultry, and sustainable seafood.  In addition, I put on a few more pounds than I’d like to admit living in the South, due to an undying passion for the ubiquitous biscuit sandwiches and fried food.  So I’m also on a mission to fit into some of my old clothes – particularly since I can’t afford to buy more right now!

And, assuming I’ll have a full-time job in the near future, I won’t always have hours to spend in the kitchen whipping up dinner.

The Guidelines:

To be selected, a recipe must encompass several if not all of the following criteria:

  • Few specialty/unusual ingredients
  • Majority of ingredients already available in the pantry or fridge
  • Primarily, though not exclusively, vegetarian
  • Leftovers can be easily frozen, reheated and/or transformed into another dish
  • Start to finish in 60 minutes or less

My Goals:

  • Rediscover my cookbooks
  • Make budget cooking fun and interesting rather than boring and discouraging
  • Lose a few pounds, maybe, while still eating great food
  • Eat well (in both the Taste and Nutrition arenas) every day
  • Rediscover myself along the way (see “About Me” for more on my quest)

3 Responses to “About The Project”

  1. What a great project. I love my cookbooks but I’ve recently been diagnosed with Coeliac disease so I have had to go gluten free. This means there are many recipes in my many beautiful cookbooks that I can’t use.
    I have started my own blog which follows 365 days of trying to learn to love eating gluten free food.
    Good luck with your project. It looks as though we started our blogs at the same time. 🙂

    • Hi Sleepinghorse, and welcome! I just checked out your blog, which looks fabulous! My cousin is on a gluten-free diet and I’m looking forward to sharing the site with her too.

      I made a fun meal last night (root vegetable mash with chickpeas and caramelized onions) that was gluten-free, vegetarian, calorie-conscious and CHEAP! It could also be easily adapted for a vegan diet. I love when a recipe meets the needs of so many people. I’m hoping to get a post up about it this weekend, though I unfortunately forgot to take any pictures of it. 🙂

  2. That sounds nice and I love caremalised onions. Don’t you hate it when you forget to take photos. I guess it is a good excuse to make it again. I did that with my Strawberry and Marscapone semifreddo and my Apricots cooked in wine served with ricotta cheese and honey. I didn’t mind having to make them twice! I have learnt now to keep the camera in the kitchen to help me remember.

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