Sunday, September 13, 2009

meal planning

i'm sitting on my sofa with my five favorite cookbooks spread out around me, planning our meals for the week so i can plan my grocery list for this afternoon's shopping. i had not previously been a huge meal-planner, and i'm not quite sure why. i'm making the effort now in order to save us money on our grocery bill, and i really like knowing that when i come home from work, i don't have to rack my brain trying to figure out what to make for dinner (baked chicken again? with rice or pasta?) or whether or not we have the ingredients for it.

the other thing i'm really enjoying about meal-planning is that it is encouraging me (and brian, by extension) to try new recipes that we may have otherwise overlooked. i have a bit of a cookbook obsession - there's forty-five of them on my kitchen shelves. FORTY-FIVE COOKBOOKS. no, i am not kidding. would you believe that i want more? there's a couple that i am currently coveting, but when you already have FORTY-FIVE COOKBOOKS you try to hold off on indulging that particular obsession because your husband might throw you and your cookbooks out if you bring another one home.

FORTY-FIVE COOKBOOKS. that does not include my five binders full of recipes handed down from family and friends and torn out of magazines. so, there are a lot of yummy recipes to try each week. of course, there are a few trusted standbys. joy of cooking, of course - i refer to it as the kitchen bible. rachael ray's 2, 4, 6, 8, because everything in there is pretty much guaranteed to get dinner on the table quickly, with a minimum of fuss, and the larger recipes are easy to adapt to two people. any of my cooking light cookbooks - i especially like this one - for guilt-free cooking that still tastes good. i love julia child's french chef cookbook though most of her recipes are "weekend" food, not weeknight cooking. williams-sonoma puts out beautiful cookbooks with gorgeous photos and delicious recipes. the chicken cookbook and the pasta cookbook are definite go-tos in my house. and my all-time favorite dessert cookbook, butter sugar flour eggs - just the book itself is so beautiful as to be lust-inducing.

what are your favorite cookbooks? what should i be looking to purchase next? do tell!


Sarah @ said...

I have the same obsession! SAME. Donald calls me the recipe keeper lol.

My favorite is the Gastronomique set. I taught myself to cook when I lived in France, and the woman who took me under her wing and saved my "what, you can't boil chicken?" sorry ass used that collection all the time. Well. Kind of. We kept kosher, so there was alot of, um, adaptation, but it was still delicious.

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

I wish I could tell you. I have about five or six cookbooks that are sitting on my shelf and they LOOK fantastic. But I've only used them a few times so I'm no expert. :(