Welcome to my world!

I've developed a passion for cooking since childhood, but in the past six years, that passion has grown into a geeky obsession. I love cooking, baking, and most importantly, sharing the love of food with family and friends. I invite you along on my journey of food discovery and passion.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Graduating to a new cookbook

The other weekend I made another batch of perfect pasta and expanded the realm of cooking from "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian." All told, the average cost per serving of pasta is now down to about $28 per serving, so I'm slowly earning back the money we spent on the pasta extruder.... There's just something about the texture of the homemade pasta - so much more "tooth" to it that really sops up the sauce fiercely.

I paired the fresh pasta with a little garlic and butter and sauteed it simply (this was actually leftover pasta from another dish). I served that with a mixed grill of spiced rubbed chicken paillards (a hybrid recipe from "Cooking Pleasures" magazine, cooked corn-on-the-cob, and a spicy sausage.

IceDaddy is not a rabbit food lover, so I ate the salad. I found a recipe in Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meals 2" that was a nice complement to the spicy chicken and sausage. It was a combination of sliced onions, tomatoes, and cubed avocado, dressed with extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. I added cucumber because I had some available (another summer favorite.

While seemingly a meat fest, I have to say, the highlight of the whole meal was the corn. Nothing says summer like fresh corn. We eat that at least once a week in the summer - everything from grilled corn to creamed corn. Here's the recipe that I learned from Ray's grandmother for boiled corn-on-the-cob. It works at any time of the year.

Boiled corn-on-the-cob
4 ears of corn, shucked and silks removed
1 Tbsp. white sugar
Enough water to cover corn
Salt, pepper, and butter to taste.

Break each ear of corn into two pieces. Fill a dutch oven or other large kettle with water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add sugar and corn and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, leaving corn in the pot. Add 1 - 2 Tbsp. butter to corn. Cover with pot lid and shake to distribute butter on corn. Add salt and pepper and repeat. (About 1/2 - 1 tsp of each, depending on your preference).

So, with that, "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian" has earned a place in my cookbook collection! I'm on to evaluating new cookbooks. Anyone have ideas on which one to try next? Here are the options: 1) Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meals 2" 2)"What Can I Bring" by Ann Byrn (The Cake Mix Doctor) or 3)Matt Martinez's "Culinary Frontiers"


  1. Did you ever decide? I must admit I'm partial to Rick Bayless since he does combine food dork with history dork. However, Matinez's book does look really good. I just can't stand Rachel Raye's books. Something about them has always left me feeling less-than-satisfied.

  2. I decided on a combo of RR and Matt Martinez. I'm trying to master more Tex-Mex recipes, so that's my motivation for using his book, but I can't limit myself to only Tex-Mex. I round out what I make with tons of magazine-clipped recipes anyway, so in reality I definitely don't limit myself too much! :)