While the blog has featured more from cooking magazines lately than my cookbooks (how can it now when summer produce is available?!), I have taken the time to cook some recipes from my cookbooks and compare my cookbooks for redundancy. So, with that in mind, the following cookbooks are retiring to that Half Price Books location down in Frisco to be re-introduced to the public:
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbook
Top Texas Chefs Favorite Recipes
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats
Rachael Ray Just In Time
Readers, can you believe I've done t\ough love to get rid of FOUR cookbooks?! Ok, if I'm being honest with you, it's because I've acquired at least four new cookbooks, so I have to make room, but it's also because my cooking has evolved. Each of these is retiring for different reasons, but none of these has more than 1 - 2 recipes I plan to keep making. What used to appeal isn't working for me anymore.
First up, The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbook by the editors of Southern Living Magazine. The cookbook plays on the popularity of the movie, "Forrest Gump" and has the folksy voice that aligns with the movie. I have to say - there are a plethora of recipes for shrimp. If you truly love shrimp and want tons of new ways to cook them, you really should consider purchasing this book. It's fairly short, around 100 pages, and covers the gamut of dishes. Like the famous scene from the movie when Bubba Blue gives the options for shrimp dishes to Forrest, it's divided into categories of "you can bake it," "you can barbecue it," "you can boil it" etc. The one recipe I found that I will make every summer is Alabama-Style Shrimp Bake. It's the traditional "barbecue" shrimp recipe\ where you concoct a mixture of worcestershire sauce, butter, and lemon juice, then bake the shrimp in the shell and serve with bread for sopping. Great summer dish for a crowd. Other than that, the recipes I tried were nothing I felt compelled to make again and, given that it's from "Southern Living" the salt and fat content were rather high for them.
Next, Top Texas Chefs Favorite Recipes by Ginnie Siena Bivona and Sharry Buckner. Honestly, it's not a bad cookbook, but it just doesn't have enough recipes that that I want to cook. Partially, the cookbook is complicated by the fact that some chefs provided recipes per portion, others to serve multiple individuals. It's a reflection of each chef's preferences and style, but makes it more complicated for the home cook and it was a hodgepodge of items (reflective of the hodgepodge that Texas cuisine is). Just not a cookbook that I'm going to keep on the shelf in lieu of one I use more.
Rounding out the retiring cookbooks are two from Rachael Ray - 365: No Repeats and Just in Time. Rachel's schtick is that she provides recipes that can be done in 30 minutes. Great concept, but in practice, unless you're willing to dirty EVERY pot in your kitchen, it's not always realistic. I do enjoy her 30 Minute Meals Two, but perhaps in Rachel's quest for cookbook and world domination, she's run out of really creative ideas and starts reaching further. Neither is a terrible cookbook, but Just In Time calls for tons of unusual ingredients that IceDaddy won't touch, and there is a fair amount of repetition to her other cookbooks. 365: No Repeats falls victim to the ambition of 365 different recipes. There are a ton of recipes, and for someone without many cookbooks, a tome with that volume can be valuable. Many of the recipes would have to be modified a great deal to make them appeal to IceDaddy. In this case, quantity of recipes does not trump quality.
And with that, dear readers, comes the next four casualties of this little project!
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.