98 Resolutions, Just Cook It

Last year I made this fantastic resolution to cook out of each and every cookbook I owned.

It was one of 29 resolutions I made.
I didn’t quite get around to it.

This year, 2012, i’ve got high hopes. I’m going after it again.
Let me start by saying I have 98 cookbooks. This doesn’t include the numerous culinary reference books, culinary pictorials and travel books littering our living room- oh, and the giant stack of food magazines collecting dust in a woven basket next to the couch.

This goal was born after what was to be a lazy morning of pouring over my collection, scanning each book, dog earring recipes we had liked for easy meal planning reference- a tip I had picked up on a grocery budgeting/meal planning blog. By the end of it I was a embarrassed to discover I had only really cooked from about half my collection. Some books, I hadn’t even cracked.

I can’t explain just what it is about cookbooks. Maybe it is hope; the promise of a great dish with great friends, or the perfect family meal. Can a cookbook lead you to a better life? The author’s notes at the beginning are a favorite, offering a peek into the cook’s philosophy. Knowing what gems lie in those pages it is too hard for me to let go of even one.

Each week I’ll post what I make, culling the books that didn’t make the cut. Did you see that picture of my collection? Time to tame that beast. Read below to see which books I’ll be cooking out of in 2012. Let me know if any of your favorites are on that list and what I should make. As I’ve discovered choosing just one recipe to make is more difficult that I thought!

  1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
  2. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico
  3. Aquavit
  4. Korean Kimchi and Le Cordon Bleu
  5. The American Family Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
  6. The Lee Brothers Cookbook
  7. CIA Garde Manger
  8. At Home with Japanese Cooking
  9. The French Laundry Cookbook
  10. World Vegetarian
  11. Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen
  12. Eat for Health
  13. The Voluptuous Vegan
  14. China Moon
  15. The Art and Soul of Baking
  16. 660 Curries
  17. The Northwest Essentials Cookbook
  18. Tapas: a Taste of Spain in America
  19. Little Foods of the Mediterranean
  20. Vegan Cupcakes Takeover the World
  21. 3 Bowls
  22. Charcuterie
  23. Martha Stewart Hors d’Oeuvres
  24. Rawvolution
  25. The Baby Cuisine Cookbook
  26. Mastering the Art of French Cooking
  27. 1080 Recipes
  28. I Know How to Cook
  29. Japanese Vegetarian Cooking
  30. A Cooks Tour
  31. Invitation to Korean Cuisine
  32. The Vegan Gourmet
  33. Korean Cookery
  34. Korean Cooking Made Easy
  35. Vij’s
  36. Supernatural Everyday
  37. Supernatural Cooking
  38. The Kripalu Cookbook
  39. Making Artisan Chocolates
  40. The Engine 2 Diet
  41. Cafe Flora Cookbook
  42. Chefs on the Farm
  43. Vegetarian Turkish Cooking
  44. Cocktails 2006
  45. Pacific Northwest Wining and Dining
  46. Sips and Apps
  47. Entertaining for a Veggie Planet
  48. Homemade Cheese Making
  49. Joy of Pickling
  50. Vegetarian Planet
  51. The Splendid Grain
  52. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
  53. Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook
  54. Quick and Easy Korean Cooking
  55. The Improvisational Cook
  56. The Northwest Kitchen
  57. River Road Recipes
  58. Rebar Modern Food Cookbook
  59. The New American Chef
  60. Harumi’s Japanese Cooking
  61. Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food
  62. Ratio
  63. The Just Bento Cookbook
  64. Washoku
  65. The Japanese Kitchen
  66. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
  67. Laurel’s Kitchen
  68. Les Halles Cookbook
  69. The Garden of Vegan
  70. Singapore Heritage Food
  71. Eat Cook Hong Kong
  72. The Balthazar Cookbook
  73. The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
  74. The Art of Simple Food
  75. Eating Korean
  76. The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook
  77. Chang Mai Thai Cookbook
  78. Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
  79. Ad Hoc at Home
  80. Around my French Table
  81. Raw Food Real World
  82. My Sweet Vegan
  83. The Raw Gourmet
  84. The Whole Foods Recipes- Vitamix
  85. Fish Without a Doubt
  86. The Splendid Table
  87. The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves
  88. The Moosewood Cookbook
  89. Simple to Spectacular
  90. The Herb Farm Cookbook
  91. Putting Food By
  92. Cooking the Middle Eastern Way
  93. Bruce Aidells’s Compete Book of Pork
  94. Crust and Crumb
  95. Cocktails 2009
  96. Peas and Thank You
  97. The 30 Day Vegan Challenge
  98. Webber’s Big Book of Grilling

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3 thoughts on “98 Resolutions, Just Cook It

  1. I’m trying not to think about how many of these I’ve read or bought. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone – love the turnip soup. Simple, fresh, easy to tweak depending on market offerings. Add a black radish to the mix for sure. And some fresh chives plus spring turnips. Improvisational Chef gave me flavored vinegars and herbed salts, which are both househould standards now. The vinegars extended our summer into the fall – cherry pitts and stems become an aged balsamic I can dig out for fall salads, the blueberries we didn’t eat before they got a little too soft do the same. Our herb garden overflow becomes an herb salt stash for Christmas gifts. I like grey salts for their moisture content in an herb salt. With MAFC, we learned the hard way that her ingredients and titles reflect her time much more than our own – stew meat when the book was written contained actual fat and is better replaced by boneless short ribs, risotto to Julia Child is not the Italian risotto we’d expect today, etc. I hated the book honestly, but the omelette instructions were worthwhile. Love your collection of Asian flavors – saw several I’ve never read. Cheers to a year of new eats!

    1. oh my gosh! I love it! I am absolutely looking up the vinegars. I’m mostly a fan of Julia’s writing more than her recipes. Julie and Julia was enough to scare me off trying anything more complicated that a salad dressing.

      1. Har! So funny. Don’t be scared of Julia – she’s a dream under the right circumstances. You’re definitely more talented than just her salad dressings. But her recipes always lack veg, so she may challenge you. That said, I just re-read your list and have to say I adore that your list includes Bruce Aidell’s Pork amidst so many vegan books. Perfection.