Okay, the title of this post is a little misleading. I really do like to cook. But I mostly want to wander into my kitchen when the mood strikes me, whip up a little something delicious, and then not cook again for days or months or whatever.
It’s the daily drudgery that gets to me, you know? Why do these people insist on eating every day?
Not to mention our ongoing gluten-free needs, which makes it more complicated and expensive; the cost of groceries in general is, quite simply, out of control. We are coming perilously close to the brink of spending more each month on groceries than we do on our mortgage. Yikes.
I eye all the new cookbooks at the library with suspicion and low expectations. I want recipes to be delicious, cheap, and easy in equal measure. I do not want to wander around Meijer, hunting for cranberries grown in a moonlit bog and harvested by elves.
Got it, cookbook writers of the free world? Cheap, simple ingredients, easy, and delicious. Dial back on the imaginative recipes for us, pretty please.
Beth Moncel, author of Budget Bytes, gets it. She really does. Pushed into frugal eating by her own economic needs, she has written a cookbook that checks all my boxes. She was even considerate enough to rate her recipes from $ to $$$, indicating the really cheap options. Bless her. She has an entire chapter on rice, beans, and lentils, and how to make them edible. (Don’t pretend you like lentils all on their own. I can see you shaking your head at me.)
Right now, at this very moment, I’m flipping through the book and I’m seeing ingredients like black beans, vegetable oil, basil, and carrots. I know what these things are. I even already have these things! (Okay, not the carrots.) Yes, occasionally she throws in a hot sauce I don’t have or a spice I can ignore, but no cookbook is perfect.
This one comes pretty close. Tonight we’re having Garlic Herb Pasta (page 108) with some leftover chicken thrown in for good measure. As soon as I close this post I’m headed over to Amazon to buy a copy of this book, because I’m pretty sure the library doesn’t want their book returned covered in food stains. (Here’s the link to get your own!)
Any other suggestions? What cookbook do you love?