Category Archives: Odds and Ends

A collection of posts that we didn’t know what to do with.

The Written Recipe is Hard to Replace

Most of us have a box full of history waiting in our kitchen.

The Written Recipe is Hard to Replace

The handwritten recipe card. It holds more than just a set of instructions for preparing a dish. It holds a certain amount of history too. I have a pretty big collection of my Mom’s recipe cards. Some are in her original, impossible to read handwriting. Some have been penned by others and added to her collection.

When you take out one of these cards, there’s a good chance you will see more than just the recipe. If you look real hard you can see the past. It’s particularly true if the card came from someone special.

Shrimp Toast

It’s unfortunate, but, in more and more kitchens, the recipe card has been relegated to a box placed on a seldom used book shelf. These pieces of family and culinary history have been replaced by cooking apps, ebooks and recipes printed off the internet. Use them once, get them dirty, throw them away. It may be an efficient way to cook, but, passing down your iPad to your kids after your gone just isn’t the same.

Rodger Mullen of the Fayetteville Observer has written a great piece highlighting what those cards mean to some of the folks in his area. It makes you want to rummage through your own collection of oil stained treasures and revive a few old family favorites.

Yes, we have links. The usual dozen. If you’re looking for a Paula Deen update buried in there, you will be greatly disappointed. But, we do have some great culinary stories. Click away…

Healthy cooking for 2: new cookbook is ideal for small households ‘Ching’s Everday Easy Chinese’ by Ching-He Huang Cooks are rediscovering the joy of slow cookers
Recipe cards keep family cooking alive Best iPhone cooking apps Top five food apps for your inner kitchen geek
Cookbook Review – Super Natural Every Day. “BLUESTEM THE COOKBOOK” REVIEWED Vegetarian cookbooks: pick of the crop
Culinary Giant: The father of modern American cooking James Beard Sunday Night Supper: Home Alone, with Cookbooks for Company Wintry thoughts on comfort food and cookbooks

If you have a story you would be interested in sharing with our readers, send it on.

Can A Cookbook Warning Save People From Themselves?

Should your cookbook come with a health warning?


It’s tough to judge. We all do things that we know are bad for us, but, sometimes we do them anyway. Does someone telling us that something is bad, stop us from engaging in bad behavior?

The cookbook. In it’s most basic form is a set of instructions meant to guide you in the preparation of a particular dish. Most people who can follow a recipe know that if it calls for two cups of butter, it probably isn’t health food. Or, at least any health food I’ve heard of.

If your cookbook carried a health warning on the cover, would that make you any less inclined to grill that bacon double brie burger? Personally, I doubt it. At certain times it seems deliciousness trumps the possibility of a quadruple bypass.

That is the subject a piece posted on the website explores. The article cites The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook in particular. In my view, the question being asked is, “Would cookbook warnings save people from themselves?”.  Or maybe the more important question is, should cookbooks have a warning to begin with?

Much has been written about the obesity problem in America. And, I certainly don’t want to diminish of the importance of maintaining a health weight and lifestyle. The long and short term health benefits have been well documented. But, does a cookbook entitled, 365 Ways To Deep Fry EVERYTHING really need a pronouncement that eating fried food every day may be hazardous to your health? You tell me.

There’s more buried in this weeks links than just a potential debate on personal responsibility. You can find some great, off the beaten path cookbook reviews in there. So, get clicking…


Lighten up in the kitchen Introduce children to the joys of cooking Vegan cooking? There’s a Canadian app for that thanks to Sarah Kramer
New cookbooks good way to start new year Every Cheese Has a Story Cookbooks enter the digital age thanks to websites like EatYourBooks, Epicurious and TasteBook
Cooking Revolutionary Chinese Food Should Cook’s Illustrated Be Ashamed Of Grilled Meats? Best Blogs That Turned Cookbooks
Video: Six-Year-Old Boy Reviews the New Angry Birds Cookbook Can a Canadian cookbook award create Giller-like buzz? The Sparkpeople Cookbook | A Review {Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash with Lemon Pepper Recipe}


If you know of a great story that our site visitors might like, send it to us.

Our Most Popular Posts: December 2011

December is behind us. And with it, the holiday shopping frenzy. Black Friday gave way to Cyber Monday and before you knew it, all that was left from the buying bonanza was a giant pile of gift wrap and the unanswered question of which presents are worth keeping and which will be tagged for return.

Our popular posts for the past month were an obvious attempt to find that perfect cookbook for the special chef on your list.

Looks like a lot of your were considering smoking your holiday bird. The piece we did on Myron Mixon’s book way back in August, came up big in December. Hope that smoked turkey turned out great!

Here’s the rundown for last month. And, as always, thanks so much for using the site!

I’m In Love… With Two Cookbooks!How To Make Red Beans and RiceBest Cookbooks, Vintage Cookbooks and GiftsBoiled Water: There’s An App For ThatLarousse Gastronomique, I Scored One!
The Best Cookbook Lists Just Keep on ComingCookbook Daily: Smokin’ with Myron MixonIdeas In Food: Food+Science=DeliciousThe 2011 Cookbook Clock is TickingLeftovers Take Center Stage

2012 is here and so are a whole new crop of cookbooks. We’ll be continuing to bring you reviews, news, giveaways and a lot more in the coming year. Keep your eyes peeled for some fun, new features.

Cookbooks Make The Jump To App


The future of cookbooks may be closer than anyone would imagine.


I’m not going give you any earth shattering news that you probably don’t already know. But, here it is anyway. The cookbook app is not only coming, it’s here. See, I told you that was somewhat old news.

What may be new however is the acceptance of the cooking app as a legitimate format to impart culinary wisdom, instruction and advise. On March 6, at Folies Bergere in Paris, one of four cooking apps will be named the best of the best at the prestigious The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. That part is BIG news.

The fact that digital cooking applications are so prevalent in todays kitchens says a ton about how we consume information. It’s too early to tell if the smartphone or tablet will eventually replace the physical book, but, suffice it to say that it’s firmly in the realm of possibility.

Among this week links we have some digital news and some traditional cookbook reviews and happenings. Big Think has an interesting piece on the creation of an iTunes like format for recipes. That could have some far reaching implications on a digital cookbook industry that still has it’s training wheels on. Stay tuned to see how that turns out.

Here’s this weeks links, personally selected for your surfing pleasure.


Jamie Oliver's Cookbook Bashed For Being Unhealthy Cookbook features low-fat fare Digital Cooking: An iTunes for Recipes
Cooking Apps Gain Acceptance At French Cookbook Awards The Olson Recipe Maker App Sustainable fish with a pro’s touch
New & Noteworthy: Batali pens a cooking column Suzi’s Cookbook Review: Williams-Sonoma Eat Well Latin America leads Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Life sweet for blogger with upcoming publication of cookbook on Italian desserts Order of Canada recipient ‘ignites the foodie in all of us’ Cooking apps gain credibility as new category at  world cookbook awards

If you have a story or a link that you think would be interesting to our site visitors, please, by all means forward it along.

Can Cookbooks Really Be Hazardous To Your Health?


Just because a cookbook has recipes and images that leave you drooling, doesn’t mean it’s good for your general well being. At least that’s the message that a group of physicians are putting out.

Once again, the dieticians from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have put together a list of the years worst cookbooks. Worst is a relative term. And, worst in this case means the dishes in the book are probably super delicious, but loaded with ingredients that the health conscience world has deemed toxic. Did someone say bacon and butter?

Anyway, I’m a pretty big believer that moderation along with a dash of common sense will temper any short term bad behavior. Back in 2010, the “committee” put out their list of the worst cookbooks of the previous decade. You can check out that honor roll here.

A healthier diet is an admirable pursuit. And, it is resolution time. A lot of people will be looking for some guidance on keeping that weight loss/cholesterol lowering/healthy lifestyle promise.That doesn’t have to mean a steady diet of boneless skinless chicken breasts. But, there is always room for a little healthful improvement in all of our diets.

Links, links, links. Yes, we have them for you. Let’s get down to what you may have missed from around the web this past week. Start clicking…

What's cooking next year?Simply Fresh: Casual Dining at HomeGrain Trust: Experts Recommend Their Eco-Favorites


Digital Recipe Library Still Defies ConstructionGoing Vegan: 5 favorite cookbooks of 2011Analysis: Tiny desserts, bacon backlash shape 2011
From the bookstore: 'Mourad New Moroccan'Meaty Cookbooks Part 2 -- Cooking TechniquesStars might be gone, but recipes live on
Cooklet Aims To Disrupt The Stodgy Cooking Scene With Gingerbread CarpTop Ten Best Vegan Recipe SitesHere Are the 'Unhealthiest' Cookbooks of 2011

If you see something you think may be interesting to our readers, feel free to forward it along.

Leftovers Take Center Stage


Let’s breathe some new life into our second and third day traditions.


I’m sure you know the feeling. The big day (or days) are over. There’s a pile of gift wrap that has been lovingly stuffed into green plastic garbage bags ready for the curb. And, oh, the fridge is crammed full of delicious leftover holiday food.

Of course you’re going to be making turkey or ham sandwiches. A hearty leftover soup is waiting somewhere in your very near future. And, there will undoubtedly be a late night carcass picking session or two.

Odds are some of you may have gotten a shiny new, unstained cookbook for a gift. Excellent. I’m thinking that copy of Eleven Madison Park doesn’t have a great recipe using day old poultry. Looks like you may have to wait to use that new book until you have some room in the fridge for some fresh ingredients. Until then we have some ideas.

We all have our holiday leftover traditions. But, what if you’re looking to put a new spin on some day old eats? I think we can lend a hand. Here are a few books that can help you dazzle your family and impress your hungry houseguests.

If you have a great resource for leftover dishes, by all means share. We would love to retire that old turkey tetrazzini recipe.

Small Box, A Big Deal In The Kitchen


Think for a minute about this kitchen scenario.

You pull a printed, old school, ink on paper cookbook from your collection. You turn to what looks like a super delicious recipe for authentic New Orleans gumbo. The recipe seems straightforward enough, but, after reading through it you still have some serious technique questions.

You notice at the bottom right corner of the page a black and white patterned square. You take out your smartphone, point and click. Bingo, your phone plays a video of the chef/author making the gumbo step by step. All of your questions (and prayers) have been answered. Some futuristic kitchen dream? Hardly. That technology exists today and some savvy cookbook authors are already using it.

QR CodeWe’re talking about QR codes. For those of you unfamiliar with the little black and white boxes that resembles a mish mash of blots and dots here’s the scoop. This code can be translated by an app on your smartphone. The code tells the phone to load up a web page or a video that is associated with that particular code design. Big deal. Well, it is.

This technology allows traditional cookbook publishers to take advantage of some great digital resources while still being true to the printed form that authors love so much. Now there is no need to be a digital “sell out” to bring your readers some fantastic benefits that are not usually available in a bound book.

With the world of cookbook publishing morphing at a dizzying pace, the QR code is just another example of how the digital world is changing the manner in which cookbook content is consumed. If you’re thinking about publishing a cookbook you had better do your homework if you want to stand out from a crowded field.

There are lots of great reviews in this weeks links. As usual, we have a full helping of cookbook news from around the web. Enjoy!

If you want to check out how QR codes work, just use a QR reader application on your smartphone to read the code on this page. The destination could help you with those last minute holiday gifts.

The year’s cookbooks are passionate, homestyle volumesNew cookbook shows a portrait of PépinCookbooks Ranked By the Stick (of Butter)
Epicurious Offers 75 Random House Cookbooks OnlineNEW COOKBOOK TELLS YOU HOW TO EAT LIKE A…SUPREME COURT JUSTICE5 of our Favorite Restaurant Cookbooks of 2011
Visual feasts to drool overRose Pedal JamArsenal Pulp gets cooking with debut app
Author updates cookbook 
featuring Moroccan dishesAn Interview with Paula WolfertMomofuku and 'Plenty' Top 2011 Cookbook ChartsNathalie's Sally Lunn Bread
Cookbook focuses on delicious venisonBonnie Stern: A year of cookbook classicsBiteMe Too launches a clever cookbook with QR codes

Best Cookbooks, Vintage Cookbooks and Gifts


I hope you’re winding down your holiday shopping at this point. Or, maybe if you’re like me, not. It’s the thrill of out hustling hundreds of other last minute shoppers for that special gift that makes this time of year oh so special. And, based on the time I have left, this year is shaping up to be more special than most.

If you want you can opt to finish up your list from the comfort of your cushy desk chair (coward). But, don’t blame me if you end up feeling that there’s something lacking from this years shopping adventure.

We’ve got some great last minute gift ideas for you.  Some cookbook reviews and some best of 2011 lists are linked below for your reading pleasure.

Best cook books of the year: 'Tis the season for foodies Cookbook Reviews by Rachel: Love SoupTop 10 Best Holiday CookbooksKitchen Call: Vintage cookbooks make great gifts
Bring Stephanie Izard, Marc Vetri, Mario Batali and more into the kitchen with new cookbooksThe best cookbooks for holiday gifts Top cookbooks of 2011Two Great Cooks, Two Great CookbooksOur Readers' Top Five Cookbooks of 2011Cookbooks to please a sweet tooth

PERFECT GIFTS FOR FOODIES2011 Best Blogs Turned Cookbooks

FYI – Next week I’m going to reveal to the world my favorites from last year. Don’t get all excited. It’s not another best of… countdown or slideshow gallery. You can get those anywhere.

The Best Cookbook Lists Just Keep on Coming


I know it’s that time of year. But, I’m already suffering from a case of Best Burnout. Best cookbook posts are everywhere. I’m not suggesting that these aren’t well written and thoughtful pieces. It’s just that there’s a swarm of them.

I was hoping to write a post highlighting some of my own choices for the best cookbooks of 2011. But, I’m not sure I really want to be just tossed on top of the already heaping pile of posts. I almost feel obligated. After all, the name of this site is  I’ll think about it and get back to you.

In the meantime, there were a bunch of best lists posted in the past week or so. You can check out some of the selections right here. Of course, there are some regular, old fashioned cookbook reviews mixed in there too.

An Official Interview About The Unofficial Mad Men CookbookThe Must-Have Cookbooks of 2011A cookbook for everyone on your gift list
Cookbook Of The Week: Desserts by Michel Roux + A Chocolate-Almond Rochers RecipeWhen cookbooks and farmers markets collideThe best baking cookbooks for holiday giving, for anyone who's been naughty or nice
my favorite cookbooks of 2011 – and a giveaway!Booksellers’ picks of the year: cookbooksCookbooks to get you bakingFavorite Cookbooks of 2011Cookbooks for those who know their own tastesChristmas cookies: This season brings a fresh batch of scrumptious cookie cookbooksThere's a cookbook for every special person in your lifeHoliday haul

Now that should give you a pretty good idea of what to buy for the cookbook enthusiast on your list this holiday season.

Our Most Popular Posts: November 2011

It’s hard to believe that November is already behind us. It seems like just yesterday we were staring fall in the face. Our website had a fantastic month. Thanks for visiting!

In case you were too busy picking the last few fall apples or chasing after your Thanksgiving bird to visit the site, we thought we would rundown the top ten posts from last month.

Click on any or all to read what you might have missed.

Cookbook Daily: Eleven Madison ParkCookbook Daily: Momofuku Milk BarHow To Deep Fry A Turkey (And Anything Else)Do Little Old Ladies Really Make The Best Food?How To Make Red Beans and Rice
Cookbook Preview: The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran AdriaChing Delivers Great ChineseCookbook Daily: The Food52 CookbookTexas Tamale TimeWhat’s For Dinner? An App Can Help

December brings a flurry of holiday cookbook buying. Check back for some great gift giving ideas. Oh, and make sure and tell your friends.