Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J: Julia, James, Jeff, Jacques, and Jackson, Michigan

I have lots of cookbooks.  Lots and lots.  Many more than I can photograph and put on my blog.


Bread, pasta, chocolate, desserts... All the things I love about food. So, for the letter 'J', I have chosen to highlight my recipe books: Julia Child, Jeff Smith, James Beard, Jacques Pepin - and everyone else for that matter.

I have both of Julia's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'.  My volume two is a first edition picked up used at the local library bookstore.  Honest?  I am not sure if I have ever made any of her recipes, but I'm not done cooking yet.

Jeff Smith was TV's Frugal Gourmet.  One of my books highlights Italian food and I have made many recipes from it, especially a wonderful cheesy polenta.

I still watch Jacques on TV every night.  He is like the energizer bunny of chefs.  I love watching him cook with his grand-daughter.  Just this Easter I made his Camembert with pistachios which was much easier than the baked brie that I usually make.

I would be remiss if I did not mention two other chefs who taught me a lot of what I know in the kitchen - Certified Master Chef Jeff Gabriel and Certified Master Pastry Chef Joseph Decker.  I have several notebooks from their classes and many of the recipes I share online have been adapted from their teachings.

I have been testing recipes for America's Test Kitchen for many years.  The best recipe I ever tested was Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise.  Just this week I started receiving food from Blue Apron and will post about it in the future.  

Do you love to cook?  Do you collect cookbooks?

Jackson, Michigan
Anyone who has visited San Francisco is likely to have ventured out to Alcatraz for a tour.  I know I did.  But has anyone in Michigan ever thought to visit Jackson Prison?  Not me.  Jackson was once the largest prison facility in the states.  Now, anyone can visit Cell Block 7, now empty but which once held over 500 prisoners.  Meanwhile, all around you are other inmates in the other cell blocks.  Have toured a prison?

19 comments:

  1. I would like Julia Child's cookbooks and would like to try it but I am never excited bout cooking. I can cook and cook. Well but there is so much more to do:)

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  2. I do love to cook and I adore cookbooks. I was excited to see you have Julia's and was about to ask what you've tried, and then read the post. I wonder how many people have that cookbook but have never made anything from it?

    How cool that you test recipes! I have the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe books. Talk about ponderous tomes!

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    1. I am sure I've cooked from Julia's books, but I've also used recipes from her shows and frankly, at this point in my life, if I've only made something once it is hard to remember what it was.

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  3. I used to love looking through cookbooks. I wouldn't necessarily cook all that much, but I always found it so enjoyable to read through recipes and look at the pretty pictures of the finished dishes.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/j-is-for-jetty-nancy-drew-investigates.html

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  4. I love cooking and I love cookbooks - my most recent cook book love is Simply Nigella - so many wonderful recipes. That Camembert with pistachios looks amazing. I have a whole bookcase in the kitchen full of recipe books and binders and my husband fears that one day it's just going to give out from the weight :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. LOL. Yes, I redid my walk-in pantry years ago as the shelves started to sag. Now I have an entire section for more cookbooks that are not out on the counters.

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  5. I have close to a hundred cookbooks--I justify that because I use a different one each week in my menu prep.

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  6. I used to have a lot of them, too--and I'd find that I only liked one or two recipes out of each. I'm a picky eater! Now I use sites like Allrecipes and look through the most popular. I especially like slow cooker recipes where I can just throw items in in the morning and have a meal eight hours later.

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  7. I have Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 and on the search for Vol. 2. Once I did organize my cookbooks into one shelf it made life easier. I like to go through my books and choose a couple of new recipes to try each month.
    I see numerous cookbooks at the thrift shops now - guess people are more likely to Google a recipe than look for it in a book.
    www.thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. I've purchased many of my books used, including the ones in that third photo. The Julia Child books were three dollars each.

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  8. I love to cook, although I don't get to do it very often! I have found a new love for cookbooks! I just think they have so much character! Such a fun hobby!

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  9. I do love to cook and have quite a collection of cookbooks. My favorite cookbook is the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Great early American-styled recipes to be found in that cookbook. I also am addicted to cooking shows and am watching one right now!

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  10. Most of the cookbooks I have are from England. I used to belong to a cookbook club and they sent you a choice every month, many of them I bought. I also had a friend in the publishing industry who gave me a few cookbooks including an Escoffier. I don't cook as much as I used to unfortunately but we still have to eat.

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    1. I have a chocolate cookbook that was printed in India. Making the conversions to American measure is a nightmare.

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  11. Can you imagine I have never owned a cookbook in my life? I need to get started on that... I am still cooking on a grad student mentality...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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    1. I think if I was younger, I probably wouldn't buy cookbooks either (my D-I-L doesn't). I have over 4000 recipes on Pinterest, a ton of recipes on the computer, and I can Google for any recipe I desire. And now I've stated Blue Apron, so I don't even need to shop- though that will likely be temporary.

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  12. That is a collection of cookbooks!! Here hubby does a lot of the cooking (most of it). I'm not fond of cooking, but I can cook. He is creative with spices, etc. I just basically follow the recipe :)

    betty

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  13. I just noticed tonight that I have a biography of Julia Child unread on my shelf. Time to put it aside to be read sooner rather than later.

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