il ricettario di famiglia

Let’s skip over the blatant fact that I haven’t posted in a while. Fail. It’s been a crazy….many months.

Moving on…

A number of years ago my Italian family decided it was time to put the many, many family recipes in one place. We couldn’t make it easy by typing up the recipes in Word and giving each family member a CD of recipes. Nope, not us. No worries, we typed up each recipe but we didn’t stop there. We created our own cookbook, complete with typed recipes, handwritten recipes, pictures, games, and humor. And, of course, love.

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Over the years, oil stains have appeared on some pages and recipes have been marked up. There may also be some wine stains in there, too. And those recipes that have been marked up? Well, we’ve done some editing along the way. Apparently our editing team had some wine during the initial go through…who can blame them? Some recipes didn’t list some (obvious) ingredients, measurements were optional for some original recipes (that may not change), and some family recipes were flat-out not included. Needless to say, it’s due for a revision.

That’s where this next journey comes in. My cousin has enlisted me, and the rest of the family, to go through and make each recipe. As it is written in the cookbook. And taking notes along the way… Our goal: a second edition. Preferably with fewer typos and more recipes.

My cousin is tracking the cooking on her blog. I’ll be (hopefully) posting what I cook + bake on here. To stay true to the recipes, they won’t be as “healthy” as I would normally make them. I will be including what I would do differently though if I were making it for myself.

So dig out your apron, dust off the pots, pans, and baking sheets, and make sure you have a grocery store nearby. A glass bottle of wine might not hurt, either.

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Back in the kitchen

I love being in the kitchen and I love cooking. And I do actually cook dinner every few nights (leftovers are wonderful, unless you get tired of those). However, I’m realizing I have a version of the same few dinners on rotation, all with a big salad on the side:

  • Quinoa or pasta tossed with sautéed veggies I have around (the ‘what produce do I have that’s about to go bad’ dinner)
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Whatever fish I pick up from the local market (the ‘it doesn’t happen very often, but I deserve a nice dinner’ dinner)

And there are also the inevitable times where I stare at my refrigerator thinking “What do I have? What can I make? I need to go grocery shopping,” which leads to snacking on whatever for dinner and/or lunch.

It’s not for a lack of not having any other ideas. I have plenty of cookbooks with a plethora of recipes I’d love to try. And some cute aprons I’d love to have reason to wear. I blame it on the time factor, and lack of planning ahead. By time I think I need to make dinner I’m: a) already hungry and b) working with what is on my shelves (limited). There’s also the whole student budget issue…

Upon talking to my mother about this conundrum, her idea was to plan ahead (really, who would have thought?) – and take on a Julie & Julia type project. Not necessarily with Julia Child’s cookbook, but rather with the cookbooks I have on hand and the recipes that I want to try. In other words, she told me to start planning ahead and actually use my cookbooks, even though they do look really nice on my bookshelf. Or use all those recipes on-line that I’ve bookmarked…

To start, I made my way to the produce market around the corner (read that as ‘good produce for cheap’), which is finally open again after being closed for two (long) weeks. Yay! I know, planning ahead usually requires picking out the recipe followed by a trip to the grocery store. I flipped it this week due to my excitement of the market being open again. This is what I came home with…

So now, armed with a full refrigerator, I shall start cooking tonight and trying new recipes. For the next week at least, until I visit the West Coast for a week. I’ll continue when I’m back though. Promise.

Oh yah, and if you didn’t already catch on, most of my cooking will be vegetarian, with some seafood thrown in the mix every now and then.