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As of 5:17 this evening, the Summer Cookbook Quest has officially ended. There was a time when I thought it’d last into the fall, but that time has passed. As a searched through the index of every cookbook I owned (plus the 4 I have from the library) and tried to match a recipe with what I had on hand, I finally made the decision. The Summer Cookbook Quest was just not working out.
I stand by the Quest as a good idea – I have some great cookbooks and I definitely became more familiar with them this summer. I discovered some new books I’m adding to my wishlist (including Smitten Kitchen Every Day and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!), but using cookbooks to exclusively plan my menus was just not working for my life. The main goal of my menu plans is to use my CSA vegetables – and even though I have a lot of vegetable-based books, it was difficult to find recipes I wanted to make with the items I was picking up. Many of the recipes I’ve collected electronically, on the other hand, are specifically targeted to those very vegetables. I think there may be better cookbooks out there for my needs, but by the time I realized I should interlibrary loan them, it was too close to the end of summer to make this project work. This summer, with my constant cycle of travel and recovery from travel, along with a toddler who does not stay still, just didn’t allow me to embrace this challenge (and the amount of time it required) that I envisioned.
There are still a lot of recipes I want to make from my cookbooks, but I think they’ll be better utilized when I choose a recipe first and then get the ingredients. Ideally, I’ll look through the books in the coming weeks and add the recipes that really appeal to me to my menu planning document. Then I can make sure I have all the ingredients. In the meanwhile, it’s back to my electronic recipe collection, mostly.
Now, without further ado,
The Pick Up
Broccoli Parmesan Fritters (Smitten Kitchen) with corn
Eggplant Parmesan and spaghetti
caprese salads and sausage sandwiches
Roasted Vegetable Burritos using broccoli and peppers (The Kitchn)
collard green wraps (filling TBD – tuna, chicken, ground beef or chickpea salad)
Feta, Lemon and Dill Dip (On Tap for Today) with cherry tomatoes, sliced pepper and pita
Crispy Tofu and Broccoli with Sesame-Peanut Pesto (from Smitten Kitchen Every Day) — this recipe by itself made the Summer Cookbook Quest worth it. I’m obsessed.