cookbooks with uncookable recipes

I love watching food shows.  One of my favorites is Top Chef.  I follow it religiously and I enjoy every minute of it.  A family member, a fellow Top Chef fan, gave me as a gift a Top Chef cookbook.  I was so excited!  That is… until I opened the book and looked through the recipes.  I think I found 2 recipes that I could probably try in my kitchen.  Many of the ingredients are not things you can find in a regular supermarket – unless your super market is some fancy one.  The techniques also seemed totally undoable.  What a disappointment.

There are three things I look for in a cookbook.

1. pictures – I must have pictures because I need to be able to visualize the end product

2. shop-ability – I’m a working mom/wife – I don’t have all day to chase ingredients all over town

3. do-ability – again, I’m a working mom/wife – I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t have a lot of energy, so it needs to be doable in “real life” – also “pinch of salt” and “salt to taste” don’t really help me

I have to say, it’s hard to find cookbooks that meet all of these things I look for while going beyond the very basics of Betty Crocker recipes.  It’s either too mundane/simple or too fancy.

This is why I enjoy the Food Network website and places like  And I started gathering my own collection of recipes that I bound together in a binder and clear protectors.  Every time I try a new recipe and it works out, it goes into my binder.  I wonder if the world of cookbooks, like the world of books in general, is slowly dying too.


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