Feeding an obsession

Cookbooks have a special place in my heart. My affection for them almost borders on obsession. There isn't a vacation or trip that I can remember where a book chock-full of recipes wasn't purchased. (Along with rocks and Christmas ornaments, they're my favorite souvenirs!) The best are the old local ones -- you know, with the plastic comb binding -- featuring the kitchen-tested favorites of little church ladies and Woman's Club members.

The only problems I've come across with many of the recipes in those beloved books is that either they take too long to make or they aren't particularly healthy.

So, in an effort to arm ourselves with an arsenal of quick and healthy recipes, Kevin and I made a trip to the bookstore last night. Our plan was to revive our Tuesday tradition of Starbucks (non-fat, no-whip hot chocolate for him, non-fat, no-water chai for me) -- which was temporarily discontinued during our wedding planning -- while checking out the cookbook offerings at our local B&N. (Yippee!)

We grabbed about twelve titles from the shelves and left the store with three: Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, How to Cook Everything, and The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen.

We picked "Great Food Fast" because of the fabulous color photos of each dish, the clearly labeled time to completion, and the fact that the recipes are organized by season, which will help at the grocery store.

Kevin picked "How to Cook Everything" because it literally does just that. Plus after seeing Mark Bittman a few times on the Today Show and reading his regular contributions to Runner's World, he was sold.

My pick, "The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen", was a purely selfish one! Plain and simple, the book is charming. It's pages are covered in gorgeous photos and recipes for delicious, buttery, comfort foods. (OK, not the healthiest. But that kind of yummy is alright in moderation, at least in my book!) With cute country craft projects sprinkled among the recipes, I had to make it mine. As a regular reader of The Farm Chicks blog, I knew I was investing in something good.

Over the next couple of weeks we'll be trying our hand at some of the recipes. Fingers crossed!

Do you have favorite go-to sources for weeknight meals? What would you recommend for a couple of newlyweds that are feeling their way around the kitchen?


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