Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Cookbook Challenge

I've joined a Cookbook Challenge being hosted by the lovely Uniflame who blogs at She Likes Bento. I met Uniflame through the weekly Weekend Cooking blog event hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Uniflame came up with this challenge as means to motivate home cooks to cook from the many cookbooks we have stashed on our bookshelves but never seem to get around to actually using. I know I have many cookbooks that I've bought and enjoyed reading, but have yet to actually tried a single one of the recipes. I tend to cook more from memory or recipes from cooking magazines.

The challenge is really straight forward. Choose your level [by the number of recipes you'll try] and cook at least one recipe from the cookbooks you choose to use. You can use any number of cookbooks, but you must choose a cookbook from which you rarely use.

You don't have to write a review of the cookbook or even post the recipes on your blog if you don't want to, but it is welcomed, if not encouraged. You can opt to just post what you made and your thoughts on the dish and or the cookbook. You can also share your progress in the challenge with photos. It's really pretty flexible.

The challenge runs October through November, so you can jump in and participate at anytime between now and November 30.
My Cookbooks [photo taken July 28, 2012]
Also my collection of Everyday Food magazines
and a few library books,
I've chosen the following cookbooks to use for this challenge:

Indian Regional Classics by Julie Sahni 
Autumn by Susan Branch 
The Pumpkin Cookbook edited by Nicola Hill 
Holiday Baking by Sara Perry
German Cookery by Elizabeth Schuler

I'll start out with the plan to prepare one recipe from each cookbook which would put me at the Creative Croissant level of 3-5 recipes. Perhaps I'll be inspired to do more as I go along.

For more information about the challenge and to sign up, visit Uniflame HERE.

Hope you'll join me!

Do you own cookbooks from which you've never tried a single recipe? 
What's your excuse? 


  1. I am so curious to see what you will be making :) I love seasonal cookbooks so I am especially curious about that autumn cookbook.

  2. I love seasonal cookbooks, too! The Autumn one is beautiful and one of my favorites to read as if it were a novel. It's completely hand drawn--artwork and recipes!

    Looking forward to the challenge. Thanks for hosting. :)

  3. this sounds awesome as i have quite a few books as well and i was looking at them last night like man, i really need to cook more. can't wait to hear from you about all your new recipes

  4. This is a fabulous challenge! I'm totally going to check out the other participants too - sounds like a great way to find new cookbooks. Also, how did I never know there is a cookbook entirely dedicated to pumpkin?!

  5. I don't have a lot of cookbooks compared to you but there's probably one or two that I haven't tried any recipes from yet. I do have a lot of cooking magazines. I've subscribed to Taste of Home and/or one that company's magazines for years.

    I might try this with the magazines and let the kids pick out the recipes. How much you wanna bet they pick out all desserts? LOL

  6. Yes!! I'm putting up my post tomorrow and really looking forward to this one. I was thinking about making it a challenge (for self) next year to dedicate each month to a cookbook, so this ties in perfectly.

    And I LOVE how you have your books more or less sorted by color.

  7. This sounds like a great challenge for you!!
    I hope you have a lot of fun with it. I actually only own one cook book on cupcakes but my family only likes the vanilla cupcakes, when I do different kids I end up eating them by myself :P

  8. I like the cookbooks you chose :) Perfect for this season! Any reason why you haven't cooked from them? Other than the fact that you prefer to cook without a recipe or use magazines? I tend to use the internet as my "cookbook", there are quite a few cookbooks that I haven't used as much as I should.

    Love the way your arranged your cookbooks!

  9. Aisha You should join the challenge. You can even choose to do one recipe from one cookbook!

    Sarah You're right--this is going to be a great way to learn about new cookbooks. Which may just make doing this challenge a year long thing to get to all of them! lol!

    As for the cookbooks dedicated entirely to pumpkin? I have THREE! Although admittedly, two of them also include crafts, decorations and things like that relating to pumpkins. Did I mention that I love pumpkins? ;)

    Leslie Ooo I've never subscribed to Taste of Home magazine, but I have flipped through it at the newsstand. Over the years I have had subscriptions to CookingLight, Cooks Illlustrated, and Everyday food magazine. I do pick up other magazines on a per issue basis sometimes at the supermarket. For example, I have several year's worth of Christmas Cookie magazines that I pull out every year. Cooking magazines are quite an obsession for me.

    I have my family thumb through magazines sometimes to choose recipes they'd like me to make. Sometimes I'm surprised at what they pick--which is a good thing! Like your kids, I would probably pick the desserts out of the magazines, too! For all my touting healthy eating I certainly have a strong sweet tooth! :o)

    Trish I'm so excited to be doing this one with you. And you know.. if you make a cookbook challenge for next year (or Cynni does a monthly one, etc..), I'd probably join you. I tried to join one that someone started to cook out of their cooking magazines, but I never stuck with it.

    I like my rainbow shelves of cookbooks, too. Makes me happy. : )

    Alex I hate when I bake something that no one else in my family is crazy about, because like you, I end up eating it all myself, too! We just need to find other people with whom to share our creations--how about at school or work? Neighbors? A local food pantry?

    Chinoiseries Thanks! I'm very excited to FINALLY cook from these cookbooks. I actually added another one to my list--I had forgotten about it the other day because I had it pulled out and on my cookbook holder in the kitchen when I wrote this post. It is a German Cookbook that I've had for AGES. I had wanted to try to replicate some of my Oma's recipes. :)

    I think these cookbooks that I have selected have been sources of comfort and seasonal inspiration as I READ them.. but perhaps I got too busy with other things during the seasons and never took the time to gather ingredients and dedicate myself to a specific recipe. I used to sew my children's Halloween costumes, decorate the outside and inside of our home for the holidays--Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. It's always been so much rushing this time of year and not enough savoring. I have gotten better about savoring in recent years. Must do the same with these cookbooks I think. :)


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