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Get Inspired to Cook

Caitlin Campbell
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Caitlin Campbell from Houston Public Library finds cooking inspiration from these cookbooks.

I think of myself as someone who loves to cook, but I have not been spending much time in the kitchen lately. At times I think I enjoy the idea of cooking more than the actual cooking. However, there are many benefits to eating at home: saving money, eating healthier and taking pride in a meal well cooked. I needed some inspiration to get me back in the kitchen, so I found a few cookbooks at the library to get me started. Here are two cookbooks that have helped me rediscover the joys of cooking.

Perfect Plates in Five Ingredients by John Whaite

You may recognize John Whaite from season three of the delightfully addictive TV show The Great British Bake Off. In this cookbook, he pivots from baked goods to simple but creative homecooked entrees using only five ingredients per recipe. The limited ingredient list is reassuring to a budding home chef, and it also cuts down on time at the grocery store. Some of my favorite dishes from the book include a mushroom and sage gnocchi dish and baked chicken with tahini sauce. Mmmm.

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne

I love this cookbook! Cayne starts with the very basics of cooking, like how to hold a knife, and gradually works up to more complex concepts until next thing you know you are making cheese souffles and beef bourguignon. I especially enjoy how Cayne breaks down the components of cooking, so you are not just following a recipe to make a good salad, but you begin to understand what makes a salad delicious. That way you are free to make your own recipes to your taste, like a true chef. 

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