Friday, April 11, 2008


A Culinary Reading Challenge hosted by Ex Libris

This challenge will run from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. All you have to do is select six cookbooks to read* and make at least one of the recipes. These can be any cookbooks of your choice - brand new ones, old stand-bys that you can't live (or cook) without, or even heirlooms. You do not have to decide on the cookbooks ahead of time (unless you want to, of course). Then post your reviews either here or on your own blog. If you want, you can even post pictures of your creations along with your reviews!

Oh, this challenge was made for me. And it will make me look in my cook books, and there are lots of books to look in, and try some new recipes. I'm not so good with the everyday, drudgery cooking, I am much better with the 'try something new', or 'make a meal for company' type of cooking. Although a list isn't necessary, I imagine I'll be starting in the following books:

The Rest of the Best by the Best of Bridge ladies. I got this for Christmas and I need to read through it some more. The Best of the Best is my most favorite and most used cookbook, and I want to find all the good stuff in this one too.

Light and Tasty Annual 2003

I actually had a recipe published in this edition of the cookbook, so they sent me a copy, but I haven't made much from it. On page 86 of that book, the Asparagus Tomato Stir Fry is my recipe. Well, sort of, as my mother sent it in without my knowing, under my name. I didn't like tomatoes or asparagus or mushrooms at the time, but I can attest now that it is a good recipe.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver I've been wanting to read this book anyway, and I just found out that there are some recipes in it too.

Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match

I am always attracted to Mediterranean cookbooks, and I bought a few while I was on my cruise a few years ago. While in Rome, and all that stuff...

I've got lots to pick from. I think I'll pull a pile of cookbooks and put them by my tv chair. If you want to find a whole bunch of recipes and bloggers who are participating in this challenge, head on over to the Soup's On Blog.

Recipe Books Reviewed:

1. Wine Bar Food August 11/08

2. The Rest of the Best December 26/08

3. Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book February 20/09


  1. Thanks for posting this link. I have been thinking about joining this challenge and couldn't remember where I saw it at!! :) Thanks!!

  2. Oh, I'm so on this one. I love reading cookbooks. When I was teaching, my season to cook (experimentally) was summer. Joining this will get me in the mood.

    My library has the annual copies of Light and Tasty so I'm going to add that to my list. I'm so impressed that you have a recipe in it.

  3. I'd heard about this challenge through someone else's blog, and thought, man, I've got to hop on that gravy train. But then I totally forgot to head over here and sign myself up! Finals are over in a week, and then I'll be cooking up a storm!

    Great idea.

  4. Finally someone else who knows about the Bridge ladies! I happened upon their cookbooks a while back and have found their recipes to be a hit in my household. Isn't it nice to find so many good recipes in one or two cookbooks?

    What an interesting book challenge! I never really thought there were other cookbook readers out there either! Mine comes from necessity; no 2 people in this house eats the same thing. Hubby eats NO cheese nor creamy sauces, daughter eats absolutely NO veggies, son doesn't eat much fruit...and as a result, I don't eat much variety at all! So I scan books and recipes for ingredients or tastes I know will work for most or all of us.

  5. darcie - glad I could help:)

    booklogged - I love reading cookbooks.And the recipe is so funny, because I had never tried it or heard of it, but my mother sent it in in my name, so I get all the glory.

    raych - it's such a great idea, combining two hobbies: reading and cooking.

    lady p - I've had their cookbooks for years, and if I was only allowed to have one book, the Best of the Best would be it.
    My uncle dated one of the Bridge girls when the books were first published, so we've had them in our family from the start.
    So few people I know have heard of them, so I try to spread the word. I love to read cookbooks too! If I am hungry, I'll read a book and get distracted from my hunger thinking of all the good things I could make.

  6. I've just joined this challenge also. It's late tonight so I won't be digging through my cookbooks until tomorrow, but can't wait. I love to cook. What a fun challenge!


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