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Get Cooking: 3 Cookbooks and a Blog

by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)

One thing I have been doing a ton of during these days at home is cooking. If you listen to the pod, you know that I like to talk about cookbooks and cooking. I LOVE cookbooks. I enjoy thumbing through them, reading the recipes, and looking at the pictures. I even talked all about my love of cookbooks, and the fact that they are one of my biggest comfort reads, in Episode 120: Find Your Way Back to Reading with Comfort Reads. In addition, I have one go-to blog that I LOVE, and I know you will too. Read on for the details!

Here are some of my favorite cookbooks, in no particular order.

From the publisher:

"Bursting with vibrant flavors and foolproof recipes, the third installment in the best-selling Well Fed cookbook series puts more than 125 complete—and crazy-delicious—paleo meals on your table in 45 minutes or less.

"With Well Fed Weeknights, author and mouthy paleo cook Melissa Joulwan brings her love for food and spirit of adventure to a knockout collection of weeknight recipes inspired by takeout classics, food trucks, and cuisines from around the world—all totally free of grains, dairy, legumes, and soy.

"Every meal is thoroughly tested and easy to make, with affordable ingredients you'll find at your regular grocery store. (No extra trips to specialty food stores required!)

"You won't mind skipping the drive-through or delivery when you can quickly cook meals like...

• Bacon-Jalapeño Burger Balls

• Thai Yummy Salad

• Dirty Rice

• Fried Chicken • Pizza Noodles

• Sticky Orange Sunflower Chicken

• Italian Hoagie Salad

• Street Fries

... and so many more.

"All recipes include Melissa's popular ''You Know How You Could Do That?'' variations, as well as Cookup Tips to help condense cooking time with make-ahead items.

"You'll want to dog-ear the Mini Cookup page where you'll find step-by-step instructions for cooking six paleo kitchen staples in under an hour. Cook once, and fancy-up your meals all week long with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, homemade mayo, and more.

"Debuting in Well Fed Weeknights are fun and flexible Food Court Recipes: in-depth blueprints of your favorite dinner themes, like Meat & Potatoes, Burger Night, Velvet Stir-Fry, The Ultimate Salad Bar, and more, all offering basic techniques and creative variations to satisfy your personal cravings.

"Well Fed Weeknights is also packed with useful tips and how-to info including:

How to eat in restaurants without abandoning good habits

How to cook quickly and eat slowly

Essential pantry foods for weeknight cooking

The best kitchen tools for fast cooking

Two months of sample menus

A mobile shopping list for every recipe

"With fresh ingredients, flavorful spices and herbs, luscious sauces, and simple prep, Well Fed Weeknights is sure to become a lovingly splattered-and-bookmarked, go-to paleo kitchen companion."

Why I love this cookbook: Do NOT let the word Paleo scare you. I like this cookbook because the recipes are delicious, nutritious, and well worth the time it takes to prepare them. I have not cooked anything out of this cookbook that I haven't loved and cooked again.

Jennifer Reese's Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money

From the publisher:

"When blogger Jennifer Reese lost her job, she began a series of food-related experiments. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch— marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

"With Reese’s fresh voice and delightful humor, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter has 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun “make or buy” recommendations. Her tales include living with a backyard full of cheerful chickens, muttering ducks, and adorable baby goats; countertops laden with lacto-fermenting pickles; and closets full of mellowing cheeses. Here’s the full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life and how to get the most out of your time in the kitchen—with the good news that you shouldn’t try to make everything yourself."

Why I love this cookbook: I have talked about this book on the pod a few times, and what I love is the novel approach Reese takes in not only processing the changes happening in her life, but the way she presents the recipes and speaks directly to the reader. It is like having a guide book written to you by a matter-of-fact friend. This book is so interesting and engaging. Plus, there are recipes galore!

From the publisher:

"As fans of the Whole30 know, it can be challenging to figure out how to eat for the other 335 days of the year. Michelle Smith, creator of the blog The Whole Smiths, has the answers. This cookbook, the first ever fully endorsed and supported by Whole30, offers a collection of 150 recipes to keep Whole30 devotees going strong. Many recipes like Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo are fully Whole30-compliant, and all are gluten-free, but you’ll also find recipes with a careful reintroduction of grains, like the tortillas in the Chile Enchilada Bake. Some recipes include beans and legumes, so there are plenty of vegetarian options. There are even desserts like Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies! Throughout the book, icons help readers identify which recipes fit their dietary constraints (and which are easily adaptable), but perhaps most important of all, the recipes are a delicious way to help anyone achieve a long-term approach to good health."

Why I love this cookbook: Okay. Again, don't let that Whole 30 thing scare you away. This cookbook is jam packed with delicious, healthy recipes for the whole family. The roasted chicken in this cookbook is the most AMAZING roasted chicken I have ever eaten. It is a crowd pleaser! I love this approach to eating good food, because Smith is a mom and her recipes are family friendly, which is often hard to find.

So, I have given you my three cookbook picks. Now, here is the icing on this already delicious cake. If you love cooking and haven't heard of the popular food and recipe blog Carlsbad Cravings, then I have a treat for you!

Carlsbad Cravings is chock full of delicious recipes. The blog is extremely well organized and searchable. It has become my go-to place for new recipes. I have made so many recipes from this blog for my family while we have been spending time at home, and we have absolutely adored every single one. I have not made one recipe that hasn't been a home run. I am always sharing recipes from Carlsbad Cravings with my sister, and her family loves them too! There are way too many recipes for me to list that I have loved, but here are two of my family's absolute favorites:

Also, check out Carlsbad Cravings on Instagram: @carlsbadcravings

Let me know if you try any of these cookbooks or the blog! I would love to talk all things cooking with you. Also, if you need more cooking content, check out Episode 68: Cookbooks and Books About Food.

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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