20 July 2012

The Random Cookbooks ... Random Recipes

This month, Dom has challenged us to show off our stuff ... as in, cookbooks. Where DO we get the inspiration for all this cookery stuff? Well, I get it from a multitude of sources and in a few places around the house. I have a lot of cookbooks, recipes, and magazines. They sit in various places in the grey cottage but, interestingly enough, only a few sit in the kitchen.

My kitchen is a long room. All the cooking action starts on the island. Behind the island is a classic triangle ... turn to my right and there's the fridge. Turn to my left and there's the gas cook-top. Right behind me is the sink and dishwasher, drawers and countertop gadgets. The two cupboards below the island work surface store pullout shelves with all bowls and baking supplies to one side with a wall separator and a pull-out cupboard for the trash so the dogs aren't tempted. It's a pretty well-designed space and I can take no credit for it. This kitchen sold me on the grey cottage. But back to the cookbooks ...

I have a spot at the end of my kitchen work island that holds a stack of books, print-outs, magazines, etc that are on my 'must make this week' list. I tend to shop every couple days, so the books and recipes at the end of the island reflect what's coming up in the kitchen.

This week, there is a Martha Stewart Living magazine with a Coconut Cream Pie recipe that is calling to me, a recipe for baby-back ribs that comes from our family recipe book, The Bread Bible  (from which I am making a wonderful cornbread for our chili dinner), and Jeff Smith's Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian, which has some vegetable frittata recipes that I love. It IS fresh vegetable season here!

Speaking of family recipe book (s). This is where The Spice Garden started, but it has grown over the almost three years that I've been at blogging. These are the recipes that I have had passed from both sides of the family and friends, tried and fiddled with from Internet recipes and my favorite food blogs, and pulled from some of my cookbooks so that all three kids are sure to get them. These are the true 'keepers' and these books are the only cookbooks that I would grab if ever there was a house fire.

Who knows? Some of YOUR recipes may have made it into the annals of the Lindquist family recipe books! I love these books because the recipes are in water-proof sleeves and can be brought to the kitchen one at a time, used, and then slipped back into their spots. The loose-leaf binder cookbooks are stored in my office. So, let's head for the office.

If you go around the corner from the kitchen, you'll see the entryway table. I stow the cookbooks that I borrow from our little public library on this table. I'm a bit paranoid of getting borrowed books splotched and splattered, so I'm usually pretty careful with them.

Continue into my little office and you will see the center of the cooking collection. I collect cookbooks, but I also collect beanpots and teapots, and pretty ceramics and vintage cookware. So, it all sits cheek to jowel on my bookshelves.

Imagine you are sitting in my 'spin-around' office chair. Here is what you'd see ... I'm choosing the best parts, but this is pretty much 360 degrees of my little room. Yes, I am a packrat and someday my children will do one of two things - A) curse my packrat tendencies or B) leap with joy at all the cool shit that I have accumulated over the years, which they can do one of two things with A) sell at a tag sale or B) fight over as they divvy things up. Who cares? I'll be solving the great mystery of life and eating macaroni and cheese somewhere in the ether!

I really wonder who will go for the beanpots, cookie jars, and teapots ... and my books.

My desk is usually pretty clean ... I have books that I'm working with or slotting for special projects on the pull-out near my computer. When I work with the computer in the living room, the desktop becomes a catch-all - aaaargh!.

The magazines that I subscribe to are also finding spots here and there throughout the house (some in recycling and some on a lower shelf in the office ... the latest go on the desk-top though til I decide whether they're worthy of a spot with the rest of the keepers.

I have a basket that holds all the clippings and print-outs and 'various and sundry' - cake stencils, recipe cards, cardboard cake boards, cupcake molds, etc, etc, etc ... it's overflowing.

Believe it or not, I AM organized ... it's not as random as it may seem ... really! So, that's it. The random cookbooks and my little corner of the cookery world! To see what it takes to join in Dom's Random Recipes monthly challenge, click this link and check out July's Random Recipes ... what's your stuff look like? Huh? Huh?


  1. oh my... I do love your kitchen... it is so beautiful and I just want to sink into a comfy chair and await cookies and pie... I love your KitchenAid you show off!... simply and classically a lovely kitchen... thanks so much for entering this month xx

    1. Thank you, Dom! Seriously, I bought the house with this kitchen as is! I love it too ... as for the Kitchen Aid ... my kids and SB all chipped in at Christmastime and it was my 'squeal like a child' gift ... I.LOVE.IT. !

  2. I have kitchen envy. And cookbook envy. I am so jealous!;)

  3. Oooh love your kitchen and your office. One day, I'll get my little office fitted with proper shelves all the way round. I'll have my photo albums and boring work stuff in most of it but hopefully I'll have a few personal bits and bobs too. Love it. Thanks for the tour!

  4. Great collection - I like the way you can come across different books in different rooms. One of the things I love about this challenge is that it reminds me of books I've been overlooking. I noticed Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger on your shelf and that reminded me of some excellent recipes I've made before out of that book - I've got to dig it out again.

  5. I love your kitchen island--I wish I had a similar space!

  6. I love love love your book nook. So envious & it so you Susan! You bring me to smiles :))

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  7. You are so lucky to have such a large area to work your magic. I have a tiny kitchen that makes it difficult to cook if more than two people are in it. Love the collection of cookbooks you have accumulated. I got my Kitchen Aid for Xmas one year too. I still tell my husband it was the best gift he ever gave me.

  8. Oh i LOVE how your kitchen looks! I'm eyeing that stack of vintage cutlery you have in the background, and especially love that it's so bright and lit. I stay in a tiny tiny studio with the tiniest kitchen that takes me about 2 steps to get around, in fact, maybe 1 step, so I'm always jealous of huge open kitchens and counters.

  9. Love, love, love your kitchen! I love how you've got books in a few places too! I have to do my kitchen post too! Aren't those Kitchen-Aids wonderful!

  10. what a fabulous library. Love the way you have bookmarked recipes in so many books - I should do that as always think I would like to make something but then get distracted. Wonderful kitchen too!

  11. I love your kitchen and your books......and that Kitchen Aid is simply wonderful!

    Sue xx


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.