Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On showing love with food.


  At the risk of sounding very trendy, food is one of my love languages {in addition to mail and intentional conversation}. Food is one thing everyone can relate to; we all need to eat. 
  It took me a long time to learn that food was one of my things. Maybe our first year of marriage? I finally had my own kitchen and a live in taste-tester.  But it definitely started when I was a kid. Growing up, my mom was always cooking and letting me help her bake. Are all kids interested in helping in the kitchen? She also signed me up for 4-H {10 year member, what what!} and Foods was one of my very first and most favorite projects. 
  I'm by no means a good cook or baker; I'd say I'm pretty average. I'm not winning any Pinterest awards for my recipes. That's not really the point, though. I'm good at deep conversations, but have a hard time with surface things or when words are hard to come by. I flounder a lot when I don't know what to say or how I want to say it. For example, when people are grieving or celebrating big life things. Sometimes I just have trouble coming up with words or I worry about being overbearing or rambling or saying the wrong thing. And that's when I default to food. Food, to me, says I love you and I'm celebrating {or mourning} with you, I'm on your side, I'm thinking of you and don't know what to say but I want to bless you somehow. Eat this cookie or soup and know you're not alone in whatever season of life you're in right now. There are probably lots of other ways to say those same things, but I'm just not really great at them. Food I can do. 
  In high school, I'd wake up earl on Thursday mornings to make monkey bread for our morning accountability group. In college, I would make fall treats for off campus friends. In married life, I try to make meals that Justin loves after his long days of work. In friendships, I try to leave enchiladas and breads on doorsteps to celebrate new babies and grieve lives ended too soon and in honor of Galentine's day. I don't think I'll ever stop loving people through food. 
  All that to say, I've been baking and cooking a lot lately. And after a weekend in the kitchen with our cooking club, I'm in the mood to take stock of my favorite go-to recipes. I love having recipes I know by heart and can make quickly without a lot of fuss. And I love hearing what recipes other people love and depend on. The internet is kind of a blackhole of recipes, and it's just hard to sift through to find the good ones. I have a handful of real, tangible cookbooks that I work through {Pinterest blasphemy!}, but am always on the hunt for new favorites. So anyways, here are some of my favorite go-to recipes {and cookbooks to work from} to make and take. They all make great freezer meals or sides to group dinners. But since I'm in the sharing mood, what are your favorite recipes to share? And cookbooks! What cookbooks should I add to my must-buy list?

The Pioneer Woman// I have been her fan since long before her cooking show or cookbooks came out and, in the last week alone, I have made four of my favorite recipes to share! Bonus- the Kindle version is only $12!!! 
{while her first is by far my favorite, PW's second cookbook is still in my top ten and only $12 too!}
Betty Crocker// This is probably my manual for all cooking and baking basics and staple recipes. So many worn edges and greasy stains from keeping it permanently on my counter! {and it's only $.74 on amazon!!} 
Bread and Wine// Ok, this is really a book with recipes after each chapter. The story is great and definitely worth ready, but I am in love with a handful of the recipes. I have made Shauna's bread no less than 100 times, no joke. 

creamy tomato soup {from this cookbook} 
cinnamon rolls {from this cookbook}
cake batter chocolate chip cookies
restaurant style salsa
brownie cupcakes with pb icing
Kathleen's enchilada's {recipe coming soon!
Sullivan Street Bread{the book is only $8 on Kindle and worth it for this recipe alone!}
lasagna {I make it both in my crockpot and in the oven- turns out great either way!}
southwest white chili {from this cookbook}

1 comment:

megan said...

I love to cook for others, too! For as much as I cook, I really don't own that many cookbooks! I want to start though! I've seen a lot of people rave about skinnytaste's new one.