I certainly don’t cook as much as I used to, and my baking (which I love to do and used to be good at) is often sub-par, but I still love to look through cookbooks! Although I have a cupboard full of them, I use the internet and iPad apps most of the time to search for whatever recipe has the most positive reviews (or has the most ingredients in my house!).  Last night I was at the grocery store trying to figure out what ingredients I would need to make a delicious chicken casserole and I remembered my mom’s recipe from the old Highland Prairie Cook Book.  I did my best guessing and today I pulled it off!

Cook Book Cupboard - well-stocked!
Cook Book Cupboard – well-stocked!

I know that my cookbook cupboard is missing some staples, but I’m thankful that they have traveled with me through the years.

The cookbooks in my cupboard can tell stories, for sure.

  • Some I’ve had since I was a child (Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls),
  • some are discarded library books (Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook, Russian Cookbook, Cookbook of India), 
  • some are books – fiction and non-fiction – filled with recipes (A Homemade Life, Bread Alone, Lunch in Paris),
  • some are basic and standard (Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray),
  • and some are specialty (coffee, chocolate, Christmas, party food, Trader Joe’s).

I have a few years of Eating Well and Cook’s Illustrated magazines tucked up in there, as well. I have one old blank journal that I filled with handwritten recipes, with numbered pages and a typed index in the front and back. Quite a hodge-podge mixture of recipes in there – literally soup to nuts!!   I also have a recipe box which is filled with hundreds of hand-written recipes – mostly desserts and sweets!

In the cookbooks, you can tell the well-loved recipes by the stains on the page. The Gingerbread People recipe in Betty Crocker is on a torn and stained page with notes for future reference – obviously a well-used recipe!  Those old church cookbooks are fun, especially when you know the people who contributed the recipes.  From the Highland Prairie cookbook I always make Karla Holland’s banana bread recipe, Darlene Johnson’s sugar cookie recipe is amazing, and of course, recipes from Mary Jo are delicious! I bookmarked every single rhubarb recipe in there – there are quite a few!  And where else do you find the classic Norwegian recipes or the favorite “funeral sandwich” meat you love?

Today I made these delicious Brownie Cookies at request.  They are delicious.  They’re from the Pioneer Woman website (click here for the recipe), and I wrote it down to share with the requester.  And I’ll write it down for my recipe box – it’s a keeper!

Brownie Cookies - delicious!  An internet recipe

Do you have a favorite cookbook?   What are your favorite cooking apps or websites?

Club Day Chicken ‘N Dressing – Mary Jo Grimsrud, Highland Prairie Anniversary Cook Book 1854-1979

1 (8 oz.) package seasoned bread stuffing
1 stick margarine/butter
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups cooked diced chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
grated cheese (topping)

Mix packaged stuffing with melted butter and water, toss lightly to blend.  Place half of mixture in buttered 12×8 baking dish. Mix chicken, onion, celery, mayonnaise, and salt. Spread over stuffing.  Top with remaining bread mixture. Beat eggs slightly and add to milk.  Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Take out one hour before baking, spread with soup. Bake uncovered at 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle top with cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes.  Serves 8-10.