Monday, February 15, 2016


I have to say, I have an extreme fetish for cookbooks!  I LOVE THEM.  Do I use them?  Well that is another story!  LOL

I have bunches and bunches of cookbooks and I read them often.  I do use recipes as written for baking and canning.  Once in a while I find a recipe for a main dish that I will make "as directed", and love it.  Usually I look at the pictures - read the recipe - then go off and make something 'similar'.  Go figure.  I do the same thing when watching cooking shows!

I would say at one time I had over a hundred cookbooks (yard sales and thrift stores).  In the past year I got rid of many.  I mean how many books do you need on chili recipes - especially since I always make it the same way!

I often make a dish and G will love it and he will tell me "you have to make that again".  Uh-huh - if I can remember what I did.  I am notorious for just throwing things together and experimenting.
Please tell me I am not alone!  I also like to use leftovers and make something completely new with them.

Here are some of my favorite cookbooks.

The old one was my moms.  Well worn and well used for many, many years.  The Gooseberry holiday book is not just holiday recipes.  There are many good ones in it.  I love my Amish cookbook - lots of simple recipes (basics) and recipes for gatherings and many good tips.  My zucchini book has been my Bible for zucchini for many years (.50 yard sale find).  Meals in Minutes has lots of quick and easy recipes.
The one the sun is shining on is Dining on a Dime Cook Book. (upper right corner).  It is by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper.  I got mine on a special they had (they do it about once a year), and got I think 4 different books from them for just about the price of the cookbook alone.  The have the website Living on a Dime. 

If someone told me I could only keep ONE book, as much as I cherish moms, I think the one I would keep is Dining on a Dime.  It has good, yummy, inexpensive, and easy recipes for EVERYTHING!  Meals, beverages, sweets and desserts, breads,  breakfast, soups, veggies, pasta & rice, salads, gift recipes, kids stuff, and cleaning recipes.  You name it and it's in there.  It's like 475 pages!!!!
It also contains a lot of good tips throughout.  There is even an index for recipes using leftovers.  YEP, I think this is the most well rounded book I have.
**(Not promoting for them - I just love the book).

I have made up some recipe books of my own.

These are made from those little photo albums you can buy at the dollar store.  I have one for canning recipes, desserts, mixes, breads and basic recipes.  These are recipes I have copied from friends and family, or gotten from magazines or the internet.  Many of the recipes are in the handwriting of those no longer with us - which makes them even more special.

I also have a couple go-to recipe books for making jar mixes - whether for gifting or just for having on hand for the pantry.  These are good ones to have on hand.

I would hate to lose any of my books.  I am rather obsessed with them!  I have many, many others including about 15 of the Quick Cooking 'yearly' hard back books.

I would sure love to have the room to be able to have ALL of my cookbooks out on display for easy using and reading.  Right now they are in about 5 places throughout the house.  I put them where I can.

Now one thing to remember - OLD cookbooks can be quite beneficial in the frugal kitchen.  Back in the day - folks used what they had, got inventive, and the recipes found in may of the old books are quite economical and frugal.  They had to be, as the women had to cook that way.  So if you get a chance to acquire some older books - do it! 

I just thought I would share a bit of my passion and love for books (I like all kinds).  I hope maybe you have one or saw one that may keep you on the frugal wagon.

Do you have any cookbooks that are extremely special and well used at your house?  If so - please tell!!!!!  I may need another one - LOL.


  1. Hi Cheryl, I do the same thing with reading cookbooks! Adapting the recipe to fit our taste or to fit what we have in the house at the time. The only time I don’t is with Weight Watcher cookbooks. Their seasonings are always on point and I rarely need to make changes to the amounts in the recipes. Lately I put the date I tried a new recipe and any substitutions and comments like “make again”, “terrific”, “eh… not so great….” I recently heard the term ‘layovers’ instead of leftovers. And there are a few cookbooks out there with the title something like Planned Leftovers, I know WW has one that we use quite often, can’t remember the title just now.

  2. I haven’t used the Gooseberry Patch books but like you, friends say they are terrific recipes. I like your photo album recipe books, very pretty! Thanks for the lead on Dining on a Dime, the two that run that site also have Living on a Dime and I spent an hour last night looking at their you tube videos, simple things like how to hang laundry on the line, got some good tips from that one! My favorite cookbook is the one like your mother’s well-worn copy. I had it rebound several years ago with some of the ripped pages copied in (not a historical preservation but for everyday use). Mine is titled The New York Herald Tribune Home Institute Cookbook by Scribner and Sons, 1947, 1100 pages of what to do with food from farm and garden, not from the grocery store!

  3. What has changed for me lately is that I often use internet recipes, my favorite being the King Arthur Flour baking website. I prop my iPad on the counter using a small photo stand and can expand the print size as needed as it is a touch screen. My daughters won’t have use for my cookbook collection as they solely cook by internet…which is sad, but if there is a day when the internet goes blank, the books will be there for backup! We were gifted at Christmas time with a compilation of my mother in laws recipes, she had started it as a gift and my sister in law finished it for all of us, we all got a 3 ring binder with her picture on the front and recipes inside, along with her handwritten notes and tips photocopied from the originals. A treasure for sure!

    And not to tempt you Cheryl, but I will utter two words that may send you into fits of happiness while window shopping….”eBay” and “vintage cookbooks.”

    1. LOL - Oh I know!!! I have looked!

      What a wonderful gift of your mother inlaws recipes. I did that for my nieces a few years back. They all wanted recipes for 'grandmas' cookies, noodles, etc. Also I had recipes from my sister and her daughter wanted those.

      My mom's old cookbook is taped together on the outside, pages are lose and bent, and lots and lots of her notes written in it! PRICELESS

      I love Gooseberry Patch - they are just plain fun. Recipes are yummy. I get them VERY cheaply at Ollies. The big holiday one in the picture above - reg. 29.99 - I spent 4.99.

      G accuses me of cooking leftovers! Seems I am always reusing something, so he is very accustomed to it. Just figures it's leftovers from day 1!!!
      Hmmmm - that reminds me I haven't gone in there since before Christmas! Time for a trip.

  4. I love, love, love cookbooks. All my friends know it so I get all their yardsale finds and cast offs. lol. I read them cover to cover and then make similar dishes or occasionally try a recipe and before you know it I have notes in there as to how I change it up. My passion is old church / school recipe books. The kind they made up for fundraisers. You get some frugal good recipes that way. Amish cookbooks are awesome too as are any in The Pioneer Woman series (Ree Drummond) and Jessica Fisher writes several blogs and has a few cookbooks out too that I love. Quick cooking yearly books are great as are cookbooks from restaurants around where you live. My son is a chef so I must of done something right and I keep telling him to write down all these recipes he comes up with and then we can publish - a cookbook! lol. He lives in Oregon and works for a small dinner restaurant and loves using all Oregon grown products from veggies, fruit, meats, wines you name it. Sorry, this has gone on for so long. Can't tell it's a passion of mine can you. lol

    1. Crystal I have a church cookbook from my grandmas church and she had her 'infamous' lime jello salad in it! Oh how I hated that stuff. But it is what I have of her now.
      I love watching Ree. Get a lot of good ideas from her show.
      How lucky to have a son who is a chef. YES, most definitely he should write stuff down and do a cookbook - if for no other reason than family!

    2. Crystal, thanks for the tip on Jessica Fisher...will look that up and see what I can find new! Spring is coming so hopefully some garden recipes.

  5. Hi Cheryl, I am not into cookbooks and I don't do well at knowing how to change recipes. I still have my Betty Crocker cookbook from over 50 years ago and I would not part with it. It is falling apart even! I probably have as many or more garden books than you do cookbooks! Nancy

    1. Nancy I love the gardening books too! I do collect a lot of things, now that I think of it! LOL
      I have all my dad's Organic Gardening magazines from the 60's and 70's. Stacks of them - but they are still educational. I got all his gardening books as well. He was into organic gardening before it was THE THING to do. My parents had a garden center for my teen years (I worked there too), so he had lots of reference books - which I got.

    2. OOOO, Nancy, gardening books! sounds great to me!

  6. I have several of the same ones you have and yes, I am addicted to cookbooks and cook much the same way you do. Cookbooks are for inspiration right? I have several cookbooks that I cherish including my grandmother's Good Housekeeping cookbook that she used as a reference to make almost everything that graced her beautifully set table. There is a Mennonite cookbook that I also use time and time again and I have even given copies of it as gifts to new brides and made sure that my kids all had a copy of it as they headed out into the world when they left home.

    1. Debbie that is the way I think too - inspiration.
      I mean a recipe is just something that someone else made up - why can't we?!

      Mennonite/Amish - love the cookbooks. Part of my heritage is Amish (way back). Both lifestyles thoroughly fascinate me. I strive to be more like them.

      Our old family books are just a "gift"