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Homemade Makes a Home

August 17, 2012

There’s a difference in homes that cook from scratch. There’s an understanding that food needs processed – be it preserving, preparing to cook or cooking and baking. It takes a little longer than picking up a bag of cookies at the store if you have to mix the ingredients and bake them! Then there’s a dozen gone *already*?

There’s a difference with homemade bread, and coming into a home with the heavenly smells of a casserole or soup cooking. We’ve talked this week about stocking the kitchen for beginners who may be intimidated by cooking. If the only thing you’ve ever made is reservations and tea, it is intimidating.

Relax. It’s a skill – you can do this. Follow directions, You learned how to drive a car, operate a computer and navigate in the world. You can do this!

Where to start? Well this is where food choices come into their own! There are literally millions of recipes available online. As you gain experience you might try a few variations. But for now – here are some places to start! Six recipe sites and five cookbooks I enjoy browsing.

Kraft Foods – ok so there are groans out there from the processed food critics. Yes I hear you! Breathe – you can cook from a *recipe* without loading up the cupboards on processed food. Calls for a jar of salsa? So use a jar of your own! A can of peaches? Slice up 15 ounces of fresh ones. Think a little bit – use fresh ingredients and it’ll be good!

Pillsbury is another company with a long reputation for food. Today there’s a variety of recipes at your fingertips!

Betty Crocker is another with a long history of great food.

Chow – how to videos, recipes and many feature fresh food. What’s not to like?! From dinner to dining to snacks and desserts there’s a wide variety of choices.

Food Network – if you don’t have cable, you may not know of or watch this channel. That’s ok – browse the website for a range of recipes. Many feature “down home cooking” and traditional recipes.

Allrecipes is another site with a wide variety of recipes both in type of meal and in ingredients.

These are not, obviously, all the recipes you can find online. Consider looking for recipes for what you’re cooking. There are organizations for beef, pork, chicken as well as popcorn to kale that have recipes available featuring their special food.

One of my favorite cookbooks is one I bought 20 some years ago at a fair in Oklahoma. That isn’t available commercially, but there are many long time favorites that are!

One favorite has been around for years. We call it the orange cookbook – one put out by Betty Crocker. It has recipes as well as tips and kitchen guidance.

Two – much used also! – Better Homes & Gardens, aka the plaid book.

Fannie Farmer is another cookbook favorite. Traditional recipes, a variety of tastes.

Another taste of tradition with many whole ingredients, as one might expect is the Farm Journal cookbook.

Campbells has many easy to follow, versatile recipes both online and off. Don’t think this is limited to just soup – although you’ll be surprised the ways to use soup as a base.

Remember that each step of the challenge is in a step towards where you want to be. You can do this!

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