Random Meals

Cookbook Wonderland

I seem to be going through various phases when it comes to having a foodie role model. Although I still LOVE the movie “Julie & Julia”, once I bought Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I realized that the recipes sounded so complicated to make. I bought the book several months ago and haven’t tried a single recipe yet. I do have the occasional moment when I just sit and browse through it for inspiration…one of these days, I’ll really give it a shot. I think I would have to make it an event. Either have people help me prepare it or let them know that we will have a dinner, Julia style.

Several months ago, a new show came up on TV (or I should say on Hulu); Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This show was genius, tackling some of my favorite subjects: food, school and health. I loved the idea of teaching people how eating well doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. And above all, I liked Jamie Oliver. Unfortunately, when the tv show ended, I pretty much forgot about Jamie and went on with my Julia obsession.

Recently, I received another Jamie Oliver wave. And boy, was it a big one! Netflix Instant started streaming Oliver’s Twist, a British cooking show from 2002. Although the show has the most obnoxious theme song, the recipes look great! Soon after I watched a few episodes, I ordered Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook on Amazon. This cookbook is awesome. It has a bunch of meals (often including main dish and side) that can be made in 20-30 minutes. There is also a list of basic ingredients and kitchen equipment that everyone should have in their kitchen. I didn’t buy everything yet but I am definitely planning to. Another great tool is jamieoliver.com, his official website. It is filled with recipes, videos, techniques, etc. Last week, after watching an episode of Oliver’s Twist where he made bread, I went on his website, found his basic bread recipe and decide to give it a try. I had never made bread before but it always seemed so complicated. This recipe was simple and needed only a few ingredients. Although I doubted myself throughout the process, the result was impressive. The bread looked and tasted amazing! I am trying out variations on that same recipe in the future. Maybe some olive oil and rosemary bread? Honey and sunflower seeds? The possibilities are pretty much endless. and the good thing about making your own bread is that you know for sure what is in it.

I know that nowadays, most people rely on websites to find recipes. I know I often do. But it is important, as cooking amateur to have a few reliable resources, whether it is a website, a cookbook or both.

If you’re interested, here are some links:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Jamie’s Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver’s website

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