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Our Passion for Food came from our Mom

Archive for the category “Cookbooks”

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

This past weekend we went in to Denver to purchase a few gifts for folks from our local Ten Thousand Villages store. While there we discovered a great new cookbook called Simply in Season put out by the same people who created More with Less.

This is a hardback cookbook which is spiral bound inside. The book is divided into the four seasons, and focuses on foods that are more readily available from local growers. So the Spring section has recipes for asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, peas and maple syrup. Autumn includes squash, apples, pears, cauliflower and others. It supports the locavore movement, of course, but it also helps save you money since the produce in season is usually cheaper at the market. There are plenty of meat options in this book as well, so it is a great resource with over 300 recipes, and each key ingredient is comprehensively listed in the index. If you have sweet peppers, you can find over 40 recipes listed.
We found one we just had to try for winter, a sweet potato and black bean burrito. It was both easy to prepare and absolutely fantastic!
Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

Preheat oven to 350

3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
Sauté in a large frying pan in 1 tablespoon of oil until just tender. Add water to prevent sticking.

2 cups cooked black beans (or 1- 15 ounce can) drained and rinsed
1 t ground cumin
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
Add to sweet potatoes and cook until heated through.
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese (shredded)
Divide potato/bean mixture and cheese among tortillas and roll up. Place in 9×13 pan. Cover pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.

Great new Blog

Our friends, the Andersons, have created a new cooking blog called Three Many Cooks. Pam is a cookbook author, and she shares this blog with her two daughters. All were our neighbors when Melissa and I lived in Connecticut.

We made their beef stew recipe tonight, and it was amazing! Melissa said it tasted much more like a beef bourguignon and less like a stew (and certainly nothing like Dinty Moore). Very tasty and full of flavor! So, check out this new site, and try this beef stew recipe!

More with Less Cookbook

I love a very simple cookbook that comes from the Mennonite community called More with Less Cookbook.  I highly recommend it for simple recipes–nothing gourmet here, but hey, there’s a need for the basic recipes in life!  The book deals a lot with how we as American’s can consume less.  It’s got quite a bit about that in the beginning, and is fairly convicting.

Recipes we’ve done:
Beef Curry (love this one!)
Pizza Sauce/Dough
Peanut butter popcorn
Creamed Chicken with Corn Bread Dressing
Oatmeal Bread
Quick Chocolate Pudding
Fried Rice
I know we’ve done more but this should give you a sample.  Lots of people on Amazon talk about the simplicity of it, how it was great during tough financial times too.  Master Baking Mix, granola, lots of egg dishes, Chicken pot pie, ginger-glazed carrots, and lots of other things as well!  Each chapter ends with a “Gathering up the fragments” section with ideas on how to use what is leftover (like using bread to make your own croutons or bread crumbs).
I have the spiral bound version, and would highly recommend that over the paperback version.

Cookbook Review

A few years back, my sister and I, along with a few other members of our family, flew to Connecticut for our younger brother, Phil’s, ordination. It was a beautiful service and we were so proud of all that he had accomplished to get there. Afterward, we were invited to the Rector’s home for a celebration dinner/reception.

We walked over to the beautiful home in a gorgeous snowfall on a softly lit paved path. When we came to the door, we were welcomed in by the Rector and his wife. The house was filled with a lovely warmth, a blazing fire in the fireplace, candle light, people milling about and a wonderful smell. We were then ushered to a table groaning with appetizers and wine.

After a bit, dinner was announced and we were served the most amazing cassoulet. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember everything that was served, but I do remember commenting on how good everything tasted and how special we felt as they honored my brother, his wife and family with this wonderful reception.

Several years later, Phil came to visit us down south and he brought a cookbook with him. While there, he made some fantastic meals from the recipes in this book. I told him I had to have it and wanted to know how he found it. Phil told me it was one of several cookbooks by his friend Pam Anderson. I didn’t know who she was and asked him how he knew her and that’s when he told me that she was his Rector’s wife and they had his ordination dinner in their home.

Since then, I have purchased several of her books, Perfect Recipes for Having People Over and The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great. Every single recipe I have tried has been delicious and impressive, like the elegant Rosemary-scented Roast Pork Loin, Stuffed with Roasted Garlic, Dried Apricots and Cranberries with Port Wine sauce or the fun Grown-up Sloppy Joes. There is the satisfying breakfast Easy Savory Strata or the oh so easy and delicious Great Granola made into fruit parfaits. The weight loss cookbook is so practical with great tips for a slow and steady weight loss.

I highly encourage you to add these as well as her other books to your cookbook library, you won’t be sorry.

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