04 April 2012

The Mom 100 Cookbook (Katie Workman)

Here's how I knew I'd made the right decision in picking up Katie Workman's The Mom 100 Cookbook despite my non-maternality: in a sidebar for black beans and rice (a half recipe of which, btw, made cheap, hearty, delish Lenten dinner for four, with lunch for two left over), she writes:
Are you wondering, "Hey, Ms.-Full-of-Advice, what should I do with the rest of the tomato paste, other than leaving it partially covered in the back of my fridge, waiting for it to get moldy so I can toss it out and feel resentful that I wasted it?"
And indeed, that has so many times been my predicament! Her solution? Freeze the rest in a plastic bag, flattened out so's you can just break off an appropriately-sized chunk the next time you need less than another whole can. Also? Apparently ketchup will sub in a pinch.

That's the kind of cookbook this is: no exotic ingredients, no arduous techniques, little margin for error. More and more I disdain the fancypants chef-y tomes, rife with knife skills I don't possess (though thanks to a class at The Brooklyn Kitchen, I no longer fear chopping) and spices and vegetables I'm too lazy to source (yeah, I know there's a Penzeys Spices right in Grand Central Terminal. I am VERY lazy). I'm a competent home cook, and that's all I aspire to be. I make dinner from scratch for me and Chris probably five days out of seven, bring leftovers for work lunches, sometimes whip up a baked good for a special occasion, and love hosting friends for meals. So, yeah, I don't have kids--but I do cook like a traditional mom (in most families--my dad's the cook in mine), and The Mom 100 is going to be a great resource.

Besides the beans and rice, I've now made chickpea poppers (roasted with a little cumin and chili powder, easy-peasy and gone in like five minutes) and a pan of perfect chicken enchiladas--lunch today was the last of 'em, and oh how I'll miss the delicious. Until I make them again. Other recipes I'm eager to try include a lasagna-ish Mexican Tortilla Casserole, Lazy Oven French Toast, and a Cheddar-Cauliflower Soup (oh, cauliflower, so cheap, so evocative of childhood distate).

Oh! And in a fun turn of events, Ms. Workman held her book launch last night at Posman's Chelsea location--recently named best bookstore in the city by New York magazine. No, I haven't visited yet. Remember? Lazy.

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