Category Archives: 30. This and That

My favorite and Inspirational Cook Books and Cooking Guides



 My favorite and Inspirational Cook Books and Cooking Guides

I was married in 1958 and of course for a wedding present received the red and white chequared Better Homes and Garden Cook Book.  I think all of us new brides in that decade received this present.  Well, it was a pretty basic and uninspirational cook book (sorry Better Homes and Gardens because since then you’ve come a long ways, baby).  Along with that I also received as a gift Marie Rombauer Becker’s mind bending book of that era called Joy of Cooking (my edition was 1953).  WOW!!! what a book that was.  I loved the recipes and the info that Mrs. Becker prefaced her recipes. Her information was full of historical facts as well as fun anicdotes.  It was her book and my Mother-In-Law who opened my eyes to cooking.  Well, I think that I did tell you already about my Mother from Holland who would not allow me in the kitchen except to rarely cook the “Fairy Gingerbread”. I must admit, I did enjoy that a lot–even at 5 years old.  As time has passed, I have evolved into an avid reader of cook books.  I read them like novels.  They line my book shelves and sit on my bed side table.  And of course now, I must tell you that I do enjoy looking on-line.  Bless the computer for all good things (aside from the naughty stuff).  So, now I just want to make a tiny list of my favorite cookbooks:

  1. Any cookbook by my favorite and inspirational cook: Ina Garten
  2. Joy of Cooking—my beat up falling apart 1958 rendition by Marie Rombauer Becker.  If you don’t have this book yet, try to buy an older edition.
  3. Cooking for Today by Better Homes and Gardens: Soups and Stews and actually most of their books do have good and simple recipes. So, they’ve come a long ways from my first cook book experience with them.
  4. My old, once again, rendition of the New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claybourne.  He’s rarely mentioned any longer, but his recipes are terrific and easy as well.
  5. My very old Sunset Magazine Mexican Cookbook—you can still find it via their website.
  6. The next to my very newest find is the brilliant cook book by Mark Bittman: How To Cook Everything. BE SURE TO GET THIS BOOK!!!!
  7. My newest discovery is a local cookbook: Sun Valley Celebrities and Local Heroes.  This book is more like a coffee table book; it is illustrated gorgeously by one of our local artists and it also benefits The Advocates here in our area. The advocates deal with battered women.

Now, I have a LOT more cookbooks than the above mentioned, however, I just wanted to give the timid and beginning cook an idea of with which books she might start her cooking library—at least from my point of view.  I don’t believe in the over whelming—

Here’s to good cooking adventures———————–

Bon Appetit——-

Regards to all,

Margot, your faithful tempinnkeeper inspiration to cooking simpler and better

Fast, Easy & Economical “How To Make Fresh Peanut Butter”


33 15th & PB pics 026How to Make Fresh Peanut (or other nut) Butter in One Minute

(and save $ at the same time)


  1. Be sure blender container is completely dry.
  2. Empty 1 C. shelled roasted peanuts (6-8 oz. can/jar or other kind of nuts including mixed nuts), into container. Cover, and blend on HIGH speed for 5 seconds. 
  3. Add 1 to 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, or your very favorite natural oil so that your nut butter will have the smooth consistency that you desire. Cover and blend on HIGH SPEED.
  4. LISTEN TO YOUR BLENDER TALK TO YOU! After about 10 seconds, the motor will begin to reach a high pitch.  This means it has done all the work at the moment that it will do on High Speed.  Turn motor to LOW and let the blades churn the ground nuts into peanut (whatever else) butter.  This will take about 60 seconds.  If necessary, stop the motor occasionally and stir the mixture down with a thin rubber spatula.
  5. Use the rubber spatula to remove the peanut (whatever) butter from the container.
  6. 1 Cup peanuts = ¾ C. (6 oz.) fresh peanut butter.  That amount can vary with the kind of nuts you use.
  7. Homemade nut butter is SO SUPERIOR to bought brands. This is so easy to make and so easy to serve to your guest for an extra compliment to the toasted breads that you serve along with your fresh homemade jams or farmers market fresh fruits.  As an additional plus, it’ll save you a bunch of $. 
  8. I’ve made this with pecans, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts, and of course, peanuts.  I’ve used nuts from all kinds of store sources including Trader Joes and the Dollar Store.  Just some hints I am throwing out for being a bit thrifty in hard economical times and making your guest happy in spite of it all.   
  9. By the way, very often I turn my jar of peanut(whatever) butter upside down in the frig.  That keeps the oil from sinking down to the bottom of the jar and therefore keeping the butter in a good consistency.
  10. Also, if you want something to put on top of the peanut butter, I often use sliced  fruit instead of jam.  That helps keep the calories down and it’s delicious as well.