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Cooking Through My Collection

My name is Lynn and I have a problem with cookbooks. Anyone that walks into my house and sees my bookshelf can tell that I have quite a cookbook collection.

My cookbook collection began with a few cookbooks before I was married and it has continued, and grown, for the last 17 years.

Many of my cookbooks have been gifts, others have come from used book sales ( I also have a book problem and love used book sales and stores, but that is a whole different post.) Some of my cookbooks have been bought new and some I have just picked up here and there over the years.

And the reality is that I use and love my cookbook collection.

When I am looking for something to make, or just need some inspiration, I turn to my cookbooks. I rarely follow a recipe, but cookbooks contain so many tips and ideas that I love to look through and read them.

In fact, I have read a good portion of my cookbooks from cover to cover. Yes, I know I amย weirdย like that, but I read most of my cookbooks like books and I find it fun and relaxing to do that.

Last week I mentioned that I would be taking a break from Souper Monday until the fall, but what I waited to share is that I have a new series planned that I am really excited about.

Because I love to cook and share recipes and because I have such a large cookbook collection that covers a large range of foods and subjects, I decided to start cooking through my collection and share the recipes with you every Monday.

I plan to let you know what I love about each book and even some of what I don’t love about them. I will also share one recipe from each book and let you know how it turned out. And it will be a new book every week that I cook out of.

And not only that I will follow the recipes, at least I will try very, very, hard to. That is my goal and I hope to stick to it. I want you to really get an idea of what the cookbooks are like, so I will try my hardest to follow the recipe and directions.

The only time I plan to change the recipe is to make minor adaptions if needed for our food issues and allergies, but besides that I will cook straight from the book.

If we love the recipe I will let you know, but if I would change the recipe for next time, I will let you know know that as well.

My plan is to continue the series until I have shared one recipe from every cookbook I own. Well, okay so that might take a while……….so, I don’t really know how long it will continue, but at least through the summer and then we will see.

I have already started cooking and I am really excited about the first few recipes that I will be sharing.

One is a delicious dessert.

And the other one is a semi healthy, but very delicious vegetable side dish.

I am really excited about this new series and I hope you all are too! I can’t wait to start sharing.


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Looking forward to this series! I also have a large collection of cookbooks, some I’ve bought, some I’ve been given, some came from my grandmother, some I’m not sure how I ended up with. I also enjoy reading them (glad to see I’m not the only one that does that). Some I’ve never used, but have read through; some I use all the time, others on occasion. This is a great idea, I should probably steal it and blow the dust off some of my cookbooks and put them to use.

  2. I’m excited to see this series! I need to start using some of my cookbooks to share recipes too. I have so many it overwhelms me…especially since they all accumulated in just over a year. I bet your collection is so much larger than mine, I can only imagine!! lol

  3. I think I will enjoy going with you through your cookbooks. I, too, have many, many cookbooks and have read them cover to cover. Thanks.

  4. I’m looking forward to your new series! Been checking in on your blog for quite a while now, but this is my first comment. In fact, I shared one of your cookie recipes on my own blog just today. Love your posts and I look forward to the summer!

  5. I thought I was the only one who reads cookbooks like a novel. And I have spread mine through several bookshelves, two shelves in the livingroom, a cupboard in the kitchen, three shelves in the family room, one by the freezer. And a stack by my chair right now. I’m going to read while my beans are processing in the pressure canner.

  6. sounds like a fun series – am looking forward to it!

  7. Natalie Q. says

    It sounds like we need to start a cookbooks anonymous group! My hubby has told the clerks at our local used bookstore to not sell me any more cookbooks. Now I have to sneak in when my husband isn’t with me and look for the new clerk who doesn’t know me ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, I too read them like novels!

    • When we go to the library my hubby already knows I’m going to look at the used cookbooks for sale, and he still gives me “the look” along with a head shake as if it is ridiculous that I’m still on the hunt for a new-to-me /interesting cookbook.

  8. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has a love affair with cookbooks! Though I’m also obsessed with food magazines (food network & taste of home are my favorite). My collection would look a lot like yours had I not had to downsize a while back due to lack of space. What a great series you are starting, looking forward to your creations!

    • Oh don’t even get me started on how many food magazines I have……….I should probably start cooking through those as well. At least I know I am not the only one with this problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Love this idea!!!!!!!!! I have a lot of cookbooks too (not nearly as many as you!) and I love reading through them. Can’t wait to see what you share with us.

  10. Looks like I’m in good company!!!! So happy to see that I’m not the only one that “reads” cookbooks cover to cover! Can’t wait to see what you cook up out of all your wonderful treasures!

  11. Barb Schmidt says

    I’m not the only one! Yay! I’ve been collecting cookbooks since I bought my first one at age 18, 41 years ago. I volunteered for a time in a thrift store that offered hardcover books for 25 cents. My job? Sorting books! I have so-oo many cookbooks! I read them cover to cover, too, and try to make something from each one, just to justify my obsession. I’m looking forward to this series.

    • A job working the book section at a thrift store would be dangerous for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Old cookbooks are some of my favorites! And I have even found some really nice newer cookbooks used. I can’t imagine what you would find working at a thrift store. And no you are not alone in the cookbook collecting and I am glad to know that I am not alone either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I think the series is a great idea!! I have a love for cookbooks too! Love the old forgotten ones . My kitchen wall shelf looks messy with the collection and i rarely look at them due to the ease of the internet in looking up recipes.
    But i can’t bring myself to part with them and scanning would take forever . And during winter storms with no electricity i reach for the books. So full shelf it is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Some of my favorite recipes come from older cookbooks. There is so much to learn in those old cookbooks, from simple and frugal recipes to tips that we often don’t think about. Some of my most treasured cookbooks are the older ones I have collected.

  13. My mom and grandmother started giving me cookbooks when I was in high school as gifts to put in my “hope chest”. I still have those and LOTS more. I have a lot for cookbooks unfortunately I don’t cook out of them often enough. This is going to be fun going through your adventure with you – and I think I’ll make an adventure out of cooking from mine too ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the motivation!!

  14. Lynn,
    It is so interesting that you’re beginning this new series. I have been thinking of doing the same thing with my cookbooks, so I can 1)get good use from them all and 2) find which are my favorites and which I can part with. I’ve sadly run out of space, but still have a wish list of others I’d like to own.

  15. I totally know what you mean about reading cookbooks like a book! I love doing that. Right now I’m working through some Gooseberry Patch cookbooks which are really fun. I’m looking forward to your series!

  16. What a great idea! I love it! I too am a collector of cook books. I keep saying I am going to go through them, keeping the recipies I use and getting rid of them. But I just can’t part with them. I especially love cookbooks with great photography and old cookbooks. I can’t wait to read all your new posts!

  17. I love reading my cookbooks too. I don’t think I am allowed to bring another bookshelf into the house! But I always seem to be able to squeeze another cookbook in.

  18. Oh wow, what an awesome idea! I just found your blog today through MPM. I, too have a cookbook problem and a cooking magazine collection problem lol! I’m currently in the process of trying to tame my “paper” recipe collection, such as things I’ve printed off or ripped out of magazines or papers, etc. to try. I’m about halfway through that process right now. But I love your idea of cooking through the books you already have (I, too read them cover to cover like regular books lol!) thanks for the inspiration and I may try it myself. Looking forward to seeing what you have already tried and what books you try next!

    • I am so glad you found my site. I love meeting other cookbooks lovers. At least cookbooks are a useful thing to collect right?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I use three ring binders for the pages I have ripped out of magazines or copied from websites and I know have quite a collection of those as well.

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