The first one, Cook It in Cast Iron, would allow me to use my trusty and loved cast iron skillet. I only have the one now, but would sincerely love a few more in various sizes (another hint). Recipe after recipe, each one more yummy than the last. From appetizers to desserts, this cookbook features simple one-pan recipes to delight the taste buds. I even plan on giving corn tortillas a try out of this cookbook. And the Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding. Oh, and the Baked Pepperoni Pizza Dip. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for this book.
One thing I particularly like was the "Why This Recipe Works" at the start of every recipe. It explains some changes they might have made to a traditional recipe or why you go from oven to stove or stove to oven with the recipe.
Another droolishous cookbook, especially after I just made a batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam, is Foolproof Preserving-A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments & More. From America's Test Kitchen, this book is packed with recipes for small batches of jams and pickles, chutneys and conserves.
I have earmarked several, ok, almost all of the recipes to try this summer as fruits and veggies come in from the garden and farmer's market. If strawberry jam isn't good enough, what about some raspberry-chocolate jam? And a bit of pickled ginger for Savvy? A little summer tomato sauce for all of us?
Once again there is a "Why This Recipe Works" section at the front of every recipe and detailed pictures on most of them to help illustrate the steps. Explanations are given for changes to more traditional directions and most of the jams and jellies rely on apple for pectin rather than store-bought pectin. This way it's just fruit, sugar, lemon juice and no chemicals. A win-win situation.
So now, I have a huge shopping list of things I need for future meals and canned goodies. On that list are the cookbooks themselves. For some reason the library (1) wants the books back and (2) frowns on cooking stains on the pages.