Cookbook Exploitation: How to Get More Mileage Out of Your Cookbooks

Ever since I first addressed "cookbook exploitation" in my How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Cooking article, and then polled some of my favorite bloggers for their favorite cookbook titles, I've been thinking of ways to get more mileage out of my own stash of cookbooks.

For example, has anybody out there actually made every single recipe in one of their cookbooks--or even come close?

Even in my few most favorite "critical few" cookbooks, like Jay Solomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine, or my tattered old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (a sentimental favorite which was a gift from my Mom when I moved out), I've cooked maybe at most 25% of the recipes.

The math is even more discouraging when I think about the cookbooks that aren't in my heavy rotation. We have several cookbooks that we use for just a few recipes each, and there are four or five cookbooks sitting on our shelves that we haven't even delved into at all. They're just sitting there, collecting dust.

This means that across my entire cookbook collection, I'm probably ignoring at least 95% of the recipes available to me.

What a waste!

Ergo, I can get a LOT more mileage out of my existing cookbooks just by stepping out of my comfort zone and making a habit of trying some new recipes here and there.

In that spirit, I hereby declare the month of April to be Cookbook Exploitation Month, where I will try to cook at least one totally new recipe per week from my collection of cookbooks. I'll blog about the new recipes as I go. Join me and exploit your cookbooks, and feel free to leave me a comment on how your new recipes came out.

No more cookbooks collecting dust around here!

Related Posts:
Six Secrets to Save You From Cooking Burnout
How to Tell if a Recipe is Worth Cooking with Five Easy Questions
How to Modify a Recipe

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