Cookbook Exploitation Month is Here Again!

Readers! April is right around the corner, and that means it's time to celebrate Cookbook Exploitation Month!

For those readers new to Casual Kitchen, April is the month for where you dig out your most underused and forgotten cookbooks and start putting them to work.

Remember, the 80/20 Rule tells us that 80% of your meals likely come from just 20% of your recipes. It also tells us that you only really use 20% of your cookbooks--the other 80% of them just sit on your shelf, collecting dust.

What does this mean? It means that there's a gold mine of recipes waiting for you in your very own kitchen, in cookbooks you already own. Therefore, the purpose of Cookbook Exploitation Month is to break out one or two of your underused, unloved cookbooks, flip through them, and then systematically exploit them for all they're worth.

"Cookbook exploitation is a barbaric practice and must be stopped."
--an email from a Casual Kitchen reader

Why spend money on new cookbooks when there's an enormous repository of great recipes waiting for you in your very own kitchen? Use our essay on How to Tell if a Recipe is Worth Cooking with Five Easy Questions if you need some extra help in picking something out.

Which of your underused cookbooks will you break out and exploit this month? Tell us about it!

Related Posts:
How to Modify a Recipe: The Six Rules
Mastering Kitchen Setup Costs
The Favorite Cookbooks of My Favorite Bloggers
How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Cooking
More Applications of the 80/20 Rule to Cooking

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Nicole said...

I'm going to have to take on this challenge! I find that I rarely break out any of my cookbooks. They are sad!

Astra Libris said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! :-)

I love the idea of cookbook exploitation month! How fabulous! It's so true, I have many a cookbook just asking to be exploited this April... :-)

Daniel said...

Thanks Nicole and Astra Libris for your comments. Go for it--and let me know what great new recipes you discover!


Joanne said...

I am completely guilty of this. I have about 10 or so cookooks (a budding collection) some of which I have still never cooked out of, and yet I still turn to online sources for so many of my recipes. It is time to crack some of those babies open!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a great idea! I can't tell you how many cookbooks I have on the shelves (and that's after I culled a bunch of them!) I have been making an effort to do less cooking from online recipes and more from books, so pulling out the dusty ones can't be too much of a leap, right?

Anonymous said...

I have many cookbooks. But my really bad habit is clipping recipes from magazines and collecting them for no apparent reason. You inspired me to buy all of the ingredients [rice vermicelli, dried shrimp (yuck), fish sauce (ew)] and make Shrimp Pad Thai from Sunset Magazine's latest issue. Yum! It was a hit! Jack even had seconds! Thanks Dan!!!

I will have to tackle a book recipe next. But I will never use Mark Bittman's method for boiling eggs again! Ack!!! Tammy

Melinda said...

Hi Daniel - I love the idea of cookbook exploitation month! I have so many cookbooks that I drool over, mark up with post-it notes flagging recipes to make ... and then, before I make anything, I put it onto the shelf and move onto the next one. So I have a few contenders to choose from!

Daniel said...

Joanne: I hope your unopened cookbooks turn out to be a great source of recipes--as well as blog posts for your blog!

n.o.e: That shouldn't be a leap at all, I can't wait to hear what recipes you end up making!

Tammy--email me that recipe when you get a chance!

Melinda, with your cookbooks already bookmarked, so you are perfectly positioned to take advantage of Cookbook Exploitation Month. Good luck, and let me know what you come up with!


Anonymous said...

Good advice, Dan.
-MAC (from TNR)

Daniel said...

Hi MAC from TNR, thanks for reading and thank you for the feedback. Stop by any time!