Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Culinary Christmas

I created a second grouping of Christmas gifts.  The first was caffeine-related.
This one is food-related. 

One I'm super excited about is:

America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

My mother-in-law has experience with the cookbook and it comes highly recommended to me. There's also an average rating of 4.7/5 stars over 47 reviews on Amazon!  I actually tried out a recipe from this cookbook for dinner tonight.  I have several cookbooks but I can't say too many of them have very healthy recipes.  Looking forward to checking out what this cookbook has to offer!

Another food-related gift was a subscription to the Food Network magazine. I love getting magazines in the mail!  I actually only subscribe to two right now (Runner's World and Scientific American Mind), and neither is food-related, so I am excited.

Additionally we were given a couple of mixes and a bottle of 12-year old dark Balsamic Vinegar from a place near my parents' house, F. Oliver's.  Apparently my mom was able to try several kinds of olive oil and vinegar here.  I wish we had time to make the trip to check the place out in person while we were up there for Christmas.

Apparently my mother-in-law also made some homemade herb-infused olive oil, and my in-laws brought us citrus from FL, but we were supposed to remember to pick up those things from my brother-in-law's house, and with all of our running around, sadly we did not remember.

I did remember the home-made cashew brittle we got though!

There's not a lot left...

Oh! And I almost forgot... the last food item... a toaster oven!

We got a real 4-slice toaster for our wedding about 3.5 years ago, but we find ourselves turning on the oven's broiler way too often to NOT have a toaster oven.  This should be way more efficient than heating up the entire oven.  Unfortunately, Black and Decker appears to make appliances with ~12" electrical cords (Our regular toaster is made by them as well and has the same issue).  That makes things a little difficult to work out in the kitchen, so we had to reorganize to make room near one of the few outlets.

What was your favorite Christmas (or Hanukkah) gift that you received this year?

Any good healthy cookbooks you like to use?


  1. I'd love to hear how you like the cookbook and if there are other favorite cookbooks out there with healthy stuff in them! I'm constantly making the same things at my house (it is just me and my boyfriend) and could really use some new stuff.

  2. I love cookbooks! And you'll love that toaster oven.
    My favorite gift was from my mom. It was a mug that said 'if you can imagine it you can achieve it.'
    When she gave it to me she said 'I got you this because I know you can'. Coming from someone who's been fairly critical and short on praise growing up, this was big.

  3. that cookbook looks great! the test kitchen/cook's illustrated people know their stuff. my favorite new healthy cookbook is definitely the clean eating one. i also am intrigued by mark bittman's 'food matters', but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

  4. BeckyC- I'm looking forward to some inspiration too! We seem to generally make the same dozen recipes or so.

    Teamarcia- So far the toaster oven has only been used for bagels, but I'm looking forward to using it for more. How nice of your mom! I think I was raised similarly...I think I was always expected to do well, but didn't get much praise for it. I was shocked when my parents told me how proud they were of me for running my first half marathon last year! I couldn't remember the last time that happened. Ok, maybe when at my grad school graduation the year before, but other than that, not much...

    Sarah- Glad to hear a vote of confidence in the test kitchen people, I'm not familiar with them. I want to look into this Clean Eating magazine/cookbook - I'm hearing a lot about it lately. And I've heard great things about Mark Bittman's books (I think he also writes a column in Runner's World from time to time?)


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