I have a confession to make. I love reading cookbooks.

Whereas some people peruse through magazines for leisure, when I’m not reading a regular book, you’ll most likely find me on a Sunday morning in my pajamas, cuddled up on my couch with a cup of tea in hand and a stack of cookbooks around me, and sometimes also a stack of crochet pattern books.

I’ll sit there in my soft aqua blue blanket with my dog curled up at the end of the couch and I’ll flip through page after colorful page of recipes. I’m usually equipped with a pen and notepad (so I can write down ingredients to buy and/or plan my meals for the coming week), my personal cookbook binder (in case I want to use a favorite recipe or add something) and sit there and fantasize about what I could cook.

Lately, I’ve been trying at least one new recipe a week. Last week I made glazed yams with brown sugar and butter and on another night I baked some mahi-mahi with white wine, herbs, lemon and butter.

I own a few good gluten-free recipe books. And I’m slowly amassing a binder full of heirloom recipes and recipes for dishes I return to frequently, but it’s hard to find a cookbook that has recipes that both whet my appetite and that I could eat or would be likely to make.

The other problem is I love the dishes prepared by a lot of cultures, but I’m too darn cheap to go out and buy a cookbook for each of the 50 or so cooking traditions that I love.

Well last week I went to the Takoma Library and found this book in the “new books” shelf.  I took it home and stayed up until 1 a.m. perusing its pages. I’m only half the way through the book and already more than half of the pages are folded in at the tab for me to come back to and copy down or try.

It’s called the Illustrated Kitchen Bible, 2008 edition.


I can’t recall ever being so excited about a cookbook.

Not only does it have recipes from all over the world, but out of the two or more recipes per page, I find at least one I want to cook, would find it relatively easy to cook and with ingredients I could eat. Dishes range from Borscht or how to make the perfect omelet, to Asian meatballs, fruit compotes and stuffed grape leaves. Yummers.

I think I’m going to try the recipe for swordfish with fresh herbs tonight.

YAY. Anyway, I’ve been copying down by hand several recipes in my little book, but I think I’m just going to indulge myself and buy the book online.