Eight years ... and counting!
Tuesday Tidbits

Kitchen Chat, Week Four: Recipes

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Happy Monday, my friends - hope your week's off to a great start!

Well, let's carry on with our kitchen chat, shall we? A favorite topic of mine is on tap for today - RECIPES! I just adore recipes - of all kinds, but especially those focused on seasonal baking. And I collect them like crazy - I find them addictive!

So pull up a chair won't you, and join me for some refreshments and conversation. Tea or coffee, it's up to you, but I myself have a rather large mug of Bill's freshly brewed coffee ... extra light and a bit sweet, just how I like it! And in the oven we have a warm apricot tart baking ... tender and sweet, it will be so nice on this blustery March morning.

But let's get down to brass tacks - here's what I want to know:

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Where do you find your recipes?

How do you store them/keep them organized?

Do you have a signature recipe, a dish you're "known" for?

Would you care to share that recipe, and/or a favorite recipes of yours?

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 Ok, so I find my recipes everywhere ... mostly in magazines, the Globe's weekly food pages, cookbooks, online and of course, through family and friends. I love to clip and save recipes - I hoard them, really. In fact, it's getting to be a bit of a problem ...

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I used to have a nice set up - a drawer in my desk full of hanging folders labeled by food type. But for some reason which wouldn't have anything to do with me being lazy I stopped using them. I found it much easier to just toss them in a basket such as the one shown above.

(Note I said easy, not efficient!)

What I would LOVE to do, is to have binders for my recipe collection, sorted by type, and carefully stored in sheet protectors. So a binder for main dishes, another for vegetables and sides, one (or more) for baked goods, and another for soups and salads, etc. I think that would be such a great system ... does anyone do something like this? I would think it's pretty labor-intensive to set up, but more manageable as you go forward ...

One thing I do now that I find works fairly well is - any recipes that are seasonal (that I want to use within a month or so) and timely (I'd like to use that week), I keep together and paper-clipped inside my active weekly file folder ...

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If I use a recipe, I retire it to either the seasonal folders (example, a saint-related dish) or one of my catchall baskets. The rest get moved along to the next week's folder.

Now, I also have a small collection of recipe cards, and these are like treasures to me. The food is full of memories, but even moreso is the penmanship - things written by my mother's and grandmother's own hands.

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That piccalilli recipe card is my favorite of all - I'm not sure who typed it out, but it's my grandmother's (Mill's) recipe and we would make it on many a Labor Day morning.

I think recipes cards and storage boxes are lovely - have you seen these? oh my! - but I just don't have time to write all those recipes out onto cards. I remember my mother's little tin recipe box, though - so fondly, that yellow and green/blue pattern, and all those wonderful handwritten cards jammed inside. I used to pore over that box all the time ...

Now, I'm not sure I have a "signature" dish - though I do make my artichoke dip very often and it's usually a hit. It's from a Susan Branch cookbook (can't think which one at the moment), and it's just so super tasty and simple:

2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped + 2 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise + 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese ... Mix all ingredients together and pour into ovenproof dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with crusty French bread. Enjoy!

One of my favorite recipes to share however, is the mix-and-match quick bread I blogged about here. That's another easy recipe, but what I love about it is its versatility and the fact that it makes two loaves, not one!

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Well my friends, I'm finishing this post up as Little Bear naps and I can hear him stirring a bit, so I'd best wrap things up ... but before I go, may I remind you that NEXT week we'll be talking about "Kitchen Style" (details here) and I'd love to see (and share) a picture of your kitchen in that post! If you are interested, please email me your photo(s) at bysunandcandlelight AT comcast DOT net - by this Friday if possible. I've already received a few submissions and I am positively giddy about that! :)

So I'll talk to you all soon, one way or another! For now, let me wish you all a pleasant Monday ...

I'll see you here again very soon!

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