In My Kitchen: A Cookbook


Introduction

Why another cookbook? I'm certainly not a world-class cook, and the recipies herein aren't groundbreaking. However, I'd like to record my current practices, and make them available for reference by interested friends and family members.

Vegetarian

No meat of any kind is included, not poultry, seafood or the like; however, extensive use is made of milk and cheese, with limited eggs, honey, etc.

The food-group focus is primarily on grains, vegetables and dairy. Legumes, eggs, and oils are used to a lesser extent. (Make sure to also get your fruit! I tend to eat fruit as snacks, or as fresh-squeezed pulpy juices, so it's under-represented in these recipes.)

From a health vantage, the mix of food groups is somewhat suboptimal, in that it has a surplus of dairy and shortage of legumes, compared to an optimal mix, and is therefore higher in fat than generally recommended. I'm willing to accept these shortcomings; I'm not lactose-intolerant, and I'm willing to accept some fat in order to get the tastes I love.

From Scratch

Focused on a limited selection of ingredients. Generally all from fresh or minimally processed ingredients, except for a handful of semi-prepared ingredients like frozen ravioli and pesto. which are available from a local market. Bias towards ingredients I like and that are easily available at the upscale market we buy fresh food from.

Ingredients in each recipe are visually marked to show their availability: regular ingredients you'll need to purchase at the market, staple ingredients you're likely to already have in your kitchen, and hard-to-find or peculiar ingredients you might need to make a special shopping trip for.

Family Style Dishes

Mostly entrees with suggested accompaniments to produce a complete meal. Amounts are generally sized to produce a hearty meal for four people, or a smaller meal with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

Limited Preparation Requirements

The meals are designed to be shopped for and cooked in a single evening, with no prior prep or "day-before" steps. Steps are organized to allow a single cook to work through the meal without assistance. Meals are generally planned to only require a moderate amount of kitchen equipment: a couple of pots, only two stovetop burners and one oven space, etc.

-- Matthew Cavalletto, June 15, 2003