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November 2009

more cooking fun (and a giveaway)

cooking fun - the book

As if we haven't had enough cookbook craze here in the past week ... (Which reminds me - make sure you send me an email at if you want to be my Tastebook friend. I've had a good number of people email me at my normal address, which is really hard to keep track of.)

I'm so excited to be in cahoots with the talented Rae Grant - mama, blogger, and author of two children's books: Cooking Fun and Crafting Fun . Stop by Rae's inspiring blog, My Little Hen: Simple Ideas for Childhood Fun, and peruse her archives when you have the chance - you won't be disappointed!

cooking fun - the book

Rae sent me copies of her books, and let me tell you - they just make me smile. Both Cooking Fun and Crafting Fun are replete with vintage recipes and crafts, and would make excellent gifts for the reading child on your holiday gift list. I've had a lot of fun going through the drink recipes, and have become especially enamored with this milk/orange juice/vanilla combo. It's frothy. It's yummy. And it simply belongs in both my recycled jam jar glasses and in my stomach.

Since nothing goes better with a kid's vintage-inspired cookbook than a vintage-inspired apron, Rae is hosting a giveaway of Cooking Fun and I'm chipping in two Lola Apron patterns! Go over to My Little Hen and leave a comment to enter!


P.S. Did you know the Lola Apron won first place at the Iowa State Fair? How cool is that?

223/365 State Fair Apron

photo and apron by letterwoman

Back tomorrow with some photos of my nature table and an update on the Holiday Traditions Exchange - Design Fridays will be back next week!

the mcelwee's kitchen bible

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

Ask and you shall receive! So many of you were interested in the recipes in my meal calendar that I went ahead and made my Tastebook public: The McElwee's Kitchen Bible - full of quick, healthy vegetarian recipes. You can actually buy the book if you want - Tastebook gets all the profit, not me - or you could email me at and I'll send you an invite to join Tastebook (free) and be my "Tastepage" friend so you can see all my recipes without ordering the book. If you send me an email by Friday, Nov. 5, I'll send off your invite by Saturday (I don't have time to cut and paste email addresses nowadays - I have to do it all at once by importing my contacts - so after Saturday I'll close shop for this temporary email address.)

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

Oooh boy, I love this book! I figure I'll rotate recipes seasonally - keep the current recipes in front and the out-of-season ones in the back behind the recipe card sleeves.

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

You'll find all sorts of recipes in here, but you won't find recipes catering to those with dairy/wheat/egg allergies. In fact, by the time you've read through the recipes, you'll probably think that I'm made up of 88% cheese, which is probably true. Some of the recipes are easily vegan-ized, though - and I have a fantabulous vegan roast in there, courtesy of my friend Melissa.

Okay - so here's what my Meal Calendar looks like:

Week One - Corn Tortillas, Mexican Rice & Beans; Stir Fry with Tofu or Tempeh; Bean Loaf and Acorn Squash; Carrot Ginger Soup & Beet Salad; Chana Masala with Lentils

Week Two - Tomato Goat Cheese Bruschetta & Baby Greens Salad; Cashew Chili & Cornbread; Gorgonzola Gnocchi; Tortilla Casserole; Homemade Pizza

Week Three - Tortellini Spinach Soup & Sweet Potatoes; Black Bean Chilaquile; Bean Burgurs and Salad; Grilled Cheese and Broccoli Sandwiches; Polenta & Kale Salad

Week Four - Baked Potatoes; Spinach Pie & Zucchini Moons; Egg Rolls & Fried Rice; Nachos & Corn on the Cob (Mexican Style); Squash Soup

Again, this "schedule" is flexible. I don't have to fix Tortellini Soup on Monday and Polenta on Friday - I can mix it up. We eat leftovers for lunch, and I also keep a fresh loaf of bread around, as well as wraps for putting a new "spin" on the previous night's meal.

Here's just a snippet of what's in my cookbook (41 recipes thus far) ...

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

... one of those quick and easy recipes from my mom ...

the kitchen bible :: our family recipes in a tastebook

... and plenty of dessert recipes - most of them handed down from my mom and gram.

Bon appetit, mes amis!