A Cooking Journal


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A Cooking Journal

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Ott 7, 2007, 10:27am

I started something new last night. I've begun to keep a cooking journal, wherein I write down the recipes I make up as I go. Not only the recipes though, but also what inspired me to make it. I'm going to enter anything about cooking which I feel like entering. I made a pretty little notebook covered with cherry decorated paper.

My first entry was a recipe for spaghetti squash, which prior to last night I had found inedible. Also a description of the disgusting looking cookies I made for tea day before yesterday. I made them from the cookbook which I wrote for my son, Lady's Fingers. They are shaped like fingers, down to the knuckle indentations, then red frosting is applied for the fingernail and the bloody end. They are delicious anise flavored cookies which go great with tea, but hard to eat because visually they turn the stomach a bit. His friends won't try them. :) I thought October an appropriate month to try some of these recipes and take a picture of the results.

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else keeps a cooking journal? You probably all blog, but I like to have a book in hand to page through.

Ott 8, 2007, 9:06pm

Mrs. Lee, I love that idea. I don't keep a cooking journal, but I think I should start...after reading your message. I did put together a cookbook of all the favorite recipes I've collected over the years, for my daughter who recently married. I think she and my other daughters would like it if there were notes, especially in my handwriting. I have recipe cards that my mother wrote and they are special to me because they are in her own writing. Thanks for the suggestion!

Ott 8, 2007, 9:54pm

> 1

Also a description of the disgusting looking cookies I made for tea day before yesterday. I made them from the cookbook which I wrote for my son, Lady's Fingers. They are shaped like fingers, down to the knuckle indentations, then red frosting is applied for the fingernail and the bloody end.

That's too funny! The perfect Hallowe'en treat. ;-))

I once went to a Hallowe'en part where we were supposed to bring foods shaped like, named after, or otherwise related to, body parts. I brought Hostess® Ding-Dongs®!

Ott 9, 2007, 5:27pm

Ding-Dongs! Too funny! Yesterday I made Toe Jam. Parmesan cheeseballs, only I shaped them like toes and used blanched, roasted almond halves for the toenails. They look incredibly eerie, and smell kinda like feet too. When I added a dollop of jalepeño jelly for the 'jam', well, my kids wouldn't try them, but they were great, if you closed your eyes. :)

Karbie, I like your idea of collecting all the families favorite recipes into one place. As it is now, I have to look here, there and everywhere to find them.

Ott 10, 2007, 6:37pm


Fingers and fingernails, toes and toenails, and Ding Dongs!

The things I learn from this site!

My talents for sculpting are not developed; if, indeed, I have any such talent!

I think I'll leave ice swans, body parts, and other such stuff to the more experimental.

I do think a journal is a good idea. I frequently create a dish and wonder a week or a month later what I did. Notes in these cases would be helpful.

Ott 12, 2007, 12:44am

dore - Always a pleasure to inform. ;) I asked the question on another site, and some of the people there also take pictures of the special meals they serve and keep them with their recipes. I thought that was a good idea too.

I've started putting pictures of some of my food on Flicker. If you want to see, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9098776@N06/sets/72157601839426458/

Ott 12, 2007, 7:03pm

Mrs. Lee, would you share the recipe for the Marmalade Cake?

Ott 12, 2007, 7:51pm

re 6


Really neat photos; thanks for your effort.

I think your son must have a stronger stomach than I do! The fingers and fingernails look uncomfortably real!

The Marmalade Cake looked good, though.

I think we all have books coming out our ears and wonder where we are going to put all of them. You have found a number of creative solutions.

I have lots of bookshelves, but not one with a face!

Fungi are amazing, aren't they? They seem to be most everywhere in enormous variety.

Gardens are a lot of work, but soothing to the soul.

Ott 12, 2007, 10:48pm

Thank you dore, I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

Karbie, the Marmalade Cake is in The Mitford Cookbook by Jan Karon. There was such a demand for recipes from her books, and she herself is not an avid cook. So she asked a chef friend of hers to come up with recipes to put in a cookbook for her. That cake was one which they had to create. It had only been imagined in fiction before. I'm not sure about copywrite issues and such, as far as posting on the internet, but I'll send it to you on your profile page.

I had a sort of dream/nightmare the other night about a marmalade cake. It was chocolate cake, with marmalade or mandarin orange sauce and coconut frosting. That sounded possible, but when I cut into it, someone had filled it with chocolate mint frosting. Blech! I don't care for mint.

Ott 12, 2007, 11:12pm

re 9

You cut cake and taste it in your sleep?

That's creative dreaming!

How about leaving out the mint?

You could use raspberry jam on the inside layers?

Ott 12, 2007, 11:21pm

:) I do have creative dreams; smells, tastes, colors, sounds. All very well when the dreams are harmless, as they have been lately. What I wanted in my dream for that cake was an orange liqueur in chocolate ganache. I may have to try this cake for real! Raspberry would be a great option too.

Ott 30, 2007, 8:11am

I am not particularly good about keeping up my food journal, unfortunately. And it would be so easy - it's online. I do write about cooking (daily cooking, daily eating) in my regular journal, though.

Apr 20, 2009, 3:50pm

A food journal is a great idea. I've kept journals on gardening and birds before, so I must be just the type to do such a thing. As it is I make notes on the pages of recipes as to the date I made, whether it was good or not and if it was a special occasion birthdays, holidays, etc. I figure it doesn't do too much damage to the cookbook since the most popular recipes have the most foodstains anyway.

Apr 21, 2009, 11:56pm

I started my food blog for this very reason. It is a great way to keep track of what I like and don't like but I have a lot of trouble posting about things that didn't work out and got more involved with taking pictures! It is fun though!

Nov 22, 2010, 7:04am

Just reviving my contact with LibraryThing and came across this thread. Does anyone else have food blogs? Checked out the one from fikustree's message 14...looks great, and it's VERY interesting. I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, but love to experiment with food, and it's good to read book reviews from someone who knows what she's talking about.

I don't have a blog, but love to lurk and surf. Any others out there?

Nov 22, 2010, 8:40pm

My records of what I serve to whom and when are very unreliable, but I always intend to keep a list to avoid repeats.

Nov 22, 2010, 10:08pm

Well, my food journal has rather died. Though now and then it takes a wheezy breath for a brief revival. I think I need to keep it somewhere more accessible. Lately cooking is my only creative outlet for stress, and though I'm not using my cookbooks specifically, having read them, they influence me when I get in that "mood."

I had another dream which inspired a pie, I called it Banana Dream Pie. So creative. ;) I really don't like bananas at all, but my husband loves them, so I made it for him. It came out as something even I could eat. There was an ingredient in the dream which I couldn't capture on waking, but one thing was clear. There was to be no chocolate in the pie. I love chocolate, but this pie couldn't have it. So I asked my husband what he thought would be good to include and he came up with chopped up hazelnut brittle. Yum.

Gen 26, 2012, 11:53am

MrsLee I would love to see any of your recipe ideas for spaghetti squash! And you have inspired me to start a food journal as well. Personal "cookbook history" is my theme, meaning what cookbooks were most inspiring to me, how that changed, and why. For example, I love Anna Thomas' vegetarian cookbooks, but all of them (including her new Love Soup) cookbook are way way too high in fat, as are Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily recipes. It doesn't have to be that way.

Gen 26, 2012, 1:38pm

Spaghetti Squash Made Edible - by MrsLee

1 spaghetti squash
3 T. sundried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. cilantro, chopped (or other green herb if you can't abide cilantro)
1/2 c. pinenuts - toasted
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground sage
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese (fresh grated) to taste

Halve squash, brush w/olive oil lightly, bake on tray open side down in 350deg; oven for about 1 hour. Turn, bake 10 min open side up. Scrape out and separate with two forks into strands.
Sizzle tomatoes, garlic and cilantro in olive oil for about 3 min. Toss with squash and remaining seasonings, add pine nuts, Top each serving with Parmesan cheese to taste.

Very simple really, all the ingredients are replaceable according to what is in your cupboard. :)

Gen 26, 2012, 5:23pm

I don't keep a cooking journal, but I do write the date I cook something in the cookbook itself. I guess that might be sacrilege to some bookies out there -- writing in a book -- but I hope to look back 20 years from now and see a margin full of dates next to my favorite recipes.


Gen 26, 2012, 5:42pm

>20 IdRatherBeInFrance: I do the same thing, the date, whether it was for a special occasion and comments about whether it was good or not.

Gen 27, 2012, 10:12pm

I like to get those church lady cookbooks which are generally poorly indexed. If I like something, I use a highlighter on the title in the index and/or a sticky note on the page. It helps.

I was doing a food blog for awhile, but when my husband got ill and then passed away, it took a lot of the fun out of it. I still post in it once in a great while: http://www.neopagan.net/phaeblog.php