The Cookbook Challenge – I’m IN!

Chef Bill and I are in possession of at least two dozen cookbooks, most of which sit on the shelf unused. Well, not anymore! I’ve set the intention to use at least one recipe a week from one of our cookbooks in the collection.  Our first try out of the gate: Chicken Dopiaza from ‘Indian: 100 Everyday Recipes.  In all my years of eating Indian, I’ve never heard of Chicken Dopiaza, but it sounded irresistible, and contains no fewer than 11 delectable herbs and spices.


Wish you could have inhaled along with us as the onions, garlic, ginger root, and herbs simmered in the pot.



Chef Bill ate his over basmati rice, and I enjoyed mine in a bowl as its own stew. We were genuinely blown away at how fragrant and delicious this turned out. Just stunned.


I’ve had Indian dishes on many an occasion at restaurants, but there’s something about crafting one at home, with your own supply of herbs and other seasonings that is magical.



And now I know why the Indian culture is so insistent on using a potpourri of herbs with each and every creation:  the alchemical formula of herbs and spices actually and literally elevates how one feels. I felt more alive. More vibrant. More nourished. And who doesn’t want more of THAT?


Unless you’re an avowed non-cook, my guess is that you a few unused cookbooks on your shelves, just hoping for a purpose. Or perhaps a stack of cooking magazines you’ve barely leafed through. Take the challenge along with me, but make it manageable. I know I’ll never get to even half of the recipes I have in my own little Library of Cookbooks Congress, but one a week? It’s do-able and it’s fun. And to keep myself honest, I’ll be updating you with progress reports. As much as I love using my own cookbooks for inspiration, there’s a whole world out there of ideas I’ve never thought of. And I’ve only just begun….

?. Here’s to not letting cookbooks gather dust. 


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