soup

Welcome to my cookbook

This is a compilation of the recipes that I have posted in my facebook group from 2013 onward. When I started organizing those recipes in 2015, I was quite surprised there were so many already. And since then, there have been many more, enough for a really big book. I have tried that. It's a job without end and who would ever read it when I can't distribute it? I am publishing my recipes in this website to make them more widely available than through facebook alone.

I never cared for cooking before. While I was still working, I usually ate in the hospital's cafeteria. I didn’t mind. I thought some were actually pretty good. It wasn’t until several years after retirement that I started finding some interest in cooking.

Eventually, I even came to enjoy food preparation for its own sake, but only for my own family in my own home. Don't expect me to open a restaurant anytime soon. I would hate having to cook the same thing day after day over and over again.

This is home cooking.

Do not expect five-star restaurant cooking here.
I have no professional cooking background at all. I expect most of you won’t either. And yet just like mineyour families need to be fed every day too.

Delicate flavors and beautiful presentation are not my priority. This is about feeding the family with wholesome delicious food with BIG flavors This is about trying to make an enjoyable meal with the limited food variety of small-town America.

I live in Deming, New Mexico, USA, a small middle-of-nowhere town near the Mexican border.

My recipes reflect those limitations. I can’t cook what I can't get.

One does what one can to relieve tediousness. In 2013, I started a vegetable garden and began raising chickens, ducks and rabbits. That ended abruptly in July 2015 when a tornado took out the chicken coop and rabbit house and killed most of the animals. In 2016 I started ordering frozen fish online to have a greater variety of seeafoods.

This is not a comprehensive cooking manual.
There are huge gaps in this listing (e.g. drinks, desserts, baking) for the simple reason that I hardly ever do those missing things.

One criticism of professionals will likely be that my grouping of recipes is not according to the French or other established cooking schools. I couldn’t care less. Again, this is real-life home cooking, not a chef’s Masterwork presentation.

This is not a formal cooking class.
Nevertheless, I take time to explain why I make certain choices. I consider it more important that you understand why I use a specific cooking method in a recipe than that you can follow instructions to the letter. Once you understand the reasoning behind that first choice in every recipe, you will be able to make those choices for your future cooking adventures without having to consult a manual.

Substituting, adapting

I do my thing, you should do yours.

Whenever I use something you don't like, do your own thing and substitute with something that you do like.

Pictures

With computer editing, it is now possible to include many more pictures in the text than printed books could, to document every step in cooking a recipe. It makes following the recipe a lot easier and more pleasant.

I took most of the pictures in this site myself while cooking these recipes. I did borrow some pictures from the internet when I forgot to take pictures or when mine didn’t come out well enough to my liking. I have credited the source of any recipes and pictures when possible. Information borrowed from the internet is included under fair usage, for educational purpose only.

Navigating THIS SITE

I've tried to make it as simple as possible.
You can get to from any page in this cookbook to any other with only 2 clicks.

  1. The recipes have been divided in 7 main categories, with an extra one for 'other' kitcheneering articles.
  2. The banner and footer of very page in this website have links to this home page and to those 8 categories.
  3. Each category page shows links to all recipes in that category.
  4. If that list is too long to scroll through to your liking, go one level down to the chapter of your choice by clicking one of the dark buttons in the link bar that you will find underneath each category introduction just above that very long link listing. That chapter page will have links for recipes in that chapter only.

next-level links

 

other page links

ABBREVIATIONS

  1. Boil, (reduce) and simmer
    = Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer over low heat.
  2. Reduce
    = Boil or simmer to reduce the volume of a liquid and concentrate the flavors.
    Reduce to 50% = do that until you have only half the original volume left.
  3. ( for) reference only
    = Information without recipes, may refer to recipes elsewhere in this site.
  4. IMO, imo
    = in my opinion
  5. S&P
    = salt and pepper to taste. That means as much or as little as you want to add, or none at all. That also means any other seasoning you want to add.
  6. S&wP
    = salt and white pepper, for those few recipes where white pepper is specified.
  7. Oil Dough
    = In analogy with beurre manié (Fr. kneaded butter,) this is a dough consisting of equal parts of vegetable oil and flour that I use to thicken soups and sauces. I rarely use butter for cooking. I prefer to use olive oil instead.