Cook It Up – A Cookbook Challenge

Posted 7 July, 2014 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 63 Comments


Cook it up Challenge


One of my “2014 Things” is to cook from my cookbooks more. I planned to choose one cookbook a month and focus on using those recipes as nightly inspirations. In the past six months I have done this exactly zero times. Ok, I’ve pulled out the cookbooks a handful of times, but not really for new inspiration.  Over the next six months of the year I’d like to get back to this goal of using my cookbooks. When I mentioned this at the beginning of the year and again during my halfway check-in, several people noted that they’d be interested in a cookbook challenge.

So here we are!

While thinking about the challenge, I was having a tough time coming up with guidelines. Do people want to focus on one cookbook a month? Or a certain number of recipes for any number of cookbooks? One month? Six months? A monthly write-up or blog as you go? Or no post at all? Finally I decided to leave it in your hands to decide how you want to participate. We all like easy, right?

Cook it Up – A Cookbook Challenge

What: Pull those cookbooks off the shelves–you know, the ones with pages you can turn–and use them! You can outline how you’d like to proceed–one cookbook a month? Or three recipes a month from any cookbook? Or even check out new cookbooks from the library. You make the rules!

When: I will put up a linky on the first Saturday of the month (I meant for this post to publish last Saturday…). Write your post whenever you’d like (and if you’d like), but don’t forget to come link up.

Where/How: Presumably your blogs but no worries if you’d rather just post on twitter or instagram (Tag me! @TriniCapini). Or just come back here at the beginning of the month and comment. I think you’ll have better luck if you blog but I also don’t want anyone to stress.

Why: Because if you’re like me, you have a giant stack of cookbooks that are collecting dust. I’m bad about searching the internet for a specific recipe rather than looking at my own cookbooks. Let’s put our cookbooks to use!

For the rest of July I’m going to focus on The Big Book of BBQ since Scott and I are also doing Operation Use My Grill (another post that meant to get published and didn’t).

What do you say? I hope you’ll join me!  The first monthly link-up will be Saturday, August 2nd (2014).




63 Responses to “Cook It Up – A Cookbook Challenge”

  1. Michelle

    So are we starting now? I really like the idea of sticking with one cookbook, so have to figure out specifics. Man, in cases like this I really like being told what to do!! ;) I have stopped using cookbooks because I like the idea of the feedback I get from online recipes.

    • Sorry–guess maybe I was trying to be too loosey goosey. Start whenever you’d like! If you can start now–great–or if you’d rather wait until August, ok. You can post whenever you would like (if you’re posting) and I’ll put up the Linky the first Saturday of the month. Does that help?

  2. Summer is my time, like January of resolutions. Now that school is done for the year, I’ll get around to …, I’ll start to …. You know, the procrastinators creed. But maybe cookbooks will work! (getting up early, exercising, and cleaning have not taken hold yet. baby steps)

    I’d like to start using my new kitchen, and all those great cookbooks I have. (I’m also kinda including Pinterest recipes and the Allrecipes App I have.)

  3. Like Michelle, I’m a bit confused. Do we cook something this week and then post about it next Saturday, or do we take the week to figure out how we want to do the challenge and then post our choice next Saturday? (I also like to have definite rules since I am not very good at making decisions. It takes me 20 min. to figure out what I want to eat at a restaurant)

    • Sorry–maybe I was a bit too vague. :-/ you can start this week or next week or whenever you’d like. Post whenever you’d like. But I won’t have the Linky up until August 2nd–so almost 4 weeks from now. I plan to focus on one cookbook in July and post about it for August. Does that help?

  4. Fun! I did a variation of this last year – I got tired of listening to my girls (now 10 & 8) whine about what we were having for dinner. So, each girl was tasked with picking a meal each week – either a family favorite or something out of a cookbook – and planning what we would need to buy and how much. They picked out their ingredients at the store, did meal prep, and cooked – all by themselves! It was a great lesson in independence, planning, and hard work for them, and one in not stepping in to rescue things for me. We found a few good recipes, too!

  5. I need to do this. I have two shelves in the kitchen for cookbooks and they are both full but I only use three books regularly (Betty Crocker, Joy the Baker and Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook). I need to either use my cookbooks or find new homes for them. After all, there are other shiny cookbooks out there that want me to buy them but I have no room! ;)

  6. I love this idea! I have a fairly ridiculous number of cookbooks and they don’t get used nearly as often as such lovely books deserve. I will have to figure out exactly what I will do and will post on my blog as soon as I figure out a plan (in time for the August link up). Thanks for hosting this

  7. Sounds great! Especially the August part! Even better, I think my post will double as a Weekend Cooking post for BethFishReads!

  8. Bex

    I am so in! I have 50+ cookbooks which I don’t use anywhere near enough and I’ve been thinking of trying to find a challenge to motivate me for a while so this is perfect! I’ll blog about it later tonight when the kids are in bed :-) Thanks for hosting!

  9. Meg

    Love the idea of this! I received a beautiful collection of Julia Child’s cookbooks for a bridal shower gift (last August…), but I have yet to crack its spine. Don’t think I’ll have a hard time convincing Spence to join the fray, too. Great idea, Trish!

  10. Lisa

    I got rid of all my cookbooks except the ones from things like my family church. Done. Gone. Hello Pinterest.

  11. I love this idea and am looking forward to participating! Now, how do I decide which of my many, many cookbooks to choose? I have an embarrassing number and rarely use any of them, but can’t bring myself to part with them.

    • I have quite a large number of cookbooks as well (145 on the main bookcase where they live) and decided a random number to select one (as counted from the top right) to focus on each month was the way to go.

  12. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    I just put together a collection of recipes from friends and family to give to my daughter-in-law and son for a wedding gift. I secretly made copies of those. I’ve been trying them out since the wedding!

  13. I’m definitely in! I keep trying to motivate myself to use those cookbooks, but I guess the bookmarks all look so pretty sticking out of 30 of them… ok, not that many, but enough to wonder why I buy cookbooks at all if I’m not going to enjoy them! Thanks for more motivation and the possibility of really accomplishing it!