Usually the extent of my cooking around here is something like grilled cheese sandwiches or macaroni and cheese. Pretty gourmet, right? Otherwise, we seem to be in a rut of rotating through the same few meals over and over again until we just can't stand it anymore and get take-out.
That's not to say that I couldn't attempt to make something new - we do have a cookbook or two lying around somewhere. But, to be honest, they really only get pulled out when I can't remember how long to boil eggs when I want them hard-boiled or the amount of time that corn on the cob cooks before it gets overdone. I've just never been thrilled with any of the recipes that I came across and that they just didn't have that certain something to inspire me to get to work in the kitchen.
And then I was introduced to Gooseberry Patch and had the opportunity to try out their Keepsake Cookbook and I discovered that cooking can really be a lot of fun if you just know where to look.
The Gooseberry Patch Keepsake Cookbook gives off a down-home, welcoming feeling just from the cover and, after picking it up for the first time, made me eager to make my family a home-cooked meal. Started as a mail-order business in 1984, Gooseberry Patch co-founders Jo Ann Martin and Vickie Hutchins found a way to include their most treasured classic recipes into this must-have cookbook for every kitchen.
I immediately liked the 3-ring binder style of the Keepsake Cookbook because it not only is easy to flip through, but the pages can be rearranged to suite your preference and the whole thing lays flat when you put it down. The nine different sections are clearly labeled and the index in the back sorts the recipes by type for quick browsing. Or, use the menu suggestions for ideas for a complete meal created out of recipes that Gooseberry Patch has put together for you.
After flipping through mouthwatering page after mouthwatering page (I love cookbooks that include large, full-color photographs so you know what you're making) I knew I had found the recipe for my family when I came across the German Apple Pancake.
One of my husband's favorite dishes, I had never really considered making an apple pancake at home, so I knew that if this recipe ended up tasting as good as it looked that it would quickly become a family-favorite.
Gathering up my tools, ingredients and assistant, we got to work following the steps that were clearly laid out for us in the Keepsake Cookbook.
After popping this into the oven for 10 minutes, I flipped through the Keepsake Cookbook to admire more of the photographs and marvel over how many there were that I wanted to try. The addition of the banner headings on the top of each page that indicated the suggested use (e.g. make-ahead, kid-friendly, slow cooker, etc) made it easy to think of an upcoming time to make just about every one.
At the back of the this book I found that Gooseberry Patch included 50 blank pages so that you can add your own personal recipes right in. Truly giving meaning to the title Keepsake Cookbook, these pages are perfect for all of the treasured recipes that get passed down from generation to generation. Plus, with the 3 ring binder, they can be filed directly in with the existed pages so that finding each one is no problem later on.
Pulling my German Apple Pancake out of the oven, all that remained was the taste test for this cookbook to be accepted as a permanent part of our kitchen.
Success! Both of our daughters ate this up and my husband took one bite, chewed thoughtfully for a minute and said, "I like it. I could eat the whole thing," and went right back to munching. We'll definitely be seeing this, as well as many other Gooseberry Patch recipes, on our table again.
From standards like Easy Chicken Pot Pie and Red Velvet Cake to contemporary dishes such as Fiesta Beef Fajitas and Roasted Veggie Panini, the Gooseberry Patch Keepsake Cookbook is filled with time-tested home-cooking for every family. I love the idea of giving this at a shower, wedding, graduation, housewarming or for the holidays because it would be a gift that keeps on giving for years and years to come!
As for me, I'm having a hard time tearing my mind away from the dessert section...
(Other than the Gooseberry Patch Keepsake Cookbook that I was sent, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this book and its tasty recipes.)