Admittedly I’m not the most comfortable in the kitchen but with the help of two new (to me) cookbooks & some dandy accessories, I’m at least starting to feel mildly competent & have some fun.

Squeaky Gourmet is the first cookbook that I have truly loved. Don’t get me wrong, I can spend hours flipping through beautiful 20lb cookbooks, but never have I found one small cookbook so fitting to my most basic needs & skills. Let me warn you that there are NO pictures and this delighted me to no end – nothing to show how sad my food looked compared to professional photos. What I’ve enjoyed best about this little book is that I have most ingredients on hand for every recipe.  It’s all of 138 pages, contains great nutritional info, and as stated on the cover,  Simple – Clean – Food.

One of my other hesitations in the kitchen comes from the fact that you have to clean up afterwards. Elizabeth Yarnell’s Glorious One-Pot Meals removes all such concerns. Now there’s a lot of chopping involved but then you simply layer proteins, vegetables and sometimes rice /pasta in your Dutch Oven and walk away. Her book does contain lovely photos but when everything is tossed together mine looks just fine too. For a limited time, Elizabeth will personally inscribe a book to the recipient of your choice when purchased on her site.

Also check out these practical & fun kitchen gadgets:

Thanks to Lisa & Vann Knight who recommended these great cookbooks!