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Yesterday's photo prompt for the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge was "morning sun." I sort of forgot about it (shame!  Only 5 days in!) until I was taking a walk in the late morning.  It had been a rough start to the day with LP- he's very defiant these days and none of our discipline seems to work- and I desperately needed to get out of the house and get some "me" time in.  Paul took over and I headed out for a brisk walk in the chilly weather. 

A few minutes in I realized I hadn't taken my daily photo yet and quickly snapped this one with my phone:

That's the morning sun and a UFO apparently.  I was feeling a bit possessed and not myself so perhaps I was abducted by aliens?  Or perhaps my well-behaved child was abducted and replaced by a back-talking little stinker?


Today's prompt was "books."  LP and I have shelves and shelves of books all over the place - Paul isn't a big reader although he has a few with titles like "Wiring: Step by Step" and "Evidence and Procedures for Boundary Location."  I wouldn't be a big reader either if those were my options!  The bookcase in the office holds all of my fiction books (yes, they're organized alphabetically cause I'm anal), and there's another shelf over the desk that holds all of our DIY books- both the DIY around your house and the DIY ones about health and staying fertile and things like that.

In the living room we have a shelf full of pregnancy and raising children books and several shelves with all of my non-fiction books (organized alphabetically within themes).  There's also a toy wagon full of LP's books and another shelf of his books in his room.  This doesn't include my stack of sewing and craft books or the bookcase full of cookbooks in our dining room. 

Needless to say I had plenty of books to choose from.   I decided to go with the cookbooks as I think that you can tell a lot about a person (or a family) by what's on their cookbook shelf.

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How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman was given to me by a former colleague when I watered her plants for her while she was out of town.  It's a really great go-to cookbook when you need to know how to do something pretty basic like how long to roast a chicken or something. 

Giada's Family Dinners, by, who else, Giada de Laurentis, was given to us by my mother-in-law who is Giada-obsessed and a fabulous cook as well.  Everything in this book is delicious, easy and impressive for dinner parties!

The next two on the shelf are The Settlement Cookbook and The Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book.  These were published in 1976 and 1989 respectively and were given to me by my mother when I moved into my very first apartment. I don't use them very often but would never part with them. I remember them being on Mom's cookbook shelf and used quite a bit when we were younger.

Next up is The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.  If you haven't heard of the Pioneer Woman by now you must be living under a rock!  She's a blogger turned author of cookbooks and fiction, her story is going to be made into a movie, and she's on Food Network as well.  For a lot of bloggers she's a huge role model- and her food is fantastic as well!

Time for Dinner was sent to me by one of my best friends after I complained to her that LP was being so picky about foods.  It's full of quick and easy recipes that make kids AND adults happy and is a great addition to anyone's bookshelf.

The Great American Hot Dog Book was one I bought for Paul (but was really buying it for myself).  Part cookbook, part history of hot dogs, there are tons of yummy things in there and our goal is to try them all!

My mother-in-law gave us the Williams Sonoma Bread book and almost any time I want to make bread I pull that one out. 

The spiral-bound book next is one of those church classics- members submit recipes and they're all bound together into a book.  My mother gave me this one after the church I grew up in put it together.  I love this kind of cookbook as people tend to submit the recipes for foods that they're always asked to bring places or to make- all their best stuff.  And I love that when I open it I know a lot of the names inside....

The final two books on this bookshelf are Sublime Smoke and Smoke & Spice, both given to Paul.  If you're into smoking your food (and if you're not, you should be) these are two of the best books out there. 

So what does this bookshelf say about us?  I think it's pretty obvious that we love to cook and that we like to try new things.  It says that we love the classic and traditional recipes but also want to "kick things up a notch" (a phrase that I can no longer say without immediately thinking of Emeril).  It says that we're a family looking for great meals to please everyone but that we also want to make yummy food.  And it says that we're a bit nostalgic about our cooking and love to cook recipes that have been passed along to us from others or that remind us of events or people from our childhoods.

What do your cookbooks say about you?


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