Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Cookbook versus Online Recipes......fave?


Good morning friends, come on in and sit with me a bit, I want to chat with you about cookbooks and recipes and all that yummy stuff.

One of the questions I am most asked, is about menu planning and the recipes I cook.  Though I've written a few blog posts about this very subject in the past, I am still asked to this day about it, and I don't mind one single bit because I do love everything to do with cooking.

If you want to read up on my menu planning and how I go about doing that, you can check out these posts:

I want to Menu Plan, but I don't know how
Today flew by and Menu Planning
Recipes and Grocery Lists

I have always mentioned menu planning and cookbooks throughout my blog, in some post or another, but those are the 3 that I can think off the top of my head, that are specifically related to this very subject.

If you've known me for a while then you know that I collect cookbooks and have this great affinity for them.  Matter of fact, I've had friends and blog readers mail me cookbooks over the years because they were getting rid of them and knew that they would be in good hands.  I do thank you for that, they are safely stashed in my huge collection of cookbooks.



So here comes the question.

 Cookbooks versus Online Recipes, which is my favorite?

I guess I'm an old fashioned kind of girl because no matter how technologically advanced we may be in this day and age, and I do have my very own food blog online too, nothing beats the feel of an actual cookbook in my hand.

I'm in no way dissing online recipes because I do use them too, but 99% of my food is either cooked from memory of meals prepared growing up, or they come from my trusty cookbooks.

I don't have all of them out, still have a few bags and boxes in the garage, because I just don't have the room for all of them.  My dream would be to one day own my own house, and have a huge library in the kitchen for all the cookbooks I have collected or been gifted over the years.  Now that would be something I would absolutely love.

So why do I prefer cookbooks?


Here are a couple reasons that personally make me prefer actual books to online.

1 - I don't always like having my laptop around when I'm cooking. Let me start by telling you that I'm not a messy cook, I clean up as I go and try very hard not to mess everywhere, especially with my laptop and camera nearby, but there are still times that accidents happen, and I don't much care for that.


2 - Old cookbooks have a tremendous meaning to me, I like to think that I'm connecting with these women from eras gone by, through the pages of the book. Not to say that I don't like new books, but the old ones are much more special to me. Flipping though the old and tattered pages, learning about the ways they used to cook, the ingredients they had at hand and what they made with them, is a history lesson in and of itself.

3 - I love collecting cookbooks from garage sales and thrift stores, they often come with scribbles in the corner, or highlighted recipes.


4 - There is nothing I love more than to menu plan, with a cup of coffee or tea and a stack of cookbooks next to me. It's exciting to read through these and try to find something that my family would enjoy.

5 - I love step by steps and books that show me the simple act of deboning and cleaning a chicken, or fish, or how to roll out pie dough. Yes I know that many online sources can do the same with photos, but I still will always pick an old cookbook over a picture on the internet.

6 - I like to read cookbooks like I would read a fiction book. Curling up on the couch with one in my hand is much more comfortable than dragging my laptop around, just saying.




Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike online sources, as I stated above, I myself have a food blog. But when looking for recipes, I still prefer to browse the books on my shelf than go to Google.

One of the things that make a cookbook for me, are the introductions and the stories that often come with the recipes. It's not just a recipe book, it's filled with information and teachings and pictures, it's almost like I'm going to school and learning a new subject through it's pages.


Then there's the smell of the pages. I've often said that even when it comes to an actual book and an ebook read on my Kindle, I still prefer the book, maybe it's because I have this habit of opening it up for the first time and sniffing the pages. Crazy? Maybe, but I love doing that.


There is also the fact that I love original recipes, and by original I mean that I like the recipe to be as close to the original as possible, and when I do try out a new one, I don't change anything unless I am really out of an ingredient and have to substitute. But for that reason alone, I make sure to buy everything I need for that specific recipe before I make it.

Online recipes are great, I have found some amazing ones out there, but one thing that has always bugged me is that they get linked from one site to another and another, and every time they get posted something has been changed. Whoever is posting the recipe has decided to adapt it to their liking, or changed up ingredients here and there, which to me no longer represents the actual recipe.

I once found a recipe I wanted to try, and as I often do, I track it back to it's original blog or website, just because I do know that it's often been changed.  This particular recipe, I kept tracking back and back as the links provided and it went from blog to blog to blog, and by the time I made it to the original site, the recipe was NOTHING like I had seen it posted.  So much had been changed and omitted and substituted that it ended up almost being a completely different meal.  

But anyway, this is just my personal opinion, obviously, and this in no way means that I don't myself experiment with changing something here or there, but I don't make a habit of it, I prefer to try it in it's original form.

Lastly, one of the reasons I prefer books to online is because in my own journey to simplify my life and to try and break away from everything that is so technical and cyber, I prefer to hold on to the simple things even if those things are in the form of a handed down cookbook.

Everything else in my life is ran by the internet, we depend so much on being online and the web and googling and texting and all that stuff, that I fear that we are losing our sense of individuality and personality.  It's almost like a big collective run by one mind named Internet.

If you've ever watched Star Trek, you know exactly who the Borg were, right?  If not, look it up and you'll understand what I'm saying.  LOL


So I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on this subject, do you prefer cookbooks or online recipes?


  1. I have three cookbooks on hand and a notebook of recipes given me by friends and that I found online.

  2. Yes to #6! I love to sit down with a cookbook just as I would with any good book. :)

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  4. I love cookbooks too!! I grab them at the library curl up in a cozy chair with a cup of coffee and leaf through them marking pages to copy then I put in a binder in sheet protector's... I have quite a few of my own, but not as many as you...when I go to estate sales and church rummage sales that is the first place I navigate too.....I do admit in a rush I have used my tablet for a quick reference...

  5. I only have one cookbook with chocolate recipes, gifted by my brother, and three or four booklets that a sugar brand used to send to customers (of course all recipes call for sugar) I usually prepare the same 'tried 'n' tested' meals, and if I want to try something new, Martha Stewart always has lots of good recipes at her site. I'm awful when it comes to follow instructions, I always substitute ingredients, or just use the original recipe as inspiration but then make it in my own way, so books aren't very useful for me. Also, my sister is a chef, so when I need something, I just text her and she always has the best recipes. I loved the see your collection photos, thanks for this great post, it's always a pleasure to read your blog. Have a nice Thursday!

  6. I love cookbooks! As I looked through your photos I was telling my husband how many we have the same! Shocking isn't it? {Smile} There is nothing like sitting down with a new-to-me cookbook from the thrift store. I often find myself wondering who used the book over time. What were her favorite recipes? I have a whole hutch full of cookbooks. Sometimes I think I should get rid of some of them. But I can never decide on which ones. My favorite ones are the ones put together by churches and communities across the country.

    I sent you an email a bit ago. Have a wonderful week!!

  7. I have a few cook books and can't say 100% if I like online or paper copies. I think a little bit of both perhaps. Pinterest has really inspired me to try quite a few new recipes and if my family loves them, I print them up and add them to our "Smith" family cookbook so they can be repeated and passed along. Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  8. You can always tell the most used recipes in an old cookbook by the ones with lots of food splatters on them. I also love getting cookbooks from my mom and seeing her handwritten notes along side them. Things like substitutions, comments like 'too salty',or just a note saying how much the recipe was liked, and sometimes which kids liked it. My favorite cookbook to just sit and read is the "Little House on the Prairie" one.

    Unfortunately, as much as I like old cookbooks, I don't find myself using them too much anymore. I usually just turn to google when I want to try a new recipe, and my bookmark folder of recipes I want to try is overflowing. Also, unlike you, when I look up a new recipe, I usually take ideas from several different variations and create my own. I usually take the base ratios from one, but then substitute different flavors, add ins, etc, to meet my tastes and ingredients on hand.

  9. I definitely prefer an actual in my hand cookbook. I have some that are old, mostly newer, some that I cook from, some that I never use and some that I read as if they were novels! I definitely prefer a book to the internet for a recipe! xx

  10. There are so many recipes online that it's overwhelming for me. There's nothing quite like a good book is there? I found a 1950s picture cookbook at a used book store and it's absolutely my favorite!


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