We are a mother, Janice Johnson, and daughter, Carissa Robertson, who love to cook, but get tired of exchanging recipes and flipping through books and files and magazines to find all our favorite recipes we like to cook. So during the Christmas holiday of 2007, as Carissa and I am sitting around watching her two little girls play, and we are comparing notes about how we have too many cookbooks that we only cook a few things from...Carissa says, "Then let's write a cookbook of all the recipes we both use." The first words out of my mouth are, "No way! Way too big of a project!"
A Cookbook is Concieved
But later, as I have time to ponder the idea, I think back to the year that Carissa got married...back 10 years ago. It became the standard procedure for the phone to ring at home base at 5 o’clock each evening; she was desperately seeking tips for how to string and cook fresh green beans, or how to take the innards out of a chicken without touching them, or some such dilemma. But not so many years later, it was me calling her, asking for the recipe for something wonderful she had cooked for me at her house. Carissa’s interest in cooking and baking actually intensified my own enthusiasm in the kitchen. We have both found it a creative outlet for serving and blessing our families and friends.
Carissa lives in Houston, Texas with her marathon-runner, hungry husband, Adam. They are the parents of two girly-girls, Lillian- 4 years old, and Evelyn- 2 years old. Both girls love to "cook" (which mostly means stirring anything that needs to be stirred) just as much as their mom does. They fight for the stool closest to the stove or counter where the action is. At 4 years, Lillian can crack an egg in a skillet and fry it up perfect better than most adults, and Evelyn is not far behind!
I, (Janice) live in Tyler, Texas with my sweet hubby, David, whom I have been happily cooking for now a good 37 years. Carissa is our good-natured middle child with a brother on either side. All 3 of our grown kids live in Houston and have given us a total of 6 grandkids so far, all under the age of 4 years of age!
So, back to the birth of the cookbook story: somehow during that Christmas holiday Carissa talked me into it, and two years later we have a cookbook. That two-year project was not as hard as we had thought it might be, while at the same time, the sheer time it took became quite a challenge for both of us. There were times Carissa and I both had a love/hate relationship with this cookbook!
Feeding our Family
But the partnership worked, because as it turns out (slightly unusual for a mother and daughter) we both share the same goals and values for feeding our family and it was fun to blend that passion into this cookbook. We have a mutual interest in healthy cooking, and revising beloved recipes to make them more nutritious. We also both love to dabble in the gourmet, or at least a fast and easy way to look gourmet! And another shared passion we have, is making things up in advance of mealtime. We are the freezer queens. A whole morning of cooking can suddenly disappear into our respective freezers! But being prepared is not just freezing for later use, we also like recipes where we can do much of the work in advance; even a few hours of being ahead of the game helps cooking be less stressful. So these ideas, in addition to each of our own personal tastes are reflected in our recipes.
Birth of a Cookbook
The cookbook that 2 years (and what felt like 5 years at the computer!) later became What We Cook, is just that: every recipe that we pull from a multitude of sources and change up to suit our preferences and cook again and again. These are the recipes we use and love, and know will turn out delicious every time. The recipes have been revised in our own words to be healthier, faster, and easier to cook.
So What's This Blog All About?
We used the self-publishing website, HeritageCookbook.com to publish our cookbook. It worked well for us because we could each work on the cookbook at the same time while living in two different cities. However, we were aware, even as we published the book (and in the exhausted state that we were in at that time) that it is not a perfect book. We had wanted to test every recipe before printing, but did not quite get them all done. We don't believe there are any major mistakes, but we did want a way to make the few small corrections that we are still finding. So that is why we set up this blog, as a way to do that. And we hope the dear ones that have our cookbook and are trying our recipes will let us know on this blog any corrections they find. And we love your comments!
Also, we want to add pictures of our recipes from our cookbook as we cook them, (something that was too expensive to do for the cookbook publication) and we will post those food pictures here. And we also want to put on the new recipes we are always trying out that we decide to add to our repertoire of what we cook. The accumulated information from this bog will help us to one day write an even better new cookbook to share!
And we can't forget our little recipe-divider-tab girls from our cookbook! Lillian and Evelyn are our cookbook models. So we will post pictures now and then of their cooking activities (and maybe some of their little cousins too!)...and hopefully have a collection of "Kids Cooking" ready for the next cookbook. So click The Girls tab now and then and see what is new!
Our Cookbook Blog
Our Cookbook ~ What We Cook, is a compilation of every recipe we (Janice and Carissa) cook - recipes from our cookbook collections, our recipe boxes, and our heads! We set up this blog for friends and family who have our cookbook to let them see pictures we post of the recipes in the book, and also for us to note any corrections, revisions, or additions to What We Cook. We encourage people who are cooking our recipes to let us know how the recipes turn out and any suggestions they might want to make.
In addition, we will be sharing some of our new recipes (along with pictures) that are not in our cookbook. We hope you will help us out and test recipes and give us your comments.