I think cook books without photos of all dishes are a waste of paper. I will not attempt to cook a new dish based on an inanimate list of ingredients. Pictures bring the anticipated flavors and visual feast to life and I get inspired to cook, even using ingredients I don't know how to pronounce.
A colorful cook book is also great for breaking out of a meal rut or inspiration when meal ideas are drying up.
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I've recently started "big batch" cooking using modified recipes from a 30 day cooking book and recipes from my own healthy cookbooks. I spend one or two days cooking, freeze each meal with cooking instructions, and I'm set for two weeks at a time. It really helps eliminate those last-minute runs to the fast food place because dinner is already done!
Even though the book that inspired me is for once-a-month cooking, I only do once every two weeks. It fits my time schedule and budget better.
I try to make a meal plan for every week. I choose 1 cook book and sit down with my coupons and the grocery sale ad. This way I can make the most of our dollars, and plan the healthiest meals at the same time. I just mix up what's on sale with my coupons with the recipes. Easy and quick!
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