I have Enchilada Burgers in the oven.

I love cookbooks. I have a lot of them. More than I can reasonably use, but I justify it by rarely using the same recipe twice, and by periodically donating the ones I’m not using (and have come to believe I will never use) to the sanctuary for one of their fund-raisers.

One thing I tend to do is stick with one cookbook for a while. Each author has their own style, their own go-to ingredients, and I find it’s all just a little easier when I’m hanging out with one author’s recipes for a while.

Lately it’s been The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet.

I started with this cookbook largely because I wasn’t a burger maker. In fact, I typically would avoid anything that required it to be formed into patties. This aversion came about after a few recipes that didn’t work out too well – I just didn’t trust my patty-making abilities.

So an entire cookbook dedicated to patties was a bit of a stretch. But it sounded *so* good! Who would have thought there could be so much variety in veggie burgers?! I’ve made things like 3 bean chilli bugers, coconut rum burgers, sweet potato chipotle burger, log cabin burger, noochy burger, curried split pea burger, and tonight it’s the enchilada burger.

There are so many more recipes I want to try! I will be with this cookbook for a while longer, I can tell. I mean, who could resist trying a ravioli burger or a pizza burger or ethiopian berbere burgers?

There are also recipes for buns and even a bagel recipe. Bread is another thing I have little confidence in, and bagels are something I’d never thought to try before.

All I can say is that everything turns out the way it is supposed to, and I’ve enjoyed everything and loved most of it.

Definitely a successful cookbook for me.

One thing I’ve found is that I really like cookbooks that are specialized like this. An entire cookbook just for cupcakes? Yes please! I liked that one so well that I also got the cookie cookbook and most recently the pie cookbook by the same authors who did the cupcake cookbook. Cupcakes were another thing I had never really made before getting Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. And pies? I made my first apple pie just a couple weeks ago – the first time as an adult making a pie crust. That sounds so weird when I say it – pie crust, how could I not have made a pie crust in the past 20 years?

I have a cookbook that is all waffles, and it reminds me of the burger cookbook in a way. I haven’t tried it yet, but there are dinner waffles and lunch waffles and your more typical breakfast waffles. It fascinates me! I mean, pizza waffles! A friend’s reaction was, essentially, that if she wanted pizza she’d just have pizza. heh. I can understand that, but…I’ll be trying the pizza waffles at some point, you can bet on it.

I hear rumors that there is a cookbook in the works that will be all sandwiches. I’m looking forward to that one too. I don’t think I’d have been as excited prior to getting my feet wet with the burger cookbook, but then I wasn’t much of a typical lunch person prior to the bike commuting. Even after I started the bike commuting, lunches were leftovers from dinners I’d made. That still works for me, no doubt, but burgers make great bring-with food when you’re bike commuting. Sandwiches likely will work really well too.

But you know what I want? A salad cookbook. Or, okay, not cookbook, but assembly book?

I need to eat more green leafies, it’s always something of a challenge for me, something I always feel I need to work on, and that’s partially why I’d love a recipe book dedicated to salads. Mine tend to be really basic. Greens, maybe a bell pepper, a tomato or cucumber, whatever I have. And dressing, which sometimes is just olive oil and balsamic vinegar splashed over everything.

It’s good, but I know that a recipe book dedicated to salads would be an eye-opener for me in the same way the cupcake and burger and pie cookbooks were. And yes, most regular cookbooks have salads in them, but there’s just something about those specialty cookbooks.

It sort of cracks me up to remember that I didn’t cook really at all until I went vegan. I’d gotten exactly one cookbook in my entire life up until then. I hadn’t really cooked anything even from that on my own, though my mom and I had fun doing some of the recipes. Recipes From the Vegetarian Goddess was the name of it. It’s since been re-released as something like Cooking Through The Seasons, and with a completely different cover. (I like my old version better.) I love the way she describes the recipes, very earth magick-y. I don’t use that cookbook much these days, but I still remember the day I bought that book, my first cookbook.

I was living in Arizona, in Tucson, finishing up my second BS degree – this one in computer science. I had gone up to Phoenix to visit an old college friend, and between hitting less traffic than expected and my friend having to work a few minutes late, I had about 30 minutes to kill. I did my typical – went to a nearby bookstore. I love bookstores.

I hadn’t been to that particular one before, so in wandering around getting oriented, I found myself in the cookbook section. That’s a section I beeline toward these days, but back then…it was the first time I’d ever actually looked at books in that section. I saw with pleasure that there was a whole section on vegetarian cookbooks, and the Vegetarian Goddess’ cover jumped out at me. Flipping through it, feeling foolish that I was in my mid-20s and still didn’t do more in the kitchen than boil noodles and use jarred sauce, I was captivated by the descriptions of the recipes.

Poor college student or no, I bought that book.

My mom couldn’t have been more surprised when I showed her! But she made sure we picked out a recipe and made it that very weekend. It quickly became a well-used book, and that’s when my interest in cooking, and in cookbooks, began.

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