Magazines and midpoint

I want to open with the weekend's most impressive and ambitious cooking project, Anna's "Mother's Day Pie." According to the chef, it involves cheese, eggs, chocolate chips, and animals, and takes five days to bake.

She's definitely my daughter. And a pretty good candidate for 16th century court life.

I realize that makes Cookbook #49: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens, 1996) look a little dull in comparison, but were we really expecting thrills from Magazine Week? I mean, post-demonfish, obviously. Magazines should be dependable and middle-of-the-road! I'm pretty sure demonfish were totally mainstream in 1979! At any rate, Better Homes and Gardens comes through with a very easy, entirely satisfying Mulligatawny Soup.

Also, including apples and raisins in a soup makes it an easier sell to 3-year-olds.

Provenance: ...was about to type "Mom" out of habit, but then I noticed that the bookmark in the middle is a ticket stub with the 2000-2001 UT basketball schedule on it. And it's marking a page with something called "Pizza Fish Fillets." So...I'm going to say I probably married into this particular book. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Future recipes on this blog: entirely possible.

Cookbook #50: Better Homes and Gardens Complete Book of Baking (Better Homes and Gardens, 1995). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none, but I've definitely used it in the past. Recipe: Peanut Butter-Struesel Coffee Cake.

Did you know you could put peanut butter in a coffee cake?

I feel like coffee cake is an under-appreciated category of baked good because it's not especially pretty or exciting, but have you had coffee cake lately? It's delicious! Even if it does sort of, uh, disappear when surrounded by a Regan brunch.

LOOK THERE IT IS. Over by the mimosa. In front of the cake.

Verdict: I feel like BH&G more or less know what they're doing. I also like the occasional sign of laziness, such as the phrase "Price higher in Canada" under the U.S. price on the inside flap. Do your own calculating, consumer! This isn't a math book.

Cookbook #51: Sunset Cookbook Cla--wait a second, 51? FIFTY-ONE! We're over the hump! And you know I packed most of the really high-quality stuff into the first half, so it's downhill from here in more than one sense!

Anyway, Sunset Cookbook Classics (Oxmoor House, 2000). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Purported number of cookbooks included in this volume: eight. Number I am counting it as: one. (One of the "cookbooks" is just appetizers and one is...cooking with a wok. Chapters, I say!) Recipe: Vermicelli with Vegetable Sauce. Terrible secret: I used capellini instead.

Imagine those noodles 0.3 mm thicker.
Verdict: good, easy, mushrooms not too noticeable. Decent start to the second half! Maybe I'll check out that wok section soon.

Ivy's having a very studious phase right now.

Mostly studying the trajectory of crayon to mouth.

Just a somber, somber girl.