Thoughtful Spending: Libraries and cookbooks.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get really bored cooking the same old recipes. I look through magazines and surf the Internet for ideas, but sometimes an "old fashioned" book is just what I need to motivate me to cook. Of course, the book must have great pictures of any recipe I'm going to try!

Years ago, I decided to stop accumulating cookbooks and go to the library instead. I realized that I was only using two or three recipes out of each cookbook. This was really frustrating considering how heavy they were to move from home to home and how much shelf space they took up. Each move, I look through my cookbook collection and get rid of a few more books.

So now I have only my go-to favorites and my "too-sentimental to get rid of" cookbooks remaining. Occasionally, I buy a new cookbook (like the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients). I only buy them AFTER I've spent three weeks testing recipes out of the book when I've checked it out of my local library.

My library has two full shelves of cookbooks...probably totaling over 500 books. In addition to those on the shelves, I can search the catalog on the Internet and reserve any cookbook I want within the county, which is delivered to my branch for me to pick up as soon as it's convenient.

This saves me TONS of money! I get to find those three recipes I really like in the book, write them down in my recipe book, and return the book with no cost to me!

One of my family's favorite recipes I found at the library is this Black Bean Burger recipe from Betty Crocker. We love ours with sliced avocados on top! Our course, this recipe is a money saving one, too, since it doesn't use pastured or organic beef!

(I've copied the recipe from the link above)

1can (15 ounces) black beans with cumin and chili spices, undrained
1can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, undrained
1cup plain dry bread crumbs
1egg, beaten
1/4cup yellow cornmeal
2tablespoons vegetable oil
5hamburger buns, toasted
1tablespoon mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 1/4cups shredded lettuce
3tablespoons thick-and-chunky salsa
Print these coupons...
About Concordance™
1.Place beans in food processor or blender. Cover and process until slightly mashed; remove from food processor. Mix beans, chilies, bread crumbs and egg. Shape mixture into 5 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Coat each patty with cornmeal.
2.Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in oil 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until crisp and thoroughly cooked on both sides.
3.Spread bottom halves of buns with mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, patties, salsa and tops of buns.

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