I have a few cookbooks that I simply could not do without. Two of them I have had since we were married in 1974. First is More With Less Cookbook and the other is the Uncle John's Original Bread Book. The covers are gone on both of these. They have been well used and well loved. Uncle John's has every bread recipe you would ever need including quick breads, raised breads, and specialty breads. Each one I've used has turned out successful and disappears quickly!

The More With Less Cookbook is a compilation of recipes from around the world by Mennonite and Brethren in Christ cooks. The book is filled with wonderful stories, quotes, and prayers that speak to the beauty of simple food and a simple way of life.

I have two more cookbooks that I find invaluable. The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian by Jeff Smith is the best Italian cookbook I've found. I use the fresh pasta recipe from this book exclusively. It is a never fail recipe.
The last cookbook is actually my all-time favorite for many reasons and my newest discovery. Simply In Season is one cookbook I think everyone should have! It's published by the Mennonite Central Committee...the same as More With Less. The difference in this book is that the pages are color coded, seperating the recipes into seasons. If you are wanting to eat seasonally, this is the book for you! It uses down-to-earth ingredients and it a no nonsense guide to good home cooking using foods that are in season.

Like the More With Less cookbook, this book is filled with fun and intersting stories and quotes that make reading it very entertaining! One reviewer says-"An essential kitchen companion for all of us who love to get our food from our own backyard, local CSA or farmers market-and always need new ideas. This is a book I will turn to over and over again. They've put the reipces in the most organized, easy-to-use cookbook I've seen."

That review alone would make me want to go out and buy this book!!

Following are 4 recipes. One from each of these cookbooks. I hope you find something you might like to try!

Six-Layer Dish
From More With Less Cookbook

Serves 4
Layer in order in 2 qt. greased casserole. Season each layer with S&P
2 medium potatoes, sliced
2medium carrots, sliced
1/2 c. uncooked rice
2 small onions, sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1 qt. canned tomatoes
Sprinkle over: 1 Tbs. brown sugar
Bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Options: For a vegetarian option, leave out ground beef and add a can of drained kidney beans
I cut back the ground beef amount by half
Use brown OR white rice...your choice

Ginger Dressing
For Spring Greens Salad
From Simply In Season Cookcook

6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Dijon musttard
2-3 clovers garlic minced
2-3 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
S&P to taste
Combine in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well.
Especially good with greens, green onions, raisin, nuts, and chopped spring apples

Gorgonzola Sauce
2 1/2 cups - a rich sauce to serve on your favorite pasta
From the Frugal Gourmet cookbook
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1/2 pound Gorgonzola, crumbled
Heat butter in saucepan. Add flour and cook together to form a roux. Do not brown! Add the milk and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly until thick. Add Gorgonzola and stir to incorporate but still a bit lumpy.

Backyard Onion Pot Brot(cassserole bread)
From Uncle John's Bread cookbook
(I mix this recipe in my Kitchen Aide stand mixer with paddle-
you can use a large bowl and mix by hand mixer)
2 pkg. dry yeast (I use quick rise) dissolved in 2 c. warm water
Mix in:
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. melted butter, or oil (I use olive oil)
1 diced onion( or1 pkg. dry onion soup)
6 c. flour
You can mix the ingredients with a hand mixer gradually adding in flour
When thoroughly mixed, cover bowl with towel and let rise until doubled. The dough will be
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 2 quart casserole. Beat batter for 30 seconds, then spoon into casserole. Bake for 1 hour, until "bread-brown".

You really must try this recipe. I've made it a zillion times! It's so delicious with soups or a salad. Use your favorite onion. I have a stoneware bowl that I cook it in. If you have stoneware, use it! It gives a nice crunchy, brown crust!


  1. 2/4 cookbooks are mennonite. i think this says something .... ;)

  2. So true! Have you ever been to a potluck that was as good as the ones they do??