I am a journalist and mother of two young children who enjoys cooking and baking all kinds of food, from the very healthy to the not-so-healthy-at-all. I especially love vegetables, fruit, and desserts. The recipes here are generally easy, the result of successful experimenting at home, and perfect for beginner cooks or those who just want a good, reliable recipe.
I began to cook in high school when I was on Weight Watchers and used some of their recipes. In college I branched out with cooking and started pasting recipes into a three-ring binder, separating them by category. Though I haven’t done Weight Watchers for many years, it’s why I still put pasta and rice dishes into a “starches” category in my binder, rather than dividing them into sides and mains. That’s still how I consider those foods.
Eventually I collected so many recipes that I needed more than one binder. I now have three. The recipes on this blog come from those binders, hence the name “Melissa’s Cookbook.” I post recipes I’ve had for forever and new ones that are worthy of inclusion. I don’t post long stories with multiple pictures. My intent is only to share recipes so readers can enjoy them, so that’s all you’ll find — recipes, plus a bit of explanation or a line of history about them.
One of my three binders is for small dishes, including salads, appetizers, soups, breakfast items, and drinks — everything from smoothies to hot chocolate. Another is for main courses. That would be the starches, vegetables, then chicken, fish, turkey, and sausages. Lasagnas go in the starches section, casseroles go in their own section, and sandwiches are in their own “mixed” category.
Finally there are the desserts, and that binder is starting to overflow. (It may soon become two.) Along with the usual categories I have “Dessert Etc.” — things like frosting and garnishes — and “Other Desserts,” which are recipes that don’t fit in any category. Those would be things like candied pecans, peanut brittle, and ice cream.
I hope you enjoy reading these recipes and that you’ll end up making some of them. I would love to have feedback, so please let me know what you think.