Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Real (?) Rice a Roni

A certain PHBF got me started listening to NPR during my commute (I know, right?). Honestly it's been the best thing ever - not only am I no longer annoyed by boring, commercial filled morning shows, which lead to me arriving at work all tense and irritated, but some days I actually learn something! Crazy.
One of the segments this morning seriously made me get all teary eyed. It was the story of where our dear San Francisco Treat (ding! ding!) came from. I had heard that it was based on an Armenian pilaf once upon a time, but this story was the deeper, real deal version of that.
It tells the story of the birth of Rice a Roni, but more importantly to me, the sweet old Armenian grandmother that gave birth to a first iteration of that recipe.
The Rice a Roni portion of the story goes kind of like this: the DeDemenico's -a young couple, she Canadian, he Italian-American - lived in a rented room in Pailadzo Captanian's home in the 40s. The new, young wife (only 18) was anything but a whiz in the kitchen, and spent much of her home time while hubby was working, in the kitchen with Ms. Captanian, who eventually taught her how to make an Armenian pilaf. Years later, Mrs. DeDemenico was still making this pilaf. Her husband, who worked at Golden-Grain with his brother, were chowing down one night when the brother said, "You know, this would be great in a box." Totally revolutionary since there were hardly any boxed side dishes on the market, and add to that the fact that almost no Americans were eating rice as part of their meals. Rice a Roni was born and now we all proudly sing the jingle, even if we hardly ever eat it.
The part of the story that touched me most was Ms. Captanian's memoirs - fleeing from the (unacknowledged) Armenian genocide in Turkey. She had to leave her two small boys behind (cue the water works), and flee on foot, pregnant with her third child. You're really better off just reading the story yourself really, so I'll stop. The point is - the idea of frying up some OG Armenian pilaf sounded like fun and they mentioned that they had a version of the recipe posted on their website. Grandma Cap passed it down to her daughter in law, who passed it on to her daughter in law, who gives it to us here. I can't wait to try it out and start making my own tweaks to it:

Grandma Cap's Pilaf

Rice Mixture:

  • 7/8 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/8 cup fideo capellini crushed into small pieces
  • ½ cube butter
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • ½ 4.5 oz jar sliced "Green Giant" mushrooms packed in water and drained. (mushrooms can be substituted with any other canned mushrooms.)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts


  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • 2 ½ chicken bouillon cubes
  • ½ tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • (The broth should taste somewhat salty before it is added to rice mixture)


Melt the butter over medium high flame in a medium sauce pan and add rice and fideo cappellini and stir constantly, cooking until it starts to turn golden.

Add chopped onion and cook until almost clear.

Add mushrooms and pine nuts.

Stir constantly over medium high flame, until the mixture is golden brown with dark flecks of fideo capellini.

Meanwhile, make broth by heating water to boiling and adding bouillon cubes, parsley flakes, salt and pepper (you can heat this in the microwave or on the stove)

Stir to dissolve the bouillon.

Add boiling broth to browned rice mixture, (note: broth /rice mixture should taste slightly salty), return to a bowl, stir once, and cover, then turn down the hat to a low simmer. Do not lift the cover for 35 minutes.

Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork; let rest until ready to serve.

P.S. Cover pan with a cloth to keep warm (If I am traveling with the rice over a period of several hours, I wrap the pan in several beach towels and it will stay nice and warm).

P.P.S To double the recipe: Use 7/8 cube butter; 4 7/8 cups water and 5 chicken bouillon cubes and cook rice for 37 minutes. (You can double all the other ingredients).

If you follow these directions exactly, you should have a perfect pilaf every time. But avoid the urge to peek at the cooking rice. Lifting the cover during cooking will affect the texture and fluffiness of the dish.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strawberry & Avocado Salad

Once upon a time, I won Iron Chef: Battle Avocado. You're correct in assuming it was not the HGTV or even actual Japanese version. Birds of a feather flock together, and several of my friends are also foodies that like to cook and kick ass (or eat). Enter the best of both worlds - Iron Chef competitions. Anyhoo, out of three, I've only won once (ONCE!), but it was the first one, so I wear my chef's hat proudly.
One of the dishes I made was this fab strawberry and avocado salad. I believe I was inspired by this recipe from All Recipes, but I cannot remember what I did to tweak it or put my own spin on things. I've looked over the recipe again, and quite honestly, it looks awesome as is. The only thing I may have done was to eyeball all of my measurements instead of following along and maybe throw in some cheese. Shocker, I know.

Strawberry and Avocado Salad
  • bag of spring mix salad
  • an avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped or sliced
  • 2 c or so of sliced strawberries (washed, hulled, etc.)
  • roasted or candied pecans - I'd caution against the candied version if you're making the dressing on the All Recipes site. Way too sweet. In fact I'd suggest you start with 1 tsp of sugar and add more to taste. I tend to stick with honey for sweetening my dressings.
  • blue cheese or goat cheese
  • dressing

It's really as easy as that. The amounts on everything are to your personal preference. If you like a lot of nuts, go for it, if you like more strawberries, be my guest. I went with about equal parts avo and berry and maybe 1/4 cup of nuts.
I really like Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing for salads like this (there is even a strawberry on the label!). That one would be great, but you could also pick up a prepared balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette.
* an aside - the Brianna's website says the Blush Wine Vin. would go well with wild game and man oh man, my tastebuds are thinkin' they're right. I'll have to try it.
If I was making my own I'd probably go with a nice sweet & tangy one, mixing honey mustard, aged balsamic (or a gourmet flavored version), olive oil, s & p and a little bit of honey.
Keep in mind that the more sweet things you add, the lighter the dressing should be. If you're using avos, strawberries, blue cheese and candied pecans, you wouldn't want a really thick powerful or overly sweet dressing. If you want to go with that kind of dressing, try to make the salad a bit more savory by using roasted nuts, and maybe feta instead of blue. And we all know goat cheese can go on anything.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So I was hanging out with Jamie Oliver this weekend - in my bed if you can believe it! (Yes, fine, he was on tv, I was in my bed, whatever spoilsport.)
The point is, Jamie was making carbonara, which is a pasta dish I've never made. As a kid, I didn't like peas believe it or not, so it never really called out to me. As an adult, I don't really like to be fat, so I avoided it still. But Jamie, as he does, made it look so damn easy and delicious, and fresh, and somehow healthy, that I had to give it a shot. My recipe, thrown together as most of my recipes are: one part actual recipe, one part, "I think this is what I remembered him doing. . . approximately," turned out really really well if someone's three helpings are any indication (don't look at me, I only had one).
Penne ala Carbonara - serves "2"

  • whole wheat penne pasta - enough for 2 people; feel free to ignore petulant comments about it being "so little" - it'll be plenty, even for three helpings it seems
  • 1 small yellow squash - Jamie said to, "Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and slice the courgettes at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne," so I did
  • 7-8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 stalks of broccolini
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 2 oz chopped pancetta
  • 2 egg yolks
  • parmesan cheese - a handful
  • olive oil
  • TJ's ff 1/2 & 1/2
  • red pepper flakes
  • s&p

Again, this is a TJ's meal. The prechopped pancetta is a godsend, and they almost always have my beloved broccolini, and well, everything else.

Get the pasta water going, salt it, cook it, etc. You know the drill - but it'd be perfect if the pasta was done right around the same time as the sauce. Be sure to reserve a bit of the cooking water in case your sauce needs thinning.
I tossed a small glug of olive oil into a pan and let it heat up, then added the pancetta. Once it was maybe half way "done" I threw in the garlic and kept chopping all the rest of my veggies, then threw them in as well. This I let cook until it was all just tender and took it off the heat.
If I was smart, I would've started the sauce as soon as I put the veggies in, but I forgot.
So if you try, you'll need to multitask - keeping an eye on the pasta, the veggies, and creating the sauce.
Get your yolks into a medium sized bowl and add a handful or so of the parmesan cheese and whisk. Get it all stuck in the whisk and realize you also need to add the 1/2 and 1/2. Do so, and whisk some more - you can also add olive oil if you like. I only seasoned with pepper since (Jamie and) I think there is plenty of salt in the pancetta and cheese, but that's up to you. I'd wait until the very end on that however. Get the sauce into the still hot (but off the heat) pan of veggies and stir constantly so the egg can cook. Because I waited, I put the heat back on low and stirred for a while to be sure the sauce was cooked through, and tossed in a little pinch of red pepper flakes, you know, all BAM! like.
If you have not taste tested at this point, and there is no royal taster to do so for you, grab a nibble and decide on seasoning and doneness. Drain the pasta, adding a bit of the cooking water to the sauce to thin if needed. Add the cooked pasta into the pan with the sauce and veggies and stir to coat.
If you're planning on leftovers, you may want to put them away first, before serving any hungry people. If you just did it for two, you're good to pig out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Spinach Salad

I yam what I yam, and while I do like yams, I don't really like spinach. Popeye I (y)am not. Wait, that's so untrue sometimes that I'm really reluctant to even say that. I don't LOVE spinach. How's that? I don't like the gritty feeling it leaves on my teeth sometimes, so I tend to avoid rather than deal.
However! I think I have found the secret to making spinach salads that I will knock you down and take your fork away for. Get ready to be shocked. . . .
the secret ingredient. . . .
goat cheese.

Okay, I know, I'll put goat cheese on anything that will hold still long enough for me to do so but it really does make life better. And when I say goat cheese mind you, I'm talking that soft, crumbly chevre (like the texture of this Purple Haze perhaps), and not the thousands of other variations of cheese that can be made from goat's milk. Silly right?
In any case, I've made two spinach salads that I have fallen in love with, and the other ingredients they've had in common are onions/shallots and red wine vinegar vinaigrette. And I like them kind of warm.
So here, two options; both make enough to serve 2, maybe 3 if you're feeling generous, which I rarely am.

Pancetta & Goat Cheese Spinach Salad
  • Diced pancetta - you know, about that amount that looks right. 2 oz? (TJ's is kind enough to make a little package of finely diced pancetta for my cooking needs, but you can get some from your butcher - 1/4" thick cuts, then dice them up yourself.)
  • 1 good sized shallot, finely diced
  • cherry tomatoes (I really like those little Sweet 100s for this) - a cup or so
  • 1 bag of ready to go baby spinach leaves
  • goat cheese - 2 oz? 4 oz? a pound? you decide
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • s&p

Dump your bag o'greens into a bowl and cover in goat cheese. No really, add more. Slice your wee tomatoes in half and dump them in too.
Heat up a skillet over medium, and add the pancetta. Once it's given up some of its fat, you're safe to add the shallot. Once the pancetta looks yummy, and onion is all soft and delish, you're good to go. I add the oil and vinegar directly to the pan and whisk to make my dressing. I don't think you need salt, but that's up to you - season to taste.
Pour this warm dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Battle to the death for last serving rights.

Sauteed Mushroom & Goat Cheese Spinach Salad
  • 1 good sized shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms (I used cremini, but anything would work I bet)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bag of ready to go baby spinach leaves
  • goat cheese - 2 oz? 4 oz? a pound? you decide
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • s&p

Put a dash of olive oil into a pan heating on medium. Add the shallots and garlic and sautee until the shallots start to look translucent. Add the mushrooms and sautee until cooked. Add s & p to taste.
Dump your bag o'greens into a bowl and cover in goat cheese. No really, add more.
Pour your mushrooms over the salad and use the warm, still covered in bits pan to make the dressing. There's still some oil in there, so you only need to add a little, then whisk in your vinegar.
Pour this over the salad and toss to coat. Battle to the death for last serving rights.

Blueberry Pancakes

Few things make me jump around excitedly in the morning. Blueberry pancakes (or Burberry pancakes if you're lucky enough) are one of those things. I was thrilled that the beanheads over at America's Test Kitchen put a link to a video for perfect blueberry pancakes in today's email. (Beanheads because if they send me ONE MORE of those damn cook books I might burn their offices down).
So, with full credit to them for coming up with the recipe, and full credit to me for scribbling it down and typing it into my blog. . . and you know me - this recipe will not even closely resemble the original when I'm done making it. Between whole wheat flour, skim milk, Splenda and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, I have no idea what these will be like once they're South Beached up. But as soon as I can try it, I'll be sure to let you know. Perhaps we'll do a side by side test comparison to see if they're tolerable in "diet" format. Those beanheads seem to be rubbing off on me.

Blueberry Pancakes
  • Frozen blueberries - Seems they prefer Wyman's frozen blueberries based on their rigorous testing procedures, so I'll trust them, but whichever frozen blues you have are fine I'm sure.
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 2 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp + of oil

Thaw, rinse and drain the berries on papertowels. Set aside.
Whisk the lemon juice into the milk and let sit to thicken.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Whisk egg and melted butter into the milk mixture.
Pour the liquid into the dry and whisk - be sure not to overmix! Leaving some clumps of unmixed flour is not only okay, it's preferable to ensure that your cakes don't get rubbery.

Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp of oil and try a small sacrificial pancake (1 heaping tbsp or so) to make sure the pan is ready.
Create cakes using heaping 1/4 c scoops of batter - the size of your pan will dictate how many you can fit, but you don't want them to touch. Once you see bubbles forming and it looks like the cake is firming up, sprinkle 1 tbsp of blueberries onto the cake. Flip when ready (approx 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, but it's more important to look for color and doneness than to rely on time alone, so keep an eye on them).

Serve with REAL Vermont maple syrup if you don't want to hear about it, or eat alone - given the butter and sugar in the batter, they don't actually need anything additional. Or so they say. Syrup I say!

Oh, and crispy bacon. Crispy bacon would be nice too. Or maybe turkey sausage - the patty kind because it's better. Yum!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Greenbeans a la Aylene

My stepmother is the Pied Piper of greenbeans. They line up outside our kitchen, cutting in line, hopping around eagerly hoping, praying, begging that she will dain them worthy of preparation. The best ones actually appear to be lining up outside her mother's house in the backyard (thanks Kay!), but I know they're hoping to make the trip to Aylene's kitchen too.
Seriously, I can eat an entire batch of these and I have yet to master making them exactly right.

She preps the beans, as you do (washing, cutting off ends, cutting into two inch pieces, etc.).
Then boils them until JUST tender and rinses.
A knob of butter into a pan until it starts to brown. In go the beans to be tossed in the butter and now doused in garlic powder (not garlic salt). And she must mean DOUSED. Toss and stir, stir and toss.
Take off the heat and add in lemon juice to taste - I'd say about a third of a cup for a big batch of beans.

I try it with olive oil too, but I think it really needs the butter. Maybe I'll do half and half to cut back on the butter a little. Or maybe I'll just do it like she does and stop wailing about how mine never turn out as good.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

That reminds me. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Another stupid easy dish, but people request that I make it at potlucks, so there you have it.

Clean and snap (you know that trick, right? If you believe the folks at America's Test Kitchen - that's totally unnecessary and a waste of plenty of good asparagus - they'll tell you just to cut an inch or so off the ends. The controversy rages on.) a bunch of asparagus or two, depending on how big a batch you're making.
Get enough prosciutto for each asparagus spear. You can use one large piece two spears (just tear it in half) but that's just wrong. More bacon!
I put my clean asparagus in a shallow baking dish and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic powder. I let it marinate in there for a little while as I do something else. Drink some wine, wash a dish, stare out the window, make whatever else I'm making to bring to the party. . . whatever.
Then I wrap a piece (or a half, if you must) of prosciutto around the asparagus - kind of like a barber pole; starting at one end and wrapping diagonally to the other.
I put these on a baking sheet and chuck into a 450 degree oven until the prosciutto looks brown and crispy and delicious, and Bob's your uncle.

Be prepared to fight off the hordes.

Asparagus Soup

Cribbed from South Beach recipes, this soup is so easy to make it's not even funny. I don't think they can even take full credit for it it's so easy.

2 pounds or so of asparagus
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 c chicken stock/broth - I tend to go with the low sodium kind so I can add my own salt later
s & p to taste
parmesan cheese for garnish

In a medium stockpot, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the veggies (asparagus, onion & garlic). Sautee being careful not to let the onion get brown, until it's soft - about 5 minutes or so.
Add the chicken stock/broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the asparagus is just tender.
Use an immersion blender (if you're lucky and happen to own one) or regular blender to puree the mix. I have to do two batches in my blender.
Pour it back into the pot, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (and a big hunk of warm, crusty sourdough if you're not on the South Beach diet).

If you'd like to turn this into cream of asparagus soup, I'd follow the same steps as above, but then I'd add maybe some unflavored Greek Yogurt & TJs fat free half and half to the mix (you know, til it looks right) and stir until blended.

If you want full flavor and full fat, start with butter rather than olive oil, and serve with a crispy BLT. I can't stop thinking how perfect bacon would be with this, probably given my penchant for prosciutto wrapped asparagus.
Here is a good cream of asparagus recipe from All Recipes.

Deep Fried Olives

The deep fried testicles portion of the Zombie-que (sorry Dad).
Because there is a chance my father may read this (sorry Dad) - I will forgo any salty ball jokes (sorry Dad), except to say that deep fried olives are indeed incredibly salty. Be ready.
Perhaps experimentation is in order; I'm sure there must be varieties that aren't as salty as others (ugh, those awful awful ones Q got from the Olive Pit are coming to mind - black and capable of sucking every drop of moisture from my mouth. Those things were awful.).
I just grabbed a jar of green olives with pimentos from TJs and used a toothpick to poke most of the pimentos out. Why you may ask? Well, to make room for the mozzarella cheese of course!
And that's pretty much it.

Drain the PITTED olives of your choice
Stuff with whatever you'd like - I used mozz (you can even keep the pimentos if you choose)
Toss in a flour mixture (I added garlic and chili powder), knock off any excess
Dunk in a mixture of beaten egg and dash of milk
Then dredge in an equal parts mix of bread crumbs and the best crispifying invention ever: Cornflake crumbs (or Panko)

Put a cup of veg/canola oil in a heavy pot and heat up. Q taught me a good trick for knowing when it's ready. Toss a little piece of bread in, and if it browns up fairly quickly, it's hot enough.

Fry those bad boys until they're nice and golden brown all over, then drain on paper towels. Serve to your friends with plenty of water and other, non salty food.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Zombies don't just eat brains you know. In fact, if they had the choice, I'm quite sure they'd also go for deep fried eyeballs. Q thinks so too and give that the dead eat people parts, and the living love anything deep fried, he's asked that I make arancini for his upcoming Zombie-que. BYOF (Bring Your Own Flesh) to this three corpse meal and all that good cheesy stuff. Speaking of cheese - arancini! I love these things; in fact I had my stepmother slave away making them for my 29 1/2th birthday party.
You can make these with any kind of risotto you like; here is one option from All Recipes.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups boiling chicken
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 ounces finely chopped ham
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
4 ounces mozzarella cheese,
cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil for deep

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onion is soft but not browned. Pour in the rice, and cook stirring for 2 minutes, then stir in the wine, and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add hot chicken stock to the rice 1/3 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid has evaporated before adding more.
2. When the chicken stock has all been added, and the liquid has evaporated, stir in the peas and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the risotto to a bowl, and allow to cool slightly.
3. Stir the beaten egg into the risotto. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and milk with a fork. For each ball, roll 2 tablespoons of the risotto into a ball. Press a piece of the mozzarella cheese into the center, and roll to enclose. Coat lightly with flour, dip into the milk mixture, then roll in bread crumbs to coat.
4. Heat oil for frying in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while the rest are frying.

Now, so far I've made the risotto. I made it last night and put it in the fridge to make the balls today. We'll see how that goes. . . I thought I should probably form the balls last night, and then freeze or refrigerate them, but there just wasn't any room. Besides, this dish was created as a way to use leftover risotto, I see no reason why I can't refrigerate the whole batch as leftovers and make the dish the next day. We shall see. I'm having visions of a cold, crumbly mess, which would not be good.

No cold crumbly mess in sight. This means you can even forgo the egg mixed into the risotto (which I did) and it'll still hold up just fine. I fried these bad boys up - golf ball to racquetball sized and they flew off the plate. The deep fried testicles (olives) not so much.
This is an ooey gooey mess, so be prepared for it, or watch Alton Brown and let him learn ya some battering tips. Start watching around 9:10 for the part I'm talking about.


Screw FaceBook - who cares what the kids are up to today?! It'll be at least another month before I cave and open and account, and I've been resisting for well over a year ( * pats self on back *). I caved immediately upon discovering TasteBook however. Wait - not true. I found it once, thought "Wow, what a great idea, I need to do this," and then promptly forgot the name. Food Network (bless its heart) reminded me the other day when I seriously thought I heard them say they had a new FaceBook application. "What is the world coming to?!" I moaned. "Is EVERYTHING going to have a FaceBook app?!" Then I realized the announcer said TASTEBook.
Never a fool twice (okay, rarely) I went straight to the site and signed up. I've already created four books, although none have any recipes yet. I'm just not sure where to start and haven't had the time to play with it any further than picking out the pretty pictures that will be the covers of these amazing books. There are so many recipes in the world! This could either take forever, as I slowly select only the best, tried and true recipes; or I could do it in a day - plunking in every recipe sitting in my kitchen, even though I haven't attempted most of them. I'm even doing a See Jen Eat one, so that once I'm famous on the interwebs I can sell them for a ridiculously high profit. I'm sure you'll all want one. I have one for entertaining, one for family recipes (I've got Big! Plans! for that one), and one for healthy eats.
The upside is you can put all your recipes in, label them, they get filed under their own little tabs et voila. Instant organization. The part that bothers the cheap bastard in me is having to pay for the recipes from their partner, Epicurious. I got a lot of recipes from there and their affiliated sites. And they're free. Now I need to pay 50 cents for the convenience of selecting them from a list to put into my book? I can save myself that 50 cents and copy and paste! I am totally admitting that my time is worth less than 50 cents. But really - that could add up. The books can have up to 100 recipes in them!
Other awesome points - the recipes are in a ringed binder that opens so you can take recipes out to read while cooking, take shopping, or add new recipes later as you think of them! I am seriously so excited. If you could see my "recipe collection" right now you'd understand. I have about thirty different systems, none of them working. In fact, the best cookbook I've ever gotten (and the one I use the most) is that old reliable picnic patterened BH&G one (thanks Dad!). I feel like this is the next best thing - still a reference, still easy to use, still a binder, but now it houses all my faves. There is even a notes section where I can suggest a wine pairing or maybe even a story about why this recipe is important to me. Love it.
A 25 recipe book is only $20, 50 recipe book is $30, and 100 recipe book is $34.95. If you opt to purchase one of the smaller books, it's 50 cents per recipe later - then they're printed out and delivered to you to pop into your book.
Now if only I could remember then name of the company that allows you to send all of your handwritten recipes and scraps of paper in and they compile a book for you that way.