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April 12, 2024

Cookbooks: A Culinary Journey

Category: Culinary

Author: Sarah Bohler, Arrow Culinary Director

For numerous chefs, there exists a pivotal cookbook that served as the catalyst for their culinary journey. This single book ignited an idea, unlocking a passion for cooking they may not have realized they possessed. Cookbooks transcend mere collections of recipes; they serve as windows into cultures, histories, and personal narratives. With each page turn, a new adventure, tradition, or innovative technique unfolds.

Every recipe and cookbook, whether passed down through generations or reimagined, enriches our culinary culture at The Town & Country Senior Living. Exploring culinary resources nurtures and evolves our love for food and cooking.

My small cookbook collection comprises only the tried-and-true books that have survived multiple moves. Culinary Fundamentals, the first cookbook I received in culinary arts school, holds a special place as my favorite. What I appreciate most about that cookbook is its explanation of the “why” behind various cooking styles, mother sauces, and techniques. It sets a quality standard for many fundamental aspects essential for chefs.

For a cookbook to capture my interest, it must fall into one of two categories. It either contains classic recipes that serve as absolute standards, or it ventures boldly against convention, challenging our expectations of the classics.

Golden and fluffy braided bread, a delightful treat for any occasion.

My grandmother passed down her recipes for chicken and dumplings and homemade Reese’s cups. I vividly recall making chicken and dumplings with her about 25 years ago when I was seven years old. While she prepared the soup, I tackled the dumplings. Our Reese’s cups, made in muffin tins, may have seemed comically large, but they were undoubtedly the best around! One of my favorite recipes that I’ve developed is gooey butter cake.

This recipe holds a special place among my favorite dishes.

Oreo Balls


  • 1 package Oreo cookies 
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese 
  • Semi-Sweet chocolate for melting and covering. 


  • Throw Oreos in a mixer. Add cream cheese, beat together for 3 minutes on medium speed until smooth in consistency. 
  • Using a melon baller, scoop the Oreo mixture and place on a tray. Using your hands, round them into tiny balls. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 
  • Melt chocolate in the microwave and pour into a Ziplock bag. Cut the corner of the bag and drizzle melted chocolate over the cold Oreo balls.  
  • Put back in the fridge to firm up for at least one hour. Can serve as is or drizzle with some melted white chocolate.
  • Yields 24 balls.  

Generational recipes or new culinary creations can spark nostalgia and inspire our cooking journey. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, we all have that one foolproof recipe. Don’t overlook the power of beloved cookbooks and their stories. Keep sharing and savoring the diverse flavors that await us.

Town and Country Senior Living in Town and Country, MO offers independent living plus, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. We are centrally located near St. Luke’s Hospital and Chesterfield Amphitheater. In addition, convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including the Ballwin Golf Course and Events Center, West Country Center, Lone Elk Park, Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, Myseum, and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant.

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