As a child, I started collecting recipes. I would store them in a pink plastic index box, carefully cutting out recipes from the Sunday paper and using my school stapler to secure them to index cards for filing. While I didn't grow up in a home where much cooking happened, I gravitated to those weekly recipe-collecting sessions at my mom's Formica kitchen table.
In my 20's I self-taught how to cook & bake almost entirely from scratch. For a long season, I made nearly everything in the most labor-intensive way. Whether it was cheese or bacon, sourdough, or marshmallows, it was a DIY process.
Many of the recipes below are from my early-day's blog, The Art of Homemaking started back in 2006. I have either developed these over the years or have found them in a cookbook and they have been in continual rotation in my family's kitchen. In that case, I have labeled each as such, for reference if you'd like to add the cookbook to your own collection.