It should come as no surprise that I am OBSESSED with cookbooks. I love developing recipes and over the years I’ve been inspired by so many great cooks! My collection of cookbooks have been well used over the years. So, I thought I would share my current favorites.
I love a good Pinterest recipe as much as the next gal, but my favorite way to find new recipes is thumbing through the pages of a cookbook. I have an entire cabinet dedicated to my growing collection but there are a few that have earned a special place in my foodie’s heart.
WHY USE COOKBOOKS?
I think cookbooks still matter. They might not always be necessary in the modern world with things like Pinterest and Google at our fingertips, but they matter. Just like food is more than food, a cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes. Cookbooks hold generations of secrets within their pages, tried and true tricks that have stood the test of time, and modern practices that teach us how to properly utilize that food processor that is neglected in the back of your kitchen cabinet or the chef’s knife that hangs out in your pantry waiting to be properly used.
So, why should you use cookbooks? Because they are a tested resource that will make you a better home cook. You can make notes in the margins of a book which will hopefully be handed down to your son and daughter and because no Pinterest article can become a loved family heirloom.
1. THE BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK
A classic, am I right? I grew up with my mom cooking loads of meals from this book, the same one that her mom cooked from. When I was in my early teens I found the same edition at Goodwill for $1. Now it is one of my faves. Sure, it has some funky recipes such as radish canapes and fondue bourguignonne but the treasures within the pages of this classic favorite make it well worth it. Some of my favorite recipes in this edition are the angel food cake, the deep dish apple pie, and the homemade eggnog (Yes…I have quite the sweet tooth).
As for the newer editions, I’ve glanced through copies at the bookstore but have never tested the recipes. I have noticed that some of the more popular recipes seem to be reprinted in more current editions and/or are updated to reflect more modern tastes. If you want the edition I have, I would keep your eye on eBay. OR you might want to check with your own grandma. Who knows! She might have a copy.
I actually have a friend who buys every new bride the newest edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook. I’ve always thought this was a great idea because the recipes are suitable for new and more advanced cooks. I also really appreciate that this book has instructions for basic skills such as blanching and cutting vegetables, searing meat, and much more!
2. INSTANT LOSS ON A BUDGET
Are you ready for me to do a complete 180? That is the beauty of cookbooks. There is a good fit for every type of cook. Although Betty Crocker is an old favorite, this new cookbook is my current go-to. Brittany Williams, the author of this fabulous book, has also published two other cookbooks. This one takes the cake for me because she really does give great advice on how you can cook real food on a budget. Her philosophy is JERF “Just Eat Real Food.” Lots of people have lost weight while following her recipes BUT what I MOST admire about this book is that it shows people that you can eat healthily and still stick to a budget. This book currently has permanent residence on my kitchen counter. I cook from it at least two times a week and always love the recipes.
So, what have I been cooking from Brittany’s cookbook? Below is a list of my favorite and here is where you can get yourself this wonderful book.
- Easy Steak Bites with Peppers
- Brunswick Stew
- Mama’s Bear-Bones Beef Stew
- Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
Pro-tip: Be forewarned, after reading Brittany’s list of kitchen essentials you will have you convinced that you must have an air fryer and Vitamix. Two months after buying her books I found myself with a $400 blender staring me down from my kitchen counter.
3. THE FLAVOR BIBLE | AN UNUSUAL COOKBOOK
This one is a bit unique because it doesn’t actually have any recipes. The Flavor Bible is an index of flavors that go well together. I especially find this book helpful when developing recipes. Over the years I’ve come to think of recipes as a guide. I think there is always an opportunity to add more flavor to a dish. Enter, the flavor bible. This book gives wonderful suggestions on what foods, spices, and herbs complement each other. The Flavor Bible allows you to be creative with ingredients that work well together