I am sometimes asked about the kitchen/cooking things that I like and use so I developed a series of resource pages to have them all in one place. These pages will evolve as I find and use new things and discover additional things that have been helpful.
These are all cookbooks that I use on a regular basis and in many cases have had a great influence on my cooking tastes and style. I feel very comfortable recommending them to you if you’re looking for a new cookbook. Please keep in mind that many of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that if you buy from them, I get paid a small commission. I hope you find them helpful!
Joy of Cooking
– This is the kitchen bible! No kitchen should be without…..
In my kitchen, this cookbook has somewhat replaced the Joy of Cooking. There are plenty of ‘Basic’ recipes and many more with just a little more flair…think “Basic Plus!”. We regularly use the Classic Sugar Cookies recipe on page 535, Classic Oatmeal Cookies recipe on page 511, Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie on page 479, Buttermilk Kiss Biscuits on page 104 and Parmesan Risotto 101 on page 261
Ina Garten’s collection of cookbooks are not only eye-candy, but are filled with very do-able recipes with a elegant yet homey feel. Her ingredients are all recognizable and easily sourced.
The pages in this cookbook which show the most love are: page 130, Perfect Roast Chicken; page 190, Peach and Raspberry Crisp; and page 212 which holds Banana Crunch Muffins.
We love Company Pot Roast on page 117, but adapted it for our slow cooker and used homemade bouillon cubes. The Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork on page 126 and Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables on page 176 have graced our tables with their yummi-ness.
Her recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake on page 37, Tzatziki on page 114, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables on page 174 and Apple Crostata on page 176 are family favorites.
The recipes most used in this book are Parmesan Roasted Asparagus on page 46, Lasagna with Turkey Sausage on page 100***** and Roasted Winter Vegetables on page 110. I asterisked the Lasagna because it is just SOOO good.
I was gifted this book back in the 80’s, I’m sure by my mom, and while I’ve weeded out many of my cookbooks over the years, this one, along with it’s follow-up, will never leave my kitchen. I’m a visual gal and the photos are beautiful. But more than that, the recipes are fail-proof. Here are the ones we’ve made and loved over the years: French Herb Cheese, page 42; Mexican Caviar, page 43; Pesto Torta on page 49; White Chili on page 69; Chicken Taco Salad on page 91; Party Potatoes on page 157; Sugar Cookie Cutouts on page 196 and Seafood Primavera with Basil Cream on page 242.
More beautiful photos and well tested recipes are the basis of this ‘sequel’. Sesame Pasta Salad on page 110, “Bleuberry” Spinach Salad on page 115 and Raspberry Bars on page 281 on some of our favorites.
Canning and Preserving Books:
Here are some cookbooks that I refer to frequently when canning:
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
– to me, the equivalent of the kitchen bible, The Joy of Cooking. Even though I feel like I’ve memorized many of the recipes that I use frequently, I always open it as a reference. While canning is not difficult, you just can’t wing it (as is my typical modus operandii) and having the specifics in front of me is always helpful. Neither this book, nor the next one, are especially ‘pretty’, but they provide basic and practical canning guidance.
– The University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation is my go to online source for safe canning and preserving. Their cookbook, So Easy to Preserve is another staple in my library.
– Rachel Saunder’s book is beautiful and provides updated riffs on traditional jams, like her Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Rose Geranium. It’s a great book to pass time just looking through and for inspiring your next canning project.
– by Lianna Krissoff has a nice balance of traditional recipes (Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jelly) with some more contemporary and unusual recipes like Whole Jalapenos with Honey and Allspice or Indian Hot ‘Lime’ Pickle. The book also features recipes in which you can then use your preserves.
– Marisa McClellan’s blog Food in Jars, and her book of the same name, have provided me with endless ideas and guidance. She has always answered my canning questions timely and thoughtfully. I’m anxious to give her mustard recipes a try.