Cookbooks. My obsession. I read them like novels. I buy them, I carry them around, I gaze lovingly at the photos. I once carted a copy of “Deep Run Roots” in my airplane carry-on bag all the way to the Dominican Republic-and then proceeded to read it by the pool. And according to Amazon it weighs 6 pounds. SIX POUNDS! I cart bags of cookbooks to my cabin and back. I have multiple shelves, whole bookshelves, devoted to cookbooks. So I am just letting you know my addiction to cookbooks knows no bounds. (My husband just shakes his head and deeply sighs.)
And on that note, in this edition of Good Food Reads: Cookbooks, I thought I would share some of my current favorites (and trust me, it was NOT easy to choose. Not easy at all).
So without further ado:
Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from my Barn in the Mountains by Tieghan Gerard. My newest acquisition. The photos are breathtaking and almost every recipe sounds like something I would actually feed my family. And that my family would actually like. This is the one that I have had the least time with, so I’ll get back to you after I make a few recipes, but I won’t lie, I think this one is going to be a keeper. I loved it so much I bought Holly a copy for her birthday!
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day by The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen. I want to make every recipe in this book. I’ve already made a few of the recipes in this one and they are delicious and easy to follow. There is a wide range of Mediterranean food from dips to vegetables to meats. And it’s done by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, therefore you know it’s great.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper by Ree Drummond. I know that the Pioneer Woman can be polarizing, but I must say I am firmly on Team Ree. Anyone that has managed to take a blog to a multimillion dollar food empire has my mad respect. Not to mention the fact that her recipes are generally hearty, satisfying and tasty and I am a big fan of anything I can make ahead of time. Check out the Meatballs, the Baked Ziti and the Orange Chicken. You won’t be sorry.
100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned and 100 Easy Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love by Lisa Leake. This whole concept is so intriguing to me. Lisa and her family chose to ban processed foods from their diets for 100 days to see what would happen. And I mean BAN-not so much as a McDonald’s french fry crossed their lips for an entire 100 days. Spoiler alert: they kept going when the 100 days is over. When you think about it, our diets are chock full of processed foods, and this book gives you tons of ideas and recipes for clean eating. As someone with a checkered family history of medical problems, this is one I plan on using more. Lisa is also practical and gives great tips on how to accomplish this without
The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Holmolka. Again, needing to lighten up, this is the perfect resource. Gina has done all of the research and presents food that is good and good for you. She has taken the guess work out of healthy cooking. Her photos are amazing and the book is a lot of fun to read. The quinoa stuffed peppers are one of Holly’s favorites!
Oh She Glows: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon. So every couple months, I fancy I could become a vegan. Not just a vegetarian, but a vegan. Why my beef, cheese, seafood loving self thinks this is possible is beyond me. BUT, when I start this kick, this is the first book I go to. Angela understands that even vegans need comfort food. She weaves vegetables and grains into dishes that even the most meat loving person could find satisfying. Turns out cashews can be used to make a great cream and nutritional yeast makes an amazing nacho “cheese”.
The Food Lab: Better Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is my hero. He combines his love of science with his love of cooking and the result is this love letter to these obsessions. This book speaks to my nerdy science girl soul. Clear instructions, information about the what worked (and didn’t work) and great recipes. I won’t lie. I’ve been seen at a pool in Arizona reading this one, and it is not small. Or lightweight.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook by Deb Perelman. Deb Perelman is amazing. Period. Full stop. This woman has built a food empire from a tiny kitchen in NYC and somehow makes everyone else want this same tiny kitchen. Well, with more counter space maybe. Deb’s food is unpretentious and tasty and most importantly reliable. Her newest cookbook comes out next week, and I’m sure it will also make my next list of “favorite” cookbooks!
Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. Ina Garten in the grande dame of food. She is meticulous in her recipe testing so you know exactly what are you getting with these recipes. This cookbook combines the best of Ina with recipes that can be made ahead. Jackpot. If for no other reason, the recipe for Ina’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes is in this book, and this recipe has revolutionized my life.
That’s it for my current list. What cookbooks do you adore? Let us know in the comments!