I own a lot of cookbooks and it was not easy picking my favorite. So I picked eight favorite cookbooks! These are not the most popular cookbooks of all time. Rather, they are my favorites. I would love to know if any of these cookbooks are on your favorites list.
I am not going to admit how many cookbooks I have. Let’s just say that they are located in three different places and not just in my kitchen. I have used cookbooks my entire life. And today I am going to share some of my most prized possessions … my favorite cookbooks.
There has been a lot of talk that cookbooks are a thing of the past. If you think about it, every recipe you might ever want can be found on Pinterest and the internet. It’s easy to just search and find “recipe with chicken”. I am guilty of that.
I honestly think (and hope) cookbooks are here to stay. There are so many great cookbooks available and we should all be thinking about pulling them out and putting them to use! Wouldn’t it be fun if we all did this and then cooked and shared the recipes one day? Now that sounds like fun.
My cookbooks have a history with me and I still love to use them. I would guess that I cook, on average, five nights a week. I love my kitchen and I think cooking is a great way to be creative.
When I decided I wanted to name my favorites, I had no idea this would be so hard. (Maybe that’s why there are eight!) I do have to admit this was a bit of a nostalgic experience. And it took way longer than I expected once I started opening up and reading all of them!
My Favorite Cookbooks
These cookbooks are listed in no particular order.
There is no doubt in my mind that cookbooks published by Junior League organizations are the best. The Junior League of Pasadena published California Sizzles in 1992 and it was immediately a hit. My copy is so stained and worn that it truly is the most “used” cookbook I have. The Cornucopia Salad, Oriental Sesame Salad and Grilled Chicken in Herbed Balsamic Marinade were my go-to recipes for years. As I thumbed through the cookbook today, and it automatically opened to the pages of these three recipes.
San Francisco Ala Carte is another Junior League Cookbook. I think it was the first cookbook I ever owned. It’s hard to believe I carried this cookbook around my kitchen for years. It was published in 1979 which means my cookbook is 41 years old. Enchiladas Verde and the Chinese Chicken Salad are classic and wonderful recipes.
I have been a fan of Martha Stewart since I was 17 years old. Before she had a website or any online presence, I contributed (in my spare time) on “The Unofficial Martha Stewart website”. It was a place where anyone could write in and ask a question about anything having to do with Martha Stewart. Most of the questions were about things featured in her magazine and since I pretty much knew everything by heart it was an easy task. I read every single one of her magazines at least ten times.
I am a huge fan of all of Martha’s cookbooks. My favorite all-time book/cookbook is Entertaining. Entertaining was published in 1982 and Martha was so ahead of her time when she wrote this book. The ideas were unbelievable and I still use many of them today. I love the chapter titled “Christmas Presents and Decorations” and I have made her jellies and vinegars many times. I always thought I would make her gingerbread mansion. But that is still on my to-do list.
The Martha Stewart Cookbook is my “Joy of Cooking”. It’s my go-to book for any recipes or questions I may have about anything food-related.
Helene Henderson opened Malibu Farm Restaurant and it’s been incredibly successful. In her Malibu Farm Cookbook, published in 2014, “Helene invites you to honor the shoreline and mountains of Southern California with dishes like Ricotta and Pea Frittata, Butterfly Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish, Seared Fava Beans, and Grilled Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce. Helene captures the spirit of her own farm with recipes using the morning’s fresh eggs, the catch of the day, the luscious vegetables that grow all around, honey harvested steps from where it’s enjoyed, and olive oil straight from her grove.”
The “Saffron Israeli Couscous with Corn and Sugar Peas” recipe is amazing. Also, if you are ever in Los Angeles, this restaurant is a must-visit!
I love this description, “Joanna Gaines believes there’s no better way to celebrate family and friendship than through the art of togetherness, celebrating tradition, and sharing a great meal. Magnolia Table includes 125 classic recipes—from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to small plates, snacks, and desserts—presenting a modern selection of American classics and personal family favorites. Complemented by her love for her garden, these dishes also incorporate homegrown, seasonal produce at the peak of its flavor.”
Her second cookbook, Magnolia Table, Volume 2, is coming out next month and you can preorder it here.
Joanna is my inspiration and she is my hero. I really hope that I can meet her someday.I hope this happens so badly!
The description of this cookbook says “The most transformative cookbook of the century celebrates this milestone by showcasing the genius of chef/proprietor Thomas Keller himself. Keller is a wizard, a purist, a man obsessed with getting it right. And this, his first cookbook, is every bit as satisfying as a French Laundry meal itself: a series of small, impeccable, highly refined, intensely focused courses.”
I always thought dining at The French Laundry Restaurant would be an experience of a lifetime. And I am pleased to say that is was.
If you are wondering if I have made a lot of recipes from the cookbook, the answer is no, But this is the cookbook that pushes me. I need to make it a priority to get out of my comfort zone and try more recipes from this cookbook.
Chef Monique Chan, who has cooked a lot of fabulous desserts in my kitchen, worked at The French Laundry. That is amazing! My goal is to make the recipes that are first courses, fish and meat dishes featured in his cookbook.
Please feel free to make me accountable to this goal of mine. I would greatly appreciate it.
So what are your favorite cookbooks?
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