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What's your favorite cookbook? Please describe what type of cookbook it is (vegetarian? NT? Just desserts?) and tell us a little about it. Does it have beautiful pictures? No pictures, but every recipe is delicious? Is it easy and quick or complicated recipes that are well worth the time? Healthy cooking for every day eating or fat and sugar laden recipes that are just for special occasions?

I'll start, though mine is rather boring
I'm a very visual person and need pictures. I'm also easily confused by recipes
: so I need simple ones that are easy to read. So far the cookbook I reach for the most is Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It's in three ring binder form which lays down nicely when you are trying to follow a recipe (that's a really big plus for me ). The directions are very easy to follow (even the not so simple ones - they did a good job!) and there are a lot of pictures (not one for every recipe but enough to get the tastebuds going). It's also got conversion tables and subsitution ideas written on the insides of the covers, which is nice. The downside is that it's a general cookbook so you'll find healthy (IMO at least) recipes right next to some (delicious but not so healthy!) stuff that makes me think of my Grandma's (delicious but not so healthy!) cooking
But then, Grandma gave this to me so there you go
 

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I have lots of cookbooks but 2 that are my go to books. Neither has pictures.

1. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittmann better than the Joy of Cooking. Easy recipes. Explains things very well and gives variations on things so you can start improvising as well.

2. The New Making of a Cook by Madeline Kamman Done by technique. Amazing recipes, a good education, nice wine or beer or tea suggestions for recipes right by them. A great reference book even if you never cook anything from it.

Runners up would be -

The Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cookbook. You can actually hear them bickering while they explain things. It's wonderful. Good pictures and instructions. Great recipes.

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy maybe have this wrong. Beautiful cookbook. Hard to know if you should make the recipes or book a trip to Thailand while you read it. Wide range of recipes. Gives authentic recipes and American substitutes. Really wonderful.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan - So many wonderful things in this book. Worth it for her recipe of linguine alla vongole and tomato and butter sauce.

Dean and Deluca cookbook - I bought this on a whim and it's come in handy a number of times. Only place I've found recipe for goulash that was like what I had in Budapest. And a really amazing recipe for gumbo.

And Mario Batali cookbooks. I've gotten some great things from them but really I read him when I need to get excited about cooking again. He makes every recipe sound incredible and you can feel his enthusiasm. Barbara Kafka is like this too. I love her Roasting cookbook.
 

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More With Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre just because it tells you how to make such a wide variety of things from scratch. From soups to yogurts to cheese sauce to cooked greens, I can find out how to make pretty much anything in this one book. Nice spiral binding too.No pictures but it's not too gourmet so it's still easy.

I also have one called "light and lucious deserts" or something like that. I think it's published by Hershey. Also spiral bound, GREAT pics, easy recipes, lots of different kinds of deserts. A desert for every occasion!
 

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I have an old Betty Crocker thats an old standby.

Then if dh or I am craving something we search the internet for a recipe and print it out. They are stored in a 3 ring in a plastic sleeve.

Cookbooks are such a waste to me as it seems theres just a few recipe that catch our fancy and the rest never get used.

Our tatse bud are all over the place


I right now am craving mango chicken something spicy. Must find a recipe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
Cookbooks are such a waste to me as it seems theres just a few recipe that catch our fancy and the rest never get used.
I've been thinking along these lines lately which is why I'm looking for inspiration,
I just gave away a bunch of cookbooks I'd had for a decade and hadn't looked at in years! I still have about 10 cookbooks but the ones I've kept are either actually useful (the one I mentioned) or just have beautiful pictures that inspire me even if I don't actually use the recipes. I have a few Rose Elliot vegetarian books that are just dreamy to look through (even though I'm not a vegetarian and I haven't cooked any of her recipes since I had kids). A few are sentimental like the ones my Grandma gave me. I might not use all of those but they make me smile so they stay


The internet works great for me, I just never get around to the next part you mentioned - the part where you actually save and organize the recipes,
 

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These days my favorite is "Cooking From America's Small Farms" - mostly based around vegetables, but not vegetarian-exclusive. It helps me figure out what to do with the veggies from my CSA box.
I also love all the moosewood (vegetarian) cookbooks. I mostly use the original and the low fat cookbook. (Though, I tend to make the low fat recipies "high fat"
)
We're not vegetarian, but are veg-friendly and tend to have at least a few veg recipies each week.
 

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My absolute favourite is The Cook's Companion by Sephanie Alexander. It is really like a big reference book and is over 1000 pages long (no pictures!!)

The reason I love it is because it is ordered by ingredient rather than entree/main/dessert etc. So for example, if you feel like lentils you look up the lentil section and there will be great recipes, lists of what goes with lentils, quick tips for lentils etc, techniques etc. Really, I cant rave enough about this book!!

As a meal planner I find this invaluable because it helps me use up things in the pantry or things I have bought on special.

My other fave is The Greek Cook by Rena Salaman - simple, nutriticious, frugal traditional greek cooking.

Then I love all my vintage and retro cook books. Horses on Saddleback or Cheese Sputniks anyone??
 

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I'm with the pp who says they are a waste since most only use one or two from one book. I prefer to look recipes up on the internet. I keep ones I like in a three ring binder. I do have a crockpot book, a cholesterol-lowering book, and Dr. Weil's 8 weeks book. I am going to copy out the recipes from those that work for us to put in the 3 ring binder. That allows a lot of freedom to also put in pages on tips and technique, even just notes on recipes, things I've tried differently, etc.

I've also begun recently checking cookbooks out from the library. I liked 'the food you want to eat'. Didn't try anything out of it, but I'll check it out later for that.
 

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I'm a person who very often considers a good cookbook a novel as well. The world is in a cookbook. I love anecdoes, the history and the rapture. lol MFK Fisher comes to mind first. Then, I like Laurel's Kitchen, Miriam's Kitchen, and any other book that talks about where the author was when they first tasted something, or how beautiful the moonlight or sunrise on Santorini or inTuscany when they shared a meal.

It's simply not just about sauteeing 1 cup onions, or how many 1/2 tsp of salt a recipe calls for. I am a romantic. lol
 

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How to Cook Everything is the best. Simple, wholefoods recipes- it is pretty much the only cookbook I use. Mark Bittman is a great cook and a great cookbook writer, he makes everything seem attainable for the average home cook.
 

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The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook! I tell my girlfriends that I could live eating recipes only from this book. Every single one is great. I also love that it is mostly vegan or easily veganized. I hate cookbooks that use soy margarine and refined sugar and this cookbook doesn't!

Woohooo
 

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I know you asked for cookbooks, but I'm going to suggest a cooking magazine as well. I love Cooks Illustrated magazine. I try at least 3 recipes from every issue and 1 or 2 are usually so good they are long term "keepers" in my recipe file. They test recipes until they are the absolute best they can be. That said their books are great too: The America's test kitchen series, there are 5 books in all, contain recipes & photos from their PBS series.
This is just one of them
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...36184821&itm=4
They also review kitchen gadgets, appliances and food products.

Also love Jack Bishop's vegetarian books
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...60192211&itm=3
Vegetables Every Day
 

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"The Food Allergy Survival Guide." It has tons of recipes, I can eat each and every one of them, and every single one that I've tried so far has been DELICIOUS. Non-allergic people like the stuff I make from this book. Most people can't believe they are everything free when I tell them. All of the recipes are vegan, and free from the most common food allergens.

Before Liam, I got a lot of recipes off the net, especially allrecipes.com. I am only allergic to milk and eggs myself, so it was easier to find "just" vegan recipes. Now I have to find vegan recipes that are also nut, soy, and wheat free. SO I'm very thankfull for that book. And for the recipes at kidswithfoodallergies.org
 

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Another vote for Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. I'm not crazy about his bread-in-the-food-processor method, but I love everything else in that book. Great recipes with lots and lots of variations.

I have had our copy for several years and it was getting so beat up, that for Xmas last year, DH cut all of the pages out and put them each in a plastic sleeve and then a 3-ring binder so I don't totally wreck the book!
 
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