Thursday, April 14, 2011

Favorite Cookbooks

Do you have favorite cookbooks you turn to again and again? Here are some of the ones that help get me back in the kitchen.

Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten's show on the Food Network never fails to inspire me. Everything looks amazing and the most important part? Ina makes it look so easy and do-able. The cookbooks are all that and more. The recipes always work and the food tastes fantastic. But use your common sense; that Potato Fennel Gratin may be delicious, but all the heavy cream and cheese says 'special occasion' side dish to me. And I can't choose a favorite book - I love all 7 of them!

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun
Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family
Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home
Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips

Cook's Illustrated - Although primarily a magazine, the editors at Cook's also publish cookbooks and host a public television show called America's Test Kitchen. I love their reviews of kitchen equipment and food brands. Their niche is finding the best recipe and explaining how they got there. And thanks to all that testing, their recipes work. The majority of the recipes I cook (and bake) regularly come from the magazine as well as the cookbooks that I own.

Baking Illustrated
Cooking for Two 2009
The America's Test Kitchen 2002 Companion Cookbook

Jamie Oliver - If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you probably already know of my love for the incredible Mr. Oliver. His television shows never cease to inspire me to get in the kitchen (and more recently, see the world). And yet, I only have one of his cookbooks - crazy, I know. I might have to put Jamie's Italy on my wish list.

Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life

I'm also a big fan of Rick Bayless and have a bunch of his cookbooks. I tend to only cook from them in the warmer months (maybe because Mexico is warmer than Michigan 9 months out of the year?). If you're looking for one to start with, I definitely recommend checking out Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time"). The recipes are lighter and faster to prepare than the ones in his previous cookbooks...and now that spring is finally here, I think it might be time for me to pull it off the shelf again.

What are some cookbooks that you can't live without? That top picture only shows my current favs, plus a peek at my baking shelf. Here's the rest of them, minus a few that seem to be floating around the house.

(Disclosure: Almost all the cookbooks listed are Amazon Affiliates links which means if you check them out and decide to buy any of them, I receive a small percentage. The money goes toward helping me purchase an actual domain name, something I really need to get moving on. Just an fyi.)

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