Cookbook Favs

Book links will take you to Amazon; as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Under each cookbook I list the recipes that I tend to always fallback to, or have in my current rotation.

The Best Recipe – by the editors of COOK’s ILLUSTRATED magazine

If I had to pick one cookbook to take with me to a deserted island, The Best Recipe would be it; a must in every kitchen. The authors experiment with different preparations and ingredients for each dish, and describe the pros/cons of each before recommending what they think is THE BEST RECIPE.

purchased September 2002

Patrica Wells’ Trattoria

Trattoria is my go-to cookbook for Italian cooking. The penne with vodka cream sauce is one of our family’s all time favorites, and I make the the penne all-arrabbiata sauce to use as my pizza sauce as well as for the Scottish Eggs.

purchased August 2000

The Weekend Baker – Abigail Johnson Dodge

I have yet to make anything else from The Weekend Baker, but I have plenty of pages ear marked and plan to. I have gifted this cookbook to many friends over the years. The scones are really really good.

purchased April 2014

The Magnolia Bakery Handbook – Bobbie Lloyd, Chef Baking Officer
I owe my daughter and Instagram thanks for stumbling on The Magnolia Bakery Handbook. My daughter shared a post with me, I checked out the bakery and found that one of the things that they are most famous for is their banana pudding…which I love…and which many variations of it are IN this cookbook! I also LOVE pecan pie, and this recipe was very quick and easy and delicious.

purchased October 2020
Douglas Rodriguez’s Latin Flavors On The Grill
I bought this cookbook specifically for his recipe for Hortensia’s Chocolate Pound Cake. I love a really rich, moist, dense chocolate cake. I bought the book and then purchased a second autographed copy when he was a featured guest chef as part of Boston’s restaurant week. Here’s a link for it on Amazon.

purchased 2002

Simple To Spectacular – Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman

We were invited to a friends for dinner, she served the bananas recipe above and I ordered Simple to Spectacular the next day. I try to keep some of the craquelin on hand so that I can whip this dessert together at a moments noticed. You do need the bananas to be fairly ripe!

purchased September 2002

Beer-Can Chicken – Steven Raichlen

I honestly don’t remember how or why I ended up with a copy of Steven Raichlen’s Beer-Can Chicken: And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill. Once the rub is made, the rest is easy. The hens are delicious and make for a great company dinning experience.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – Ina Garten

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was the second Ina Garten cookbook I’ve ever purchased. I have since purchased it numerous times as part of a shower cookbook themed gift. The Perfect Roast Chicken has been part of our weekly rotation for years. My youngest askes for the Beef Bourguignon every year on her birthday.

purchased August 2000
Barefoot Contessa Parties! – Ina Garten

Barefoot Contessa Parties was my first Ina Garten cookbook purchase. I make the Chicken Chili all the time, and the Cranberry Fruit Conserve every Thanksgiving. The sautéed fresh corn is a weekly side during local corn season.

purchased August 2000
Barefoot Contessa Family Style – Ina Garten

I make the three veggie recipes listed above from Barefoot Contessa Family Style all the time. They have been in my “sides” rotation for as long as I can remember.

purchased August 2006
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics – Ina Garten

The Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash from Ina’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is like candy (and I don’t like squash).
Barefoot in Paris – Ina Garten
I make the Brussels Sprouts Lardons from Barefoot In Paris every Thanksgiving. They are a tad more work than just roasting them in the oven, but worth it. The potatoes couldn’t get any more simple and the family loves them.
Barefoot Contessa FOOLPROOF – Ina Garten

The chicken, steak, pasta, and jambalaya from Barefoot Contessa FOOLPROOF are all to die for dinners. The Jambalaya is perfect for fire-pits and/or Superbowl parties.

purchased February 2013
How Easy Is That? – Ina Garten

How Easy Is That? is one of my newer Ina Garten purchases. I’m batting 100% so far with the two receipes I’ve tried. Can’t wait to try more!
Hello Fresh Recipes – my favorites that I keep making 100% on my own

Hello Fresh is a subscription weekly meal delivery service where each week you pick from a collection of meals offered. I used them for over a year and only stopped because my husband and I were trying to eat Keto. The choices for root-veggie free meals were limited at the time, so we stopped.

For reference, here’s a link to DIY spice blends used by HelloFresh recipes

Milk Street Fast and Slow – Christopher Kimball

I bought an Instant Pot early December 2020, and after trying a number of recipes that I found online, I was thinking it was time to part ways. THAT was until a friend recommended this cookbook (thanks Jules!). So far everything has been mouth watering amazing and finger licking good; they all have passed the “would you serve to company” test with flying colors.

Milk Street’s Fast and Slow changed the way I look at the Instant Pot. If you are willing to do a reasonable amount of prep work, you will NOT be sorry; you will end up with an ethnic dish with tantalizing flavors that dance across your tongue.

purchased January 2021

Milk Street Cookish, Throw it Together – Christopher Kimball

I received a promotion for this cookbook after purchasing Fast and Slow, which I was having fun with and loving the outcome. What peaked my interest was that each recipe is limited to 6 ingredients (not including salt, pepper, oil and water), and the promise that prep and cook time was “quick and easy”. In my experience, too often recipes that promise to be quick, easy with 5 ingredients are boring and not worth eating. So… I went to Amazon and read reviews. 81% of customers give this book 5 stars. I liked the variety of ethnic recipes described and how one reviewer described the meals as “lazy posh“.

Milk Street’s Cookish offers simple recipes that are pretty quick start to finish. There is a max of seven ingredients, and if you are willing to track down non-standard spices and pastes, and do a reasonable amount of prep work, as with Fast and Slow, you will not be sorry. So far I have been able to find everything I need a local stores nearby; they are also on Amazon if you get in a pinch.

purchased January 2021
more coming soon…

Still making my way through all my cookbooks, notes and recipe files.

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