Skip to content

Favorite Cookbooks

This morning I saw Chef Mimi’s post on her favorite cookbooks, and I thought wow, what are my favorites. I have hundreds of cookbooks but what are the books I use all the time and go back to constantly. It’s tough to narrow them down but here are my favorites, what are yours? You can see I like to bake, the majority are all baking books. I tend to wing it on savory recipes for the most part. This is a lot of fun and feel free to join in and blog about your most used cookbooks.

Baking with Julia

Baking with Julia

I use this book so often I have a second book I bought for when this copy becomes unusable due to overuse. It contains some of Julia’s greatest recipes for baked goods and it’s written by the great Dorie Greenspan.

Julia's Kitchen Wisdom

Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

I love this book it contains Julia’s master recipes for both savory and sweet items. From stock to mayonaise to pie dough. I couldn’t live without it.

Food52 Volume II

Food52 Volume II

This book is fantastic, it contains some of the best recipes from the food52 community and is a book I use all the time.

Baking in America

Baking in America

Greg Patents wonderful book is an historical guide to baking, this book contains recipes new and old and is easy to follow, impeccably written and the recipes are foolproof.

Mini Treats And Hand Held Sweets

Mini Treats And Hand Held Sweets

This is one of my new favorite books, the recipes are amazing, Abby Dodge is a goddess in the kitchen and who doesn’t love bite size treats.

James McNair's Cakes

James McNair’s Cakes

I use this book all the time. It has some of the best recipes in it, this book is amazing, My favorites are Mr. McNair’s angel food cake, chiffon cake, whipped cream icing, upside down cake I could go on and on, I love this book.

53 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love learning others’ favorite cookbooks! What a hard list to compile, though. So much depends on mood, season, old favorites, new discoveries… Baking with Julia is a true classic, and of course I love Food52’s! Others that come to mind for me are The Book of Jewish Food, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, New Basics Cookbook, Home Cooking, Japanese Farm Food and Super Natural Every Day. Of course, I could go on, but I’ll stop there. What a fun topic!

    April 12, 2013
    • It is isn’t it??? After I posted this I thought of about 10 other books that I use all the time, I ordered The book of Jewish food it should arrive shortly, your recipes inspired me. But there are so many others, The Tartine Bakery Cookbook is another one I love you are so right, I could go on and on!!

      April 12, 2013
      • Oh, you’ll appreciate The Book of Jewish Food – Claudia Roden is a gem. I read it cover to cover like a novel and have been cooking from it for years. The Sepharadic recipes are particularly marvelous. Let me know what you make! πŸ™‚

        April 12, 2013
      • Oh I will, I am particularly drawn to Middle Eastern cooking and look forward to trying the recipes. Your featured recipes were wonderul.

        April 12, 2013
  2. Great list of favorites!! I also love Julia Child!! And I’m really intrigued by The Food 52 Cookbook!
    Kenley

    April 12, 2013
    • Thanks Kenley, yes Julia’s books I own many are classics and you can’t go wrong with recipes from any one of them, I tried to list books I use on an almost every day basis but there are so many I can’t possibly list all of them.

      April 12, 2013
  3. My staple is Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (the British equivalent of Julia Child I think). Other than that I use books by Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater. For food with a healthy slant I use Nourishing Traditions and Honestly Healthy and for Indian food Reza’s Indian Spice and Indian Superfood. i could go on (I have an embarrassing amount of cookbooks πŸ™‚ )

    April 12, 2013
    • Oh I have to check out Delia Smith’s book. I have heard of her but have never seen one of her books and I love Nigela and Jamie Oliver too! I have Madhur Jeffries Indian cook books and love those also. I love hearing about the books others use it’s so inspiring,

      April 12, 2013
  4. Wow! You’re fast! Great cookbooks!

    April 12, 2013
    • I thought it would be hard but I went immediately to the books I use all the time, there are a bunch more but the books in this post are used so frequently they are all in the same place on my shelf.

      April 12, 2013
  5. I have a cook book shelf in my kitchen and some of them are my tried and true classics. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

    April 12, 2013
    • I have a shelf with all the books I use all the time so they are always there within reach also, A good cookbook is essential and tried and true recipes are like gold!!

      April 12, 2013
  6. foxeslovelemons #

    I love this post! I think my most used is Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. Say what you will about Martha’s personal/business decisions…the woman knows how to cook. It was my cooking school….before I went to cooking school πŸ™‚ I constantly refer to it for the basics that I just can’t seem to remember – the best way to cook rice, basic pie crust, and pate a choux. It also contains one of my favorite recipes EVER – sauteed zucchini and corn (also has leeks, butter, basil and lime juice in it):

    https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/109290926301808143152/albums/5337312648979840753/5361802635561888594

    April 12, 2013
    • I couldn’t agree more, I didn’t mention Martha but have all her cookbooks and use her Cookbook on American food all the time, as well as her Baking basics. She is genius and that recipe for the zucchini, corn etc sounds amazing, I am going to be making that this summer, Can’t wait for the good veggies to hit the farmers market.

      April 12, 2013
  7. I guess my most used cookbook would be the Joys of Cooking. I have a couple of other books from each of my Grandmas and they are from their churches. I have lots of magazines clippings (that need to be organized) and have lots of pins on Pinterest! Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

    April 12, 2013
    • Oh yes The Joy Of Cooking is fantastic and I LOVE church cookbooks, I too have a huge folder of clippings that I have been meaning to organize for the last few years, ugh!! You have a great weekend too!

      April 12, 2013
  8. I’m a cookbook addict too. My favourites might be a series from Williams Sonoma called Mastering. Each book touches on a different subject (Dessert, Soups, Beef and Veal, etc…)

    April 12, 2013
    • Yes Williams Sonoma has some terrific cookbooks, I have soups, appetizers and one other and I love them!!

      April 12, 2013
  9. My favorites constantly change, so it’s hard for me to narrow it down! I love seeing your list – it explains why you’re such a great baker!!

    April 12, 2013
    • There are certain cook books that never change for me, but I have others that are in rotation plus new ones I get. The Julia Child, James McNair books have been using constantly for many years, Thanks so much, I love to bake!

      April 12, 2013
  10. I do not have a favorite cook book. Every time, I get my inspiration from something different. To be honest with you, I have never bought a cook book in my whole life. People keep giving me cook books, tough…and I keep wondering why. πŸ˜‰

    April 12, 2013
    • Thats really amazing Francesca, well your recipes certainly are inspired, it’s funny that people give you cookbooks and I am sure you don’t even use them. Sometimes we pull our inspiration from family and their trusted recipes, from our surroundings, what we see at the market. I am sure so many great cooks do that. For savory dishes thats a wonderful way to put a recipe together for baking which is more of an exact science you have rely on a recipe, a basic one. I love cookbooks for basic recipes then like to twist and turn and add my own touches.

      April 13, 2013
  11. That’s such a great idea, to post all your favorite recipe books! I have certain favorites too: Mrs. Beeton’s, an old Lofty Peak flour cookbook my mother had in Scotland, Good Housekeeping’s Illustrated Book of Desserts and Reader’s Digest (UK) Your Cookery Questions Answered. I also have a Delia Smith book I love, however I would not equate her to Julia Child, but more like a UK Martha Stewart. Funny how I don’t use Italian cookbooks too often as Italians just “wing it” πŸ˜‰

    April 12, 2013
    • Mrs. Beeton, I have never heard that is another one I must find and you are the second to mention Delia Smith another cookbook I should seek out, You are so right about winging it, I never use a recipe for my Italian food and writing one down is difficult.

      April 13, 2013
  12. The cookbook I go to most is my Binder Bible . . . a 3-ring binder stuffed with recipes I have tried (and like) over the last 20 years. I also have a box of old 3×5 recipe cards from my mom and grandma . . . in their handwriting. Those, I especially treasure. No one writes recipes in long-hand anymore! Salud!!

    April 13, 2013
    • I also have a very disorganized folder (one day it will go in a binder) of recipes, 90% I rarely use but I keep them anyway, I also have recipes on 3×5 cards from my Mom those are my most treasured possession, Thanks so much.

      April 13, 2013
  13. Great post. I want to try Mini Treats. I’ve bought the two Julia books you recommended as gifts for my sister but I don’t have copies. Must treat myself to them.

    April 13, 2013
    • Thank you, yes both of the books by Julia like cooking/baking bibles and so well used and Mini treats is just wonderful.

      April 13, 2013
  14. Love the idea of this post !!!! The Baking America book seems to be really cool and I need one. I will search it when I’ll be in NYC !!! I also love the mini treats book ! You Americans know how to make good food book that makes you hungry !!
    Well Suzanne this post was really cool and I enjoyed every sentences I read ! It’s so interested and so cool to know much about you every day !

    April 13, 2013
    • Why thank you, I love my cook books especially my baking books. They are a wonderful platform for creative idea’s. I would bake every day if I had someone besides me to eat it. There are so many wonderful cookbooks and the French are an inspiration to so many wonderful cooks/chefs look at Julia, her inspiration came from living in Paris which cultivated her love of cooking.

      April 13, 2013
  15. I must check some of these out!

    April 13, 2013
    • There are some great recipes tucked away in between the covers, enjoy and thank you.

      April 13, 2013
  16. Great cookbook list!

    April 13, 2013
  17. What an interesting topic and a great read! Off to check Chef Mimi’s choices – curious to see what made her list. (I’m not much of a baker but would love to make a cake just to try that whipped cream icing you mention – sounds really good.)

    April 13, 2013
  18. Suzanne, I am envious of your and Mimi’s cookbook collections. I do not own a bookcase full, but have a few I bought over time. Some of my favorites are:
    – 400-page, couple-of-thousand-recipe Japanese cookbook with photos of every recipe, which also has how-tos & tips, I bought in 1981.
    – 440 page Persian cuisine cookbook with cultural stories.
    – Williams Sonoma series.
    Whenever I hear about cookbook collections, I recall a photo I saw of actress Linda Evans’ huge kitchen completely walled with shelves of her cookbook collection.

    April 13, 2013
    • Honestly, 95% of the cookbooks I own are never or rarely used. I would rather have fewer but I cannot help myself I love buying cookbooks, please take photo’s of your Japanese and Persian cookbooks and post, I have a Persian cookbook but honestly it’s not very good and I have to rely on my memory and wonderful recipes from you and Azita when I cook.

      April 14, 2013
  19. There are no right or wrong cookbooks – just the ones you love!

    April 13, 2013
    • Absolutely, I love my well worn books even more, the spatters and tears and crinkled pages are proof of lots of good use.

      April 14, 2013
  20. All of them sound wonderful and are bread cook books to cook along with. hm…and I don’t have any of them. Guess I have to do some shopping right after! πŸ˜‰

    April 14, 2013
    • Baking with Julia has some wonderful bread recipes. Although there are many great books on bread. I always love shopping for cookbooks!!

      April 14, 2013
  21. Great idea for a post! I think I might post my favourite cookbooks too. it is a great way to introduce people what might be something new and different. Thanks for posting. Will include a link to your site when I post my favs so people get a double dose πŸ˜‰

    April 15, 2013
    • Oh yes, please I would love to see your favorites! Thank you so much.

      April 15, 2013
  22. I’m so behind on my post reading….this is a great post Suzanne! I look at the sweet treats cookbook ALL the time and still need to find what I want to make from it. I’m always looking at it because I love looking at the photos and drooling. I have to admit I haven’t used a recipe from a cookbook in a long time. I did it a lot growing up though! None of my books are vegan, lol!

    April 16, 2013
    • I’m behind too, life is busy!! Thank you I do love my cookbooks it’s so funny I have hundreds and only use a select few all the time. Thanks again and love your lemon sherbet!!

      April 16, 2013
  23. Thanks for recommending the cookbooks that you love! I have tons of cookbooks as well, but I’ve been mostly relying on the internet for meal ideas these days as I can search for them on the go while on my way to work… maybe it’s time for me to revisit my cookbooks! πŸ™‚

    April 18, 2013
    • Thanks Jasline, I also rely on the internet for a lot of recipes but still love my all time tried and true favorites in print there is something about seeing a recipe in print with the wrinkled pages smudged with food that is comforting. Weird I know!

      April 18, 2013
  24. Bevi #

    Over the years different books have been favorites. When my kids were little I cooked from Jane’s Brody’s Good Foods Cookbook, and The Silver Palate. The Vegetarian Epicure volumes were books that introduced me to vegetarian dishes. Julia Child and Jacques Pepin wrote several books I loved to use. I just finished extensive use of Simple Soirees, by Peggy Knickerbocker. I would like to get into the Canal House books next. Their food is so simple yet good. For bread and baking, I have been using the food52 site.

    April 18, 2013
    • I love this, the silver palate is terrific I have hear of Jane Brody’s but don’t own it and I should. I have of the Julia and Jacques books. I also am looking forward to Canal House. This is great I love finding out about books I have never used. Thank you!

      April 18, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Favorite Cookbooks | Fae's Twist & Tango
  2. Finding Inspriation in Cookbooks | Green Door Hospitality
  3. Favorite Cookbooks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: