Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My current favorite cookbooks

Kristi saw the little bookshelf where I keep most of my cookbooks.  Both of the pictures I'm showing today were taken in the past so the books are a little different today.  My new memory card has broken already, the old one had lasted for a year... go figure.

I gave away many of my cookbooks years ago, all of them that were more gourmet.  Just not into that these days!  I still have lots of favorites (so many purchased at library sales).  I think everyone should have a basic cookbook like the original Betty Crocker.  I still go back to it for reference.

Picture taken last year
The above red wire basket holds my current favorite cookbooks that I love to just read through (although all have recipes I have marked to try soon).  The basket now sits on the old sewing machine table.  To the right of the books (in the basket) are booklets that have great recipes.

Being a rather nosy interested person myself, I thought you might like to know my favorites that are in that basket.

Tyler Florence Family Meal is my newest fave cookbook.  I had perused it at the bookstore over the winter and I was so happy to find it at a great price on Amazon (using credit... thank you!!!).  Except for using credit for family gifts (especially for grandchildren's birthdays), it gets used for my homemaking library.

This book reminds me of Jamie Oliver's books with a concentration on fresh, local foods but the recipes are more like what I'd cook for my family (not being British and all).  It contains many delicious family friendly recipes as well as a small section of more complicated bistro style.

It also has lots of pictures, which I prefer these days.  I've tried the hummus recipe and found it easy and yummy (and healthy!).  I have his wife's meatloaf recipe marked to try as well as his recipe for grilled pizza.

I'd seen The Pioneer Woman Cooks on a lot of blogs so when Amazon had it at a very low price, I used credit to purchase it a few months ago.  I absolutely love this cookbook, the recipes are very similar to the Midwestern-southern style I grew up with.  Most are not at all expensive to make.  There has been come criticism as to the amount of fat and calories for many of the recipes but I'd say many are what I'd make for Sunday dinner or celebration meals when I know I don't want diet food.

With Ree's typical use of pictures taken in the entire process of cooking, this makes a great beginner cookbook.  I gave it to my nine year old granddaughter (hmmm... either her birthday or Christmas which are within weeks of each other) and she enjoys it.  She reads cookbooks just like Grammie.

I bought The Reluctant Entertainer with credit after bringing it home from the library and being sorry I had to take it back.  While not a cookbook exactly, it does contain many excellent recipes.  I already have a few marked to try soon... her zucchini noodles and the chocolate chip date brownies, not to mention the watermelon salad when that season comes around again... which is why it now rests in the red wire basket. 

I'm an experienced "entertainer" but Sandy's book taught me a lot that I had never thought of before.  This book is fun to read, it is like chatting with a good friend.  It would make an excellent gift for a bridal shower or a person moving out on their own for the first time... and it's surprisingly inexpensive.

I also adore The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen!   I had purchased it when it first came out but gave it to Elisabeth when she visited that year (as I said, we both love cookbooks with pictures).  I was able to purchase it again at a nice price third party at Amazon (although it is now available in paperback).   This book is a combination of recipes and vintage decorating ideas... it makes me happy.

I have the butterscotch pie recipe tagged to try, it reminds me of the pies available at our favorite cafeteria that three women in my family have loved (my mother, my daughter, and moi)... okay, the guys loved it, too.

I've had the Get-togethers with Gooseberry Patch cookbook and Coming Home With Gooseberry Patch for awhile now but I find myself constantly going back to them.  They are permanently in the red wire basket.  The pictures are vintage style and beautiful, they also make me happy.  But... in typical Gooseberry Patch style from their spiral books... the recipes are tried and true and all fairly easy... and yummy!

They are a nice combination of seasonal recipes, mostly "from scratch" but also some recipes with such shortcuts as cake mixes.  I absolutely love these two books and you'll find them on my coffee table in mid-winter when I need cheering.

It would take forever to mention all of the cookbooks that remain on my shelves but I have to say most are either there because they've been "tried and true" over the years, contain lots of recipes for herbs and vegetables, or like those in my basket... they are just fun to read when I need a pick-me-up (like the wonderful Susan Branch books!).

My cookbook collection covers over thirty years but what book have I gone back to the most?  The cookbook my in-law's Lutheran Church put together long ago... it contains many of my mother-in-law's family recipes... and since she left us in the mid-90's, I check that recipe book to see if one of our favorites is there.  :)



I love cookbooks, also, and love your wire basket, full of your current favorites.


Anonymous said...

I love cookbooks too! One of my favorites is a cookbook I received at my wedding shower nearly 33 years ago! I still go it to for a couple favorites:) Have a lovely day!

La Tea Dah said...

A lovely list of favorites! I enjoyed meeting the Farm Chicks at a book signing at our local supermarket. They were so friendly and nice. Have you seen the second Farm Chicks book (Christmas theme)? It's lovely too.

Vee said...

I want Ree's cookbook and the next cookbook I purchase will be the Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. I always enjoy picking up the Gooseberry recipe books, though I've never bought one. I think with all the recipes available online that I am Scroogey with my bookshelf real estate. Now if I had a convenient place to put them, I'd like many more recipe books. Oddly enough, I am just packing up my mother's recipe books to give to my daughter. She has requested them and is making some sort of family recipe book with them. Another little corner of my world cleaned out. (Yes, I do have oodles of my mother's recipes.) Always a treat to chat with you... (I still haven't baked those Cowboy cookies, but SOON!)

Shanna said...

And so many of your favorites are mine, too :) !!!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I have to organize my recipes!

I several cookbooks, but I don't know if I have a favorite - most of the ones you have shown I would love to read through. I must take a trip to the library later...maybe I will take a list...


mamajuliana said...

I love my cookbooks! (Though my husband says I have way to many!) My favorite is an old grange cookbook that I found a a thrift store years ago.

Brenda Leyland said...

What fun to catch a glimpse of your favorite cookbooks.

Like you, some books I have are tried and true for decades, and others I keep for the sheer delight of looking through the yummy recipes and photos (which usually inspire when I'm in need of some).

Anonymous said...

I have a Better Homes and Garden Baking and a Southern Living 30 Years of Best Recipes that I use a lot. But my new favorite is Mad Hungry. It's particularly focused on feeding men and boys, and since I have four sons, one husband and one daughter, it's been great for me. All the recipes I've tried so far have been excellent.

Angela in TX

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures she took of their life in Pioneer Women's cookbook too! One of the favorite things I own is my Mother's recipes. Thanks for a peek inside your kitchen again I never tire of seeing another women's home they create with love. The Betty Crocker 50s red and white basic cookbook is my all time favorite. Sarah

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thanks for sharing I need some inspiration in the kitchen and will have to check these out at my library.
Always a joy to come and visit.

Gina said...

What a wonderful list! I love some of the same books as you and will be checking on a few more! Thanks!

Catherine said...

I think your wire basket will start a new trend. It`s gorgeous. My favorite cookbook was put out by the American Dairy Counsel, distributed in the northeast. My father in law sent it to me while we were stationed in Germany in the 1970`s. I still use it. When it was getting too tattered I found a new copy on Ebay setting Dad`s gift in a special place. The title is Modern Approach To Everyday Cooking, published in the 1960`s. Great graphics and recipes. Thanks for sharing your cookbooks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these ~ I was able to put some of them on hold at the library and will be looking forward to picking them up! :)


carla said...

When bloggers post photos of their books I always enlarge them to read the titles to see what they read and buy (could some of those same titles be sitting around in my home?) and well... I just love books. When I first discovered blogs I searched for ones about books and that's how I found Coffee, Tea, Books and Me about 3 or 4 years ago.

We don't share many of the cookbooks, just More With Less and the 2 Gooseberry Patch books (maybe soon I'll get the Jan Karon one). Last Sunday morning I made the cinnamon rolls from the G.P. book and they were wonderful.