A few years ago I got rid of at least half the cookbooks in my rather large collection. Even then it left me with a full bookshelf of cookbooks but those left were my very favorites, as well as those which I may not use often but kept for nostalgic purposes.
Then I began adding to my collection again, many with Amazon credit but some from Goodwill, thrift stores, and book sales. These new books reflect the change in the way I cook now as well as what I look for in cookbooks these days.
All but one of these cookbooks were added to my collection over the past three years. These are all the American (non-metric) versions but I believe all the cookbooks originating from other countries are available in their metric version, too.
I've been able to purchase most of these books at greatly reduced prices and some were purchased used. While they are not all my collection of cookbooks, they are the cream of the crop... especially as I've decided one of my "empty nest adventures" is to try new recipes.
I must admit, I have been known to curl up on a chilly evening with a stack of these books and to enjoy them just as much as any novel. :)
I've written before how I love this cookbook by Irish chef Clodagh McKenna. I enjoyed her PBS series and her use of local and in-season food is exactly where my attention is these days.
I liked this one so much, I gave a copy to my eleven year old granddaughter as a gift for her birthday (she's already a great cook and baker!).
To see inside this book, go here.
Rachel is actually an English woman who went to France to learn to cook and her recipes reflect both cultures. One reason I love this cookbook, she makes French recipes easy to make.
To see inside this cookbook, go here.
Some of the ingredients are different than what I use as a cook in the Midwestern United States but there are a lot of great "from scratch" recipes which can translate to our local and seasonal meals.
More information is available... here.
I decided if children can learn from it, so can I. This is "farm to table" at its' best with not only recipes but lots of "how to" information as well as photos.
For more information, mosey on over... here. I plan to add a couple more River Cottage cookbooks to my collection someday.
Tessa Kiros (Italy, Finland, Greece, South Africa)
Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life is her latest, which I had preordered to make certain I set aside the credit for it. She married an Italian man and now lives in Italy and these recipes reflect all that is good (and there is much) in Italian cooking.
As with many of the more ethnic cookbooks, most of the recipes are "from scratch" and use local, seasonal food.
More information about it can be found... here.
My first book by Tessa was Apples For Jam. It is divided into sections by the color of the food, which is rather interesting.
She calls the recipes in this book "food for families". You can see the inside of the book... here.
Her cookbook which I have waxed poetic about from time to time is Falling Cloudberries. The recipes in this book are also for the most part "local and seasonal" but I think it is the most fascinating of her books only because of the cultures she brings together.
The first section of the book reflects recipes from her mother's heritage, she is from Finland. The second section reflects her father's Greek heritage and the third has recipes from South Africa where she grew up (I actually find those the most useful).
You can find more information about this book... here.
Farm to Table
The Family Meals; Creating Traditions in the Kitchen is (as you can guess by its' title) a family centered book with lots of ideas and photos for eating fresh, local, seasonal food. It's not a children's cookbook but could easily be used to teach "from scratch" cooking to new cooks.
More information about it is available... here.
The Romantic Prairie Cookbook was put together by Fifi O'Neill and if you've ever read her blog or the magazines she's associated with, you know to expect something beautiful. The recipes in this book are all from families (many are farm families) who cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
It isn't a very big book but it's fun to read and has great "from scratch" recipes... here.
I enjoy watching The Pioneer Woman and Trisha Yearwood's shows on The Food Network, as well as Ree's famous blog. These two women know how to cook good, old fashioned, comfort food and they are wonderful cookbooks (albeit not diet food). ;)
Every recipe I've tried has been fabulous and all of them are recipes both women cook for their families and friends.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks... info here.
Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood... info here.
Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen... here.
Oldie but Goodie
This book is the first cookbook I peruse when I want to use a specific vegetable, especially if it is one I haven't tried to cook before. It has been out of print for years but you may be able to find reasonable used copies of it... here.
I'm certain I will continue my collection, there are cookbooks remaining on my Wish List. I think Mexico will be my next culinary adventure. ;)
Legal Stuff: All links are Amazon Associate links.