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cookbooks I love

Posted Oct 29 2010 5:50am


my mom dropping me off at the tiny kitchen shop in town while she ran her afternoon errands. i’d cozy up in the back nook of the store, surrounding myself with pillows and cookbooks, and for the next two hours i would totally immerse myself in the world of buttermilk biscuits, lemon pie and seafood gumbo.

I’ve had a strong, passionate love for cookbooks since I was only eleven years old. Currently, as I sit and type this from my childhood bed at my parent’s house, I have about five book boxes stuffed to the brim with them in the garage below me.

In the past, I’ve given you a lengthy list of my favorite novels. We’ve even talked about a few ( here , here and here ) and I promise, a review and discussion of American Wife coming soon.

I thought this morning though, I’d give you a list of my top ten favorite cookbooks.

Hands down favorites….the ones I always reach to when I’m starving and the ones that move with me wherever I go.

After reading my list, feel free to add your own favorites in the comments! I’d love to hear your favorites, too.

1. The Gourmet Cookbook

reasons why i love it: it’s pretty much the culinary answer to anything and the cookbook I use the most, hands down. I’ve never been let down by any of the recipes and love the little tips and tutorials that are scattered throughout. If I could pick one cookbook to cook from for the rest of my life, this would be it. Truth.

2. Apples for Jam

reasons why i love it: because it’s beautiful. Tess Vella’s photographs will take your breath away and her recipes are simple and comforting. This is a book to be read by a fireplace, snuggled underneath a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa by your side.

3. Prairie Home Cooking

reasons why i love it: because once, in high school, I spent three hours making the chicken and mushroom pot pie and, to this day, it’s still the best pot pie I’ve ever tasted. It’s normal to think about pot pie on a daily basis, right?

4. Vineyard Seasons

reasons why i love it: Susan Branch’s sweet illustrations and recipes touch my heart every time I flip the page. Favorites include sesame noodles, chicken and wild rice soup and the boston cream pie I spent a whole day baking when I was only fourteen.

5. How to Eat

reasons why i love it: quite simply, because I want to be Nigella Lawson when I grow up. Enough said.

6. The Art of Simple Food

reasons why i love it: because I’ve had an obsession with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse for the past fifteen years…and because this cookbook perfectly sums up my food philosophy of using simple, quality ingredients to produce amazing meals.

7. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

reasons why i love it: it’s so easy to follow! All of the recipes have been adapted for the home cook and you don’t need anything special or fancy…just flour, water, yeast and an oven. I’ve baked countless loaves of bread from this book and it’s great for both a beginner or a bread guru. In my opinion, it’s the best bread baking book out there.

8. Super Natural Cooking

reasons why i love it: Heidi’s blog was the first blog I ever read and still remains one of my very favorites. I love everything about her cookbook and her recipe for otsu has earned a special permanent spot on my weekly menu.

9. At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook

reasons why i love it: because it’s the food I grew up on, growing up in small Florida town right on the coast. I love all the fresh seafood, Caribbean flavors and fresh side-dishes. I still serve the spicy vegetable slaw at every big gathering and the coconut pound cake is to die for.

10. The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings From the French Countryside

reasons why i love it: I’ve been a big Amanda Hesser fan for years and absolutely love this book, which gives simple French recipes according to the season, along with little stories about Amanda’s time working as a cook’s apprentice in France. My very favorite recipe is the black walnut cake…oh, and the rosemary ice cream. It’s worth buying the book for those two recipes alone.

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