Referencing Cookbooks

As much as I love Pinterest, when it comes to recipes nothing will compare to scouring cookbooks and marking your tried and true. Growing up, we always had dozens of cookbooks in the kitchen. Stained covers from baking hands, my mom (the baker) and my dad (the cook) used their go to resources time and time again. When I started getting into cooking most recipes could be found online, but I still preferred to get the books. In part because I discovered things I never would have been looking for. We have cookbooks all over our apartment – even in the hall closet because I don’t have room to display them all. Since many of us will still be at home for a lot longer I wanted to share some of my favorites!

The Joy Of Cooking

The cookbook staple! I am pretty sure this is the first one I ever flipped through. It has been updated a bit since its original publication in 1931, but it is a staple for a reason. It is filled with so many techniques that will make you more comfortable with the process of cooking.

Modern Comfort Food

Ina Garten is my idol! She is in the Nancy Meyers category of can do no wrong.. they are friends IRL.. I digress. Her cookbooks are so easy to follow and include SO many recipes I make on constant rotation. I am pretty sure I own them all, so it is hard to choose, but this latest installment includes my favorite crispy chicken and lemon dill orzo.

The Art of French Baking

This is hands down my favorite baking book as far as technique goes. At first I found it intimidating because it is not overly descriptive and the French way of baking can differ greatly from American recipes. I always call this the holy grail of baking. Many recipes take patience and practice, but it feels so good when you nail a recipe.


I really love this book. The simplicity it provides to something seemingly daunting like pasta making is very helpful. The 30 clove sauce is one of my favorite red sauces and it explains all of the different types of pasta dough. So far, I have made tortellini’s and raviolis and can’t wait to continue practicing to improve my technique.

Dinner in French

French food isn’t typically my favorite to make at home, but my newest cookbook addition has more rustic favorites like poulet au pot pie, roasted cauliflower with brown butter and truffled mac and cheese. I am looking forward to making my way through this book more, but I can already tell it will be a staple.

Bouchon Bakery

My other baking holy grail. This book has seen a lot of love and the pages are even chocolate stained from my many attempts at making Oh Ohs. Thomas Keller somehow makes perfection seem easy and while these recipes are a bit more advanced, they are delicious. My favorite eclairs come from this book and I love actually reading everything to learn more about the science behind what makes a great bake.

Clean Plate

This is a departure from all my baking and comfort food cookbooks. It is is filled with light, healthy options that feel fresh and filling. The curry chicken lettuce cups are so easy to make and I often find ingredients I never think to use in my regular cooking routine.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

This is the book that taught me things I thought I already knew, but was doing wrong for years. Like how and when to properly salt meat to amplify all of the flavor. I love how Samin approaches cooking and if you haven’t already watched her Netflix show, do it now. She is so charming and knowledgeable!



photos by Torrey Fox

  1. Brandi says:

    Thanks for linking me to this post. I absolutely love it. I agree with you in as much as I love scrolling Pinterest for recipes, nothing beats a real cookbook to leaf though slowly and discover new ideas. I can’t wait to get to my local library and try some of your favorites. Thanks again.

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