We like to cook. We like to eat even more. We have been fortunate enough to eat some pretty amazing things in some pretty amazing restaurants. But it’s a home cooked meal that just can’t compare – dishes aside.
If you’ve seen our bookshelves, you might have picked up that we own a lot of cookbooks. We use some more than others. We also have been known to only use one recipe out of a few, too. I think cookbooks can be hit or miss. I usually have two rules when it comes to buying them – –
- Whatever is in the book has to be easy to make. I’m not a professional – I just like tasty food. And I don’t like doing dishes so the simpler, the better.
- The recipes I want to make must contain things that can be found in my pantry. I don’t like having to buy a ton of vinegars, sauce, spices or jars of things that I will open once and never use again.
Below are 15 cookbooks that we use time and time again. They hold some of our tried and true recipes and they stand up to my two rules.
Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings & Hungry for More – I didn’t want to like these books, but I do – I really do. Everything is easy to make. The majority of things can be found in your cupboard and nothing is out of the ordinary. They are all crowd pleasers and everything packs a ton of flavor. I can’t begin to tell you how often we make the pot pie soup.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty & Plenty More – You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love these books. I honestly don’t even think you have to like vegetables to like these books. There is such a variety of interesting dishes in these two – I promise there is something in here for everyone and it will broaden your horizons at the same time. The squash with cilantro and Sriracha yogurt is my all time favorite.
Gaby Dalkin – What’s Gaby Cooking – EASY and Tasty and Healthy. Three things that I will always love in a cookbook. Plus this book just always reminds me of summer.
Deb Perelman – The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – Classic favorites. Family friendly. Easy week night meals. Some of my favorite breakfast dishes have come from this book, too.
Alex Guarnaschelli – The Home Cook – I gift this book all the time because of the quality and amount of recipes in it. You cannot go wrong with this book.
Everyday Food – Great Food Fast – This is an oldie, but a goodie. Basic, family-friendly and healthy recipes. It was one of the first cookbooks that someone gave me a very long time ago and I still use it. The pages have splatters and corner folds throughout. It’s well loved.
Martha Stewart Living – Meatless – If you experiment with Meatless Mondays or are a vegetarian this book has simple and easy recipes to follow. I think it’s a good option for anyone looking to try to eat less meat and may need a little help figuring out where to start.
Donna Hay – The New Easy – Her books are always beautiful and the recipes are always classic. One of my favorite pastas comes from this book. Everything is loaded with flavor and I’m always learning new ways to add more flavor to things because of this one.
Kate McDermott and Andrew Scrivani – The Art of Pie – All the pies. All the time. Also has a recipe for gluten free crust. The variety is really fun, too.
Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julie Turshen – The Hotbread Kitchen Cookbook – Learn how to make a variety of breads and the stories of the women behind them. This is a beautiful book.
Richard Blais – Try This at Home – I won’t lie, this book has a lot things I won’t make it. It has a lot of different meat options – ones that I just haven’t allowed my pallet to explore yet (things like octopus) – BUT this book has a lot of great sauces, vegetables and sides that I really love a lot. And maybe one day I will experiment with the others!
Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu – Cherry Bombe – This book is a compilation of recipes from all kinds of women – celebrities, chefs, bakers, creatives. It’s a great book with a wide variety of recipes. It makes a really great gift, too.
Rob Walsh – The Chili Cookbook – SO good. So many options for just one thing – chili. Vegetarian options, too!