Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of cookbooks. If you looked hard enough, you’d probably find at least one in every room of my house! I’m sure it is an addiction, but one I can live with.
Of course, like any collection, there are favorites. You can tell which ones they are because they are tattered and torn – in my opinion, signs of being well loved. Some have stains on the pages, while others have broken spines or missing pages. I often think about replacing the broken ones with newer versions; but then I think about my own brokenness and I am glad no one has replaced me!
To purchase one of the books on the list below from Amazon.com, visit my blog store.
The list below will grow as I continue blogging, but for now here are a few of the favorites:
Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten ISBN 0-609-61066-X
I really appreciate the Barefoot Contessa’s relaxed, organized approach to cooking and entertaining so this book is great for me. Once recipe in particular from this book has revolutionized my cooking – the Homemade Gravy on page 119. Until I made this recipe I had never mastered gravy. But when I make this recipe I feel like the Queen of Gravy. Mind you, it is not for those trying to eat fat-free; but it is fantastic for special meals. Jeff makes the Real Meatballs & Spaghetti recipe on page 103, with some adaptations, and it is heavenly. And the Herbal Iced Tea on page 68 is something I make when entertaining for folks who do not drink alcohol and/or who cannot have caffeine. It is very refreshing.
everyday italian by Giada DeLaurentiis ISBN 1-4000-5258-0
Not only do we love the recipes in this book; we also use it as a place to keep all the Giada recipes we print from the internet. One of our favorite recipes from this book is the Lemon Spaghetti on page 87, which we make with farfalle instead of spaghetti. When we were in NYC in January, we saw Giada at Eataly and Jeff talked to her about the lemon pasta. Another fantastic recipe from this book is the Roasted Pork Loin with Fig Sauce on page 167. My friends have affectionately renamed this Portly Figgy Piggy!
The Food of Italy: a journey for food lovers ISBN 978-1-552858-677-2
This was a gift from my parents. One day I was at their house and began looking through this book. I fell in love with the gorgeous photos and was ooh’ing and aah’ing over many of the recipes. The next thing I knew, I owned my own copy. Thanks mom and dad!
The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Shiela Lukins ISBN 0-89480-341-7
This book ties with one other for the most tattered of all my cookbooks. We have had this book since Jeff and I got married in 1993 and have used it the most consistently of all our cookbooks. We have written notes in the margins of several recipes to add this or omit that or increase baking time, etc. In addition to great recipes, the book includes great illustrations and many amazing tips for entertaining. Some of the recipes we’ve made include the Garlic Puffs on page 28, the Canadian Cheese Soup on page 103, the Chicken Fajitas on page 461, and the Lemon Blueberry Bread on page 625.
The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Shiela Lukins ISBN 0-89480-204-6
Another favorite, but not as well worn as The New Basics Cookbook. This is a book we pull out at least once a year when we attend the annual Christmas party hosted by Jeff’s boss, Pete, and Pete’s wife, Francine. It has become tradition for Jeff and me to bring the Asparagus en Croute on page 151. We’ve made this recipe at other times of the year for other parties and every time we make it someone asks for the recipe – it’s definitely a keeper! Another absolute favorite recipe is one my friend Sarah encouraged us to make about a zillion years ago. It’s the Fruit-Stuffed Loin of Pork on page 105. I can’t count the number of times we’ve made this recipe – always to rave reviews!