Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
I'm looking for cookbook recommendations. What are your favorites, and why? Please don't leave out the why, or I won't be able to discern whether it will meet my needs. Thanks!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2:28 PM
And this is my go-to cookbook right now, by Cook's Illustrated, I love that it explains about how the recipes developed and I love the recipes I've made from it.
On August 17, 2007 3:11 PMThe Danewrote... I actually like the California Pizza Kitchen cookbooks. They've got some fun and tasty recipes. And the dough recipe, if you can get it to work, is the yummiest.
On August 17, 2007 6:15 PMbarbwrote... "Small Batch Baking" by Debby Maugans Nakos "The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving" by Ellie Topp
I'm single, lilke you and find it fun to try new recipes without the large batch "commitment".
I also recommend getting cookbooks from the library to "try before you buy"
On August 17, 2007 6:22 PMdawnwrote... Oh, with Nigella, she's a British food critic/cook. She's also a TV cook. How To Eat is simply a beautifully written book with as much story as recipes included. Check your local library and look at it before you buy, though. I love how she writes, and I love how she cooks .. fancy foods but down to earth at the same time.
On August 18, 2007 10:56 PMsorawrote... I have found that I regularly make only a very few recipes out of any cookbooks that I own. So a couple of times a year I browse through the cookbooks at the library and take home the ones that look interesting. I browse through the recipes at home and try the ones that look interesting. And then copy the keepers.
Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Bibles" are among the few cookbooks I feel the need to own, and that is largely because of the reference information in them (although I have probably used at least 20 recipes from the Cake Bible over the last 10-12 years, which is more than from any other single book.)
And in reference to the cake decorating post, I'd check your library system for any Alice Medrich titles or try to ILL if they dont' have them rather than buying... especially since if I remember correctly her first book is out of print and quite expensive second-hand.
On August 19, 2007 11:27 AMthomaswrote... I'm a fan of "The Joy of Cooking." Its recipes aren't necessarily the most creative, but cover nearly every type of food you can imagine.
If you want thorough explanations on how to make the most classic recipes, it's a great resource. We made Maryland crab cakes out of that book and they turned out quite good. It explains the "why" behind the directions as well.
I agree with Dawn, the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes is one of the first ones I go to. I like the blend of scratch cooking with fresh ingredients and some of the "cheater" recipes using purchased food. Just reading it is an education.
I agree with Sora, compiling your own cookbook is one of the best things you can do. I have a D ring three ring binder with page protectors.
Also, two of my favorite compilation cookbooks are ones dear friends have made. Home Cooking, by Lisa VD (you met her at church one day) and Around the Covenant Table by Becky H have only tried and true recipes.
Thomas has a good point, though. The Joy of Cooking has never failed me. It is comprehensive, encyclopedic, and...just plain great.
Just this morning I started reading through a stack of Taste of Home magazines, tossing most, but clipping some recipes to add to my personal binder.
I think that the one I would recommend for someone who is just beginning a collection is "The Way to Cook"by Julia Child. She has lots of master recipes in there, and it is not overwhelming. My quiche master recipe comes from that book, as well as several basic breads and soups and chocolate mousse! I used my garage sale set of Southern livings a lot, and the other most used cookbook is an amish & mennonite cookbook - great soups. I know, I know, more information than you wanted!
I have Ina's coffee cake recipe on my food blog. Follow link from my main blog page.
Also The Barefoot Contessa has a website that offers a few free recipes that you could try out.
On August 22, 2007 8:54 PMKimberlywrote... Anything by Anne Willian is great. Lots of pictures to follow and consistent ingredients. My sister-in-law and I like Fine Cooking magazine better than most cookbooks. They have great recipes without out lots of ingredients, variations, and good easy to follow directions.