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Customer Discussions > Cookbook forum

Looking for favorite cookbook suggestions

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Showing 1-25 of 179 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2007 8:07:51 AM PST
Bookworm says:
I'm tired of buying cookbooks that only have a handful of great recipes. What tried-and-true cookbooks do you refer to over and over again? What cookbook do you use that gives consistenly good results even on new recipes you have never tried before? Any suggestions are welcome...thanks for your help!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2007 12:51:02 PM PST
SLCS says:
The two cookbooks I consider my "go-to" books are Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything and the red plaid Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Both are full of basic and reliable recipes plus lots of general cooking information. I cook a lot, and own many cookbooks, but when I need to find out how to prepare something I have never tried before (just the other day it was parsnips) I turn to these first and they have never let me down.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2007 2:58:05 PM PST
L. Neustadt says:
I had the same problem of finding a "go to" cookbook until I discovered Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipes and the Best Family Recipes. Each recipe has been tested and perfected and they explain in detail why it is the "best". Full of useful info as well as product recommendations. I've prepared a number of recipes for the holidays and I was amazed that each one turned out perfect in every way. I always wanted to make a standing rib roast but couldn't bring myself to pay $75 for a piece of meat and risk a failure. But this book gave me the confidence to go for it. It was the most perfect roast I ever made. Don't look any further. This IS the book. Search for "Cooks Illustrated".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2007 4:30:34 PM PST
J. Fuchs says:
I second the Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipe.
The Splendid Grain, by Rebecca Wood has a wide variety of easy, super tasty recipes featuring whole grains -- I use it more than any other cookbook.
How to Cook Everything is great as well.

Those would be my top 3.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2008 3:31:13 PM PST
tonik says:
Add my vote for the list for Cook's Illustrated/Test Kitchen's Family Recipes. It has all those good ol' favorites like Mac n' Cheese, chili, cupcakes, etc. I find that the final product is WAY tastier than the "rushed" mid-century style of Better Homes or Better Crocker. My copy of The Joy of Cooking is very dog-eared from years of use. Add it to your must-have list. (Also a great gift for young couples getting married!) I has all the basics like how to prepare any vegetable, cook oatmeal, defines the cuts of meat, etc. Practically any classic dish you can think up is in there.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 6:25:23 AM PST
Bookworm says:
Thank you everyone for your ideas...I will definitely check out your suggestions...also I can contribute a book myself...for all the chocolate lovers out there, my go-to cookbook for trying new desserts is Lori Longbotham's Luscious Chocolate Desserts...every recipe I have made from this book is absolutely's only failing is an error in the book's first edition for the cover recipe "Perfectly Simple Dark Chocolate Tart" which needs 1 cup of heavy cream in the filling...the correction was printed on the author's website for anyone who has or buys an older copy of the book...thanks again for everyone's input!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2008 9:59:46 AM PST
Jane says:
I use "The New Basics" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins for higher end fancier recipes. (haven't had a dud out of that book yet) and "The New Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. This has all the basics, including diagrams of where meat cuts come from, how long to cook fish, how to mix and knead bread dough, etc. The new edition includes some 'ethic' recipes that aren't in the original and the recipes tend to be a little more health-concious. I do love the original as well and my copy is battered and splattered. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2008 9:35:24 AM PST
Sziakat says:
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and The Better Homes and Gardens (red checked) Cookbook. I am on my 3rd copy of Better Homes because I have worn out 2 of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2008 10:19:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 25, 2008 10:22:34 PM PST
As a Cajun from southern Louisiana, I love Cajun/New Orleans food as well as Southern food in general. I love the recipes in Flavored with Love by Jane Riley aka Mary Cheatham. The recipes are delicious and it has vignettes from life in the South.

She has another story cookbook, The Collard Patch, which has many innovative recipes for collard greens and cornbread--appetizers to desserts. Many of these recipes are not only very healthful but delicious variations on an old Southern favorite. There are a lot of recipes in each book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2008 9:41:24 PM PST
I use my Betty Crocker cookbooks almost every day. I have an edition from the 50's, one from the 70's and one from the 90's. They have EVERYTHING I need.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 10:38:05 AM PST
My all time favorite cookbook (and I bet have have over 150) is the Purple Best of Cooking Light. Be careful...they call alot of things the best of...Get the one with the blueberry poundcake on the cover. It is a few years old and is honestly the best cookbook I own. I cook from it at least 2 times per week and have only been disappointed once.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2008 9:00:46 AM PST
AZ Reader says:
That checkerboard covererd cookbook is out of here since my discovery of Cook's Illustrated Family Cookbook. It is truly the new classic. Another fantastic "Go To" book is Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook. Have had this book for several years and given it as a gift many times to great reviews. Recipes are explained well and offer several variations...a good instructional cookbook for the next step up. The BOMB for BBQ is Smoke and Spice by Jamison

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2008 11:13:27 AM PST
Rebecca Johnson, the top-ten reviewer, just had her cookbook published. It's titled, "Seasoned With Love: A collection of best-loved recipes inspired by over 40 cultures". I think this is a fantastic cookbook!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2008 11:56:03 AM PST
I second the recommendation for The New Basics. We got it as a wedding present and it has been my goto book ever since. Mac and cheese, bbq, pasta sauces, desserts (try the chocoloate peanut butter pie!) and lots of more fancy recipes - never had any of them be anything less than fantastic.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2008 8:17:05 PM PDT
M. Burgess says:
I always end up going to my Junior League Cookbooks for the best recipes ever, most any of the Junior League Cookbooks will be just fabulous, that's why I collect them! There is one other book that absolutely should be in every kitchen and it is called "The World's Healthiest Foods" by George Mateljan, it is the absolute best and most comprehensive book ever, look it up on Amazon. I have purchased several for gifts and one of my clients bought one and says it's the best she's ever owned! You'll just have to look it up and read the reviews. I leave mine very handy because I use it almost daily! I have at least 200 cookbooks and this one and the Junior League Cookbooks are my favorites!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 10:53:29 AM PDT
Glen B. West says:
The 'red-checked' cookbook that everyone else mentioned is certainly a mainstay (and the only place I've ever found Sauerbraten). I would also recommend the "Savoring" series by Williams Sonoma. While there are fewer recipes, and they are not "standby" types, of the 40+ I've tried from the series, I have only been dissapointed twice - not bad, 5% failure. I have traveled to all the countries in the series, and enjoyed the local cuisine in various unheralded local eateries - and this series is as close to that authentic taste as I've found anywhere. The Indian recipies can take from 45 minutes to 6 hours to prepare (starting with dry-frying then grinding the spices), the Thai recipies can be 10 minutes. It is a great source of those more "special occaision" dinners, and well enough explained that I handed photocopied recipies out at my last cook-in party where each couple made a dish from a different book, and everyone was able to follow the recipies successfully.

And my wife just loves the pictures :D.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2008 12:09:09 PM PDT
Shelly says:
I have fast lane meals by Rachael Ray. I have tried almost all of the recipes and love this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2008 1:07:08 PM PDT
Kcorn says:
This may not appeal to you but I am focusing on recipes that are both budget friendly but ones where I can minimize trips to the grocery store. A book we have been using lately is called Pantry Cooking and you can see reviews of it here. I have a pot of 15 bean soup on right now but there are other recipes which are far more gourmet. Most are quick and easy, although the soup does need time to simmer away on the stove. However, it takes minutes to put in a pot and could simmer all day. I like her gourmet version of oatmeal better than the type I usually prepare. For a cookbook focused on pantry cooking, there are an amazing variety of recipes in this one, everything from Wild Rice Cakes to Beef and Pasta. Whole grains are also a major staple, full of fiber and very healthy.

I think this cookbook is also eco-friendly because of the emphasis on keeping foods on hand, enough to cook five weeks of menus without one trip to the grocery store, if you really wanted to do that! Obviously, this would save time and gas money. However, that would probably appeal mostly to people who had no choice, were facing a power outage or in an emergency situation. Still, it is nice to know that the option is there.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2008 4:24:27 PM PDT
Bookworm says:
Actually, that's a really neat idea...I'll have to check it out - thanks :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 10:26:15 AM PDT
Libby says:
I've noticed that no one has mentioned "Nantuckett Open-House Cookbook" by Sarah Leah Chase. I highly recommend it! The recipes are fabulous.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2008 2:22:45 PM PDT
kkcorey says:
The cookbooks I use almost daily are The Best Recipe by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated (especially for the meat dishes), and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (especially for the whole wheat pancakes, soups, salad dressings, beverage, fish, snack, yogurt, liver and fajita recipes).

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2008 12:35:12 PM PDT
Kathy Grace says:
Well, add my vote for the New Best Recipe:
>> The New Best Recipe
but rather than re-writing my lengthy review (over 700 yes votes!) of why I think this is the best cookbook ever, I'll just point ya to it:

Best specialty cookbook would have to be Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day:
>> Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
... it's the No-Knead Bread concept made even better and easier, if that were possible.

Best investment that isn't a cookbook: Subscription to the Cooks Illustrated website. This is the only website I pay for. Invaluable for recipes, product and equipment reviews, and techniques.

Not Affiliated, Yadda Yadda... just a happy customer.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2008 8:02:26 PM PDT
B. de Mil says:
My favs are "Joy of Cooking". I have both editions. "Biba's Northern Italian Cooking" , "Cooks Illustrated", "The New York Times Cookbook" and "Connecticut A La Carte". These are the books most often used along with a wide variety of vintage books ,brand named books, ethnic books and regional books.

There is no such thing as too many cookbooks or anything else. :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 7:37:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 9, 2010 2:56:17 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2008 6:32:37 PM PDT
I continually refer to the Martha Stewart Cookbook, I have tried many recipes and have never been disappointed. She has complied a comprehensive collection of recipes and they are excellent. Also, for anyone who is learning how to cook, you have to go the source of great cooking...Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs.
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Discussion in:  Cookbook forum
Participants:  130
Total posts:  179
Initial post:  Dec 30, 2007
Latest post:  Jul 1, 2011

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