The list author says: "The Food Network can make one a little crazy after a time -- and if you watch it too much and exclusively utilize their recipes, you may find that your meals may all begin to taste the same if you're not careful *.* Anyway, here are some cookbooks and semi-cookbooks which will make you ever more popular with your family if you use them. This list will be as useful for veteran cooks as it will for people just learning to cook.
I'll continue to add to the list over time. By the way, if you want to see about 300 of my own recipes, (all free for the repinting!) go here (don't include the end quotation marks when you copy and paste the address!):
"This is my NUMBER ONE COOKBOOK. All recipes turn out just great, they're all simple, using common ingredients, and there is one recipe per page. Find dishes like Chicken Cacciatore, Barbecued Steak Strips, and T.L.B.S. (tastes like banana split). Let this one be your cooking Bible. See my full review."
"I use this one exclusively for my baking projects. You'll find a lot of details on baking as well as hazards to avoid. Of course, there's much more in here that you can use but the baking section is especially worthwhile."
"This one is part autobiography (of Betty Talmadge) and part cookbook. The recipes focus on anything to do with pork (hams, roasts, bacon, tripe, etc) and appropriate side dishes. The recipes are just first-class."
"This one isn't crammed with recipes, (although there are many good ones), but is more about the "art" of scratch cooking, and how to make things taste good. James Beard was the top popular chef in the U.S. during the 1940s and '50s. See my full review."
"This is a must-have volume for scratch cooks today. The recipes found herein are just as valid and delicious today as they were when the book was written. I have an old original volume. Subsequent editions were very much revised."
"Poppy Cannon was the antithesis of James Beard in the 1950s. She showed us how to short-cut recipes that were traditionally viewed strictly as gourmet fare. I caution folks that some of these aren't so great, BUT, you'll get really good ideas about what you can get away with in cooking a fast supper."
"Yes, the late Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, got into some trouble and had to leave PBS... BUT, his recipes and his culinary instructions were second to none. Here is a fine book of general recipes, all great. See my full review."
"These folks REALLY know what they are doing! If you've seen their TV show on PBS, you'll see that they specialize in traditional family dishes. If you only owned one cookbook, this would be a great choice."
"The copy of this book that you want is the London, 1954 first edition. That is the only one which contains Brian Gysen's "Haschich Fudge" recipe -- Toklas was appalled when she finally realized what it was! This work is half biography, half cookbook with incredible scratch European recipes. See my full review."
"Not strictly a cookbook but there are some great 'cooking ideas' in here. The book sub-title is: "Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America". This work is well-researched and a facinating read. See my full review."
"Find a 1961 or 1966 (second printing) version of this masterpiece of culinary knowledge. Later versions are revised and they're not as good. Forget the so-called 'Vol. 2' -- it has nothing to do with 'Vol. 1' and was published MUCH later."
"The seafood bible!!! Lots of other easy, fast, and delicious dishes too, especially decadent desserts. If you fear cooking fresh seafood, get your hands on a copy of this fine cookbook and you'll BREEZE right through the process. See my full review."