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Cookbooks for people who actually cook.

Patrick W. Crabtree "The Old Grottomaster"
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!):

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?chef=196369"
Mr. Food Cooks Like Mama
Mr. Food Cooks Like Mama
"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."
Joy of Cooking
Joy of Cooking
"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."
How to Cook a Pig & Other Back-to-the-Farm Recipes: An Autobiographical Cookbook
How to Cook a Pig & Other Back-to-the-Farm Recipes: An Autobiographical Cookbook
"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."
The Armchair James Beard
The Armchair James Beard
"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."
The Original Fannie Farmer 1896 Cookbook: The Boston Cooking School
The Original Fannie Farmer 1896 Cookbook: The Boston Cooking School
"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."
The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition
The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition
"This is a compendium of FIVE excellent M.F.K. Fisher books, all of which are as much about eating as they are about cooking. You'll want to read this one on rainy Sunday afternoons."
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book
"If there is a "best" Betty Crocker cook book, this one has to be in the running. You can't go wrong with Betty Crocker recipes!"
The Big Book of Casseroles: 250 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food
The Big Book of Casseroles: 250 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food
"This one will save your life if you work outside the home and still have to come home and fix supper for your clan."
The Can-Opener Cookbook
The Can-Opener Cookbook
"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."
Weber's Big Book of Grilling
Weber's Big Book of Grilling
"The Bible for backyard grillers. Everything from making rubs to how to grill a rare steak. Everything in this excellent guide is right on the money. See my full review."
Mexican: Healthy Ways With a Favorite Cuisine
Mexican: Healthy Ways With a Favorite Cuisine
"You'll love the large color photos and detailed instruction on how to cook dang near anything Mexican. Great recipes!"
Frugal Gourmet
Frugal Gourmet
"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."
The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome
The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome
"The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith, wrote a number of cookbooks and this is one of the top three. This one will get you out of any bland cooking slump."
The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine
The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine
"If anyone knew how to cook with wine, Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet) did. This worthwhile volume will even teach you how to make your own excellent mayonnaise!"
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Heavy-Duty Revised Edition
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Heavy-Duty Revised Edition
"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."
Breaking Bread with Father Dominic
Breaking Bread with Father Dominic
"Father Dominic is the absolute Master of the bread-baking art. He also makes it easy for us to achieve success with his wonderful recipes."
Jacques Pepin's Simple and Healthy Cooking
Jacques Pepin's Simple and Healthy Cooking
"Jacques Pepin is my favorite chef of all time. His food is fast, delicious and simple. All cooks will find this volume, and all of Jacques Pepin's other books, very useful and worthwhile."
The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (Cook's Classic Library)
The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (Cook's Classic Library)
"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."
Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America
Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America
"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."
A Man, a Can, a Plan : 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make
A Man, a Can, a Plan : 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make
"Every college student should own this fine cook book!"
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
"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."
A LA Seattle: Restaurant Recipes
A LA Seattle: Restaurant Recipes
"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."
Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art
Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art
"This is an important cookbook for all. The Introduction was written by M.F.K. Fisher in 1978."
Life a la Henri: Being the Memories of Henri Charpentier (Modern Library Food)
Life a la Henri: Being the Memories of Henri Charpentier (Modern Library Food)
"Find this somewhere for 5 or 6 bucks instead of the 40 bucks currently listed here. It's a SUPER lesson in both cooking and in life as well! See my full review."
Flavored with Love: Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook
Flavored with Love: Mary Lou's Family and Friends Can Cook
"A superb compendium of wonderful dishes of the deep south. The desserts are especially terrific. See my full review."
Cinagro Farm, Family Favorites from the Farm and beyond...
Cinagro Farm, Family Favorites from the Farm and beyond...
"500 terrific recipes, mostly European dishes, which anyone can prepare."
The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
"The ultimate baking cookbook -- none better!"
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
"From one of France's and America's top chefs."
James Beard's American Cookery
James Beard's American Cookery
"Beard was the top scratch chef in America -- his tremendous and intricate recipes have withstood the test of time."
The Tabasco Cookbook: 125 Years of America's Favorite Pepper Sauce
The Tabasco Cookbook: 125 Years of America's Favorite Pepper Sauce
"If you like spicy, you've come to the right place -- these are great recipes."
The Best of New Orleans (Best of ... S)
The Best of New Orleans (Best of ... S)
"For all the New Orleans/Cajun stand-bys, you won't need any other cookbook than this terrific little volume."
Stir It Up: Super Skillet Cookbook
Stir It Up: Super Skillet Cookbook
"Tons of skillet recipes which are fast, healthy, and delicious."
LAMB FOR ALL SEASONS, A Collection of Lamb Recipes
LAMB FOR ALL SEASONS, A Collection of Lamb Recipes
"The very last word on marvellous lamb recipes with a focus on New Zealand lamb. Holst is a pro."
Food Cooking of Mexico
Food Cooking of Mexico
"An incredibly comprehensive guide to Mexican cooking. All the great recipes are in here as well as many of which you have yet to try. Beautifully illustrated."
Taste of Homes's Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2007
Taste of Homes's Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2007
"Read my full review -- this one is terrific!"
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1930-2000 Limited Edition)
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1930-2000 Limited Edition)
"Solid, authoritative, foundational -- a great "first cookbook"."
Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
"As someone said in the reviews, "Julia's culinary last will and testament" -- there is so much great information in this simple little book, it's unbelieveable. See my full review."
The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes
The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes
"1,000 tried and tested recipes like "Chicken with Peanut_Curry Sauce". This is a cooking foundation book which should be in every culinary library or kitchen."
Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way
"Jacques hits yet another grand slam -- terrific recipes, mostly fast, always tasty."
Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen
Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen
"Yet another killer cookbook from Ms. Reichl -- don't pass it by. One caution: some early editions have problems with the binding so shop appropriately."