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The 8 Best Cookbooks in My Kitchen

I love cooking from food blogs.

But I’ll always have a special place in my heart for cookbooks.

best cookbooks

I love having a favorite cookbook open on my counter as I cook, flipping through for dinner or dessert inspiration, or seeing them all neatly lined up on my kitchen shelf.

Over the years, I’ve found a few cookbooks that have definitely earned a permanent spot in my kitchen.

best cookbooks

Some are speciality and some are general and all of them are packed with winning recipes.

If you’re looking for one or two new volumes to add to your kitchen or a great gift for someone else, these are the best cookbooks I own and would recommend to anyone!

The 8 Best Cookbooks in My Kitchen

  1. Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook: Favorite Everyday Recipes from Our Family Kitchen by Maria Lichty. If I had to choose a single favorite cookbook, it would be, hands-down, this one. I’ve been cooking from it NON-STOP for the past few months and it’s just such a solid all-around cookbook with breakfast recipes, snacks, desserts, main dishes, and more. I especially love the chicken pot pie and the peanut butter carmelitas.
  2. Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food by Jessica Merchant. I checked this cookbook out of the library just before Star was born and then when my mom was there to help, I probably made 8 recipes from this cookbook while she was there. A few days after she left, my own copy showed up on my doorstep from my wonderful mom. I just bought her second cookbook, The Pretty Dish, too.
  3. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. I LOVE making ice cream at home and when a friend gave me a copy of this book, I was so delighted. My goal this summer is to make at least a dozen of these recipes!
  4. The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte and Hugh Forte. I bought this one when we were doing our CSA in Texas and it’s bursting with great whole food recipes from breakfast to dessert.
  5. Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes by Joy Wilson. I’ve long loved Joy the Baker and I couldn’t cook through this cookbook fast enough when I checked it out from the library and then my mom bought me a copy for Mother’s Day (do you see a pattern here?). It’s mostly treats and snacks and desserts and every single thing I’ve made has been a winner. The Texas Sheet Cake is divine and the chocolate banana bread is also fab.
  6. Williams-Sonoma Collection: Muffins by Beth Hensperger. We got this as a wedding gift and it was the first cookbook I really started cooking from. I’ve made probably half the recipes in this cookbook over the years and every single one has been a winner. Many of the muffin recipes on my blog are riffs on recipes from this cookbook, including the jam filled muffins and the banana muffins and the pumpkin muffins.
  7. Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman. I’ve been following Deb since BEFORE she started Smitten Kitchen, back when her blog was a dating blog. Some of her recipes are a bit out there for me, but her recipes never let me down and this cookbook is bursting with delicious options. (I only own this one, but her first cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, is also fantastic).
  8. Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten. About six months after we got married, I opened a box to get out a dish and discovered that the gift included this cookbook as well as the dish. What a score! This book was instrumental in my cooking education – this one is full of family friendly winners.

What are your favorite cookbooks? I’d love to hear!

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8 Comments

  1. So many new ones for me here! I’ve only tried the Smitten Kitchen one from your list and I love that one!
    I really love Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking. I’m sure there are some recipes in there I will never make (veal) but her tomato sauce with butter and onion is the easiest and best. I also love her chicken with two lemons. It’s also so easy, although you have to be home for it. I’ve also made her minestrone, lasagna, and homemade pasta, and they’re a bit more work but still winners.
    I also really like The Faux Martha’s The Minimalist Kitchen cookbook and Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food. They both have healthy, quick, and delicious recipes.

  2. “You Have It Made” by Ellie Krieger! Quick, healthy dishes that taste soooo good! Love the recipes for harvest breakfast cookies and chicken enchilada pie.

  3. I love the Two Peas and their Pod one, too! I just got it for Christmas this last year and have really enjoyed everything I’ve made. I’ve also set two cookbook challenges for myself lately, so I’ve been working through a LOT of cookbooks lately! One of the challenges is to cook my way through an entire cookbook (and the one I’ve chosen for that is The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, which is FANTASTIC! So many favorites in there!), and the other one is to make four new recipes out of several of my other cookbooks at the same time, just so they don’t sit unused while I work on the one challenge 🙂

    The list of the 12 cookbooks I’m cooking 4 recipes from monthly is here, if anyone is looking for more family-friendly cookbook ideas:

    https://www.toloveandtolearn.com/2020/02/24/the-cook-your-shelves-challenge-11-family-friendly-cookbooks/

  4. I LOVE Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams! I’ve made many of her recipes and they are always fantastic. The two cookbooks I reference the most are both ice cream ones (the other is The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.)

  5. I Heart Naptime by Jamielynn Nye. So many good recipes from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

  6. My all time favorite cookbook is From My House to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Reading her recipes is like having her in your kitchen cheering you on! I was in a blog group called Tuesdays with Dorie. We cooked our way thru this book! Excellent.

  7. Dinner – A Love Story is a great cookbook, full of stories and strategies to think about how your family enjoys meals together. AND good recipes that are family focused. It’s so good, and the follow up Weekday Vegetarians is also great!

  8. Definitely check out the newest cookbooks from Deb (Smitten Kitchen Keepers) and Jessica (everyday dinners). They are in my new go-to rotation!

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