It’s quite safe to say that what was once a dreaded, overwhelming task turned into a total love affair and beloved creative outlet. Cooking has become something in my life that not only results in bodily nourishment but also makes for a creative venture of technique and texture and taste. However, this enjoyment has not always been the case and so if you feel like you destroy all that you attempt to turn into palatable food, there is hope indeed! In my cooking journey, cookbooks have guided me with their helpful instruction and delicious inspiration. Whether you’re quite experienced or you consider yourself a novice in the kitchen, I think that helping yourself to a new cookbook is always a good investment (and usually results in something tasty)!
I’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole that is Amazon’s cookbook section many a time. With so many options and gorgeous covers and interesting approaches out there, inspiration abounds! With every book I’ve added to my collection, my culinary horizons have broadened and my cooking has been so greatly encouraged by recipes printed on paper now stained with sauce and buttered fingerprints.
Here’s a short list of five cookbooks I absolutely adore. I really hope it aids you in some way in your cooking journey or simply sparks an interest in dabbling in culinary creativity. This is a list of my current personal favorites, not necessarily honed in on a specific category or culinary topic, but I desperately love them and you can’t help but share what you love if you really love it! Of course, this list is most definitely incomplete as there are so many “greats” in culinary literature, so I encourage you to continue to explore!
- The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook – I call this the Cooking Bible. If you are diving into cooking for the first time or want to master technique, this one’s for you. Actually, I’ll be frank: this one’s for everyone! With detailed pictures outlining every step, descriptions of different cookware and their appropriate functions, and the best way to cook anything you could think of, this is a great basic fit for every kitchen.
- Julia Turshen’s Small Victories – Julia’s cookbook is sort of like that comfortable pair of jeans you’ve had for forever that makes you look and feel good. Her recipes are amazing and approachable and like those jeans, make you feel like a million bucks while not being at all fussy. I would actually say that her approach to food is the exact opposite of fussy, and that’s the kind of cookbook you’ll be reaching for when the kids are hungry or the in laws are in town!
- Mimi Thorrisson’s A Kitchen in France – By mere chance, I somehow stumbled upon Mimi’s blog, Manger, and was immediately drawn in by her warm narrative and dreamy photographs. Mimi lives in the French countryside with her husband, six children and ten dogs and somehow also writes cookbooks and blogs and hosts workshops and looks fabulously elegant while doing it all! Us mere mortals have much to learn from her stunning culinary talents, covetable lifestyle, timeless style, and knack for making even the most ordinary of things beautiful.
- Athena Calderone’s Cook Beautiful – Oh, Athena. Everything you touch turns to gold. If you haven’t heard of EyeSwoon, her creative baby and source of all things swoon-worthy in life, you simply must visit her site. After just one peek at her endeavors you may start to drool (I most certainly did)! Her cookbook is no different. Every page is gorgeous, organized by seasons and featuring entertaining tips as well as food styling advice. The recipes really are just as scrumptious as they look!
- Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain – This was the very first cookbook I ever purchased! I briefly met Danielle through acquaintances years ago before she had published her first cookbook (she is now working on her fourth!) and when I heard that she had published I knew I needed to try out her recipes! Danielle is an inspiration as she healed her autoimmune disease through a paleo diet and so her recipes are perfect for those with dietary restrictions, those who eat paleo, or those simply wanting some healthier options! Her recipes are both healthy and truly delicious.
Happy cookbook reading!