I am happy to say that I know quite a few really good cooks and bakers. They use fresh ingredients, cook/bake from scratch and (deservedly so) take pride in the results. These gals and guys know their way around a saucepan and have discovered go-to cookbooks to use as reliable references when checking on a new technique or when working with an unfamiliar food. Sometimes, they use the cookbooks to expand their repertoire of tasty entrees and/or desserts.
The Nightstand Book Reviews subscribers were invited to contribute their choices for favorite cookbooks (suitable for holiday gift-giving). Take a look at the list and their comments.
Pat Bee uses:
The New Doubleday Cookbook! My husband found this cookbook years ago and it is a great one! Lots of information regarding cooking – not just recipes.
My other favorite is Baking by Dorie Greenspan. Haven’t had a failure with any of the recipes and the final product is delicious, especially the biscotti. (Note from Patti: I’ve had the biscotti. Yummy!)
Rony G Cambell suggests:
My son found a cookbook The Country Farmhouse Cookbook by Sarah Banbery. I’ve never come across a cookbook with so much love, detail and absolutely outstanding recipes, all with brilliant photography to accompany them.
It covers everything from growing, to final preparation. Soups, snacks, egg & cheese dishes, fish & shellfish – the list goes on until the final Homemade Drinks & Sweets.
It gets used at least once a week in our house.
Toni DeLuca praises:
My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. It made the Goodreads list for top cookbooks. It includes recipes as well as stories of Paris.
Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Fast. There are over 900 pages but it really is a helpful book. He is very health conscious and gives clear directions. He writes for the NYTimes and is on PBS.
From the Kitchens of Martha Stewart:
Meatless: Vegetarian recipes. Not complicated and even meat eaters would enjoy the recipes. I made several of the recipes – Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Gratin & Roasted Tomato Tabbouleh are two.
One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals From Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot and More.
Edith Maxwell has contributed to:
Cozy Food: 128 Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes! Nancy Lynn Jarvis compiled this. It includes many delicious recipes from many well-known (and some not so well-known) mystery authors. I have recipes in there for Baba Ganoush, and Tomato-Bean Salad with Eggs.
Check out www.edithmaxwell.com for links/info about Edith’s books, featuring amateur sleuths that are also talented cooks.
Liz Mugavero loves:
Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr and Chad Samo. Kris is a wellness advocate who has been living with cancer for eleven years and has improved her health and lifestyle with her food choices. The recipes in this book are vegan and many have gluten free options. All are plant based. It's definitely my go-to cookbook!
Check out www.lizmugavero.com for links/info about Liz’s fun, pet friendly murder mysteries that include recipes for pet treats.
Brian Stewart suggests:
For curry fans (like me) you can’t look past Atul Kochhar’s Atul’s Curries of the World. Tried many of them, and all are fantastic (top favourite is the prawn and mango one!!)
Lynn C. Willis recommends:
My favorite cookbook is my Hershey's Recipes. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! It's only 30 pages but every page is filled with some kind of goodie made with Hershey chocolate. Chocolate Raspberry Dessert is nearly truly zen-worthy. I found this book in the dollar bin at Target and consider it the best dollar I've ever spent. (Note from Patti: Hershey now has multiple titles for chocolate recipe cookbooks. The link takes you to one of the many.)
My second favorite cookbook is The Chandler Family Recipes – a book my cousin put together a few years ago and distributed at our family reunion. She spent years gathering the recipes of our grandmothers, mothers, great aunts, aunts and fellow cousins and compiled them in spiral-bound books she photocopied herself. I gave one to my own daughter and one to my daughter-in-law as something to pass on to their own daughters. (Note from Patti: You can’t purchase the Chandler collection of recipes, but isn’t it a great idea for a future gift?)
Check out www.lynnchandlerwillis.com for info/links to Lynn’s award-winning mysteries.
I have some of the above titles on my shelf, but have asked Santa to bring me the ones I’m missing. J
Happy shopping everyone!
P.S. If you are subscriber to Nightstand Book Reviews and would like to add a cookbook title to the list, please email me with your suggestion.