In the age of the internet, buying cookbooks seems like a bit of a silly, outdated practice. After all, Pinterest is perfect for finding new and creative recipes you might not have thought of, and Google does the job pretty well when I’m looking for a “simple roast chicken” or “thin crust pizza.”
But there is something so lovely about curling up on the couch with a tea or coffee, blankets piled around you, and lazily flipping through a gorgeous cookbook. I make lists on a notepad of the ones that I want to make, and sometimes I use little post-it-notes to keep track of them. Much in the same way I deeply love watching food porn TV and movies on Netflix, I can’t get enough of the gorgeous photos and unusual ideas.
Here are my favorite cookbooks that I can’t live without:
1. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham
There’s really two cooking bibles that contain nearly every classic recipe – The Joy of Cooking and the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. My mom gave me this one for my birthday many years ago, so Fannie Farmer is what I use. From a perfect pie crust to an amazing mac and cheese, this is the first place I go if I need an iconic dish. No photos in this one, but it will get used over and over again.
2. Dinner Made Simple by Real Simple
Real Simple is my absolutely favorite magazine, and torn out recipes from its issues absolutely liter my recipe binder. I was thrilled when they released a book of dinner recipes this year, which are made up of only 35 everyday ingredients. Every dish contains only just a few steps, so they’re perfect for fast, weeknight dinners.
3. Love and Lemons by Jeanie Donofrio
Despite Love and Lemons being one of the most famous and classic food blogs, I had actually never heard of it before I stumbled across this gorgeous book on the store shelf. Filled with stunning photographs and healthy, vegetarian recipes, the pages encapsulate the sort of food that I want to be cooking.
4. Eat by Nigel Slater
My favorite thing about Nigel Slater’s book is it’s all about “fast food” – little recipes you can whip up with whatever you have on hand in a few simple steps. In many ways, it reminds me to get creative with my own cooking and serves as a guide more than a bible where every step must be followed. I’ve actually shared two recipes inspired by this book on Oddly Lovely already… Chorizo and Sweet Potato Mash and Tomato and Ricotta Focaccia Toast.
5. Complete Book of Home Preserving by Ball
I’m finishing this list today with a very specific cookbook all about canning, pickling, and other types of home preserving. Ball is the maker of the most iconic canning jars (I’m sure you’ve seen them). Because canning requires a more specific formula in order for it to turn out and be safe to eat months later, I’m just less trusting of random recipes on the internet. This book has just about everything you could ever want to make, so there’s never a need to look elsewhere.
What are your favorite cookbooks (or food blogs!)? I’m always looking for new suggestions.