Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Cookery" - CookBooks- Some of The Best Reads!

Vintage Cookbook

Some of the cookbooks in my home are just for display. I am not ashamed to say it, they look good in the kitchen.
The Tartine and Tartine Bread cookbook covers look so good. The venerable Alice Waters wrote the foreword for  the Tartine book after all!  I wanted to have it for display because I do not bake much. The breadmaker comes out, I bake and that is it, nothing fancy or flashy.  They do have some great recipes in the Tartine book but if the recipe takes up almost an entire page, my eyes start to glaze over. Patience,patience. And reality, the weekend arrives and all the enthusiasm to cook gets eaten by outings, shopping, errands and plain old exhaustion.
I  love cookbooks because I get a warm, happy feeling when I see them, I want to cook. Same thing with Nigella Lawson, I think she is phenomenal and her cookbooks are fantastic. I started reading Ms Lawson's recipes years ago in British Vogue when she was their food contributor and I was hooked. Her writing style was cozy, infectious and fun. I wanted to be Nigella in the kitchen.  I actually curled up on the sofa to read the Nigella Express Cookbook. Cooked anything? not yet. I drove DH crazy looking for Cream of Tartar for the Forgotten Pudding on page 136 of Nigella Express ( he remembers well).  Have I made it yet?.....well no. And, I have at least 30 recipes with tabs in that cookbook alone. She has the best recipes.  But can she actually get you to cook them? or just read and fantasize about it?  I know that Rachel Ray has millions of fans and I have actually cooked some of her recipes and they were all fantastic. Of course her 30 minute meals is on this list!
One of my dear friends in Ohio is a fantastic mom who cooks and bakes fantastic recipes often and I always admire her ability to do that and balance everything else as a mother to twins. Another friend in Canada gets me every time she sends a picture with a delicious meal she prepared and she always generously shares her recipes. There are many hard working heroines out there!
But how much time do I have? Not much. I like fast and easy but cookbooks are also wonderful to read depending on the author.  I like my mother's recipes best and that is how it is for most of us. But there are some great books out there.

The Food Network influenced some of the choices since we became familiar with some chefs from their shows on the channel.
Who are your favorites chefs? What are your favorite cookery books?  You may not like any of our picks and I am sure that we missed many cookbooks. We  would love to get your feedback.

Here are some of our  best reading and cooking Cookbooks out there!

Tartine Bread( inside look). by Chad Robertson and Eric Wolfinger
Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast
My favorite cookbook. My favorite cookbook author. My favorite TV show in Food Network
Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home
Her latest one!
Gravy as we call it. Pass the bread please!  This book has some great sauces for any and every occasion, watch out it is heavy!
Cuisine from the South American country. Chock full of recipes reflecting the contribution of five different races along with a  pinch of  British sensibility. Amazing food!

On Food and Cooking
Food and Cooking
Amazing read. The science of cooking combined with history and food. He examines the nature of digestion and hunger among other topics, truly amazing read

. La Cocina De Mama by Penelope Casas La Cocina De Mama link to Amazon
Great Spanish recipes, love it!

La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain

River Road Recipes by The Junior League of Baton Rouge River Road Recipes
Authentic creole recipes.

Lost Recipes by Marlon Cunningham Lost Recipes
Loads of comfort recipes.

How to Grill by Seven Raichlen How To Grill
That beer can chicken is truly delicious!

The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook by Linda Fraser  The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook
You will not run out of options with this great book!

Rachel Ray 30 Minutes Meals R Ray link
Be sure to check out 30 minute part 2.

Meals Made Simple by Real Simple Real Simple Meals
Great recipes from one of our favorite magazines. Easy and delicious recipes for all palates.

Once Upon a Tart- Frank Montesana and Jerome Audureau
Passionate foodies open a restaurant. What an adventure.

Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid Hot Sour Salty Sweet Link
Great tour to Southeast Asia and its cuisine. Travel with the authors and learn how to use some those products in your grocery aisle.

The Foods Of the Greek Islands by Aglaia Kremezi Foods of the Greek Islands link
Delicious recipes from one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. The Greek are known for their use of greens to make anything, and there are some great recipes in this one.

Everyday Italian 125 recipes by Gaida DeLaurentis - Another chef who makes cooking very exciting and simple. I love her enthusiasm for food, which translates to her book. Check out her home line at Target, very cute. Gaida for Target

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller French Laundry- We all want to know how he creates that magic, the cookbook is the closest like me you will ever get!

The Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa
I wish she could just cook a few meals for me, she makes it look so easy.

 Molto Italiano - Mario Batali
For those who have not had the privilege of eating at his famous  restaurants Babbos in New York. He has a wonderful show in Food Netwook.

Anthony Bourdain - Honorable mention to the man who opens a door to  life, culture and food from far flung places all over the world. Mr Bourdain plays a crucial role by giving us history lessons about different cultures and cuisines and I am grateful for his curiosity everywhere he goes and everything he does. Please try to read all of his books if you can. Check out his show on The Food Network, you have been missing a real treat.
Some of his best episodes - His visit to his wife's ancestral home of Corsica, his visit to Paris with famed chef Eric Rupert and his visits to Ghana,Namibia/South Africa and Vietnam. Simply amazing.
Cook's Tour LInk

One last one... the book that many people say changed the way they look at food.
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
" A fascinating journey up and down the food chain" Amazon.

Happy Reading!


  1. Love this, Deb! I have both Giada's EveryDay Italian and Curtis Stone's cookbook in our kitchen as eye candy for both of us. Without a doubt, our go-to cookbook is Eating Cuban. My husband has tried several recipes and they are all fabulous. Authentic, creole classics and they are simple and tasty.

  2. Shelley, Thank you for your comments. I have to get Eating Cuban and I hope not just for eye candy. I will keep you updated! ha!


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