My 5 Favorite Cookbooks
I have a large cookbook collection. When I see a cookbook I like I get it at the library first. Then if I love it I have to make room for it by getting rid of something else or at least moving something from the small kitchen bookshelf to another room. In short, it has to be good to earn a spot on that shelf. Some are there because they are beautiful and contain gorgeous recipes I make on special occasions, but today we are talking about the workhorses. These are the books with stains and splatters, that get pulled off the shelf for getting the family fed on a Tuesday night.
Skinnytaste One and Done by Gina HomolkaThis genius cookbook is broken into the following chapters: Instant Pot, Dutch Oven, Sheet Pan, Air Fryer, Skillet and Slow Cooker. Some of our favorite recipes in here are Chicken Cordon Bleu (One skillet), Pot in Pot Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (Instant Pot) and Fall-off-the-Bone Whole Rosemary Chicken (Slow Cooker). We have the Instant Pot Turkey Breast (green beans and sweet potatoes, too, all in the IP) about once a month. We don't have an air fryer (yet) so I haven't tried any of those, although they give instructions on how to use them with a regular oven.
Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse KopeckyThese two former UNC Cross Country teammates pair Shalane's elite training regimen with Elyse's culinary credentials to bring a no-nonsense guide to whole nutrition (eating a variety of real foods) that you don't have to be a gold medalist to appreciate. We love the Marathon Lasagna, Broccoli Chevre Soup, Superhero Muffins, Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes, Soba Noodle Salad with Runner's High Peanut Sauce and the Oregon Summer Salad with grilled Salmon. Their second cookbook, Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow is another favorite I reach for often.
The Homemade Pantry by Alana ChernilaThis is such a great resource if you are interested in cutting out processed foods and making more things from scratch. I've had this for years and I remember the first time I made her pancake thinking, "why on earth have I been buying a mix for this?" It also includes a few go-to recipes for me: piecrust, pizza dough, crackers, hamburger buns, ice cream and pudding.
Against all Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker
I love all of Danielle Walker's cookbooks, but when I reviewed all of my favorite recipes for this post, I realized that this one has the most. We make Mexican Chicken Chowder all winter, my husband and I love the Buffalo Chicken salad, and the whole family likes Peruvian-style chicken. The big winner in this book for a family favorite has been the Hawaiian Chicken Burgers. There are also lots of grain free recipes for muffins, waffles, chocolate chip cookies and other treats.
Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
Last but certainly not least is my favorite home cook/recipe blogger of all time, Deb! As much as I loved the chocolate chip brioche pretzels with orange zest from her first cookbook, I made them all of once while I've made the everything drop biscuits many times. That's kind of the theme. Everything is delicious but it is also decidedly simple. No exotic ingredients or elaborate steps here. We love smashed cucumber salad, roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar, and broccoli melts (seriously the best thing ever). In addition to the standard dessert section (with great variations on sheet cakes and icings), there's a party food section with drinks and apps.
There you have it, the five cookbooks I couldn't live without. I hope you find a new one to add to your collection. If I missed your favorite, I'd love to hear about it.
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