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So when food is your big thing, there are many ways for you to enjoy food outside of your kitchen. You may pick up a cooking magazine, surf the internet for interesting looking recipes to try, a pick up a cookbook or two and page through it. You may even sit down and start watching one of the many cooking shows out there or the network fully devoted to food.
Before I was a food person, I was and still am a book person. I loved to read and would read just about everything and anything. I read fiction, non-fiction, biographies, magazines and anything else that sparked my interest. This is how I made it through childhood, those awkward pre-teen years and the first few weeks and months in a new city. Each time I found myself in a new place, one of the first things I would do is find the nearest library and sign up for a library card. So it is not surprising to me that since my attention, time and interest have all turned to food, I have been reading more about food. Or trying. I currently have about 7 new cookbooks, food guides and general books about food that need some attention.
But like ever book person, I have favorites. Cookbooks I come to over and over, no matter how many times I’ve made the recipes inside. Sometimes it’s to check a quantity of an ingredient, sometimes it’s to take a quick peek at a picture, and sometimes it’s to discover a new recipe/technique I may have missed in my first pass.
The cookbooks below are ones that have earned a place on my bookshelf and are loved as much as any book can be. They changed how I cook, look at food and at books. I never thought I would read a cookbook like a novel, but thanks to these gems, I do.
My Top 3 Cookbooks
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, Julia Child
Hands down, this cookbook changed the course of my food interest. This is the first cookbook that I sat down with and read as if it were a novel. I loved the descriptions, the illustrations, the recipes, just everything! The inspiration for my Roasted Chicken came from the method in this book. This book also inspired me to create my own piecrust recipe (you can check it out HERE), make my very first (but not last) quiche, and showed me a whole world of recipes and techniques I never would have thought of. I’m so very grateful this one came into my home and sparked my curiosity about the kitchen and what you can do there.
Taste of Home cookbooks and magazine, multiple authors
To be fair, Taste of Home is a magazine first, and many cookbooks second. But the truth is I had to include it because if Mastering the Art of French Cooking got me in the kitchen, Taste of Home kept me there. I received my first copy of Taste of Home magazine from Jim’s grandmother, which happened to also be the first issue of the magazine ever published! So in a way, I have been with them from day one. Full of easy, straightforward and delicious comfort classics, the magazine is perfect for someone who wants to cook more during the week and in general but is not exactly sure where to start. There is a cookbook for all manners and types of cooking, from slow cooker to fast weeknight, and even seasonal cookbooks and magazines to cook and bake your way through the holidays. And if you have poked around my site, you know I love, love, love the holidays!
Betty Crocker Cookbook (Red Cover)
And last, but not least, the perfect cookbook for the beginning home cook. There is a reason that the Betty Crocker Cookbook is given to couples so often as a wedding gift. It is just a wealth of simple and a bit more complicated recipes, great tips and tricks and it answers food questions you may not even think you have. Thanks to this book, I know know where almost all of my cuts of meat come from on an animal and the ideal temperature that it should be cooked at. For a new cook, that is an amazing resource to have without having to Google away. Jimmy and I received this cookbook as a Christmas gift years ago and even inspired my Brinner classic, Puffiest Pancakes.
So there you have it, folks. These are cookbooks that I have devoured like a bestseller, refer to time and again still and in the case of Taste of Home, am a long-time magazine subscriber. You can purchase each of these books at the links below, or better still, see if your local library has a copy and check them out for some free and amazing inspiration!