Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cookbook Suggestions

With the holidays around the corner, I thought I'd put together some cookbook gift suggestions. I haven't seen every cookbook out there so these recommendations are based on books that I personally own or have checked out of the library.

I can't really do this list justice in one sitting. I'll probably tweak this post every so often. This is just a start. Pleast add your own suggestions in the comment sections.

Cookbooks with a little bit of everything:
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook -This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It's very detailed oriented which makes it great for beginners but more experienced cooks can just ignore the extraneous information.

Taste of Home Cooks Who Care Edition - Any version of this cookbook is great but this particular version sends a nice message to caregivers of any sort.

For Food Network Fans:
I have to warn you that Rachael Ray books can be a bit intimidating. The ingredient lists are long but the recipes themselves usually aren't too involved. I also find that some of her books are much better than others. My two favorites are Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book and Rachael Ray's Book of Ten.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and More Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I love these books. They bring the show to book form and there are a lot of great recipes in them too. Not all or even close to all of the recipes they show on screen make it into the book but it's still a good representation.

The Deen Bros. Y’All Come Eat - Great recipes and photographs.

Something from Giada - I haven't seen the New Family Favorite book but her books are usually consistently good.

For people who love to bake:
Dorie Greenspan Baking from My Home to Yours - the hottest baking book of the decade
Martha Stewart Cupcakes - who doesn't love cupcakes?
Martha Stewart Cookies -lots of cookie recipes and organized really well
Any King Arthur book - whether it's the Baking Companion, Cookie or whole-grain version, you can't go wrong
America’s Best Lost Recipes - I love this collection of old-fashioned recipes

Slow cooker cookbooks (maybe you can give a slow cooker and a cookbook. There are lots of slow cooker cookbooks and some are better than others):
Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook - This is a no-nonsense mainly homestyle collection of recipes. It's organized better than the smaller Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook.

anything by Judith Finlayson. Here recipes require more prep work but they are more nuanced than the Fix-It and Forget-It cookbooks - sort of gourmet crockpotting.

For those trying to eat healthier:
Cooking Light Annuals. These are great. I've noticed a difference after 2007 (recipes getting more upscale) but these annuals are still one of the best sources of lighter recipes.

Biggest Loser cookbooks. The Biggest Loser Cookbook and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook are great for people who are seriously dieting but if you know a person who is a big fan of the show, even if they are in full diet-mode, they may still enjoy these books since they have a lot of pictures of the contestants and other helpful information to get someone started.

The Most Decadent Diet Ever - same author as the Biggest Loser cookbooks. The recipes are a step up from the Biggest Loser cookbooks but still easy to follow and mostly based on common foods most people enjoy, just lightened up.

Just one of my personal favorites:
Food and Wine's Quick From Scratch series - these are some of my favorite cookbooks. The recipes are not run-of-the-mill yet not too fancy and they're not complicated.

5 comments:

Heidi said...

I think the Farmer's Wife cookbooks are a lot of fun. I think it's interesting reading old recipes... I wonder how anyone got anything to turn out!!
Thanks for the great cookbook ideas :)

Pilar said...

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/11/23/091123crat_atlarge_gopnik?currentPage=all
HI Paula
See if you can get to this link, or find it in the Nov.23 New Yorker. May be of interest..."our hunger for cookbooks."

Mrs. L said...

I've cooked from several of those listed.I'd say the Martha Stewart Cupcakes is a great book. And I agree with you on the Food And Wine books. Their Quick From Scratch Italian gets cooked from all the time.

Aimee said...

I love the Cook's Country Cookbook - that is a great gift because you also get some DVD's with it!

Heather said...

Paula, you do know your cookbooks, I think I have used all of these and they are all winners.