Tuesday, March 29, 2011

[HOH Recommends]: Cookbooks

My Collection

When Dena told me she wanted to post about our favorite cookbooks, I immediately sort of panicked. How could I EVER choose? I love each and every one of my 40+ cookbooks equally. While I'm decidedly not a recipe-follower, I frequently read through 5 or 6 of these fabulous tomes before I settle on exactly how I'm going to attempt a new dish. I like to see how Thomas Keller, Ina Garten, Mark Bittman, Donna Hay, and Martha Stewart make their golumpkis before I make mine. All that being said, there is one book that sticks out in my mind as my usual starting point - The Gourmet Cookbook, 2004, edited by the inimitable Ruth Reichl.

This book has everything. Want to make Calvados Applesauce? Bananas Foster Cheesecake? Gefilte Fish? Ruth's covered it all and then some. In addition to a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate index, I particularly value their useful "how-to's" - detailed descriptions on everything from how to devein shrimp to brining your Thanksgiving turkey. If you're new to the world of cookbooks, I can't recommend this one more strenuously - it's timeless, chock full of great recipes, and certainly never disappoints! Get yours here.

And now my turn [says, Dena].

Again, like Victoria, I have a problem with following recipes. So recognizable is this problem, that my baking failures amount to much more than my baking victories. It is for this fact [among many others] that I stick to cooking, rather than baking, whenever possible.

The book. Another all-inclusive [as blatantly described by the title]: How to Cook Everything, by the aforementioned, Mark Bittman.

It was with great generosity that Bittman wrote this book. I mean, it could have been written as a series; there is so much to offer. What I enjoy are the dish variations, the broad spectrum of focus and the simplicity of the recipes [searching for ingredients is sometimes half the battle, right?]. I'd suggest purchasing the revised edition. And to do so, click here. Vegetarian? Go for How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.


  1. i don't have either of these!!! i'll have to check them both out.. (& is it bad that i don't even know what golumpkis is?)

  2. erin! golumpki is a stuffed cabbage dish made with rice and ground beef, and simmered in a slightly sweet tomato sauce. they are divine!

  3. I have to try those so-called Golumpkis :)