Favorite Cookbooks

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I’m one of those people, I don’t just collect cookbooks, I don’t just read them when I’m getting my hair done, I don’t just dream about making recipes; but I actually do use and make these fabulous recipes from these wonderful chefs. My meals may not taste like a restaurant chefs’ dishes, but I think my family like being part my test kitchen. These are some of my favorite cookbooks from the obscenely many that I have collected through the years.

Baking Illustrated by the Editor’s of Cook’s Illustrated is one of the best cookbooks for baked goods.  I love how they explain how they go through the whole process of finding the very best of everything they make.  I also love their options for your personal taste in cookies and bars, such as, chewy vs: crunchy.  One of my favorites is their Peanut Butter Cookies.

The White Gull Inn is a restaurant and bed and breakfast in Door County Wisconsin.  Probably the best breakfast I’ve ever had and the recipes are in this gem of a cookbook.  Check out the Blueberry Coffee Cake, it’s great when you have company for the weekend.   Their award winning chili is perfect for a Sunday afternoon football game.

Magnolia’s Bakery Cookbook is the best cookbook for cupcakes and frosting recipes.  This cookbook is worth its weight in buttercream and cream cheese frosting.

The Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Cookbook is a great cookbook when I can’t think of anything for dinner.  I want to make everything in this book.  The cover says it all with their roast chicken with lemons and sage.  Yummy!

The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook is the book I go to when I’m in the mood for Chowder, Seafood and memories of the east coast in the summer time.  Great photos too!

Saveur Authentic French has made me move out of my comfort zone in the kitchen.  The French Onion Soup recipe in now my families recipe.  The photos are beautiful of the French countryside and the people that live and cook there.  Truly a gem of a book.  They make other cookbooks from other countries that I can’t wait to try!

—Art Smith’s Back to the Table has this cake recipe called Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese icing, it is so good that I know I’ve dreamt about it.

Brennan’s New Orleans Cookbook is the book I turn to when I want to make something extra special.  They have the best Banana’s Foster recipe in the world.  Harris’ favorite dessert and I think maybe mine too!

—All of the Barefoot Contessa’s cookbooks are great!  Ina Garten’s recipes are simple, fresh and doable for a family meal during the week or weekend.  I love watching her cook on the  .  She makes everything seem easy and fun to make and eat.  She makes me want to have a dinner party.

Big Sky Cookbook makes me want to move west and make sizzling steaks with apple pie and hand churned ice cream.

Emeril’s Delmonico cookbook has the best steak recipe I’ve ever found.  Great recipes and stories about New Orleans. He inspires me to be a better cook.  He also has the best Bloody Mary recipe too!

Harry’s Bar in Venice is probably my favorite cookbook that I have ever found.  This book really challenges me and inspires me.  Great recipes, great stories about Venice during WWII, great stories about the people who visited Harry’s Bar, great bartender stories, and, of course, most importantly the food.  Make the Bellini, Artichoke Soup, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with their dressing, the Chicken with White Beans, and anything with Truffles.  Try the Almond Cookie recipe!

—Last, but not least, is the Ash Creek Church Cookbook; this is the cookbook of my childhood.  All the church ladies, my mom and grandmothers contributed to this cookbook.  It really brings back all of those tastes and scents of home.  I love all the little notes that my mother added to her own book, it’s heartwarming to see her handwriting again.

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”  Julia Child

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”   Julia Child

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.  In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  Julia Child

“I think every woman should have a blowtorch”  Julia Child

“Everything in moderation….including moderation.”  Julia Child





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