Food & Cookbooks

This could go into "Books" as well, but since most of us would rank cookbooks by their recipes, I'd thought it would fit in here.

 

I have a cookbook collection. I had about one cookbook three years ago, now I have more than 30. It's an addiction. 

 

What are some of your favourites? Recommend away. 

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I love anything from the Cook's Country/America's Test Kitchen people. I just think the science they introduce is so interesting. Also, gadgets.

For a great basic, all around cookbook, you can't beat Better Homes and Gardens (the plaid ring-bound one). It's the closest thing I've found to my mom's ancient Betty Crocker. BC has gone to more recipes that use prepared foods, ethnic ingredients, etc., which can be hard to find at my local grocery store. BH&G is more old-fashioned, from-scratch cooking, which is more my thing. Plus, they have tons of step-by-step pictures and general techniques.

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I just bought the huge America's Test Kitchen book with every single recipe. It is big and heavy but filled with good looking food.

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In case you don't know me yet, I have a tendency to use 1000 words when I should only be using 15.  Please bear with me.  ::giggle::

 

I was born and raised in Hawaii.  Hawaii is a huge melting pot of all sorts of Polynesian, Asian and Portuguese culture, so the food choices are vast.

 

Big thing when I was growing up was the vast fundraisers they would have supporting some sort of charity, and the prize of choice was often a cookbook.  Most often, they would gather old school recipes from the different cultures and compile them and bind them with a spiral binder and sell them.  I have a plethora of those cookbooks.  That is a legacy I am proud to give my daughter.

 

These peeps that contributed recipes, it's so funny to read them ... they are not really recipes, but rather almost story telling.  Keep in mind, there are no pictures.  Just pages bounded together.  So a recipe isn't ingredients/directions, but a pretty graphic tale on how to put a dish together.  It's fun!

 

I think that by growing up with that as a foundation, I have turned into a cook that doesn't go by recipes.  I learned early on what spices, veggies, fruits, grains, go together and what doesn't.  And being that I have a background in Asian/Polynesian/Portuguese cultures, my repertoire of choice is pretty big. 

 

However, my culture of food choice nowadays?  Mexican and Greek - two cultures that I didn't grow up on, so I am always trying to figure out how to make those dishes (omg, don't ever ask me about my try at Moussaka and Spanakopita) ... I haven't yet, but I will buy a cookbook that gives me a great overview in Greek cooking, if anyone can recommend something.  The Mexican thing I have down pat.  I think that is my latin side (Portuguese).

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In case you don't know me yet, I have a tendency to use 1000 words when I should only be using 15.  Please bear with me.  ::giggle::

Thank God I'm not the only one!  :)

 

For about a year now, I've been getting some fantastic recipes (cooking and baking) from Taste of Home: Simple and Delicious magazines.  I have a NOOK and bought a subscription for a dollar a month.  I've been very impressed!  They have side dishes, main courses, appetizers, desserts...some of which are quick and simple, some are a bit more labor intensive, but for someone like myself, who doesn't particularly enjoy cooking, it's been great.  I probably use it about twice a week or more. 

 

We also went years (like almost 20) without AC, so we grill a lot.  I was terrible at it, so my husband bought me Weber's Real Grilling book, which explains the best way to grill everything that you can possible throw on there and has over 200 recipes in all categories:  Rubs, marinades and sauces, red meat, pork, poultry, fish, veggies and sides, and desserts.

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I love Deborah Madison's Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers' Markets.  It's important to me to eat seasonally, either from my backyard garden or local family farms.  But some of the things I pick up at the farmers' market because it just looked, smelled and/or tasted so good, I have no earthly idea what to do with.  This book is my go-to for such situations: look up the ingredient in the index, and find simple, tasty recipes using it alongside other seasonal ingredients.  Michael Pollan called this book "indispensable" for those trying to eat locally and seasonally, and I must agree.

 

Also, I must give a shout-out to Cheryl Sedaker's 365 Ways to Cook Chicken.  There isn't much particularly innovative or exotic in there (Thai chicken with papaya and lime gets labeled "au courant"), but it's good food.  There are chapters for appetizers, soups, salads, fried, roasted (one for whole chicken recipes and one for cut-up roasters), casseroles, chicken with pasta, skillet meals, a whole chapter on chicken breasts, quick meals, low-calorie ... it goes on.

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My New Year's resolution this year was to stop buying cookbooks but that doesn't stop me from visiting websites.  I've found Stephanie O'Dea's site really good for slow cooker recipes:  she's the one who made a new dish every day for a year.  I'm also enjoying Budget Bytes which sends me a new recipe e-mail once a week.

 

Even if I try 10 recipes a day for the rest of my life (I shoot for one per week), I will never, ever get through all the books, magazines and clippings I have piled up in my kitchen.  I have a ton of stuff I clipped out of Taste of Home or Lean and Tasty magazines.  So much that one day I was pulling potential recipes for chicken and I discovered I had two clippings for the same recipe (same author, same comment at the top) from two different issues.  That's when I let my subscriptions expire: I prefer to do my own recycling!

Edited by Qoass.

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I read and go through the books for ideas. I don't always follow the recipes, but they can be inspiring. I also love how big they are. If they have great photos and anecdotes, even better. I don't tend to buy hardcover books much except for cookbooks. I find them comforting.

 

On the non recipe front, I really like Michael Pollan's writings about food and the food industry.

 

A cookbook I recently read cover to cover was Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. It wasn't hardcover and had no photos, but it made up for it by Reese's writing and adventures on figuring out what was worth the money, time, and effort to make at home. I agreed with her on a lot of the things except I like canning more than she does. 

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Oh, well, if we're going to discuss cookbooks we don't cook from, I treasure my big hardcover Marcia Adams volumes Cooking from Quilt Country, New Recipes from Quilt County and Heartland.  The color photographs are, uh, delicious.  I also enjoy reading Nigella Lawson's books because she writes just like she talks and I can hear that plummy accent in my head.

 

As for non-recipe recommendations, I enjoyed Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and of course, Julie and Julia.  Just don't read the follow-up Cleaving if you want to continue to think well of Julie Powell.

 

I just finished Ruth Reichl's first novel Delicious! but I much prefer her non-fiction.

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I love Deborah Madison's Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers' Markets.  It's important to me to eat seasonally, either from my backyard garden or local family farms.  But some of the things I pick up at the farmers' market because it just looked, smelled and/or tasted so good, I have no earthly idea what to do with.  This book is my go-to for such situations: look up the ingredient in the index, and find simple, tasty recipes using it alongside other seasonal ingredients.  Michael Pollan called this book "indispensable" for those trying to eat locally and seasonally, and I must agree.

 

I might have to try that one!  I'm a gardener, and I always like to grow new things, but then I never know what to do with them.  Tomatillos, anyone?  And I can always use new ideas for using surplus produce.  A person can only eat so much zucchini bread!  (And salsa verde.  The aforementioned tomatillos simply overran me last year.)

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Tomatillos make great green enchiladas! I posted this recipe link in the GF food forum too, but it is simply delicious (and uses like 2 lbs of tomatillos). 

 

Back to cookbooks - I have 3 or 4 Disney cookbooks with recipes to make the foods found in the parks. I love them! I can't help it, I'm a huge Disney nerd and some of their food is excellent. 

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I will buy a cookbook that gives me a great overview in Greek cooking, if anyone can recommend something.

 

 

Try The Complete Book of Greek Cooking by St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church. The recipes aren't complicated (though they can be time-consuming) and call for very few ingredients that aren't in your local supermarket (assuming it carries phyllo dough).

 

As for my own favorites: I like the 1997 version of The Joy of Cooking. It doesn't have the personal touches of the earlier Joys, but on the positive side it takes out some of the squicky pictures (no more illustrations on skinning a rabbit). 

 

Years ago, my mother bought me The Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking. It's kind of dated in that it doesn't have any dishes that became popular after the 1970's, but it's still a great resource.

 

I like all the Silver Palate cookbooks done while Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins were still friends. They're very 80's in some ways, timeless in others.

 

If you're interested in American food from the 20's to the 80's (and a bit of the 90's), check out Fashionable FoodSeven Decades of Food Fads by Sylvia Lovegren.

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This is a big topic for me, as I have about 60+ cookbooks at home. :)

One favorite is Aaron Sanchez' "Simple Food, Big Flavor" Each chapter starts with a new sauce, then he gives recipes that uses that sauce. I also like Rick Bayless' "Everyday Mexican"

I also use all three of Guy Fieri's "Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives" books. These books feature recipes from all the places he's visited and there are a ton of good recipes in them. Please note, these aren't Guy's recipes, they are the respective Diner's.

And one that you wont believe is really great is "Mario Batali's "Mario Tailgates, NASCAR Style" Don't let the title put you off, there is a ton a great stuff to cook, and I've never once tailgated, nor been at a NASCAR race. :)

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I also like Rick Bayless' "Everyday Mexican"

 

Me too; that's one of my staples.  I'm very neat and orderly, so I have strict rules on how much stuff can be in my house, including cookbooks.  With most authors, I'd rather just input individual recipes into a hardcover spiral notebook than take up space with their entire book.  Everyday Mexican is one of my few exceptions.

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Sunday's Amazon Kindle Daily Deals include the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook for $1.99. I don't know what it normally costs, and despite being devoted to my e-readers, I prefer my cookbooks in paper. But here it is for anyone who's interested.

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I have a terrible cookbook habit, I was at a used bookstore this past weekend (just to browse, I swear!) and came home with three. One of them I'm already a little in love with: "Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making" by Alana Chernila. I love making homemade versions of stuff that you'd normally buy, so this book is pretty much perfect for me.  I also snagged the "Veganomicon" by Terry Hope Romero & Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I can't wait to start cooking my way through it.

 

I completely understand people being dubious about them, but Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Father's Daughter" and "It's All Good" are two of my favourite cookbooks ever. I literally use both of them a couple of times a week at least and many of the recipes have become staples for me. The food consistently turns out really well.

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 I also snagged the "Veganomicon" by Terry Hope Romero & Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I can't wait to start cooking my way through it.

 

I completely understand people being dubious about them, but Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Father's Daughter" and "It's All Good" are two of my favourite cookbooks ever. I literally use both of them a couple of times a week at least and many of the recipes have become staples for me. The food consistently turns out really well.

 

Let us know how Veganomicon is because while I am not vegan, I am always on the look out for meat and dairy free recipes. 

 

I can't stand Paltrow, but that's good to know that you like her books. 

 

I have a horrible addiction to cookbooks (and books in general) that I swore off used book sales this year completely. 

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@Athena have you seen the Moosewood cookbooks?

 

Yes, I have one. I haven't made anything from it yet. I have Deborah Madison Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and it has given me lots of ideas. I don't have an out and out vegan book yet.

 

To be fair, I also want the River Cottage Meat and the Fat cookbooks.

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I really enjoy the "Cook This Not That" series. I've gotten a ton of ideas from those books and made some great food. I especially like their matrices like "stir fry" matrix or "crock pot" matrix where they give you a few basic instructions and then you select an ingredient from each category (protein, liquid, veggies, etc.) and make your new masterpiece. Allows for creativity and versatility.

Edited by mansonlamps.

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Even though I'm not a vegetarian, I cook a lot from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop, and also from a couple of Deborah Madison's cookbooks.  I love to cook Indian food, the cookbook I use the most for that is Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking.  For everyday basic recipes I use The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  I also have one of the "Cook This, Not That" cookbooks, it's got some great recipes.  I rarely eat out, and this shows how to recreate healthy versions of restaurant dishes at home.  

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I have to second the rec for Mark Bittman. I have the photo version of How to Cook Everything and it gives a lot of ideas and spins on things. It's also pretty. It's the kind of book you can gift to a novice in the kitchen. 

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I was watching (well, it was on in the background) Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, and she was making deviled egg potato salad without mayonnaise.  I love deviled eggs, and printed off the recipe, and will have to try it.

Edited by Rick Kitchen.

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Hello. I'm Forumfish, and I'm a cookbook addict. I come by it honest -- my mom, sister and I easily have more than 150 cookbooks between us. Many are little more than magazines, like the Pillsbury Bake-off annuals, and we have more TV chef cookbooks than any of us care to admit (Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade series comes to mind). Several dozen still have the Half Price Books sticker on the cover. We rarely cook from them, since we come from a long line of word-of-mouth and make-it-up-as-you-go cooks. (Baking is a different matter, of course. Recipies for baked goods are like scientific formulas, and you can only experiment so far without ruining the outcome.)

 

My favorite cookbook, of course, is my mom's recipe book, with family favorites written in her hand, as well as those written by my grandmother. There are even a few I added, starting from childhood. I think my favorites among published cookbooks are the fundraising ones -- whether professionally printed and comb-bound editions, or simple xeroxed copies of typewritten pages, covered in heavy paper and stapled in the center.

 

I remember buying a cookbook from a coworker, back in the 90s, for her daughter's preschool. Along with a parent's recipe for chocolate chip cookies was the child's instruction to "make them move" -- I laughed when I realized this referred to sliding a spatula underneath the cookies to remove them from the baking sheet.

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I just read this article about cooking on the cheap - good, healthy meals that are affordable on a food stamp budget.  The link has the full story, but I copied a snippet below.  And here's a link to the Good and Cheap cookbook.  I've been scrolling through it and it looks pretty darned good.  Each recipe includes total cost and cost per serving.  There's a lot of vegetarian meals, too.  I'm posting it here because I think it's good for anyone, but I found the whole project interesting too.

 

When Leanne Brown moved to New York from Canada to earn a master's in food studies at New York University, she couldn't help noticing that Americans on a tight budget were eating a lot of processed foods heavy in carbs.

 

"It really bothered me," she says. "The 47 million people on food stamps — and that's a big chunk of the population — don't have the same choices everyone else does."

 

Brown guessed that she could help people in SNAP, the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, find ways to cook filling, nourishing and flavorful meals. So she set out to write a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day.

 

The result is Good and Cheap, which is free online and has been downloaded over 200,000 times since she posted it on her website in early June. A July Kickstarter campaign also helped Brown raise $145,000 to print copies for people without computer access.

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Let us know how Veganomicon is because while I am not vegan, I am always on the look out for meat and dairy free recipes.

I have two other cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I like them both - Appetite for Reduction and Isa Does It.

Her recipes are great, but not necessarily simple or fast. For fast, vegan recipes I like the Happy Herbivore cookbooks.

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My sister was a fan of Mr. Food (RIP) and now Mr. Food Test Kitchen. She owns a few of the cookbooks, and was looking for a new one, so I visited their web site. Wow, they have a gob of free eCookbooks. They ask that you give your e-mail address, but I accidentally discovered a loophole -- when the popup screen comes up, asking for your e-mail address, click on the arrow on the right that says "read more" and the cookbook will download. There are more than 50 books, so I'm sure that there are many duplicate recipes, but PDFs take up so little space and it's easy to print only the recipes you want. So, yeah, I downloaded them all, plus the diabetic-friendly ones.

 

http://www.mrfood.com/index.php/hct/Latest-Free-eCookbooks

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@BizBuzz:  I agree - those fundraising cookbooks are wonderful and I've certainly collected my share (and my mom's) over the years (I remember being delighted when mom included one of my recipes in her church cookbook one year).  You never know when you're going to discover a real keeper in those modest little cookbooks.  Hope you find a good Greek, non-overwhelming cookbook.  I have my own recipe for moussaka that I must have copied either from a recipe I found online or in a cookbook and with certain slight changes, made it my own.  It's one of those simple but delicious concoctions of ground beef, onion, seasonings, a little mild cinnamon (the key!!), diced tomatoes, a 1/2 cup really good marinara along with sauted eggplant and then some bechamel on top. I don't bother with the potato slices that some moussakas have.  Every once in a while I go through the gazillion recipes I've printed off from online recipes or cut out of magazines to try to whittle down the number of papers spilling all over the place.  I also check cookbooks out of the library and if I find myself jotting down recipes I look it up at amazon to see if I can get it reaaaaalllly cheap (like a penny plus shipping...hey, I'll even go wild and pay 25 cents ;>)  I've had to put a stop to the cooking magazine subscriptions, though...things were getting out of hand here w/ magazines piling up!

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I get most of my recipes online/tablet food magazine subscriptions/food apps, but I'm seriously looking into getting my hands on vintage Junior League cookbooks from various Leagues in North America.  Apparently my League (Toronto) published one back in the 80s.  Are there any newer ones published within the last two or three years?  I'm assuming JL cookbooks are still fairly big in the south.

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For those that have Everyday Mexican, is there a good recipe in it for chicken enchiladas? I've lived in New Mexico for a long time, but I've never been able to figure out how to make enchiladas taste as good as the ones in the restaurants here. Mine always come out dry or bland or both. 

 

I love my Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks, but the recipe for chicken enchiladas is just about as whitebread as eating white bread.

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I spotted a book of recipes from the 15th century yesterday at a used book store, A Fifteenth Century Cookry Boke. Naturally I got it. It's all exact transcriptions of the original recipes with the original oddball spelling. Here's a sample:

Autre Vele en Bokenade

Take Vele, an Make it clene, and hakke it to gobettys, an sethe it; an take fat brothe, an temper up thine Almaundys that thou hast y-grounde, an lye it with Flowre of Rys, and do ther-to gode powder of Gyngere, & Galyngale, Canel, Maces, Quybybis, and Oynons y-mynsyd, & Roysonys of coraunce, & coloure yt wyth Safroun, and put ther-to thin Vele, & serve forth.

The recipes are a little short on measurements ("caste in y Quantity of Peppyr"), and there's a lot of hewe-ing and smyte-ing involved in the meat dishes.

I probably won't be making any of the recipes, but it's fun to read.

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annzeepark914, if you have a decent scanner and the time, you can save scans of any recipes you want before recycling/donating the magazines. If you ever need a hard copy, you can print one, and it's easy to share recipes with friends and family when you already have digital copies.

 

Sandman87, I wish I'd seen your post before my trip to Half Price Books tonight -- I had a 50% off coupon that I gave to a guy who was buying a bunch of DVDs. I had already looked through the TV DVDs, cookbooks, and art/design books, and didn't find anything that I could justify bringing into my already-cluttered house. Had I thought about antique cookbooks, though, I'd have made an exception.   :)

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Oh, well, if we're going to discuss cookbooks we don't cook from, I treasure my big hardcover Marcia Adams volumes Cooking from Quilt Country, New Recipes from Quilt County and Heartland. The color photographs are, uh, delicious. I also enjoy reading Nigella Lawson's books because she writes just like she talks and I can hear that plummy accent in my head.

As for non-recipe recommendations, I enjoyed Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and of course, Julie and Julia. Just don't read the follow-up Cleaving if you want to continue to think well of Julie Powell.

I just finished Ruth Reichl's first novel Delicious! but I much prefer her non-fiction.

Apologies for this reply being so long after you originally posted. I'm 1 of the TWoP "refugees" & am only now poking my nose into other interesting areas here besides the TV show stuff.

Anyway, I'm posting because I saw your comment about how much you enjoyed the Marcia Adams Amish cookbooks.

You might be interested to know that she & her family lived in the same Northeast Indiana neighborhood/housing addition as me & my family (a few streets over from us), & our families were close friends when I was growing up. I also appeared with her on her local TV talk show, when she was a TV host way before she ever wrote her books or hosted the companion series to the books on PBS.

She was a very nice lady, in private life, & I remember her quite fondly. Sadly, she contracted virus-related Congestive Heart Failure in 1996, but survived a heart transplant in 2001, & died of continued heart-related issues on February 5, 2011.

Before she died, in addition to her Amish Cooking books she wrote 2 books about her experiences with heart disease/undergoing a heart transplant--Heart to Heart (which became a PBS documentary) & Heart Anew. If you're interested in reading them, I think they're too old to still be in print currently & at your local bookstore but they might be available through your local library or as used copies through sites like amazon.com or maybe EBay, possibly.

Thank you for allowing me to reminisce about my old friend!

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Thanks, BW Manilowe!  I always pictured Marcia as being so prim and proper on her TV shows and then being a raunchy dame off-camera.  Obviously not, but it was a fun vision to have.  I also assumed her heart disease was a result of consuming all those meat and potatoes meals she taught us.  Obviously, that was wrong of me too.

 

What a great lady.

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Thanks, BW Manilowe! I always pictured Marcia as being so prim and proper on her TV shows and then being a raunchy dame off-camera. Obviously not, but it was a fun vision to have. I also assumed her heart disease was a result of consuming all those meat and potatoes meals she taught us. Obviously, that was wrong of me too.

What a great lady.

You're welcome. I'm glad you're still here to get my original post, & this 1.

What you saw with Mrs. Adams (I was still fairly young when we were neighbors &, while some other then-adult friends of my family/parents eventually allowed me to call them by their 1st names, or "Aunt" [name] or "Uncle" [name], she & her husband were never anything but "Mr. & Mrs. Adams" to me, despite our families being fairly close & my being pretty good friends with her son, especially, & her stepson) on TV was what you got. And yes, she would've probably been considered by most to be "prim & proper"; maybe even "old fashioned".

I know I never, ever heard her utter a cuss word or use any other "adults only" language/tell a "dirty" joke in the entire time my family & I knew her. But I originally met her as a fairly young child, so of course she wouldn't use objectionable language in front of me at that age. And we knew her quite a long time--from either the late 1960s or very early 1970s, when I, as a young child, appeared on her morning TV show that aired in our hometown, until she died in 2011, when I was well into my adulthood. Despite being "prim, proper, & old fashioned", she was still a really cool lady.

And she really loved Hostess Twinkies. In fact, early on when they were our neighbors (they eventually, years later, moved to a smaller town in the area), she & her family had a dog--I think a chihuahua, but I'm not positive. It was named Twinkie.

I could see where you'd think her illness came about because of testing all those hearty (no pun intended) recipes in her cookbooks, as well as from whatever she ate "off the job", as it were. And normally you might be right. But I can definitely attest her illness was rooted in some virus she got that affected her heart, eventually putting her on the transplant recipient list. Luckily, she got the transplant & it took & served her well for a number of years afterwards.

She was a great, & true, lady to the core. Those of us who knew her still miss her.

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I love hearing about everyone's favorite cookbooks.  I used to collect many, many of them but I finally realized that some had to go.  So, I'm slowly working my way through them and am just keeping the ones that I actually cook from (such as my go-to southern cookbook, 'Bell's Best'--written by the local telephone women's club or something like that.  I've had that one for years--it's all food stained and has broken apart right in the middle.  I also like my 'Joy of Cooking' and 'How to cook everything'.)  I'm also keeping some that are just beautiful to read and look at the photos.  'Silver palate cook book' and my Southern Living books.  I also have some 'fun' ones like 'Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cook book' and 'The White trash cook book'.   I'm getting rid of some of them that are just too similar.  One can only have so many 'Favorite brand name cooking'-type books.

 

I saw an interview on 'Sunday Morning' with a man who runs a 'cowboy catering' company.  He and his people cook for cowboys out in the middle of nowhere, but he also holds workshops (on location) on this type of cooking.  He just wrote a book called 'A taste of cowboy: ranch recipes and tales from the trail'.  I'm interested in checking this one out.  Apparently, the most popular recipe that he's created is 'Sparklin' Taters', a dish he had to come up with when he had potatoes but no oil to cook them in.  He used Sprite.  (That recipe is shown on Amazon.)

Edited by BooksRule.

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It never occurred to me until a few years ago to check my local library for cookbooks. It has saved me a fortune. I usually only find a half-dozen or so that I can really see myself making and just make copies of those recipes. I have found a few I have really liked and ended up buying, but most just don't have enough to justify the cost, and space.

Also, thrift stores are great places for cookbooks, especially the church group/charity types of cookbooks.

Edited by Mittengirl.

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Last week, Half Price Books had a huge clearance sale in a former sporting goods store -- books, music, DVDs, and nothing over $2. I bought some art books for me and cookbooks for my mom and sis (and me, too), and some were just $1. If I had the shelf space, I would have come home with several volumes of the annuals from Southern Living, Cooking Light and Taste of Home and holiday books from Gooseberry Patch.

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I'm being very good about not bringing anymore cookbooks home although I need to make time to go through the ones I have and cull the weak.  Also, I too check books out of the library, bookmark the recipes I like and then photocopy them.  Quick tip:  be sure to google them too because frequently they're out there, printer-ready on the author's own websites without that pesky copyright dilemma.  Honestly, I don't know how publishers make money on hard copies.

 

My two latest checkouts:  

 

Trisha's Table by Trisha Yearwood-- a delightful lady but honestly many of the recipes here make The Pioneer Woman look like a rocket scientist.  Only worthwhile if you need help in constructing a yogurt granola parfait.  No really-- that's in there.

 

Ovenly:  Sweet & Salty Recipes from New York's Most Creative Bakery-- I've only made one cookie recipe so far and it was fine (hard to screw up coconut, pecans, chocolate chips and oatmeal mixed into sugar and butter).  I plan to try several more although as with many books like this, I actually think it would be easier to just take a train to their shop and just buy what looks good.

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I spotted a book of recipes from the 15th century yesterday at a used book store, A Fifteenth Century Cookry Boke. Naturally I got it. It's all exact transcriptions of the original recipes with the original oddball spelling. Here's a sample:

The recipes are a little short on measurements ("caste in y Quantity of Peppyr"), and there's a lot of hewe-ing and smyte-ing involved in the meat dishes.

I probably won't be making any of the recipes, but it's fun to read.

That is a wonderful read! I guess smyting the salmon would be a bit more exact than pan frying, huh? Love it.

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I love this topic and will have to set aside some time to read each one.

 

I collect cookbooks also and have three bookcases full of them. Totally have to downsize.

 

Some of my favorites are:

 

White Trash Cooking (Yes, one does need a recipe for mayonnaise/tomato sandwiches)

The Cake Bible (if you want to learn to bake and have outstanding results)

I Hear America Cooking (has my favorite Cajun Dirty Rice recipe)

Betty Furness (the best macaroni and cheese recipe)

A Mexican cookbook written in Spanish. It is easy to follow because living in Los Angeles you have access to all the ingredients so they are easily recognizable.

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (best teacake recipe ever)

American Heritage Cookbook ( has Betsy Ross's recipe for yeast rolls. They were the first ones I baked that actually came out right. Family was so relieved I'd finally produced something edible)

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Has anyone seen Ruth Reichl's latest book (a cookbook this time), My Kitchen Year?  I'm thinking of adding it to my Xmas wish list.  The reviews are very good at Amazon (except for one grouch).

Edited by annzeepark914.

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I've pretty much stopped using cookbooks, and get all my new recipes from Pinterest or Facebook pages. I also got a subscription to Cooking Light when my daughter's school was doing a fundraiser, and there's some good stuff in there too. I keep electronic versions of recipes until I try them, and then, if they are deemed rotation-worthy, I print them onto a 5 x 8 index card, and then put it in a binder. It's nice to have them in an electronic format, but I hate when screen switches off, because then you have to stop what you're doing, and swipe on the screen to bring the recipe back up.

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I have my very favorite favorites as word documents on a thumb drive I keep at work so when the spirit moves me, I print off a copy to use for shopping and then cooking.  I can spill on it all I want and then toss it and print up another one next time.  It also makes it easy for me to share with others on e-mail or whatever.

 

I guess that's not very technically advanced but I'm happily unplugged at home.

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I have a handful of old faithful cookbooks still lying around but I mostly use Pinterest for my recipes and I too hate when the screen switches off in the middle of cooking.

I keep a three ring binder in my kitchen and print the recipes I really like, stick them in page protectors and then put them in the binder. One of these days I'll get around to using the binder tabs I bought to add some order to the notebook.

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I use a 3 ring binder, but with photo album pages.  They I can clip recipes from magazines (which can be various sizes) and slip them into the appropriate page - cookies, soups, etc.  Periodically, I go through each page and remove any recipes I haven't had the urge to try.  Otherwise, I just bookmark recipes I like on my laptop.  I only buy cookbooks that are pretty, then I read them rather than cook from them - Nigella, Barefoot Contessa, etc.

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I always end up typing things as word documents because then I can increase the font size for easy reading across the room.  I also prefer to have the ingredients and measures within the instructions as opposed to the usual manner of listing everything at the top.  I have the three ring binder but not the page protectors so that's a project for the future.  I also keep promising myself I'll got through the cookbooks I never use, copy the one or two recipes I want, and then donate them but yeah, someday.

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I use a 3 ring binder, but with photo album pages.  They I can clip recipes from magazines (which can be various sizes) and slip them into the appropriate page - cookies, soups, etc.  Periodically, I go through each page and remove any recipes I haven't had the urge to try.  Otherwise, I just bookmark recipes I like on my laptop.  I only buy cookbooks that are pretty, then I read them rather than cook from them - Nigella, Barefoot Contessa, etc.

 

This is mostly my set up too. I use Pinterest, AllRecipes, foodblogs, etc. for specific recipe ideas. I print the recipe out, try, write notes, and put it in a huge 3" ring binder.

 

I still can't quit cookbook buying though. I find it soothing to go through and read recipes. I book mark them for later and I do cook from them, but not nearly as much as I do from online resources these days.

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I made a Kitchen Bible out of Recipe Keeper which I first bought at Borders & now purchase online.  Only our favorites go into this Recipe Keeper (had to make my own tabs so I can find the different sections fast).  Now I'm making one for my stepdaughter, putting one of my own recipes in each section.  The rest of the pages are for her favorites.  This Keeper has saved my sanity when I'm in a rush...so many times!

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