My Favorite Cookbooks

Cooking and baking is so relaxing for me. I love reading and paging through cookbooks. I love reading the little stories attached to the dish or the memory/memories that the smells bring back. Pieces of history! I could never buy a recipe book on my Kindle… I love finding recipe books loved with weird stains on the pages from cooking projects. I don’t have very many stains on my pages, but there’s a few splattered ones. I keep a mainly vegan diet, but I do eat some dairy and seafood. You’ll have a variety of books below!

Peas and Thank You & More Peas and Thank You are written by Sarah Matheny, who blogged at She no longer blogs and these cookbooks are comprised of some of her best recipes. My books have printed out recipes poking out, as these are recipes that didn’t make it into the book that I LOVED. These are my immediate, every day go to books. Kids were the main recipe testers, so you know it’s good! You have breakfast, snack, dips, smoothies, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes in these books. I wish I could tell you there’s a bad recipe, but I can’t. I just can’t.

Let Them Eat Vegan! is another favorite, as Dreena Burton is a mom who is providing vegan recipes for kids and adults. She had already published several books before this one and knew that her recipes had be great if she’s already published, her blog is successful and she’s been one of the leading ladies in the vegan world. I’ve made almost every cookie recipe from this book and they’re all delicious. I’ve made some savory dishes from this book, but nothing beats her cookie and breakfast recipes!

The French Market Cookbook is a collection of vegetarian recipes from Clotilde Dusoulier. My friend Ann Who Hates Sweet Potatoes bought me that book and I jumped for joy because I could delete it from my Amazon Wishlist. What I love about this book is that it is very authentic. While I lived in France I ate more vegetarian dishes than I did meat. These recipes are divided by season so you can use what is in season and allow the dish to shine with fresh produce.

Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia is also based on seasonal cooking and being earth-friendly with your food choices. Shafia also expands on utilizing local animal products, supporting your local farms, and even dabbles into your carbon footprint on the world. The seasonal recipes follow her introduction and Eco-Kitchen Basics. Follow the recipes according to season and you’ll start to think even more about what’s available each season with your menu planning. This book really changed that for me!

The New Persian Kitchen, also by Louisa Shafia, is sooooo good. I had Persian roommates, now two of my best friends, who would make serious Persian dishes and some more on the casual side. I fell in love with Persian food. I have a deep love for Middle Eastern food (from living in France) and Jewish/Israeli food, but Persian food cannot be labeled as ‘Middle Eastern’. It’s an amazing category all on it’s own. This book is divided by dish type: starters, soups, salads, Vegetable entrees, Meat and Fish entrees, stews, rice/grains and desserts. It’s so hard to pick a recipe from this book, but my favorite section is the rice and grain section.   If you’ve never ventured into Persian food get this book to start!

The next three books are by Yotam Ottolenghi: Plenty, Plenty More and Jerusalem.

Plenty is full of vegetable recipes with a Jewish, Middle Eastern and Persian flare. It’s divided by roots, mushrooms, green beans, eggplant, tomatoes, etc. Some of these are traditional with an update to how to execute the dish or what spices to include. Yotam Ottolenghi also serves these dishes in his restaurant in London, Ottolenghi. I just sighed typing that because it’s just so so so good. They’re easy recipes and they’re great to using up produce.

Plenty More provides even more vegetable dishes! This collection is divided by how the dish is made: tossed, steamed, simmered, grilled, roasted, mashed, etc. There’s an index that you can use for the vegetable(s) that you have available, but some of his recipes have caused me to search for certain pieces of produce due to how delicious the dish is. I tend to eat dairy free and these recipes only call for  a limited use and the best dairy.

Jerusalem is just as much a history book as it is a cookbook. I remember when I first got to browse this book. My dad had a really long doctors appointment and two hours passed with only getting a little over halfway through! These recipes touch on the Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures that exist within Jerusalem and there’s a piece of history mentioned for each dish. The photos are stunning and it’s definitely a good coffee table book. It’s one of my favorite books because it’s like your learning about your culture from your grandfather while cooking! (Not that Yotam Ottolenghi could be my grandfather, but you know what I mean!).

When it comes to baking I tend to refer to the blogs I mentioned last week, but that’s where The New York Times Jewish Cookbook comes in! This book is ginormous. If you enjoy Jewish food, classic or contemporary, this book is for you. You’ll find meat, fish, dairy, vegetarian, starters, main dishes, and various desserts and breads. These recipes come from all over the world and have been collected to create this book of over 800 recipes!

I hope you enjoyed reading about these books and maybe they sparked some interest!

What is your favorite cookbook? What type of cuisine do you tend to lean towards? What is your favorite recipe? Let me know below!


2 thoughts on “My Favorite Cookbooks

  1. I’m with you on the baking. I love to bake. It’s a very ‘zen’ activity/feeling for me. The mess of flour. The smells while it’s baking. The taste of it. Everything about it. I would bake all the time if I had people to give it to. Otherwise I’d just eat it all myself. Oops 🙂

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