Favorite Cookbooks —MAV


I am lucky to have quite a cookbook collection. Some, I must admit, I use more for visual or recipe inspiration rather than actual cooking but since being in the kitchen is a hobby of mine, I do feel the need to continue to build my cookbook collection nonetheless. I love cookbooks!

I am often asked which cookbooks are my favorite so I thought today I’d mention a few. I will likely follow up with another post soon mentioning more favorites and featuring a recipe or two. For today, these are the five that are usually out on my kitchen counter. Happy cooking!


Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard
This British baking book is really wonderful. I love the cheerful tone and how it categorizes the baking into approachable sections which include cakes, cookies, bread, sugar candy, etc.. It also includes tips on baking which I often refer to when I am messing around with my own recipe testing. My favorite recipes so far include: Lemon Butter Cake, Pear Upside-Down Cake, Sour Cream Butter Cake and Simple Bagels. I am only just cracked the surface on this book!


Franny’s by Feingerg, Stephens & Clark
This was a birthday gift just this past December and I have already found it to be a fantastic match for my kitchen. The recipes are completely do-able and really delicious! Since I am Italian I gravitate toward this kind of cooking and can’t wait to see what my weekend trip to the farmer’s market will inspire me to find and make in these pages. My favorite recipes so far include: Spaghetti With Artichokes, Warm Controne Bean Salad With Radicchio And Pancetta, Linguine With Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Cake. I have yet to try their pizza dough but plan to do so this summer!


Whole Grain Baking by King Arthur Flour
I’m not sure where I would be without this book. I use it every week! There are not beautiful photographs but rather just well-tested and tasty recipes. At the very least I use a lot of these recipes as a jumping off point for my playtime in the kitchen. I highly recommend this book! My favorite recipes these days include: Crumb Coffeecake, Chocolate Zucchini Cake, Whole Wheat Piecrust and Blueberry Corn Pancakes. (Note: another favorite of SCB and myself, in this same vein, is Good To The Grain!)


A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
I love the combination of recipes and storytelling in this fabulous book. Molly is such a character! I’m honored to call her a friend. After first reading the book years ago I ran to the kitchen to make the Stewed Prunes. Amazing! I have made them many times since. I find Molly’s recipes to be simple and satisfying. If you don’t have this book I highly recommend you get a copy as it will become a staple in your kitchen! (Note: I am excited to read Molly’s new book, Delancey, and will write about it soon.) My favorite recipes so far include: the aforementioned Prunes, the Winning Hearts And Minds Chocolate Cake, Sliced Spring Salad With Avocado And Feta, French Style Yogurt Cake With Lemon and Scottish Scones.


The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater
I am always love love loving this book. I have used it consistently for years now and highly recommend it! I don’t really know if it was one of the first of its kind, to combine diary entries with the seasons and simple recipes, but I feel as if it was. When it first came out it was a revelation to me! It’s so charming and the recipes are so simple. My favorite thing is that I can look up the month that I am in to see what Nigel was making and usually find something that makes good sense for me to make as well. I have not had one bad recipes out of this book. I will continue to use it each week for quite some time! My favorite recipes of late include: Mustard Chops, Lemon And Basil Linguini, Orecchiette With Roast Tomato And Basil and Orange And Ricotta Pancakes.