Amy’s Favorite Cookbooks

I go through cooking phases, and it seems like the last couple weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of creative cooking and baking.  It must be something about the dreary, rainy weather.

When I talk about books on this blog, I realize that I neglect cook books, a form of book that I frequently read.  I have several favorites that I thought I’d share with you on this Friday’s book list.

This week, I’m also starting something new on the blog.  Amazon offers bloggers like me the opportunity to earn some money if people buy books through my site.  Basically, if you plan on buying any books at Amazon, especially if it’s because I’ve recommended them to you, consider clicking on the Amazon link on the right hand column of my blog that says “Buy Amy Books.” I’ll get a small percentage of your purchase price to help me buy more books to review.


1.  The Better Homes and Garden’s New Cook Book, 2008

This book saw me through the first years of marriage, as I learned the basics of cooking daily meals for my husband. It has tried and true essentials. My old 3-ring binder copy is splattered with so much batter and gunk that it’s probably time to think about getting a new copy, but it has so much sentimental value that I’ll probably just continue unsticking the pages until I get buried with it some day.


2. The Gourmet Jewish Cook, 1999

For a Gentile wife, wanting to please her Jewish husband’s tastebuds, this book was amazing.  It taught me to cook many of my husband’s favorites, and it also helped me to prepare food for the Jewish holidays.  It’s largely arranged according to the holidays, and it also describes the significance of each holiday and the dishes to that holiday.  Amazing hummus recipe, but lots of other standards that I use all the time.


3.  The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Favorite Comfort Foods, 1999

My best friend gave me this book, and it’s seen me through many cravings for “comfort food.” It includes my all time favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, but there’s plenty of other standouts.

4.  The Frugal Gourmet, 1984

Simple recipes with basic ingredients.  But they are often very wholesome and suprisingly sophisticated in taste.  This book contains my favorite Greek tzatziki recipe.


5.  Crockery Cookery, 1997

I was shocked to learn that this thing was still in print (I mean, look at that garish orange crock pot on the cover!).  It’s my old “tried and true” crock pot book, that helps me with the basics. I think that my mom gave it to me when I got married, as one of my kitchen reference staples.  Don’t look for anything fancy, but it’ll teach you to make a very basic pot roast and several types of soup.  I’ll often use it as a baseline, and I’ll get fancy from there.

Okay, all you cooks, bakers, and grillers out there. I’d love to know what are your favorite cookbooks!

Don’t forget to “Buy Amy Books!”


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I thought you’d never ask . . .

    – Barefoot Contessa at Home – I learned to cook with this book. The recipes contain basic ingredients, are simple yet sophisticated and they turn out great on the first try (and that gave me the confidence to keep cooking!).

    – 1,000 Best New Recipes from Cook’s Illustrated – an education in cooking. The other day I learned all about the different cuts of meat on a cow and how to cook each. And I learned how to make my chocolate chip cookies chewy (but I won’t tell you, you’ve got to get the book!)

    – Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook – amazing peanut butter cookies (can you see a theme here – sugar . . .?)

    AL: Sometimes the Barefoot Contessa intimidates me on the show (don’t have cable, but whenever I’m at a hotel, the Food Network is my channel of choice..when I win against Dan over ESPN), with all her multiple step recipes with rare ingredients, but it sounds like the book is down to earth enough for me to try. I love Cook’s Illustrated, especially their America’s Test Kitchen show, which I’m wild about. Haven’t gotten any of their cookbooks yet, but I always drool over them when I browse through them at the bookstore. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. So that’s why you’re such a great cook! Thanks for sharing your cookbook favorites. My favorite kitchen book is called Putting Food By, and after the first copy fell apart and I could no longer separate all the pages, a second copy came from Amazon. As a gardener, this book tell me how to store everything from corn to herbs and has many excellent recipes. Primitive cooking.
    Harvest, clean, store, chop, steam, season and serve.
    Good to know you have the Amazon Link. Now all you have to do is more reviews on quality contemporary Christian Fiction and I’ll be ordering! Thanks.

    AL: Aw thank mom. We certainly appreciate all those frozen veggies, especially this time of year. Speaking of that, we’re running very low and should head up there for a reload. =) By the way, I tried to freeze some asparagus the other day and it turned out awful. I think I needed your little book to help me know the right way to do that.

  3. Betty Crocker International cookbook is the one I would take if I could only have one. From left field, and the one I’ve missed most while living “camp out” mode the last six months was “Waffles Morning Noon and Night.” Any kind of muffin or quick bread can be made as a waffle in minutes, and the savory cheesy/garlic/potato grids are a delightful fast side dish. I always seem to be racing the clock when I cook, and this book makes me look like a genius. Corn bread waffles, pumpkin bread waffles…you get my drift.

    AL: I love waffles! Great title. I must say, I’ve never gotten creative with my waffles, except for a chocolate dessert waffle that didn’t turn out very well.

  4. The Frugal Gourmet – that book brings back memories. When I first left home my mom gave me that book from her book collection. Plus she bought me a new copy of the Joy of Cooking, since she would not part with her own beloved copy from the 1960’s 🙂

    I still have the Frugal Gourmet – it’s been a long time since I looked at it, but it served to teach me a thing or two about cooking.

    Between the Frugal Gourmet, Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, and The Joy of Cooking, I’ve managed not to poison anyone with my cooking – at least none that I know of 🙂

    AL: I have a copy of the Joy of Cooking sitting up in my cupboard too. I probably should dig it up and see if there are any gems in there. I’ve never really done much with it, but so many people swear by it.

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