Not Martha

The State of My Pile of Cookbooks

a pile of cookbooks

Clearing away decorations yesterday revealed that the stack of cookbooks I keep in my dining room has grown. From top to bottom:

Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson who has the site 101 Cookbooks where she has lots more delicious and healthy recipes. Super Natural Cooking was also the focus of our very first cookbook club and was liked all around (unlike the later Cookin’ with Coolio which was, well, interesting).

Not Your Mother’s Casseroles by Faith Durand who you might recognize as the editor over at The Kitchn. Most of these are able to be assembled and possibly frozen ahead of time, there are breakfast casseroles, I predict I’ll be cooking a lot from this book this year.

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I also have the iPhone app which is handy when I’m standing in the grocery store wondering if I have everything I need.

Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project. I spent a summer in Italy, uh, some years ago and have been meaning to learn to make excellent biscotti ever since.

52 Loaves: One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust. After getting caught up in the no-knead bread craze I find I miss bread and want to start making it again. That and I appreciate working through something obsessively.

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food. “Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, chemist Hervé This, and xkcd.” Gosh I love this book.

The Everything Cast-Iron Cookbook by Cinnamon who is a maker of bags at Poise and writer of the One Good Meal column at Gapers Block. I’ve only managed to make a few things from this book but look forward to many more.

The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009. I am frankly disappointed with myself because I didn’t make time this past holiday to bake any cookies at all. I’ll just have to make January an equally acceptable cookie month.

The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together by Lorna Yee who writes at Cooking Through China and a food writer at Seattle Magazine. These recipes make just enough for two and are great to make together.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks by, obviously, The Pioneer Woman. I have yet to get up the courage to take on the Cinnamon Rolls (the recipe makes 50!) but we have plans to take on the Rib-eye Steak With Whiskey Cream Sauce this weekend.

I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown. It’s been available for a while now but I still use it as a what’s-going-on primer.

Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking. I had no idea who Nick Malgieri was before this book made it’s way to me but I was immediately drawn in by the obvious enthusiasm, clear instruction and pretty pretty photos.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair of, you guessed it, Steamy Kitchen. It’s almost as good as having a relative show you how to make new dishes.

Baking Illustrated by the people of Cook’s Illustrated. I trust them, and need all the extra instruction I can get.

Conspicuously missing from the pile:

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna (Gluten-free Girl herself) and Danny Ahern. It was named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2010 by the New York Times. Yay! I was very grateful to get to spend an afternoon at her house making Gluten-free Cake Pops with Jessie from Cakespy. Double yay!

· comments [20] · 01-4-2011 · categories:books · food ·

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ry Sal // Jan 4, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Such a great list! Thank you– I’m always looking for cookbook suggestions… While it feeds my cookbook addiction, it might actually feed someone else.

  • 2 Adrienne // Jan 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I just finished 52 Loaves, and now I’m obsessed with sourdough. It’s a wonderful book, and the bread is darn tasty, too :)

  • 3 Mary C H // Jan 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

    you can cut in half the Pioneer Women’s cinnamon roll recipe or send some to work with you husband.

  • 4 Tracy // Jan 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I agree with Mary… cut the recipe in half and you will have three pans of cinnamon rolls. You can apparently freeze them, but I found you need to get them out of the house as soon as possible or risk eating them all yourself.

  • 5 megan // Jan 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Adrienne – Great to know! I have a feeling I’ll have a sour dough starter going sooner or later.

    Mary, Tracy – Thanks. However, even if I cut the recipe in half I’ll need to borrow three pans! Maybe this calls for disposable pans (easy to foist on unsuspecting co-workers and friends).

  • 6 Seanna Lea // Jan 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I have the pioneer woman cooks, but I bought it as an ebook. Part of me really wishes I had bought it in print! It is just a wee bit harder to navigate from one recipe to another electronically.

  • 7 Tori // Jan 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I think there is something so comforting about thumbing through a beautiful cookbook. I have a collection myself — with many of those “need to make soon” pages marked!

  • 8 MamaLana // Jan 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I first thought number 6 was “Cooking for Greeks,” and sorta started wondering………..

  • 9 splatgirl // Jan 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    You’re also missing “Joy of Cooking” It’s not fancy or pretty, but is 100% reliable and an excellent teacher of technique. Good for basics, old stand-bys and fancy (or not) classics. My desert island cookbook.

  • 10 Kristine // Jan 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I would to encourage you to check out “The Lost Art of Real Cooking” by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger. A great read, and and an invaluable resource. I believe it will be a classic…

  • 11 Jennifer // Jan 5, 2011 at 12:29 am

    You have a stack of cookbooks in your dining room? Well… I have a stack of National Geographics in mine.

    Cooking For Geeks sounds like a great book!

  • 12 lisa // Jan 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I’ve successfully even quartered the cinnamon roll recipe, but as mentioned above, cutting it in half will give you some rolls for the freezer and that can’t be a bad thing!

  • 13 Meghan // Jan 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Love your blog! I too collect cookbooks. I have Ree’s cookbook and have made the pot roast a couple of times – as she says “Embrace the pot roast”. It is one of our new favorite meals! I have not tried the cinnamon rolls yet either!

  • 14 Jenny // Jan 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Despite his dislike of food bloggers, I usually love Malgieri’s recipes. He always has shortcuts that save me time, too.

  • 15 Ellen // Jan 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Amen on Cooks Illustrated – those people are like the Justice League Superheroes of Food Nerdom!

  • 16 margie // Jan 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    absolutely fabulous list!! you may want to venture over to instead of Amazon; their Customer Service is fantastic and you may find a better deal!

  • 17 Carina // Jan 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Oh, I’ve gotta check out Cooking for Geeks. That sounds like so much fun!

    I’ve also had two chinese cookbooks recommended to me lately: Land Of Plenty by Fuschia Dunlop, and The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young.

  • 18 Liz // Jan 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I made the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls for New Year’s (a half recipe, because my four-person family does not *quite* equal a crew of hungry cowboys)–and they were amazing! Lots of steps, but nothing hard. Just a lot of butter.

  • 19 kelly // Jan 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    i love hearing about what other people are cooking (or planning to cook!). i just got ree’s cookbook, too & have enjoyed thumbing through. i am totally terrified of the cinnamon rolls because i know they’ll be amazing (everyone assures me there’s nothing better) & that’s NOT what i need right now! i will say her lasagna is really, truly the best & i know that sounds really crazy (especially when you see the recipe), but baring making your own sausage, or something, i seriously think it’s the best. but do use 1/2 sausage & 1/2 ground beef (as she recommends on the site) & i did upscale a bit & use good mozzarella!
    happy cooking :)

  • 20 P. // Jan 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve been somewhat following Lorna’s foodie career since eGullet days, she is a rockstar in the kitchen. Thanks for the reminder that her book is available now.

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