I love to cook. Every weekend, you’ll find me pouring over cookbooks, marking recipes to try. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite cookbooks and recipes.
None of these are affiliate links – I just really like these cookbooks!
MY FAVOURITE COOKBOOKS – TO USE TO COOK
These are the cookbooks that I reach for every week to make our family meals.
MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT COOKS AT HOME
I use this cookbook every week. Here are some family favourites:
- Cajun Skillet Beans – This is an amazing and simple bean and tomato dish that we top with grated cheddar cheese and serve with warm cornbread. I like to make it in a triple batch so that I have some to freeze and use on busy weeknights. (I even freeze cornbread to have with it!)
- Pad Thai – This recipe book has a great kid-friendly vegetarian Pad Thai. My kids devour it!
- Moosewood Fudge Brownies – These 6 ingredient brownies are perfect. And almost too easy to make!
500 BEST MUFFIN RECIPES
Just like the title says, this book has the 500 best muffin recipes! My 6 year old daughter and I make a batch of homemade muffins almost every weekend. I love that I can pull out this book and be guaranteed to find a recipe that works for the ingredients I have on hand.
My kids love chocolate muffins (of course!) and banana chocolate-chip. I’m partial to the rhubarb muffins. A fresh muffin and a coffee is a great way to start a weekend morning!
THE VEGETARIAN COLLECTION
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love the recipes in The Vegetarian Collection by Canadian Living! They’re hearty and delicious. Canadian Living has an amazing recipe web site and many of the recipes in their books are also on their web site. Here are some I make regularly:
- Chili Fries – Deadly simple to make and SO good.
- Spaghetti with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce & Basil – The sauce on this is tangy (thanks to balsamic vinegar) and mixed with some goat cheese, it is heavenly!
- Biryani – A mild curried rice dish, we love it served with plain yogurt, chutney and naan bread.
- Cider-Glazed Roasted Veggies – You can use any root veggies (rutabaga, parsnips, carrots…) for this dish. Roasting them in an apple cider-butter glaze brings out their natural sweetness. I serve them on a bed of couscous topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Leftovers are awesome the next day, too!
- Oven Roasted Ratatouille on Cornmeal Pancakes
Sandi Richard’s is an amazing cook! I love these family-friendly meals that are written in such a way that it helps you to cook a whole meal (main + sides) as fast as possible. One of the best pieces of cooking advice I have received is from her: When you get home from work, immediately pull out all the ingredients and cook supplies needed to make your planned meal. Once everything is out, then go ahead and change out of your work clothes and relax for 10 minutes. Once the food is on the counter, you are much less likely to say you’re too tired to cook. She’s right – it definitely works for me! You can find a lot of her recipes on The Food Network Canada site.
MY FAVOURITE COOKBOOKS – TO READ
I have some cookbooks that I regularly cook from and others that I rarely or never cook from, but that I love to read and look at. I don’t think I’ve made a thing out of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, but I loved reading it – it’s beautiful! Same for Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. Here are a few others:
ASSORTED CHURCH AND CHARITY COOKBOOKS
I love, love, love to buy fundraising cookbooks. I find it fascinating to see what recipes people contributed and what they feel represents the very best of their kitchens.
I also love that the desserts section is almost invariably the largest section of any fundraising cookbook.
THE FAMILY DINNER
I really should make more meals out of The Family Dinner by Laurie David. They do look yummy! I bought it though because I like the stories about how to make the family dinner an enjoyable family ritual.
THE BIG COOK
We cook vegetarian at home, so The Big Cook, which features meals mostly containing meat is more of an inspiration than a “source” for us. I do use a number of the sauces for vegetables and alternate protein sources (tofu, beans) though. They’re super good! The book is well designed to allow you to make large batches to have future meals prepped in the freezer. As the book site says, “The recipes have been designed with 4 columns to make between 1 and 8 meals of the same recipe. Each meal feeds between 4 to 6 people.”
COOKBOOKS ON THE GO
Last year I purchased my first eReader and I take it with me every where I go. It makes sense then that I’d put a few favourite cookbooks on it. When I’m on my way to the grocery store, I can scroll through a cookbook, find a quick meal idea and have all the needed ingredients listed right in front of me. You could also use your tablet computer for the same function if you carry it with you.
On my eReader, I keep these cookbooks:
- Simple Suppers by Moosewood Restaurant
- PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian by Donna Klein
- The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook by Erin Chase
HOW MANY IS TOO MANY
I think you should have as many cookbooks as you have space for on your shelves! I do enjoy recipes found online (thanks, Pinterest!), but there’s something special about my own cookbooks, splattered with cooking messes and my own handwritten notes. Some of them open automatically to favourite recipes!