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Favorite Cookbook

I buy a lot of cookbooks but find myself returning to the same few over and over. They include all of the Barefoot Contessa books, Julia Child's "The Way to Cook" and "Noteworthy." I'm always looking for additions--and I like all foods from ethnic to comfort foods to elegant. Can your recommend any great cookbooks.

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    1. re: Harters

      I keep going back to the Silver Palate books. While they are a bit more involved than everyday receipes, the results have never let me down,

      1. re: Harters

        Agreed. It really is a classic. I bought his Kitchen Diaries as well, but return most often to Appetite. His roast chicken recipe (and varients) rock.

        1. re: Harters

          Thanks--I just checked out his website--a whole new group of books I had no idea about and i thought I knew a lot about cooking and books--how dumb am I. Carole

          1. re: carole1

            His fast food books rock. He reminds me a LOT of Mark Bittman, but I think his stuff puts a greater emphasis on feel.

            1. re: Westy

              Slater writes a weekly article for my Sunday newspaper, The Observer. From time to time, they publish them as a book. If you can find "Real Good Food", I think you'd enjoy. After he did the "Fast" books, he did "Real Food" and "Real Cooking", "Real Good Food" comes after that.

              The man is my Rock God of things foodie!

          1. My latest favorite is "The Cook's Book: Techniques and tips from the world's master chefs:, editor-in-chief Jill Norman, published by DK Publishing, 2005. I love this book, covers a wide range of topics, each chapter written by a different chef. Do a search for The Cook's Book on Amazon and scroll down to read the reviews for comprehensive ratings on this book. Topics range from sauces & dressings, stocks & soups, pastry & sweet doughs, Mexican cooking, cakes, vegetables, Asian noodles and dumplings...and many more...each chapter is exciting, and great how-to photography makes everything seem within the reach of the home cook.

            I vowed about five years to buy no more cookbooks because I have way too many, and the library is my main source now for them, but after borrowing The Cook's Book several times I just had to add it to my home library.

            1 Reply
            1. re: janniecooks

              Thanks--I will check it out--it's one I don't have and sounds like a good one. Carole

            2. My newest favourite is Rebar modern food cookbook. Rebar is a vegetarian restaurant in Victoria. I love the way they flavour their food. Lots of interesting ethnic recipes . For example, they flavour a lot of their dishes with chipotle puree which can become addicting!
              Lots of great sauces.....I could go on and on. I keep this book by my reading chair!

                1. My two current favorites: The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters. She has such a wholistic approach to food, and in this book she re-teaches the reader to make four basic sauces which can then be applied to all sorts of recipes. I also love Cookwise, by Shirley Corriher. The two things both of these books share is that they really teach the reader to not only follow steps, but to understand the process of cooking, of how ingredients come together and what affect they have on the total dish. Corriher has a chemistry background, and the book is intense, but well worth digging into.

                  Save Our Plants: Eat Them!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BeckyAndTheBeanstock

                    I have it but haven't used it yet - Waters - but it struck me that it might also be a good book for a novice cook.

                  2. Carole, if "Noteworthy" is the women's league cookbook from the Chicago symphony (Ravinia), I have to smile. I got this book years ago as a young bride and treasure it as well. I like the The Joy of Cooking very much and have several incarnations of it. Another dog eared favorite is The Settlement Cookbook, it is an oldie but goodie and we don't eat like that all they time any more, but its a great foundation book. I have some James Beard cookbooks also that I really enjoy reading over & over, again very foundational. Our family background is Jewish Hungarian and I have George Lang's The Cuisine of Hungary. The Art of Fine Baking by Paula Peck. It is a great elemental baking book and still relevant today. I have my mother's copy from 1961. I too enjoy Ina Garten, she exemplifies a lot of cooking similar to my own (we don't eat pork though). The Flo Braker baking books are very good also.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      Yes, that's the same Noteworthy from the Chicago Symphony Ravinia Festival. Actually there's a Noteworthy I and a Noteworthy II. In the last couple of years they republished them as one volume. For some reason I really use them. Thanks for your many suggestions--I'll check them out.

                      1. re: carole1

                        Carole, I am going to assume you are in the Chicago area, possibly on the North Shore. There are some very good local cookbooks I use all the time as well. Thoughts for Buffets was published in the 1958 and has some good recipes but calls for way too much food. More Thoughts for Buffets was published in the 80s and I use it all the time. These were gifts and I believe the old Mother's Aid boutique in Glencoe (now closed) used to sell them. If you are interested, try one of the bookstores in Glencoe, Highland Park or Deerfield, they may know how to still order them.

                        1. re: Diane in Bexley

                          how about MORO ? always something new in there.

                          I find Nigel Slaters recipes somewhat predictable, though he is a great food writer and appetite is a brilliant read. sorry.

                          ooops i am well behind on this thread as the subject has totally changed. still have a look at MORO, its a good read, great ingredients focus and really interesting recipes.

                          1. re: Diane in Bexley

                            Thanks--I keep thinking I know a lot about cookbooks but was not aware of Buffets--I will definitely check them out. Carole

                      2. Completely outrageous, but great fun to read and with some recipe gems: Liz Hodgeman, Beat This! and Beat That!

                        1. "The Classic Italian Cookbook" (Marcella Hazan) for Italian food, "Simply Sensational Desserts" (Francois Payard) for sweets, and "The Gourmet Cookbook" (ed Ruth Reichl) for everything else. Though now I'm going to have to look into Nigel Slater.