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The top 10 best selling cookbooks of 2013 so far.....


The list is led by Barefoot Contessa, followed by Bobby Deen. I have to say, of the entire list there is only one book I would consider purchasing. How about you?

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  1. I just finished reading "Cooked' by Michael Pollan. I would highly recommend it. It's not a cookbook, although he does include a few recipes at the end.

    It's an exploration of the role cooking has played in the development of civilization, the industrialization of food production in the modern day, and also an individual's own personal relationship to food and cooking.

    As for the rest of the list, no thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pamf

      Agreed. I'm in the middle of reading Cooked. While I've liked a few of Ina's books, the rest of the list is a pass for me.

      1. re: pamf

        I have enjoyed reading the book

      2. Interesting most of them are diet cookbooks. I own Foolproof, and I'd probably buy the Pioneer Woman book as a gift for my SO's mom (I use her recipes online), but the rest don't really appeal to me.

        1. I'd read Cooked. And the Forks Over Knives looks interesting.

          1. The only book on that list that I would buy is Pollan's.

            1. I love Ina and have all her books, including this new one.

              Of the others, the Pollan book is the only one that may be of interest.

              16 Replies
              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                I don't use Ina's recipes. She calls for extra large eggs and I don't use them. I'd have to buy them especially to make her recipes.

                1. re: Candy

                  I always use large eggs in Ina's recipes. There is very little diiference in size, atnleast here in Canada where a Lg egg must weigh 56g and Extra Lg is 63g (0.24 oz difference)

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    My father (who thought he was a great cook asked me why his and his wife's baking was almost always a flop, especially cakes and things like brownies. After questioning him about what recipe he was using, he confessed to using XL eggs. Well duh! The ratios were way off. Too much moisture. He always was a slow learner.

                  2. re: Candy

                    Yeah, what's up with extra large eggs in recipes? I see this periodically and just scratch my head over it. If the person writing the recipes doesn't know that large eggs are the standard, what else don't they know?

                    1. re: sandylc

                      Ina is infamous for, and pretty much alone in, calling for extra large eggs in her recipes. I’ve heard speculation that she does it on purpose as a way of branding her recipes. Since the ingredients can’t be copyrighted, this is her way of signaling that any recipe that calls for extra large eggs is one of hers.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        If true, putting her "brand" right in the actual ingredients is very clever, and I bet other cookbook cooks wish they thought of it too. I've just read that the big ones are the better buy for her.

                        1. re: BangorDin

                          Because I'm sure she's on a strict budget - !!!!!

                      2. re: sandylc

                        In her Barefoot Contessa book it shows Ionoco farms as her egg source , I think she's been quoted as saying the extra large are a better buy. I've never had a problem, the "large" eggs I buy are always slightly different sizes anyway. Now if cookbooks would stop listing both unsalted butter AND salt in recipes!

                        1. re: BangorDin

                          The problem is that there's no standard for how much salt is in salted butter. By calling for unsalted butter and adding salt yourself you can better control the amount you're using.

                          I've never had an Ina recipe fail me. If I want to know how to make a dish, I google the name and put "Ina" in front of it.

                          Edit: I just tried using that trick for a rabbit I have in the freezer. Typing "Ina rabbit" into Google did NOT give me the results I was looking for.

                          1. re: JonParker

                            That got me curious, here's some info on how much salt is in butter(s).
                            http://www.chow.com/food-news/54962/h... I certainly agree Ina is very very reliable, for both successful and delicious recipes.
                            I did not know that salted butter keeps longer, but that makes sense.

                            1. re: JonParker

                              OK, so I laughed at this (because it is funny), and then thought I should google it myself to find out exactly what comes up. Oh boy.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Yeah, really not what I was looking for.

                            2. re: BangorDin

                              "Now if cookbooks would stop listing both unsalted butter AND salt in recipes!"

                              Unsalted butter is a better product - it's fresher and tastier.

                              Salted butters vary greatly in salt content and freshness.

                              Recipes usually need salt.


                          2. re: Candy

                            Generally, you can substitute 1:1 until you get to about 4-5 eggs:

                            1. re: Candy

                              I just made her chocolate cake a few weeks ago and it turned out beautifully with large eggs.

                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                              I use some of her recipes from online sources, but I've never felt a need to own one of her books. Nothing else on the list interests me in the slightest.

                            3. Cooked is really the only one I could see myself buying. Lots of juicing on that list. Kinda seems like something you could figure out with your own grey matter, but I don't do it, so who knows?

                              1. I like Ina Garten's recipes, so I'd likely give that one a buy, and I'd have to give the others a quick browse through to see how tactile and enticing the book is, the exception being Wheat Belly, Bobby Deen and The juicing bible, they don't appeal to me at all.

                                1. I wouldn't buy any of them, or even pick them up if I saw them at the library (ok, I might glance at the PW book as I've read her blog off and on a few times over the years...). But then, I'm kind of used to my food and cooking interests being a little outside the norm, so I guess it doesn't surprise me.

                                  1. The only book I would consider on that list is the one by the Barefoot Contessa.

                                    1. I still couldn't find anything that says how they came up with the list. I even went to the Publisher's Weekly link in the article.

                                      I scan the Amazon best sellers cookbook list on almost a weekly basis and find it interesting that it's over populated with Paleo cookbooks and yet not one showed up on the list here.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: rasputina

                                        I noticed that yesterday. Paleo cookbooks abound.

                                      2. Lists like this area always a reminder that people often buy books that they don't actually read, even though they intend to. All those diet cookbooks are like New Year's resolutions - you know they're not going to follow the diet in that cookbook any more than they did in the last dozen diet cookbooks they bought.

                                          1. I have Cooked on my Kindle but like so many other titles, haven't started it. MP's books are fascinating.

                                            Of the others, I'd peek at Ina's despite the fact that she is wearing that damn purple scarf again! Does she ever take it off?

                                            The rest I'd never even open even if it were a gift.

                                            1. Wow, they've got to be kidding. I might buy the Ina book but probably not.

                                              1. The Weight Watchers one made me laugh. I've glanced through their books when I'm at meetings, and they are a total waste of money.

                                                Their books are made for people who aren't comfortable enough in the kitchen to alter an existing recipe to fit their plan. Those same people then end up just buying SmartOnes or some other prepackaged, easy-to-calculate meal.

                                                I'm probably over-generalizing, but I have to wonder how many people who buy their books ever actually cook from them.