Discussion Forums - Cooking Cooking

Topic: YOUR FAVORITE COOKBOOKS - What are they?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: YOUR FAVORITE COOKBOOKS - What are they?
Date Posted: 1/16/2006 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2005
Posts: 26
Back To Top

Thought I'd start a chat thread here about our FAVORITE COOKBOOKS - Do you have a few you love so much you would never part with them?  Or, have you made recipes from some that you could recommend? (Perhaps that would help some of us with our Wish Lists or cookbook purchases.)

Here are some of my favorites:

1.)  By the Editors of Consumer Guide: Food Processor Bread Book (Fat & Easy Yeast and Quick Breads) (1980)

You can still find this book (8-1/2 x 11") at thrift-stores, etc. Maybe somebody here will list one.  I have two, but am afraid to part with either for some silly reason.

I spent many a weekend whipping up breads and sweet rolls from this book.  The food processor is an amazing tool for making yeasty things. 

2.)  Dana Carpender's low carb cookbooks. 

I've had great success with her recipes: BBQ Beans, Un-potato Salad... and others. 

I will add more as I think of them.

Oh, here are some I've heard RAVED about at other foodie forums:

1). Big Fat Cookies (a gal at Cooking Light has made many and loves em all)

2.) Bread Machine Magic - heard lots of good things about those magic ABM books.

3). I've heard that Pillsbury books are awesome...and better than BC books for reliable.

Ok, that's it from me for now.  How about you guys?  Favorites? Rumors of favorites?  Any you just love to LOOK at? (I have some of those...just looking is eating.)  :) 

Date Posted: 1/16/2006 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
Back To Top

I have a Betty Crocker book which was helpful for basics.  Small Batch Baking is great for small portions.

I'm always browsing in TJ Maxx and find oddball cookbooks, I have 3 from a series called Greatest Ever (I have Potato, Baking and Pasta).  I also love the America's Test Kitchen books. 

It's hard not to pick up new ones and hard to part with the old ones.  :)

Date Posted: 1/17/2006 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2005
Posts: 26
Back To Top

That Small Batch Baking book has often tempted me to buy it.  Have you tried any of the recipes, Donna?


Date Posted: 1/21/2006 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2005
Posts: 13
Back To Top
100 One dish meals..my family loves the upside down pizza recipe that I got from that book. Plus, with 5 children , fulltime job, hubby, football, dance, cheer, teens working, Girl Scouts..it's just alot easier to throw stuff in a couple of crock pots in the morning and come home to a fully cooked meal. Toss a salad together and warm up a loaf of homemade bread and that's our dinner 5 nights out of 7
Date Posted: 1/23/2006 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2005
Posts: 25
Back To Top
The Joy of Cooking. It is so full of info not just recipes. The Cake Bible. This one also is full of information. Pam
Date Posted: 1/23/2006 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2005
Posts: 26
Back To Top

Ah yes, Joy of Cooking.  My husband, when we were first married, insisted on making pizza from it...for his parents who were coming over.  I was horrified.  Turned out to be the BEST pizza I've ever had in my life!  My husband has stuck with that book ever since.

I need to add a book I've not cooked from, but several friends have and have raved...and I have loved just reading the book:

Cafe Beaujolais by Margaret Fox

Margaret started a little restaurant in Mendocino, Calif.  (Little town hanging out over the cliffs on Pacific ocean...been used lots in movies...like The Birds and The Russians are Coming/The Russians are Coming!)   She has since done several books but I like this first book the best.  Homey and fun.  Lots of recipes plus a good portion of book is about operating the restaurant. 

Last Edited on: 1/23/06 6:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2006 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

Here are some of my favorites:

Grilling for Life--Bobby Flay

Sara Moulton Cooks at Home--Sara Moulton

Fresh Every Day--Sara Foster

Fields of Greens--Annie Somerville

A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen--Jack Bishop

The Gourmet Cookbook (tons of recipes compiled from Gourmet magazine)

any of the Barefoot Contessa books

Date Posted: 1/26/2006 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

Oh, I thought of another one.

365 Great Cakes & Pies--Carol Prager

This one was actually my husband's! I promptly took it over when we moved in together. Everything I've tried has been delicious. I think the book is out of print, but you can purchase it used on any number of sites. Perhaps it will even turn up here.......

Date Posted: 1/27/2006 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
Back To Top
Date Posted: 1/29/2006 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 112
Back To Top

My favorite place to get recipes is allrecipes.com.  I know they have published several cookbooks from the recipes they have available online. 

I'm sure they are fabulous cookbooks!

I also love my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook:  Bridal edition.

Date Posted: 1/29/2006 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 112
Back To Top
Also love the Five in 10 Cookbook.  We have gotten so many fast, easy recipes with few ingredients there.  Great for those low on time and budget!
Date Posted: 1/29/2006 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 549
Back To Top

I love, love, LOVE any of the cookbooks put out by Taste of Home!!!  They're my favorite because the recipe generally looks good and tastes good. :o)  I also like the idea of the Once a Month cooking, but have never really tried it.  Has anyone here tried it? 



Date Posted: 1/30/2006 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2005
Posts: 26
Back To Top

Rebecca:   I haven't tried the once a month thing...but there are several groups at Yahoo that are fun and helpful. 

One is Frozen Assets:

If you go to the main Yahoo site and do a search for "once-a-month cooking" you will find more groups:  http://groups.yahoo.com/ 

Good luck,


Last Edited on: 1/30/06 3:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2006 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2005
Posts: 2
Back To Top
I love and cherish my Pillsbury Cookbook!
Date Posted: 2/17/2006 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 30
Back To Top

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum

Beard on Bread or American Cookery by James Beard

Anything at all by Bert Greene, Julia Child, or Laurie Colwin

Not Your Mother's Slowcooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

The Breadmachine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

My Mother's Southern Kitchen and Casseroles by James Villa

I don't need pictures in cookbooks, but I do like to be able to sit down and read them, like a novel. We had five hundred at one time, but gave most of them away. If only PBS had been around then.

Date Posted: 2/19/2006 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
Back To Top

Hey Badams007,  re Small Batch Baking

I have made a couple of things, a recipe for 2 mini chocolate layer cakes made in veggie cans and a scaled down recipe for a mixed berry crumble.  I liked both.  Let me know if there are any recipes you're looking for fruit, flavor or whatever and I'll be happy to PM you with them.   

For oodles of free recipes try www.recipezaar.com.  It's in my top 5 sites visited weekly.  The people there are just like us, only about food:)  


Date Posted: 3/13/2006 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2006
Posts: 58
Back To Top

I love the Reiman Publications Cookbooks (Taste Of Home, Quick Cooking, etc.

Date Posted: 3/22/2006 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2006
Posts: 332
Back To Top

the new york times cookbook and the international soup book are my favorites.

the first i don't really use for exact recipes, just general guidelines and ideas.  the soup book i tend to use more for exact recipes, but occasionally for just guidelines/ideas as well.

Last Edited on: 3/22/06 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2005
Posts: 36
Back To Top

I've been using the Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever book a lot this winter - I love that almost all of the recipes use fresh ingredients.   I just received The Gourmet Slow Cooker book from someone here at PBS, but haven't tried any of the recipes.  I tried one of the Fix It and Forget It books, but the recipes that I made from it just didn't turn out edible food.

I also have Small Batch Baking - I've found the sweets recipes okay to good, but use the foccacia recipe a lot.  It's really good if you add a little more sugar and switch the spices to cinnamon.  Top with a little more cinnamon and brown sugar and you've got dessert foccacia :)  I haven't tried using cans to bake in - I just sub small oven proof ramekins.  I have tiny tart pans, loaf pans, and springform pans too so the book seemed like the perfect thing to help me get some use out of the them.

My most used cookbooks are Five Star Recipes from Cooking Light and Cooking Light Low Fat Low Calorie...but those are the two that I learned to cook with so they're my fall backs.

I've been trying one new recipe a week from Weight Watchers Take Out Tonite...so far so good.  DH  loves the chinese recipes, but I've been branching out into other sections of the book.  The cranberry scones are yummy! 

Date Posted: 3/24/2006 6:39 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2005
Posts: 11
Back To Top

Elizabeth -- I use the Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever all the time, as well as the Best Pressure Cooker Cookbook Ever.  I've given quite a few copies as gifts too.   The Fix It and Forget It books that I've gotten haven't been nearly as good.

Weight Watchers Take Out Tonight is great!  I've had that since it came out and we use it all the time.  I like your idea of trying one new recipe a week--my guys are sort of stuck on the same 8-10 recipes!

I tend to use my Cooking Light cookbooks, and their website, more than anything these days.


Last Edited on: 3/24/06 5:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/24/2006 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2006
Posts: 1
Back To Top
The Dinner Doctor cookbook---as well as her others--Cake Mix Doctor series...fabulous.
Date Posted: 4/17/2006 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

My favorites are:

Mennonite Country Style Recipes & Kitchen Secrets by Esther H. Shank

Betty Crocker (the older version)

The Amish Cook

More With Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre

Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook


Date Posted: 4/29/2006 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2006
Posts: 1
Back To Top

My favorite cookbooks are books published by Junior Leagues of different cities.  All recipes are tripple tested and come from real home cooks, not professional chefs.  They all have ingredients that you can pick up at any grocery store so there is no need to run all over the city for 1/8 tsp of some exotic spice that you might use only once.  I never had a failed recipe.  My 15-years old son learned how to bake from these books and I haven't done any baking for the last 5 years, ever since he decided to check out my books.

Date Posted: 4/29/2006 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2005
Posts: 26
Back To Top

Yes, testing.  That's seems rare these days in cookbooks and it's hard to even find a line or two in cookbooks anymore where they even MENTION testing.   In fact, I have a few from restaurants where the introduction says basically:  none of the recipe have been tested; we reprinted these exactly as they were given to us by the restaurant.

That seems shoddy and lazy to me.  Wonder why I bought those? 

Thanks for reminding us about Junior League books.  Not only are they TNT and tested (and usually yummy sounding) but the profits go to good causes in the communities.


Date Posted: 4/29/2006 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 24
Back To Top

Some of my favorites are:

The Joy of Cooking

The Horn of the Moon Cookbook

Doubleday Cookbook

Of course these are all my mother's that I used growing up, I hope to own them myself one day.