Old School (My Favorite Cookbooks)

When the grocery store clerk at Harris Teeter ran up my total yesterday, I counted out the $27.42, as she stood there waiting for me to swipe my debit or credit card.

She was nearly floored when I handed the money over to her in cash.

“No one pays with cash anymore!” she exclaimed, as though I was a circus freak.

“I’m old school,” I said and then I drove off in my horse and buggy.

When I got home from the store, I started to think about what to make for dinner.Ā  I began to pull out my laptop to search for inspiration online…and then I stopped myself.

Since I was apparently a character straight out of Little House on the Prairie already, I figured that I should consult my good old-fashioned cookbook collection instead.

I nearly forgot that I have so many wonderful cookbooks, and I thought I’d share my favorites with you today.

I’d continue the old school theme and send each reader a handwritten letter or telegram, but for the sake of time, I’ll go high tech with this one and type it out. šŸ˜‰

Favorite for guest-worthy meals: Essentials of Healthful Cooking (Williams-Sonoma)

The photos in this book are so beautiful that it is difficult to choose a recipe.Ā  And the options range from pasta dishes to fish to beef and vegetable based meals.Ā  Any meal that you make from this book will dazzle any guests you’re entertaining.Ā  It will even dazzle yourself.

Favorite for comfort foods: The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger

You can find healthy versions of all your favorite comfort foods in this cookbook, including turkey meatloaf, pizza, spaghetti, and pancakes.

Favorite for quick and easy meals: The I ā™„ Trader Joe’s Cookbook by Cherie Mercer Twohy

I’ve talked this one up a lot on TGS, but I just cannot help it!Ā  The book contains over 150 recipes using foods from Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite places on earth.Ā  I haven’t made a single meal from this book that wasn’t a winner.

Glamour Salmon (Recipe from Trader Joe's Cookbook)

Favorite for exploring new healthy dishes: Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

I refer to this one as the “cookbook I use when Michael is out of town” since the recipes in this one are for big time health food lovers. Think Toasted Wheat Germ Soup, Baked Purple Hedgehog Potatoes, Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Burgers (which I’ve made), and Garlic Scape Soup).

Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Burgers

Favorite for a little something different: Tapas by Joyce Goldstein

As defined by this book, tapas are small plates from Spain.Ā  What I love so much about them is that they allow you to sample so many different foods in one meal.Ā  It is perfect for someone like me who is often indecisive about what to eat.Ā  Some of the tapas in this cookbook are marinated olives, stuffed eggs, potato and onion omelet, grilled eggplant with onion and peppers, chickpeas with spinach, and sausage stuffed mushrooms.

Favorite for desserts:Ā  1001 Cookie Recipes by Gregg R. Gillespie

I almost selected one of my many cupcake cookbooks, but I had to go with the cookies.Ā  I’ve had this cookbook since college, and it is truly the cookie bible.Ā  From almond crisps to chocolate chip, you can find a recipe for any cookie on the planet.Ā  You can even make the recipes healthy if you choose, but personally, if I am going to have a cookie… I want a real cookie.

Do you have a cookbook collection?Ā  What are some of your favorites?Ā  I’d love to add some new ones to my mix!

(PS- Remember the Strawberry Cream dessert I posted yesterday?Ā  Well, I spilled it all over my kitchen floor, so Michael never even got to try it.Ā  Guess I’ll be making that one again soon!)

Have a great day!

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  1. I couldn’t live without the Silver Spoon or The Bread Bible. My wife loves Better Homes and Gardens.

  2. 1001 cookies? my word. i could start a new blog based on that!

  3. Speaking of old school and cookbooks, I’ve got one that I love:

    Laurel’s Kitchen

    It’s been around for a long time but it’s a classic on vegetarian cooking.

  4. ā€œIā€™m old school,ā€ I said and then I drove off in my horse and buggy.

    Ahahaha I love it! I always set out to make meals from one of my recipe books, but I never end up doing it. Maybe I’m just lazy? Hm. My favorite recipe book has to be one that my aunt wrote for our family with all of our hand-me-down family recipes. šŸ™‚ I haven’t actually made many meals from it yet, but my mom used to. I’m sure I’ll start eventually. šŸ™‚

    • It is so cool that you have something like that! I’d love to pass something down like that one day…or just send the grandchildren to my blog. Haha.

  5. Michelle

    While I do have quite a few, my favorite is my own šŸ™‚ Because I subscribe to Cooking Light (which has so many great recipes that I rip out) and often find new ones online, I bought a 3-ring binder and a ton of plastic sleeves, and I created my own cookbook – divided by category and everything. It’s honestly the best b/c unlike other cookbooks, you’re hand selecting every single recipe so you know they’re all good!

    • Do you have a Mac computer? I have this program on mine called MacGourmet which is where all of my personal recipes go (thus eliminating the need for my old dirty binder). šŸ™‚ It is still nice to have everything on paper though.

      • Michelle

        Ooh I don’t though we’ve been talking about getting one so this might seal the deal šŸ˜‰ The only problem is that I do still have paper copies from all my Cooking Light recipes but most of those can be found online too. It has been great having the iPad now though b/c I can look up a recipe and then just carry that around the kitchen (though I’m constantly afraid of spilling on it, haha).

  6. This post is full of so many things I love: references to Little House on the Prarie, Ellie Krieger, Heidi Swanson AND Trader Joes! We should be best friends. šŸ™‚

  7. Michelle

    I love Donald Link’s Real Cajun and Arturo Iengo’s Cucina Napoletana, not only for the recipes but also just to read for fun & to learn about the culinary history of their respective regions (and for great pictures). The New England Soup Factory Cookbook is my must-have for soups.


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