I’ve always had a “thing” for cookbooks. Doesn’t matter that there was a time when I could barely cook a decent meal. Cookbooks are great reference guides, and I think we all can agree that they look pretty darn cute as kitchen decor. In the last year or so – pretty much right around the time that I acknowledged my negative body image issues – I’ve really developed an enjoyment for cooking. Maybe even more so than baking, which always had been my first love in the kitchen. It’s so fun to try new recipes, share them with Ryan (who makes me feel like I’m the next Barefoot Contessa with the compliments he gives), and know that even if it’s not a recipe with the healthiest ingredients it’s still better than eating out! I’m giving you a peek inside my kitchen brain with the cookbooks that I always reach for – most by the same author! – as well as my favorite recipes from each.
*underlined cookbook titles will take you to Amazon links!
Heart of the Home: Notes From A Vineyard Kitchen by Susan Branch
If you’re not familiar with Susan Branch, you’re missing out. My mom always has been a fan of her, and over the years I’ve grown to appreciate the unique life that she lives. My personal copy of this cookbook holds a special place in my heart because my mom was able to get a signed copy for me. All the recipes in here are classic, comfort food recipes – many that we all grew up loving. You can’t go wrong!
Favorite recipe: Macaroni & Cheese (p. 104)
Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines
This is the newest cookbook in my collection, but it quickly has become essential. I’m still so surprised by how easy and approachable all of Joanna’s recipes are! Not to mention the photography and entire presentation of the cookbook is right up my alley.
Favorite recipes: Grilled Havarti, Tomato & Basil Sandwiches (pg. 91); Sour Cream Enchiladas (pg. 193, also mentioned here)
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! by Ree Drummond
Who doesn’t love Ree Drummond?! I mean, I even watch her Food Network show when I’m at the gym (sick form of self-torture). In my opinion, this is the most user-friendly cookbook of hers yet. I don’t always have the patience for the prep time, so I really appreciate the chapters dedicated to 20 and 40 minutes or less meals.
Favorite recipes: Pepperoni Chicken (pg. 152); Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce (pg. 169)
The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka
I have the blogging community to thank for introducing me to Gina and her recipes. It’s always nice to find healthy alternatives to already-favorite foods/meals.
Favorite recipe: Skinny Chicken Parmesan (pg. 177)
Skinnytaste Fast and Slow by Gina Homolka
No surprise here that I love the above-mention-ed’s sequel! Give me healthy, quick recipes any day. Bonus points if I can throw it in the slow cooker and forget about it until dinnertime.
Favorite recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls (pg. 93); Pizza-Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups (pg. 157)
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond
While this isn’t one that I reach for on the regular, it’s basically the ultimate guide to food for any and all holidays/special occasions. I’ve made at least one dish from this book for every gathering that I’ve hosted in our home the last few years!
Favorite recipes: Perfect Mashed Potatoes (pg. 254)
What are some of your favorite cookbooks and recipes?