I am a self-confessed cook book obsessive. I live for pretty covers, top chef names and anything that’s going to give me inspiration in the kitchen to develop my own ideas. This month I have been trying to eat more home prepared meals as a way to save money and to know exactly what I am fuelling my body with. This has meant cracking out the hoard of cookbooks I keep in the utility room and flicking through each one deciding what to eat. Granted, it’s not always healthy, but I promise you, it is so worth it when you have made something so delicious from raw ingredients. You cannot the sense of sheer satisfaction when you pull your food out from the oven and it turns out better than you could have expected. After feeling this amazing sensation last night after cooking from one of my holy grail cookbooks, I wanted to share my favourites with you all so you can experience what I have, too!
Chrissy is one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram, and when she announced her cookbook a few years ago I was elated. I waited a little longer and bought the UK version of the book with metric measurements which I have linked above. Readers from elsewhere, I am sure you will be able to find this book in your local book shop or on Amazon. The recipes are labelled as the food you want to eat, which doesn’t always have to mean the recipes are unhealthy. She has included two sections specifically for food which is a little less calorific; salads and soups. While these two sections could be incredibly boring, Chrissy has included recipes for food I have never heard of like ramen salad, which blew my mind. Last night, I cooked an amazing dutch baby pancake for the first time in my new cast iron skillet. Imagine a giant Yorkshire pudding, but that you put maple syrup on instead of gravy. The recipe was incredibly easy to follow, and the results were phenomenal. Definitely now one of my go to recipes on a hungover Sunday morning.
This book has been in my family since I was around 10 years old and was one of my first introductions to cooking from a book. I am amazed by the selection of celebration cakes and often planned who I would make each cake for as I became more confident in the kitchen. The entire section dedicated to cooking for kids became my own personal menu and I often begged my mum to make the recipes for me. From foolproof muffins (which taught me the batter can be a bit lumpy) to deliciously fluffy scotch pancakes, this book has it all. The one recipe that keeps my family coming back is the amazing recipe for Yorkshire puddings which have never gone wrong. The recipe is so easy that my mum has managed to learn it by heart, so much so that we have not bought frozen Yorkshires for the best past of 6 or 7 years now. Learn this recipe and you will never have to rely on a certain Bessie again.
American food and cooking have always intrigued me. Every state has its own way of doing a certain recipe and see every other version as wrong, for example, in some states BBQ is a dry rub, but in others it is a sauce that slathers meat before it is grilled. This book breaks down cooking for every state and lets users in to recipes that previously wouldn’t have left a tiny region of a tiny state. Some of the recipes aren’t for me and I won’t be trying at all (I can’t stomach the idea of rocky mountain oysters) but others have amazed me and make me want to chain myself to the kitchen. Unlike other cookbooks which might focus on just dessert or just main meals, this huge brick of a book (it has over 500 pages) has been split into easy to follow sections like starters, bakery and even drinks. It’s also great if you are planning a dinner party, as top chefs from each of America’s states have developed a menu with notes at the back of the book, allowing you to impress friends and family with fully realised concepts without having to piece them together yourself.
These three cookbooks have seriously helped me grow as a home cook and have led to some really incredible meals all year round. I am sure more cookbooks will come and go, but I will always have these three in my arsenal. Which cookbooks can you not live without? Let me know in the comments!
Featured Image by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash