Cookbooks Buying Guide
With seemingly countless cookbooks available, it’s easy to find one specific to just about any food category, style, or topic. If you have a favorite cooking show host, food blogger, restaurateur, or food publication you follow, chances are you can find a cookbook showcasing their cooking knowledge, insight, and special recipes.
Types of Cookbooks
From novices to seasoned chefs, there are cookbooks tailored to every level of cooking skill. It’s helpful to read reviews or get a glimpse of the pages to see whether a particular book matches your cooking abilities. For specialty books covering things like grilling, slow cooking, pastries, soups, or fondues, the same principle applies: Be sure to take a look to see whether the recipes, ingredients, and prep work all match your cooking acumen -- or at least your desire to learn more.
There are staple cookbooks covering multiple food categories that every cook should have. These go-to cookbooks, like Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, dish up all the kitchen basics.
If you’re new to the kitchen and just learning to cook or bake, there are books that explain the most basic tasks. Many include step-by-step instructions and pictures to guide you on how to accomplish the fundamentals.
For advanced cooks, there are cookbooks that cover topics at a higher level and in more depth than the average cook desires.
Cookbooks abound dedicated to specific foods (such as cakes, cookies, or soups), cuisines (Italian, Mexican, Chinese), or cooking styles (roasting, braising, grilling). These topic-specific books can go from basics to beyond.
From birthday parties and bridal showers to Sunday brunches and holiday dinners, themed cookbooks are filled with ideas and recipes to inspire.
With diabetes, heart disease, and obesity all increasing, there is a multitude of health-focused and diet cookbooks. So if you’re looking for a lifestyle change that depends on making a cooking and eating change, you’re sure to find a book to help.
Before buying any cookbook, look through the content to make sure it’s the type of guide you’re looking for. You want it written to your level or above with good direction. It should include trusted recipes, easy-to-read type, and a usable index. Photos can be inspirational and helpful in guiding you through difficult steps. Removable pages are a bonus, as they let you pull out the recipe you’re working on and return it to the book later -- no need to lug around the whole book.
Cookbooks range in price from a few dollars to several hundred.
Cookbooks come with hard covers, soft covers, wire bindings, ring bindings, and more. How you will use the book may dictate the style you choose. For example, if you will cook from if often, you will want one that lies flat.
Every cookbook is designed with a purpose, and the style reflects this. Decide whether you will use the book in the kitchen as an on-the-spot guide, page through it as enjoyable reading, keep it as a reference, or simply put it on display.
With several levels of food authorities, cookbooks authors may include corporations, groups, and organizations (such as Better Homes and Gardens), famous food personalities, and more. Decide what level of authority you trust.
Whether it’s a beautiful picture of finished food or a sequence of images showing how to perform a certain task, photos can provide more information than words. Decide their value to you, as some books have many illustrations while others have none.
at Sur La Table
Things Cooks Love is a true celebration of food?more than 300 pages packed with wonderful recipes from around the world plus tips,... techniques and in-depth looks at ingredients, tools, cookware and more. From selecting the perfect chef?s knife to preparing Cornish hens al mattone, if you love to cook, this book will become the cornerstone of your global kitchen. A sampling of recipes you?ll find in the book: Pizza with Radicchio, Pears, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts Chicken, Shrimp and Chorizo Paella Lamb Tagine with Artichoke Hearts, Dried Apricots and Preserved Lemons read more
at Sur La Table
Wonder what?s cuter than a cupcake? A cake pop, hello! If you haven?t noticed, popular blogger Bakerella (aka Angie Dudley) is tur...ning cake pops into an international sensation. Cute little cakes on a stick, from decorated balls to more ambitious shapes such as baby chicks, ice cream cones and even tiny cupcakes, these adorable creations are the perfect alternative to cake at any party or get-together. Martha Stewart loved the cupcake pops so much she had Bakerella appear on her show to demonstrate making them. Now, Angie makes it easy and fun to re-create these amazing treats at home with simple step-by-step instructions and photos of more than 40 projects. You?ll also find clever tips for presentation, decorating, dipping, coloring and melting chocolate and much more. read more
These petite covered casserole dishes are perfect for baking soups, pot pies, pastas or desserts and then serving them in style. L...e Creuset stoneware is an extremely durable and versatile choice for one-dish baking, serving and storing. For cooking inspiration, the included Mini-Cocotte Cookbook features 25 sweet and savory recipes created exclusively for these stoneware pieces. Set of 4 lidded mini cocottes and the Le Creuset Mini-Cocotte Cookbook. Tight-fitting lids seal in moisture so foods emerge tender and juicy. High-fired stoneware is exceptionally strong and ensures even heating. Safe for oven, broiler, freezer and microwave. Durable porcelain enamel-glaze finish is easy to clean and resists chips, scratches and stains. Will not absorb odors or flavors. Vibrant, colorful exterior for oven-to-table presentation. Loop handles offer a steady grip. Colors coordinate with Le Creuset enameled cast-iron cookware. Hardcover cookbook includes recipes for French onion soup, chicken pot pie, cinnamon apples and more, each with a color photo. Cocotte: 5 3/4" x 4" x 6" high; 8-oz. cap. Made in Thailand and China. read more
at Barnes & Noble
Easy, healthy, and fun lunch ideas for every age! Once kids walk out the door for school, all bets are off. Will your son toss the... nutritious food you ve included and jump right to the treats? Will your daughter trade her sandwich for her best friend s prepackaged meal? Determined to improve what kids eat both at school and on the go, weelicious.com founder Catherine McCord offers innovative solutions for quick, delicious, easy-to-make, kid-friendly lunch box meals that little ones and their older siblings won t be tempted to swap, including: Chicken Satay Bites PBandJ Pancake Sandwiches Pumpernickel Tuna Melt Chicken Salad Roll Ups Chopped Veggie Salad Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons Carrot Hummus Cinnamon Pita Chips Chocolate Graham Crackers Nature Cookies Cinnamon Roll "Sushi" Sandwiches Filled with lots of great menu planning ideas; tips, tricks, and reusable product suggestions to make lunch fun; inspiring color photographs, advice on dealing with food allergies and so-called picky eaters; and more than 160 tried and true recipes, Weelicious Lunches takes lunchtime planning from hassle to joy! ISBN-13: 9780062078452 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 9/3/2013 Pages: 320 Sales rank: 28,187 Product dimensions: 8.42 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 1.10 (d) read more
at Barnes & Noble
Alice Waters, the iconic food luminary, presents 200 new recipes that share her passion for the many delicious varieties of vegeta...bles, fruits, and herbs that you can cultivate in your own kitchen garden or find at your local farmers market. A beautiful vegetable-focused book, The Art of Simple Food II showcases flavor as inspiration and embodies Alice s vision for eating what grows in the earth all year long. She shares her understanding of the whole plant, demystifying the process of growing and cooking your own food, and reveals the vital links between taste, cooking, gardening, and taking care of the land. Along the way, she inspires you to feed yourself deliciously through the seasons. From Rocket Salad with Babcock Peaches and Basil to Moroccan Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Ragout to Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Alice shares recipes that celebrate the ingredients she loves: tender leaf lettuces, fresh green beans, stone fruits in the height of summer, and so much more. Advice for growing your own fruits and vegetables abounds in the book whether you are planting a garden in your backyard or on your front porch or fire escape. It is gleaned from her close relationships with local, sustainable farmers. ISBN-13: 9780307718273 Publisher: Crown Publishing Group Publication date: 10/29/2013 Pages: 448 Sales rank: 807 Product dimensions: 7.66 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 1.24 (d) read more
at Barnes & Noble
A one-stop resource for cakes--birthday, chocolate, coffee, Bundt, upside-down, loaf, and more. From pound cake and angel food (wi...th many variations) to genoise and streusel-topped, from comfort classics like red velvet, six-layer coconut, rich chocolate, lemon meringue, and cheesecake to sophisticated grown-up fare including chiffon cakes and tortes with luscious fruits, these 150 recipes and color photographs cover techniques, decorating, and gifting ideas for every taste and occasion, whether no-fuss or fancy. Baking trends come and go, but cakes are timeless. From the editors and photographers of Martha Stewart Living, Cakes includes classics (German Chocolate, New York-Style Cheesecake), crowd-pleasers (Baked Alaska, Hummingbird), and cakes with unique, sophisticated flavors and embellishments (Pecan Torte with Lemon Curd, Saffron-Scented Pear Upside-Down Cake). Whether you need a birthday cake (for any age!), have bake-sale duty, want a travel-friendly coffee cake, or seek to impress at a dinner party or with a handmade gift, Martha Stewart s Cakes has more than 150 cakes plus ideas for decorating, gifting, and storing. Beautiful color photography that shows you just what you re aiming for and dozens of make-ahead tips make baking low-stress. ISBN-13: 9780307954343 Publisher: Crown Publishing Group Publication date: 9/24/2013 Pages: 352 Sales rank: 9,419 Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.96 (d) read more
at Barnes & Noble
Since her James Beard Award-winning first book, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Suzanne Goin and her Los Angeles empire of restaurants ...have blossomed and she has been lauded as one of the best chefs in the country. Now, she is bringing us the recipes from her sophomore restaurant, A.O.C., turning the small-plate, shared-style dishes that she made so famous into main courses for the home chef. Among her many recipes, you can expect her addictive Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Parmesan; Duck Sausage with Candied Kumquats; Dandelion and Roasted Carrot Salad with Black Olives and Ricotta Salata; California Sea Bass with Tomato Rice, Fried Egg, and Sopressata; Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce, Mint, and Feta; Crème Fraîche Cake with Santa Rosa Plums and Pistachios in Olive Oil; and S Mores with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Sorbet. But The A.O.C. Cookbook is much more than just a collection of recipes. Because Goin is a born teacher with a gift for pairing seasonal flavors, this book is full of wonderful, eye-opening information about the ingredients that she holds dear. She takes the time to talk you through each one of her culinary decisions, explaining her palate and how she gets the deeply developed flavor profiles, which make even the simplest dishes sing. More than anything, Goin wants you to understand her techniques so you enjoy yourself in the kitchen and have no problem achieving restaurant-quality results right at home. And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C., there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne, Goin s business partner and the wine director for her restaurants, presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine. At the back of the book, you ll find Goin s amazing glossary of cheeses all featured at A.O.C. along with the notes that are given to the waitstaff, explaining the sources, flavor profiles, and pairings. With more than 125 full-color photographs, The A.O.C. Cookbook brings Suzanne Goin s dishes to life as she continues to invite us into her kitchen and divulge the secrets about what makes her food so irresistibly delicious. ISBN-13: 9780307958235 Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Publication date: 10/29/2013 Pages: 448 Sales rank: 24,481 Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.36 (d) read more
at Barnes & Noble
What does it take to perfect a flawless éclair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an in...timate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, gives you just that. By teaching you how to make everything from pâte à choux to pastry cream, Pfeiffer builds on the basics until you have an understanding of the science behind the ingredients used, how they interact with one another, and what your hands have to do to transform them into pastry. This yields glorious results! Expect to master these techniques and then indulge in exquisite recipes, such as: · brioche · napoléons / Mille-Feuilles · cream puffs · Alsatian cinnamon rolls / chinois · lemon cream tart with meringue teardrops · elephant ears / palmiers · black forest cake · beignets as well as some traditional Alsatian savory treats, including: · Pretzels · Kougelhof · Tarte Flambée · Warm Alsatian Meat Pie Pastry is all about precision, so Pfeiffer presents us with an amazing wealth of information lists of necessary equipment, charts on how ingredients react in different environments, and the precise weight of ingredients in grams, with a look at their equivalent in U.S. units which will help you in all aspects of your cooking. But in order to properly enjoy your ?just desserts,? so to speak; you will also learn where these delicacies originated. Jacquy Pfeiffer comes from a long line of pastry chefs and has been making these recipes since he was a child working in his father s bakery in Alsace. Sprinkled with funny, charming memories from a lifetime in pastry, this book will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these recipes into the classics that we know and love, and can now serve to our friends and families over and over again. The Art of French Pastry, full of gorgeous photography and Pfeiffer s accompanying illustrations, is a master class in pastry from a master teacher. ISBN-13: 9780307959355 Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Publication date: 12/3/2013 Pages: 432 Sales rank: 30,283 Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 9.76 (h) x 1.34 (d) read more