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Which cookbook do you use the most?
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jude...I'd go the Frangelico path myself...hugs
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought so too Madame, hugs right back at you and Sieg!
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snaileater



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 6
Location: london

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 4:59 pm    Post subject: a new favorite & an old favorite Reply with quote

hiya

i grew up with the James Beard cookbook, and although i have recently been adjusting the salt in everything it's still the benchmark.

my new book is Pork & Sons which is chock full of tasty treats. having recently moved to the uk, i have become a little bit of a sausage addict and this puppy has 18 recipes! check it out:
http://www.phaidon.com/porkandsonsinfo/
(there are even some dancing pigs...)
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snaileater, I keep looking at Pork and Sons and wondering how to justify buying it.

If it has that many sausage recipes in it, that may be all the encouragement I need. My boyfriend Greg cooks, but has had a 'thing' lately about only cooking main dishes which include sausages. I'd better take a closer look at this book.
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snaileater



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 6
Location: london

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject: pork & sons Reply with quote

hiya Judy. sounds like your boyfriend is on a mission. i promise you won't be disappointed. the plus side is that the sausage recipes are quite varied - my favorite is one where you bake a brioche around a sausage, so maybe you might feel like you're not eating all sausage all the time...
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SarahsWorld67



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 100+ cookbooks, but the ones I enjoy the most are MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING l and ll, and FROM JULIA CHILDS KITCHEN. I like cookbooks that read like a novel -these deliver! I love to snuggle up with a good cookbook.
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Atomic



Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:00 pm    Post subject: so many to choose from Reply with quote

Hello,

Don't laugh, but the 1951 Betty Crocker Cookbook is my favorite. I like the little pictures.

James Beard's cookbooks are fun and interesting to read -much more than just collections of recipes. I especially like "American Cookery" and "The New James Beard".

Challenging and technical baking books with beautiful pastries and cakes are especially fun to moon over. I am thinking of "The Cake Bible" and Healy and Bugat's "The Art of the Cake".

If I had to choose just one cookbook for someone starting out? It might depend on whether or not they were interested in cooking. The Joy of Cooking is a great reference, but I think a pre-1960 version would be an especially thoughtful gift. In fact, I wish someone would give one to me!

Mike
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Banker & Baker



Joined: 31 May 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out telling my husband I only want to fill one row of the bookshelf that takes up the biggest wall in our living room. Four years later... most of the shelf is filled with cookbooks Very Happy

My most used books are "The Cake Bible" and "How to be a Domestic Goddess" for baking and Jamie Oliver's books for every-day dinners. However, I do make a point of giving all my books some attention and regularly go from one end of the shelf to the other making something from every book.
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MissC



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been some wonderful suggestions on here and many that I use frequently and love dearly. I don't think I could decided on just one favorite, but I love finding new cookbooks from different Junior Leagues around the country. For those of you not familiar, the Junior League is a women's organization devoted to developing leadership skills in women through volunteering. There are chapters across the country and most of them put together cookbooks to sell for fundraising. I find most of my crowd pleasing, wow 'em recipes from these books because they are usually compilations of the very best recipes of the women in that chapter. If you eve have a chance to buy one, I highly suggest starting a collection.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I LOVE my Junior League cookbooks also! My favorite of all times are River Road (Lafayette, LA), Charleston Receipts and Charlston Receipts Repeats (Charleston, SC) and of COURSE San Francisco a la Carte!

There are, of course, a few dogs in each of these books - Mufffy or Buffy always send in at least one recipe with Lipton onion soup or canned green beans. But for the most part there are some real classic regional dishes - all of the shrimp dishes in the Charleston books are great and the SF cioppino recipe is just smashing.

A few years ago the East Bay Junior League - out in Danville I think, put together a cookbook with recipes from different restos in the East Bay. I think there were a couple from Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. Also Bridges in Danville and some of the other top end restos on this side of the bridge. It was quite a different book than the traditional Jr. League cookbook. I wonder if Jr. Leagues in other areas are following in their footsteps.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only got a few Junior League books, but I echo Donna's thoughts. There are some wonderful regional gems to be found in the best of them.

Some random thoughts on cookbooks that "work" for me:

--The Joanne Weir books "Weir Cooking in the Wine Country" and "More Weir Cooking...etc." are great. The recipes are bright, simple, delicious, and always work. She's got a great palate.

--David Lebovitz's "Room for Dessert" is a post-dinner staple for me. Ditto my remarks about Joanne's books above.

--Marcella Kazan and Lidia Bastianich for Italian. Julia and Jacque Pepin for French. This is not to say that I don't use other Italian or French books, but they are my "final say" if I'm searching for a recipe.

--Other favorites...Joyce Goldstein, Madeline Kamman, Peter Rinehart, James Beard, Carol Field's "The Italian Baker", the old Craig Claiborne New York Times cookbooks, the Zuni cookbook (we rhapsodize over the chicken, but you should try the pot a feu, too)

After promising myself "NO MORE COOKBOOKS", of course I bought Clotilde's book, and when I was in London recently I bought one entitled "A Paradiso Year: Autumn and Winter Cooking" by Denis Cotter, an Irish chef. The recipes look fabulous and the photos are gorgeous. Wasn't until I got home that I realized that it's all veggies. Not an animal protein in the lot! It does have a very autumnal feel (my favorite season), and now I can hardly wait for the calendar to "give permission" to cook from it!

Despite my intention to back off the cookbook purchases, my Amazon shopping cart is full of new prospects. It will never end...
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooops. How could I have forgotten the Chez Panisse books? Embarassed Especially Lindsay Shere's "Chez Panisse Desserts". Also, "The Cheese Board Cookbook", which I think is the most extraordinarily generous book in my collection. They include the recipes for everything they sell in the store, and the recipes really work.

And while we're at it, does anyone else find that "restaurant" books frequently disappoint--the above mentioned excepted? I always suspect it has something to do with trying to scale down for a home kitchen. I friend recently brought me the recipe for a renowned pumpkin cheesecake from the restaurant in which he works. It looks wonderful, but it's enormous--instructions at the end tell you to "scoop out 6 cups of the filling"...and how many more cups are left in the bowl, pray tell???
And once I had to phone a local restaurant because in the middle of preparing one of their desserts, I knew it did not sound right. The chef was not thrilled to take my call, but he knew exactly why I had phoned. Rather begrudingly, he adjusted the recipe for me, but it still wasn't right.

Anyway, I'm particularly careful now when checking out books from famous establishments.[/u]
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MissC



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna, the Charleston books are some of my favorites too! My mom's family is Southern (and from Charleston) so the book holds a special place in my heart. I also have Capital Celebrations (Washington, DC) and it includes some recipes from celebrated chefs in the area, but it is not solely restaurant recipes.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All...I'm picking up this thread and "redirecting" again because I really would appreciate some responses to my most recent posts above. I'm afraid this cookbook addiction does not seem to be abating at all, despite my efforts to slow down. I don't buy anything for a few months, then undo all my best efforts by buying three or four at a time!

At least I can get your responses on (current) books that you love -- or not, just as important.

thanks in advance...

(BTW, I've got an old Jr. League book from New Orleans...The Plantation Cookbook, I think...that's full of old-South lore about the "best" of the 19th century plantations...I am decidedly ambivalent...lots of interesting recipes...lots of memory gaps about who was actually doing the cooking in these lovely houses...)
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia, over at the Epicurious website they have many many cookbooks reviewed, several years worth. Each review contains a line that says "Percentage [of recipes] you'll actually use" The discouraging average is about 20% ! (15% for the Babbo book, 25% for Chez Panisse Fruit, etc.) It's sad but true--I own lots of cookbooks too, but use 1 or 2 recipes from a shortish stack of books. So maybe if we tried more new things we wouldn't keep buying!
(Thank you for pointing out something other than the Zuni chicken.)
I have many that you mentioned. A little book put together by food editors from newspapers all over the country, Food Editor's Favorites I like, and a man named Lee Bailey wrote 3 that I own--but like I say, I use certain recipes over and over. We should help each other to branch out? It's not like we try every recipe in a book and then we buy a new one..
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