Posted on February 6, 2012


Cookbooks can be a wonderful resource and a great diversion.  When a new one arrives in my house, I often sit down and read the whole thing through like a novel.  Some of these books never come off the shelf again, as I rarely use recipes.  Other books are like old friends, getting pulled out anytime I need a bit of advice or inspiration.  Over the years a few of these have come to stand head and shoulders above the rest.  These are my top three.  What are yours?

  1. The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
  2. Clueless in the Kitchen
  3. Cooking for Geeks

The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is wonderful because its ring-binding lets you lay it open on the counter top without loosing your page.  Easy access tabs make it incredibly simple to find the section you want, and there are separate tables of contents for each section.  It also contains a myriad of useful charts, tips, and equivalencies.  This book is a wonderful all around reference tool even if you never use a single one of the recipes.

Clueless in the Kitchen is a great book for someone who has never had their own kitchen before.  It goes through all the basic steps of stocking your kitchen with both tools and ingredients.  It even contains a step-by-step guide to boiling water.  Still, even a seasoned cook will find something to enjoy in the simple and endlessly tweakable recipes.

Cooking for Geeks is the newest addition to my favorites list, which is why it came in third.  Give me another five years with it and it may land a bit higher.  If you’ve ever wondered why bread rises, onions caramelize, or what the perfect way to cook a steak is, you really ought to check out this book.  It’s got science, charts, interviews, recipes, drawings, and jokes.  Best of all, the author even encourages you to write in it.  How wonderful is that?

Posted in: Cookbooks