Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Reads

I, like many of you I'm sure, have a very extensive cookbook collection. I have over 30 cookbooks, and I should go through and give some away, because I have more than I need. And yet, I still continue to buy more...

I love looking through them, especially ones with beautiful, glossy photos. They are so much fun for me, I'm sure you understand. I'm sure many of you have the same weakness. Cooking blogs have, in many ways, replaced cookbooks for me; it is so easy to search for exactly what you are looking for. But cookbooks are fun because they are tangible. I hope they never go away.

Even though I have over 30, there are some I turn to a lot and others, not so much. Here are my top three.
  1. Favorites (by the Ivory family, published for the Make a Wish Foundation). This one, since it was for a charitable foundation and not for profit, is something of a Utah phenomenon. Most of the contributors are residents of Salt Lake City and are friends of the Ivory family. Since it's not a professional cookbook by any means, some recipes are fantastic while others are...less so. Some fit in with my cooking style (from scratch, homestyle), and others are written more with shortcuts in mind (such as using onion soup mix as seasoning and bottled salad dressing as marinades). Still, since it's a compilation of family favorite recipes, there are some gems. By the way, there's nothing wrong with using shortcuts. They have a place and I use them regularly when the situation calls for it. But it seems odd that recipes like that would be included in a cookbook.
  2. Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten (actually, all the Barefoot Contessa books, except for Parties, which I don't have). I love Ina's style: good food that relies on fresh ingredients. I do a lot more cooking from her cookbooks during the summer when produce is at its peak.
  3. The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. Yes, one of my top three is dedicated to ice cream. David has a way with sweet things. I would love to buy some of his other dessert books, but I'm afraid that would really be detrimental to my waistline, which has thus far survived my addiction to his ice creams.
What are your favorites?

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