**This post is inspired by thekitchn.com‘s series of “5 Essential Cookbooks”.**
Living in small urban apartments with even tinier kitchens, my cookbook collection has to be kept pretty small. If a cookbook is going to enter the house, it has to be both inspiring and useful. I like books that have good advice on what to actually DO with food, rather than a collection of glossy pages with overstylized displays.
These are the ones I return to day after day, week after week for inspiration, instruction and delicious food.
Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook: The classic red and white plaid cover is a classic all its own. This was one of the first cookbooks I ever had. I think my parent’s gave me a copy when I got my first apartment. It has everything from how to hard boil an egg (the most used/dog-eared page) to fancier, classic dishes. It’s also a great reference for substitutions and conversion, which are always useful!
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” books are the best reference tools out there. There’s a good reason why there’s one of them on pretty much everyone’s shelf. It’s an amazing reference tool and full of interesting twists on every type of veggie and legume imaginable. When I see a new fruit or veggie at the farmer’s market, this is my go to book for figuring out what to do with it.
Clean Food: Love this way this is organized by season, with fresh recipes and lots of inspiration. This is a new book for me, so I’m still exploring it, but so far everything I’ve made from it has been absolutely delicious!
Veganomicon: Pretty sure this is the pinnacle of vegan cooking right here and even though I’m not vegan, I’ve cooked pretty much everything out of this book at least twice. Every recipe is stellar and the substitution guide for making other recipes vegan friendly is indispensable.
Delicious/Pinterest: Not traditional cookbooks, but I use these two platforms for bookmarking, tagging and saving lots of recipes. Delicious has better search functionality, but Pinterest is making a strong showing with it’s great graphics.
What are your 5 essentials?