Seven Quick Takes: Seven Favorite Cookbooks

Seven Quick Takes: Seven Favorite Cookbooks

I cook a lot. And I own a lot of cookbooks — just ask my family what I ask for at every holiday!  I have a whole bookshelf devoted to them, which I recently culled through to make room for future purchases.  These are some of my absolute favorites.


1. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. I am a total Cook’s Illustrated fangirl. Their recipes are almost always amazing and they are my go-to people for anything I need. Angel food cake? Check. Grilled pork tenderloin? Check. Stir-fried broccoli? Check.

2. The Best 30-Minute Recipe. Also a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, surprise surprise.  I basically love the whole skillet pasta section: Skillet Lasagna, Skillet Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Sausage, and Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs are favorites. Some good recipes from other chapters include the All-American Mini Meatloaves, Simplified Pad Thai, and all, seriously all, of the salads.

3. Great Food FastThis is a cookbook from Everyday Food with great pictures. Quite a few of these recipes are Rehkemper family classics. I recommend the Spaghetti Carbonara, Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce, Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Scallions, Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers, and Favorite Turkey Burgers.

4. Fresh Flavor Fast.  I bought this Everyday Food cookbook because I loved Great Food Fast so much.  Our favorite recipe from this book is hands down the Sweet Potato Pancakes.

5. Cake Keeper Cakes. This is a really specific cookbook devoted to snacking cakes, but every one we’ve tried so far has been delicious, PLUS this is a recipe genre that is often overlooked in other cookbooks. Gavin is more of a cookie man, but he definitely won’t turn down some snacking cake! We have looked forward to eating the Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips every spring.

6. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This is my favorite canning cookbook, and I own several. Some of the recipes are weird but if you want to put up some jam, pickles, tomatoes, or salsa, this is the book. I like the Strawberry Jam on page 8 and the Jalapeño Salsa, but Gavin swears nothing compares to the (very mild) Fresh Vegetable Salsa.

7. Good Cheap Eats. I don’t actually own this book (yet!) but I recently checked it out from the library, read through it, and said to Gavin “I could totally have written this cookbook!” because her methods and recipes are so similar to my own.