Let’s Talk Cookbooks

I love my cookbooks, however most of my collection above involves a decent amount of preparation. I don’t know about you, but the hours of 5-7pm around my home are insane. D is not home yet, the kids are hungry and wanting attention every minute, and I’m a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs myself. It’s like clockwork – 5pm strikes and Wita (the independent girl whose new favorite phrase is “STAND BACK”) suddenly becomes whiny and attached to my leg while I’m trying to chop and stir and cook and UGGGGHHHHHHH. Crazy-making, I tell you. Combine all the above factors, and I can’t possibly make an elaborate (or even semi-elaborate) dinner.

So! I decided it was time to add a few more books to my arsenal, with a specific focus on three elements: quick, simple, and healthy. I put a call out on Twitter and my Facebook page, and got tons of great responses. I’ve included the top 8 most popular books, in descending order of the most mentions. (You can check out many more suggestions on the Facebook post here, and by the way, I’ve order #1 and #2. Can’t wait to try them out.)

I hope these suggestions are helpful, and I’d love to hear if you have any additions!

1. Dinner: A Love Story

2. Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

3. America’s Test Kitchen: Simple Weeknight Favorites

4. Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes

5. Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast

6. Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express

7. Our Best Bites

8. The Stocked Kitchen

  1. The Tutugirl

    July 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

    It’s not a cookbook, but Real Simple always has great recipes that are quick to make, super easy, delicious and on the healthier side.

    • whoorl

      July 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Real Simple was definitely mentioned as well. Need to check it out!

  2. Rebecca

    July 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I’ll have to pick some of these up… I LOVE many of the same cookbooks you own as well but they can be a little time consuming!

  3. heathercoo

    July 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I am a cookbook addict. I can’t go to a book store without picking up a new one!!

    Thanks for putting these all in one place, I’m pinning this for sure!

  4. Mama in the City

    July 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I wish I had a love for cookbooks. I really do. I see the appeal to flipping through the pages and getting inspiration from looking at the photos and figuring out which recipe to make…but I’d much rather flip around on line and set up my lap top on the kitchen counter. I am not a collector of things (other than purses that is) so maybe that’s why? Anyways, keep us posted of good recipes!

  5. Amti'b

    July 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I trade mags with a pal and one is everyday food-super healthy and fast, lots of veggie dishes. Also just got giada’s week night meals.

  6. Sarah

    July 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Every now and then, America’s Test Kitchen will publish a magazine that focuses on a theme, like “Light & Healthy Meals” or “Cooking for 2” or “Spring Entertaining.” Have to admit, their 30-Minute Meals (or something) ones are great and I nearly always get rave reviews when I make something using one of their recipes. I’ve only had one “miss” in seven years of cooking. (I started tracking what I cook in 2005, when I decided I wanted to learn how to cook well.)

    Off to make Mexican Lasagna from their Light & Healthy magazine now. But going to order the Martha Stewart one first. Maybe. (Oh, who am I kidding. I’m ordering it.)

    Thanks for the recommendations. xo

  7. Christina

    July 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I got rid of all my cookbooks last year and set up binders of recipes I’ve found online. This way I only have the recipes I know I like or want to make. I have two right now (one just for sweets!). I just got so tired of buying cookbooks and only having interest in making half of the recipes.

  8. Jess

    July 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    The Cooking Light book (#5) is one of my all-time faves. The recipes in there are so easy and so delicious. There are quite a few items in there that have joined my every day rotation and some that even though they’re “easy”, they still make great entertaining dishes as well. You should definitely check it out!

  9. Annie

    July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    My husband actually reads the cookbooks, takes the recipes that he likes, and the re-organizes them in digital files so he can reference them everywhere he goes. That way, he goes to the store and then finds the protein or main component that is on sale and builds the dish around that with recipes.

  10. Lisa

    July 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Have you made Gwyneth’s fried rice with Kale and Scallions? Its our new favorite. Especially great with some grilled Sausage chopped up and mixed in. I also love Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks!

  11. Lynne

    July 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for putting this together!

    I’m surprised that there weren’t any crockpot cookbooks listed? Crockpot meals save my life, seriously.

  12. Sarah R

    July 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    My absolutely required, dog-eared-beyond-recognition is the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. Everything totally works, and almost all of them are fantastic travelling desserts should you need to go somewhere with them. Interstingly, I otherwise own or have borrowed & copied recipes from everything you have up there!