I love cooking. From starters to deserts, I really enjoy trying new recipes, and even inventing my own! So when new cook books come out, I’m always one of the first to get a copy and test some of the recipes. Here are the top ten cookbooks I think everyone should own...
1 Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life
I love this book. It was the motto that got me...”good food, cooked with love, feeds the soul as well as the body.” Who could resist a book stating that?! It does what it promises, and Nadia Sawalha shares the dishes that she grew up with, and feeds to her own family. From elaborate roast chickens to falafels, there is amazing recipes, and heartwarming stories surrounding each one. You don’t need amazing cooking skills, and the instructions are straight forward and easy to follow. The Magic Prawns have been a huge hit at my parties, too!
2 Eat Me
I love making cupcakes, and this is the perfect book for improving my skills and getting inspiration. From Pina Colada to Banoffee pie, there is a recipe with every flavour, and they are perfect for recreating. The recipes are amazing, and easy to follow, meaning you can easily create elaborate and amazingly tasty cupcakes for any occasion. I love the cheeky writing style, too!
3 Canteen – Great British Food
A lot of British classics have been lost in the past few years, and this book is perfect for incorporating them into your life and giving them a try. From devilled kidney on toast to pork pies and treacle tart. The recipes have been improved by top chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, and are now favourites in a lot of pubs! My favourite bit? That the book always suggests an accompaniment, from chutneys to sauces.
4 Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic
This is slightly different to a conventional recipe book. Instead of giving you individual steps to complete different recipes, it gives you important information and tips on getting to grips with kitchen basics. There is brilliant instructions on making pastry, how to poach perfect eggs and mastering pasta dough, and the back of the book contains new versions of old favourites, such as chocolate fudge cake made with Earl Grey tea. The book will show you how to cook like a pro, and give you the skills to attempt any recipe, and the confidence too!
5 Tender Cook
Containing over 400 recipes, this book is perfect for adding more vegetables to your diet. From crab cakes to luxury cauliflower cheese, the vegetables are cooked and seasoned to give them great taste, and to help you get your five a day effortlessly. The food is simple, refreshing, organic and beautiful, and I love the way its divided by vegetable, so you can find the perfect recipe for your crop or leftovers. It’s great!
6 Cook in Boots
I’ll admit that it was the gorgeous cream-and-strawberries front page that made me buy this book...I love whipped cream! The writing in this book is straight forward and easy to follow, and has a very handmade quality which makes it appeal. There’s a global selection of recipes, from British to Turkish and Vietnamese, and they are all big on flavour and totally delicious. There is a ‘women only’ theme, and the section headings can be offputting (“PMT – For when only chocolate will do’ doesn’t particularly make me want to eat them...but it’s a great book, and big on flavour, as well as being straight foward. A winner!
7 Good Housekeeping Food Encyclopaedia
This is an odd recipe book...it really is an encyclopaedia, like it says. For any ingredient, it lists its history, appearance, taste, texture, aroma, culinary uses, and how to buy it, store it and use it. There are eleven categories of food, from meats to vegetables, and there are a few recipes included too. Its real use, however, is for choosing ingredients for your own recipes. I’m always using it!
8 Home Cooking
This book is perfect for women with families, as the recipes are great for adults and children alike, and the book is filled with tips on how to feed them great quality meals. Even the fussiest eater will find something they love! There’s ideas for breakfast, lunch, Sunday lunch, supper and deserts, and sides too, including the sweet and the savoury. I love the white chocolate fudge...
9 I Know How to Cook
A French book, this is a common wedding gift for those marrying in France, and its jam packed with 1,400 recipes! All your favourite French foods will be in here, and the recipes have been updated to combine the traditional authenticity with modern ingredients and tastes. First published in the 1930’s, this is an amazing book, stuffed with delicious recipes, with silly names. The ‘silly biscuits’, and ‘muzzle-breakers’ are perfect examples, and I love the melon marmalade!
10 Seasonal Preserves
I love making preserves, but until I got this book I was only trying very basic recipes. Now I can make Damson Cheese and Chilli Tomato Chutney, Gooseberry and Elderflower jam...a range of exotic and tasty preserves which so far, everyone has loved! From chutneys and jams to butters and curds, there are divine recipes, written in easy to follow instructions. This would make a great gift for any budding chef, or preserve lover!
I’m always getting my cookbooks out...I’ve even built a shelf especially for my favourites, so I can easily locate delicious recipes for any occasion and make divine food! I just love to cook. Have you got a favourite recipe, or cookbook? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: ShamsD
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