Top Shelf Cookbooks

I collect cookbooks – there are shelves and shelves of them in my home. I love to flip through their shiny pages seeing the ways the authors have combined familiar ingredients in new and exciting ways. I pore over the ingredient lists and examine the photographs; I envision the finished dishes and can almost taste the food just by reading the descriptions. I’m such a food nerd.

Cookbooks are losing ground to internet searches and while I can fully appreciate the speed of Googling “easy chicken dinner recipe,” there’s still something I love about holding a well-edited collection of recipes in my hands.

I thought I’d save you some time in the bookstore by sharing some of my absolute favorites here. These are the books I turn to again and again to the point where my copies of them are dog-eared and food splattered. If you’re interested in fresh, flavorful, healthy cooking and these aren’t already in your collection, they should be. I’ll even include the Amazon links so you can find them quickly… now let’s get cooking!

The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook– This one is published by the staff at Cook’s Illustrated, an authority on a scientific approach to cooking that produces perfect results every time. Love that they gathered their healthy recipes in one place!

The All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook– A great comprehensive volume from the top cooking magazine for health conscious cooks. They publish an annual guide as well with all the recipes from that year’s magazine! My mom’s been giving me one for Christmas for years.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook– Ina Garten’s recipes aren’t always the lightest but I have good results lightening them up without compromising the flavor. I love her style! I credit Ina with luring me out of corporate America and into the food world – I even made a trip to the Hamptons to her original shop before it closed!

Everyday Italian– Giada De Laurentiis is one of my favorite TV chefs and this volume is packed with great recipes. You must try the turkey meatballs – amazing.

Jamie’s Food Revolution– Jamie Oliver is convinced that anyone can cook and he’s on a mission to spread the word. His book is filled with fresh, fast, easy dishes that you really CAN make, even if you don’t consider yourself a cook!

Cat Cora: Classics with a Twist– I’ve had a lot of success with this book, but one of my favorites is her easy chicken curry with peas. Amazing.

What’s your favorite cookbook? Post it in the comments below or on our Facebook wall and join the conversation!

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