Trust me when I say this is my short list! I have over 250 cook books, it's really hard to pick a true list, these are just my true"go to" books.. ones I would recommend to anyone!
- American Desserts, by Maida Heatter, , Chances are you've never heard of her, she's never had a food network show, or even a PBS show that I'm aware of..her books are truly fabulous! If you love good desserts, the type you could make any day, but still serve to company, these books are for you. I would venture to say that the vast majority are out of print, but I will put a link below for the best book store in the world, Powell's Books, they sell new, used & out of print.. (you get the picture!) I have just about every book she's every written! I'd recommend anything she's published!
- The Barefoot Contessa, by Ina Garten, , another author I have all of the books she's published, but her first is still my favorite. I really like the follow on publications as well, but this one is my "go to".
- The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso -Shelia Lukin, This was THE cookbook that taught the average home cook about gourmet cooking in a real accessible way in the late 1980's. My copy looks like it spent time in a war zone! Over twenty some years after this book came out, I still use it regularly and wouldn't trade it for most of the books in my collection!
- The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, I have an edition printed in 1990, over twenty years ago. I did get an updated version years later and got rid of it.. I like my older copy better! I am quite fond of old cookbooks. I think the older the better in a lot of cases. This is an awesome cookbook complied from recipes that were printed in newspaper articles, so none are overly complicated or have lengthy instructions, yet are all extremely good and well written..Another top go to book!
- Betty Crocker, 1950 edition (this is important!) As the years went on this cook book adapted to a much more quick and simple approach to cooking and relied on prepared foods as components in recipes rather than good old fashioned cooking. I... prefer it old style. I don't need a cook book to tell me how to put pudding mix in a refrigerated pie crust and bake it! Yes, that sounds snooty, but...Betty.. you lost your edge!
- Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis, I love this book... it is so adaptable, so quick and easy and the favors are fabulous! This is yet another author who has put out several book since her first, (this one) which I have bought all of, but I still love the first one the best. I find plenty of things to make in her other books and like them very much, but I still love this one best!
- Cooks Illustrated, technically not a cookbook, but a magazine. This is a rare publication in that is does not take any advertising in, so it has no sponsors to endorse. It not only has fantastic recipes, but gives fair and HONEST reviews on products.. from cookware, food items used in cooking and baking etc... I love the exhaustive research they do in coming up with a recipe and working out all the issue involved. I may not always agree that their version is the best, but it is always very good. They also publish a line of books titled "The Best Recipe" I highly recommend these as well.. they have the same exhaustive research and problem solving.