I LOVE cookbooks. They are one of my greatest joys in life! To have a book someone has spent hours testing and perfecting to make our lives filled with more goodness in the kitchen is my heaven.
You’ve probably heard me say this before, but when I get a new cookbook, I sit down and read it like a novel. I look at every recipe, read every ingredient, and each reflection, thought, and step that is written. Knowing where the author is coming from is as important to me as the recipe. As I am reading, I often mark pages I want to come back to and recipes I want to be sure to try. I not only use cookbooks for the recipes, but also for inspiration!
Here are five must order cookbooks that have joined my collection.
No Crumbs Left by Teri Turner
Okay, I do not have to tell you all how much I love the whole No Crumbs Left package. From the wonderful cookbook to the beautiful pottery collection to Teri herself, it’s one of my go to’s. Plain and simple, a pure, real, honest, salt of this earth person.
David keeps saying how wonderful things are that I am making and changing up. Much of the credit goes to Teri and honestly, with me now cooking 20-21 meals a week, I needed this in my life. While I love the cookbook and I will tell you about that in a minute, I talk about No Crumbs Left so much on Instagram, I needed to share Teri and all her goodness with you, too.
Okay, back to the cookbook. This is a book that I have read cover to cover and it received a place on my kitchen counter, because I use it so much. This is one of the most non-intimidating cookbooks I have seen in a long time and it’s full of flavor. It is truly an everyday cookbook. If I had to tell you one thing I love about it I couldn’t, so here are three.
1. I love watching Teri on Instagram stories everyday @nocrumbsleft. She prepares something from the cookbook, from her blog, or something new. It is easy to follow and she makes you feel like there is no way you could mess it up.
2. I must have read “a day in the life” 15 times. It reminds me that my crazy is normal to not just me, but to many others, too. Laurice Bell writes “No matter how you felt before you arrived, you’re now simply happier” when talking about a visit to Teri’s. It warms my heart and feeds my soul and I strive for this every single day. Cookbooks are way more than just about the recipes.
3. Each recipe has a section that is Teri’s Tip. Most are not just about that recipe, but will enhance your cooking over all.
Basically, my cookbook and Instagram crush is Teri. So, sorry guys, you will have to get used to it. This cookbook is also Whole 30 endorsed.
Teri – I hope one day when you are on the East Coast you make your way to our farm.
Follow her on Instagram at @nocrumbsleft.
The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables by Angi Schneider
Even before I moved to the farm I was canning and pickling for my family. The year before the twins were born I canned so many tomatoes we used them for years. But I was a basic canner doing the basics…tomatoes, peaches and some jam. Now, on the farm I am diligent about preserving and gaining a homestead mentality of storing for the year. We grow everything here and I am starting to source those items locally we are not growing and those I want to preserve for the year.
I like having more control over my food and his book is the simplest and most exciting preserving book I have found. Here are a few reasons I love the layout of this book.
1. Each section has an easy to follow “cheat sheet” for each type of preserving for that produce.
2. She starts with the harvest. So, for beginners like me or when I forget, all the information I need is right there.
3. She also gives you recipes to prepare to preserve.
Follow her on Instagram at @schneiderpeeps.
Platters and Boards by Shelly Westerhausen
I picked up this book thinking if the kids (my 24 year old twins and their significant others) come and quarantine with us, wouldn’t it be fun to do awesome boards for meals. Well, the kids came and I have made a couple of those awesome boards!
This is also the perfect book for someone who loves to learn like me. It starts with the basics, like pickling boards and moves into all the tips you need. To be honest, what I love most is the sections. The book thinks like I do. It is organized in sections based on the time of day. Then, you can break it down from there.
There are recipes to add to the boards as well as drink selections. Now, Shelly is a vegetarian and her boyfriend, Wyatt, adds a meaty suggestion for almost all the boards. The images are beautiful and the book is a pure inspiration.
Follow her on Instagram at @vegetarianventures.
The Defined Dish by Alex Snodgrass
I discovered The Defined Dish when I was researching take-out to make at home. I cannot remember exactly how I came across her Instagram account, but when I did, I bought her book. So, of course I turned first to the Better Than Take-Out chapter.
I have tried a handful of recipes for inspiration and love the combinations of ingredients. I would give this book to someone looking to learn to cook more and think it is the perfect gift for a college grad, as well. The book has a wonderful section that is back to the basics for great reminders.
I have not made all the recipes, but I have read them all. They would be perfect for a quick meal, because most contain ingredients you should already have on hand at home. There are some great parts in the recipes that are super helpful. The first is some of the recipes offer slow cooker instructions if you prefer. There is also a section in most recipes called “from my kitchen to yours” that provides helpful tips and/or suggestions.
When you first open the cookbook, I suggest not getting overwhelmed by the number of ingredients on each recipe. Most are spices that you can pull out and prep easily. Many are mixtures of spices some of us pre-mix in our weekly prep anyways.
Follow her on Instagram at @thedefineddish
Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tilghman Gerard
This is another cookbook I discovered on Instagram when the quarantine started and the kids started heading home. I was thrilled. I honestly knew my cooking was getting stale for David and me and I needed some inspiration. This cookbook arrived right when everything really started to pick up at the farm and I needed new ideas to keep myself excited. This cookbook nailed it. Again, I read it from cover to cover and learned so many new tips and some I forgot I knew.
The images are beautiful and the recipes are easy to follow. Many give you options for slow cooker, pressure cooker, or stove top. Do not get overwhelmed when you open the book and think the recipes are long as these are just options. I also enjoy each of the introductions to the recipes filled with information to enhance all your cooking.
The recipes are all true comfort, but fresh. This is another like @nocrumbsleft that you need to follow on Instagram for daily recipes and inspiration. I ordered her other cookbook and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
Follow her on Instagram at @halfbakedharvest.
I do love my cookbooks and have a few on the way, but I would love any and all of your recommendations!
Do you have any must order cookbooks?
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.