{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Cookbooks Are My Crack

At childhood slumber parties, I could be counted on for two things: 1) I would always be first to fall asleep, resulting in a frozen training bra (you guys were sooooo original) and 2) I could be found tucked into a corner reading every single magazine in my friend's room. Put a Seventeen or Sassy in my midst, and I literally couldn't tear my eyes away. I'm sure there were times people thought I was being slightly anti-social, but hey, there are certainly more dangerous things to be hooked on than magazines. Heroin and designer shoes both spring to mind.

Now that I'm grown folk, I've substituted my magazine addiction for cookbooks. Cookbooks cost about 5 times more than a magazine, so I'm hardly a subscriber of the harm reduction model. I seek cookbooks out in friends' houses, and fill my own shelves with as many as I can. Big ones, small ones, paperbacks, vegan, ethnic, elaborate, rustic--I love 'em all. Martha, Giada, Tyler, Guy, Paula, Ina...the gang's all here!

I realized I had a problem this weekend when I literally couldn't leave Home Goods without checking the title of every single cookbook to see if there was one more I just had to add to my collection. Do I need one more cookbook? Absolutely not. Did I stop myself from buying another one? Just barely.

Cookbooks spark my imagination, tease my senses and trigger my appetite. I pore over instructions to recipes I have no intention of making and choreograph elaborate dinner parties in my head I know I'll never throw. I read cookbooks in bed, like novels. They're my make-your-own adventure books. 

My current favorites are Stop and Smell the Rosemary published by the Houston Junior League, The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger, the Cooking Light 2009 collection and Bon Appetit Fast, Easy, Fresh.

What are your favorite cookbooks? If I had to add just one more to my collection, which one would you suggest? Go ahead. Enable me.


  1. I can relate to 'crack' cookbook habit. I read cookbooks like folks read a novel. I have cookbooks that are stacked high and ready to fly. Love, love them.

    Did I mention that I love cooking magazines too. Unlike my cookbooks, I make a point of going through them each year, and passing them along.


  2. Oh, I have a major cookbook problem too. A lot of them I haven't even used yet! But... I am able to justify it because I do thumb through them pretty often - and I'm not really into reading regular books so I think it's ok to spend money on cookbooks. I should post up pictures of my collection too! I really do treasure it.

    PS I have The Food You Crave too! I just made one of the salmons in there. I think it's called spiced salmon? I paired it with a veggies topped with a peanut sauce that's found in the beginning of the book. I'll try to get you the proper names when I get home tonight so you can try them out too. Which recipes in there have you used so far?

  3. I love cookbooks too! When I buy a new one, I can't wait to get home to read it cover to cover; sometimes I even break out the sticky tabs to make all the ones I must try (I know, I'm a total food nerd) My fave book lately is Eat Drink & Be Vegan.

  4. I still have a magazine addiction!

    Cookbooks though, that's interesting. I'm not always a fan of them, I'm more of a see -a-recipe-in-a-magazine-that-I-like-and-tuck-it-away-somewhere kind of girl

  5. I have waaaaay too many cooking and food related books. If I had to pick 5 from my collection that would be saved from a burning building, they'd be On Food and Cooking (Harold McGee), Molto Mario (Mario Batali, duh), Around My French Table (Dorie Greenspan), Tyler's Ultimate (Tyler Florence...I don't think I've ever made any recipe out of here, but flipping through it always gives me inspiration), and Ratio (Michael Ruhlman).

  6. For Classics, I always end up going back to The Joy of Cooking. For something I really need a visual on, any of the Barefoot Contessa varieties. I've heard Gwyneth's new cooking tome is actually pretty good -that'll be my next purchase, I 'spose.

  7. I would say, 'Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain (Revised)' by Penelope Casas, because nothing says living and enjoying life to the fullest then a table filled with small plates. Pure love. :)

  8. Oh yes...cookbooks, I also adore them, and have dreamed up many elaborate dinner parties in my head. I love the newest giada cookboook...and I really like Pioneer womans cookbook. Her recipes are easy and she has stories abt all the recipes. I would definitely peruse next time you are the bookstore.

  9. i LOVE cookbooks too. they're the best bedtime reading. i looove ina's... and i have that real food fast one too (though i haven't actually made anythign from it yet!). but ina... she can't be beat.

  10. How is this poss? We do not have one twinsie. Well my latest faves are the updated Moosewood cookbook and Clean Food (it separates recipes by season!)