I hate buying cookbooks.
It just seems like a huge waste for me to spend $20+ on a cookbook, knowing that I’m only going to use a few recipes out of it. When I moved last year, I whittled my collection down to only a few that I really do use from cover to cover. So, to combat the cost of buying new cookbooks, and keep needless clutter at bay, I got myself a library card and started checking out cookbooks. My library system is amazing, and every time I go, there are always new cookbooks for me to read through. We also have a decent online book program, so I get digital cookbooks for free too! Sure, it means I don’t get to keep them, but I print out or write down the recipes I want to try out, and return the books for someone else to enjoy.
I’ve spent the summer tearing through several cookbooks, and these are just a few I’ve enjoyed lately!
Of the few cookbooks I still own, I have two Everyday Food books (Great Food Fast and Fresh Flavor Fast), so I was excited to take this one home. I’ve never had a Martha Stewart recipe go wrong on me, and if they’re healthy too, then sign me up! I have yet to try any of the recipes I saved, but I’ll make sure to share the ones that turn out well!
Giada’s cookbooks are another set that I wish I owned, since I’m a huge fan of her book Giada’s Kitchen, which I’ve had for years. She has a lot of great advice on making easy sauces, cooking healthy pasta dishes, and stocking your kitchen to make any dish on the fly. It’s a great, practical book for beginner cooks.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read every single Barefoot Contessa cookbook at this point! I love her show, and while I’m not a huge fan of her love of fennel (sorry, I hate anything licorice or anise flavored), many of her recipes in this book look tasty and super easy to make. While I don’t throw dinner parties, it’s nice to read about those who do, and fantasize about a day when I get to have get togethers of my own! In addition to the great recipes, she also gives amazing advice to those who want to have a nice, stress-free night with friends or family.
I just started reading this book, and I have mixed feelings about it so far. Sure, I know going in that it’s not “really” a cookbook in the traditional sense. It’s recipes mixed in with a self-help book, and a fun little history of how Hannah Hart has made a name for herself via YouTube. My problem with it mainly has to do with me not liking her writing style – it’s a bit confusing to read and inconsistent in places. Girl, if you need an editor for your next book, CALL ME!
I think this would be a great gift for a recent college graduate who is setting off into the adult world for the first time. The recipes are easy enough to handle, sober or not, and she is honest with her readers about the struggles of coming into adulthood – and even offers some great advice to make things easier.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site, GOOP, has become a strongly divisive topic in recent years. I know many people who can’t stand her or this site, with her “conscious uncoupling” to her lavish and unattainable holiday gift guides (she did put a $4,700 gold juicer on her list last year). Personally, I find her blogs about health and mindfulness to be very helpful. Her blog tackles issues I find women don’t talk about openly – like why we so often criticize each other, fear professional self-promotion, hold onto bad relationships, and can’t seem to find time to unwind. I can’t really blame her for wanting to show women that they deserve happy lives – and I certainly need to hear it from time to time.
I have wanted to read this cookbook for a while now, but never wanted to buy it because I kept hearing it was another example of her overtly posh, impractical lifestyle. What I found was a book full of simple, easy recipes that anyone can afford to make. Even if a recipe does include a more “high-end” ingredient, most of them are things you can easily swap out with something more affordable or practical. They’re also incredibly healthy, of course, and for anyone who is looking to “dabble” in vegetarian or vegan food, this can be a great place to start!
There you go! If you’ve hit the dreaded summer cooking slump like me, grab your library card (or go get one…it’s super easy) and bring home a pile of kitchen inspiration!