Since I spread out all of our travel food snaps with the locations they came from, I don’t have an America: The Road Trip Friday Food Round-Up for y’all.
But I thought it might be nice if for the next two weekends, while we are busy Not Cooking, I could…share with you?
Today, we’ll workshop my favorite cookbooks. Even though we have a number of them, if I am absolutely stumped over what we’ll have for dinner, these are where I start if I am not digging through our recipe binder.
The Homesick Texan
Y’all should know by now that my love of Lisa’s work is True. She is wholly responsible for the cultivation of my newfound talent – rehydrating dried ancho chiles. I will say that if strong flavors aren’t your thing, then you might really struggle with the recipes and dishes she presents. But if you truly enjoy the cuisine of the American Southwest, then I do feel that it is the most effective way to transport that to your kitchen short of going there. The other thing I really appreciate is that Lisa’s recipes? Are not expensive. Some cookbooks force you to shell out an arm and a leg in order to get dinner on the table. These ingredients are ones that you should easily be able to find at your local grocery store.
Nigella Kitchen and Nigella Express
I remember Marcus’ brother, Adam, gifting him Nigella Express one Hanukkah because it was at this point that it became fairly well-known that we enjoyed cooking together. And since I had never heard of Nigella before, the cookbook got stashed somewhere.
Retrospectively, I am ashamed.
I have no idea how it surfaced again, but I do know that once I finally had the good sense to pry it open, Nigella’s British interpretations of mealtimes became an important part of ours. So much so that we would source (after much research), Nigella Kitchen for our collection as well. And we were not to be disappointed because the second book we added was just as full of delicious dishes as the first. My only regret is that we took such a long time to open any of her books in the first place.
Dinner: a Love Story
This is the greatest cookbook because it is written by a mother with children who honest-to-God wants to feed her family food that she finds to be edible and interesting as well. That the cookbook itself also tells the story of Her Family as you page through recipes for braised short ribs and foolproof BBQ menus is just a little perk. I have yet to find a dud sandwiched between these pages and I know that I never ever will.
Great, Easy Meals
Pro-tip: If you are ever looking for a good cookbook to own, cookbooks that advertise “easy” in the title are usually a good call. Why? Because while the cookbook with 30 ingredient recipes is probably glamorous and full of delicious dishes, you’re only going to make them once in a blue moon. It’s the cookbooks like these that end up serving as your kitchen workhorses. Plus, the variety in here cuisine-wise is impressive and at the end of each section, the editors present a new “concept” with variations for you to build on if you want to be a little more out-of-the-box.
What are your favorite cookbooks?