Randi's Food, Travel and Art Blog

A celebration of the best things in life!

Favorite Cookbooks

Pretty much anything by Jaime Oliver has my vote but Cook with Jaime: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook just takes the cake. From salads to Christmas turkeys, this guy writes my favorite recipes. I can honestly I’ve worked my way through most of his book and haven’t found a bum recipe yet. Jaime Oliver made me believe in handmade pasta. Poached meringue in English vanilla custard with fresh berries- easy peasy. Just a handful of this, a nob of that- this dude seriously rocks. Buy this book.

While The Best New Recipe; Revised Edition is full of recipes that are the complete opposite of all that is Jaime Oliver there is something deeply satisfying in reading all about the why. Why do I need to salt and drain my eggplant before I cook it? Oh, New Best recipe do you have the answer? Of course you do! And while there have been times I’ve been shocked a recipe has not been present (over 1,000 pages and nothing about making a hollandaise? Really?!) I still come back to it time and time again. Their recipe for potato and leek soup with optional keilbasa rocks my socks off. I literally made it every week for two months and still didn’t get sick of it. IT’S THAT GOOD. That and I really like potatoes and leeks.

And then there’s The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food … If you don’t own it, go get it. Their sequel I did not care for but this book is just one good recipe after another. Having grown up listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper on NPR (yes, I’m that kid) the way she talked about cooking just warmed my soul. It made every part of my so hungry! Food never seemed quite so sensual, beautiful and fulfilling as when Lynne was going on about some bottle of wine paired with a good pasta. When I was young I told my mother I wanted to be a wine expert because it all just sounded so… magical. She told me most wine experts were alcoholics. While that statement is certainly not true, I now have the distance to see why my mother was concerned that her seven year old wanted to drink wine for a living. All of the recipes in this book share that same mystical, beautiful quality. It’s easy to tell they were written by people who truly love and deeply appreciate good food.

Cover of "The Splendid Table's How to Eat...

Cover via Amazon

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