Reader Question: "What cookbooks are in your kitchen?"

I’ve had a request from a reader to reveal what cookbooks I not only own but from which I actually cook.  Despite this day and age of the internet, and even the recent goldmine of Pinterest, I still have cookbooks and refuse to throw some of them out because they are invaluable to me.  I thought this was a great question, so here we go…

#1 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 10th Edition
This is a 1,000+ page cooking “bible”.  This is a gift that our mothers and their mothers received at their bridal showers to teach them how to cook (if they did not already know).  A few years ago, we decided to add baked to our potato repertoire.  I hadn’t baked a potato in I don’t know how long, so I went to my BH and G book and looked up “Potato, baked p. 904”.  I need to consult page 904 so frequently that I have ear-marked it.  It tells me how to bake white potatoes and sweet potatoes in the oven and in the microwave.  Since I’m getting up there in age, I cannot waste precious brain cells with memorizing these details.  That is one of the many, many reasons I keep this very valuable cooking “bible”.

#2 Any and all Season’s Best cookbooks from The Pampered Chef
If you’ve ever been to a Pampered Chef show you know about these gems.  32-page cookbooks full of great recipes for appetizers, entrees and desserts for $1! Their Chocolate Pecan Lattice Tart from the Fall/Winter 2006 edition has made every guest of mine who’s tried it very happy and me very popular!  These little cookbooks also make great gifts.

#3 Southern Living Ultimate Book of Appetizers, 2001
I bough this little 48-page cook, that looks just like the paperback Pampered Chef $1 ones, from a Southern Living home show.  Does Southern Living still have a home show business?  Anywho, it’s a great hostess book to have.  The most used recipe that, on it’s own, has been worth the cost is the Creamy Pumpkin Dip.  Once I’ve served it, I get asked for the recipe and I get asked to make it again and again.

#4 The Pampered Chef All The Best
A great cookbook for entertaining or feeding your family and another great gift for the new cook.  You’ll never go wrong when you entertain with Pampered Chef appetizer recipes!  This book has my popular apps – Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Tomato Basil Squares, Tex Mex Chicken Melts and more.  Plus lots of good for the soul dinners and desserts.  No one gives you better wreath-shaped, filled crescent roll dinner ideas than The Pampered Chef.

#5 The Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner
This is a great cookbook for us busy moms who don’t want to or can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen every day.  There are 4 sections – poultry; fish and seafood; beef and pork; meatless.  Some of their recipes that have become staples in our dinner rotation are: Lightening Fast Veggie Chili, Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach and Ham, Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Skillet and Sun Chip Chicken (B’s all-time favorite dinner).

#6 and #7 The Pioneer Woman’s first 2 Cookbooks 
Ree Drummond and I are kindred spirits; we have so much in common!  We’re both redheads; married to hot, strong, humble men; love to cook; have our awkward moments; homeschool; love to see the beauty in nature; make lots of money blogging for our millions of readers…OK, maybe not that last one.  ;o)  But we love a lot of the same foods and both the hubs and I use her cookbooks.  Her Restaurant-Style Salsa and Pico de Gallo are staple condiments in our house now.

#8  and #9 Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
Now, I don’t own these books, although they’ve been on my Christmas list for 2 years now.  But I check them out from the library frequently because Dr. Hertzberg and Ms. Francois have finally gotten me to love baking my own bread.  These books are very popular in my county’s library system because I have to return them due to others’ requests.  But I just get myself back on the waiting list and check them out again when it’s my turn.

I do have other cookbooks on the shelves that I use infrequently or not at all (in fact, the hubs has asked me to please cull through the cookbooks) but these are the ones out of which I get a lot of use.

Thank you for your question, reader; this was fun!  If you have a question or a topic you’d like to hear my opinion on, email me at or post it to my Facebopk page, whichever you feel more comfortable doing, and maybe I’ll feature it here.  :o)

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