What’s On Your Shelf…

One question I get emailed a lot is what cookbooks do you recommend? I am a girl who owns a lot of cookbooks. A lot. It’s a sad little addiction I know. But I figure in order to save a little money, as suggested by many readers, not all of my blog posts have to include a recipe. So with that in mind, here I the books I recommend you put on your bookshelf.

By far the baking book I recommend and buy as gifts for people the most is Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Conner. Jill bakes like I do, taking the usual baked good and making it just a little more bad for you. :) It also helps that every recipe I have ever tried from this book has turned out great…and I have made a lot from this book.

The second baking book I love is Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker. This was another one of those books that I was pleasantly surprised with how many unique recipes there are and how well they turned out.

A book that has a lot of great foundations for you to build on is that of The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard. This book gives you the basics from which to build on. The brioche recipes alone are worth the price of the book.

The last baking book is a recent one, Bon Appetit Desserts. It’s 704 pages just full of delicious desserts featured in the famous foodie magazine over the years. If you can’t find something to your liking in this book you just aren’t trying hard enough. :)

In the non-baking cookbook category I received a free copy of Tupelo Honey Cafe from the publisher. And while it wasn’t a baking book, so it wasn’t featured on here, it has so many wonderful recipes I can’t help but tell you to go get it. I have only owned it a few months and the pages are stuck together and stained, a sign of a well used book.

If you are a fan of the website 101 Cookbooks then you already know the greatness that is Heidi, if you don’t get on it! All of her recipes are vegetarian but what I love about her is that she still uses butter, cheese, sugar (the white devil) which she often gets called out on by some of her more healthy readers. The Cauliflower Soup (pictured above) was the first thing I made from her new book Super Natural Every Day and it was like no other cauliflower soup I have ever had, and I mean that in a good way. My roommate and I gobbled it up in one sitting. The dijion croutons made it especially lovely.

You can’t even get Salad Days in print anymore but its worth finding it used if you are looking for unique salads. I love Marcel, he is more known for his Death By Chocolate series of cookbooks, but has some great savory books as well.

Well that’s a few for right now. What about you? What cookbooks are you loving right now?


  1. Hi from another cookbook collector. I have to agree with you on Sticky chewy messy gooey – her recipes are amazing! I also enjoy The Sweet Melissa Baking Book and strangely enough am finding loads to make with the kids in Usborne’s book of baking!

  2. Sharlotte says:

    The cookbook I am loving right now is Absolutely Chocolate: irresistible excuses to indulge, from the editors of Fine Cooking. I received this over Christmas, not thinking much of it at first because I did not pick it out myself, but it is fabulous. I particularly love the Mocha chip cupcakes with chocolate sour-cream frosting. I’ve made this three times in two months, which is a lot considering I normally repeat recipes on an annual basis.

  3. I just ordered the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook, but my personal go to is 10 years worth of Taste of Home magazines.

  4. Great cookbook. I use it often. But my favorite is Baking From My Home To Yours by D. Greenspan. There is not a single recipe in the book that I wouldn’t make.

    Another favorite is Savory Baking. Lots of good recipes to try.

  5. Thanks Peabody for sharing some of your favorite cookbooks! I love hearing what cookbooks people read and love. I too have a cookbook buying “problem”. Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey has been on my ‘to buy’ list for quite some time. I really need to break down and get it!

  6. I love cookbooks, I love looking through them and reading them, but I find I hardly ever use them. Probably because I just never think about it when the time comes (I only have time to bake on Saturdays). It’s too easy to just have a million bookmarks on my laptop, or do a quick Google search. Apparently I’m some type of food blogging defect :). All that being said, next time I’m at the book store I’m definitely going to take a look at these. Thanks for the suggestions :).

  7. I have Sticky, Chewy… and I should look at it more. I think I’ve only made one or two things from it. Right now I’m togling between Baked and Baked Explorations. I’ve got both waiting for me at the library. Recommendations?

  8. My favorite publisher cookbook is the Cornbread book by Jeremy Jackson. My second is Blue Ribbon Cookbook by Diane Roupe it has a lot of mid-western specific recipes in it. But my all time most favorite isn’t a published by a publisher book it’s church cookbooks that were the combined cooking/baking/making of an entire boat load of church ladies including my great grandmother. I adore that worn copy!

  9. Thanks for the tip! I just found Salad Days used on Amazon and picked a copy up – I’m excited to try it as I’ve been aiming to incorporate more “main dish” salads into my rotation, especially as summer comes along.

    As for my favorite cookbooks, I’m also in love with Sherry Yard (and yes, that brioche is divine!) – my favorite recipe from that book is probably the blackberry lime curd. YUM. I also love this funny little cookbook by Elinor Klivans called Cupcakes! It has the look of one of those sort of low-budget, bargain rack at Barnes and Noble cookbooks, but the recipes are actually AMAZING and have never failed me. Definitely my go-to recipe for yellow cupcakes. Finally, Baking from My Home to Yours would have to be included for sure – if I’m not sure what I want to make, that’s often the cookbook I’ll thumb through to pick something out that I know will be good.

  10. I received “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea” for Christmas and I am sad to say I have been too busy to make anything from it. Finally decided I needed to remove a few items from my plate (no pun intended) and hopefully will have a little more free time. First item on the list is the Blackberry Limeade recipe – with my own little addition of a shot of vodka – for good measure.

  11. Susannah says:

    I’m in LOVE with “Bon Appetit, Ya’ll” by Virginia Willis. It’s not a baking cookbook but it’s my go-to book for just about everything else. Well, that and Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller.

  12. Great recommendations! Can I shamelessly plug my own book? “You Made That Dessert?” by me, Beth Lipton :)

    I also love anything by Rose Levy Beranbaum. And
    I’m a fan of Heidi Swanson’s too!

  13. I admit that my choice isn’t very indie or creative- I love Cooks Illustrated books. I am fascinated by reading how the Test Kitchen came up with the final recipe and the successes and failures along the way. Going through each ingredient tweak means that the next time I try making a recipe my own all I’ve got a vague knowledge of experiments past.

  14. Peabody says:

    @Beth- of course you can plug your own book! It got good reviews on here!

  15. Oh my, I need to get a few of these!! My favorite is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and I love all the Rachael Ray cookbooks, her 365 is the one I use most. I’m waiting for a Peabody cookbook:) I would pre-order!!

  16. Oh my, I need to get a few of these!! My favorite is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and I love all the Rachael Ray cookbooks, her 365 is the one I use most. I’m waiting for a Peabody cookbook! I would pre-order :)

  17. I love Baked, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito for never-fail, yummy baked goods; and A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop, for great recipes even a carnivore can love. But the book I love the most is my personal recipe binder full of recipes I have gathered from friends, family, magazines, cookbooks.

  18. I’m a collector as well, well collector is a bit mild, obsessed addict is probably closer to the mark :)

    I love Marcel hope he is planning a new one.

  19. Hello! Thanks for the list. I am familiar with those books but I want more with this until I read this blog.

  20. I have a lot of cookbooks, but I don’t think any of them are my favorite. I do enjoy The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz now that I have an ice cream machine. Just started making my own bread with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. And I’m about to try a fried chicken recipe from The Food You Want To Eat by Ted Allen.

    I would say that, despite my cookbook collection, my go-to is still the internet. Especially when I am looking for something specific. I really like Allrecipies.com

  21. Oh, and of course all of the great recipes from food blogs such as yours! ;)

  22. Shoshanna says:

    I bought the Bon Appetit cookbook! Love it but haven’t had a chance to make anything yet since I bought it during Christmas.

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