As you probably know by now, I am kind of obsessed with food. I absolutely love cooking and going through cookbooks, food blogs and magazines in search of new recipes is pretty much my favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday morning. And don’t even get me started on organizing dinner parties at home – it’s my ultimate happy place!
Funny enough, I didn’t start cooking until I was in my early twenties (let’s not do the math). My mum and I didn’t really spend much time in the kitchen together when I was growing up; partly because she liked to work alone but also partly because I didn’t show much interest in helping her (*ungrateful teenage daughter*). It wasn’t until I moved into an apartment on my own that everything really clicked for me. My neighbor at the time was an amazing cook and he really encouraged me to start developing my cooking skills. On his advice, I bought my first English cookbook (Nigella Lawson’s ‘How To Eat’) and my love for cooking and cookbooks just grew from there.
Now I wouldn’t call myself a cooking goddess ( I’ll leave that title to Nigella) but I definitely think cooking books helped me become a better cook. So if you’re also looking to expand your cooking skills or are just after some food inspiration, here are 10 cookbooks that I love and would recommend:
1. Jamie’s Italy– Jamie Oliver
I really love Jamie Oliver because his recipes are always straight forward and very easy to achieve. He never uses obscure ingredients that no one’s ever heard of and all his recipes have a lovely ‘homey’ feel about them. I’ve got a few of his cookbooks but my ultimate favorite is ‘Jamie’s Italy’. You can tell from reading the book that he’s very passionate about Italian food and all of his recipes also come with lovely personal stories.
2. The Ethnic Paris Cookbook – Charlotte Puckette & Olivia Kiang-Snaije
This cute and unique cookbook shows that there’s more to Paris than traditional french food.It includes recipes from Paris’s most celebrated ethnic restaurants and covers a wide range of influences from Middle eastern food, through to South East Asian and African food. The book also uses gorgeous illustrations instead of food photos which only adds to its charm.
3. Seasons – Donna Hay
If you’re the kind of person who sometimes judges a book by its cover (cough*like me*cough cough)then you will already have fallen in love with Donna Hay’s gorgeous cookbook ‘Seasons’. As expected the food photography is stunning but thankfully the recipes are just as great and centered around using fresh seasonal ingredients.
4. How To Be A Domestic Goddess – Nigella Lawson
‘How to eat’ was the first English cookbook I ever bought so it will always have a special place in my heart. However, truth be told, I think that I love ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ even more. It’s filled with gorgeous baking recipes and Nigella’s writing style is a treat in itself (I dare you not to lick the spoon when she tells you to). Oh and her brownies recipe is everything.
5. Mastering the Art of French Cooking– Julia Child
Everyone needs a few classic cookbooks in their kitchen and this is definitely a must-have. Even though it was originally published in 1961 Julia Child’s book is still a reference when it comes to learning how to cook classic french food. She does a great job at talking you through the basics and her instructions are very thorough.
6. Mexican Everyday– Rick Bayless
My husband loves Mexican food which is why I decided to buy this book a couple of years ago after reading a few glowing reviews. The great thing about ‘Mexican Everyday’ is that even though all of the recipes are very quick and easy to make the dishes still taste very authentic and delicious. It’s perfect for when you feel like doing something different on a weeknight or want to host a little fiesta for your friends!
7. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking– Marcella Hazan
This is another classic and the perfect book for someone who wants to get past the standard ‘spaghetti bolognese’ and delve a little more into Italian cuisine. All of the recipes included in the book are great and although some of the dishes are a little more complicated than others the instructions are always very clear and easy to understand. This is the book I turn to when I want to re-live my Italian holidays at home!
8. 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices – Ruta Kahate
This is great book for people who have always wanted to try cooking Indian food but may have felt a little intimated by the idea of having to buy a whole new range of ingredients and spices. As the title suggests, this book only uses 5 common spices but it doesn’t mean that the recipes are any less flavorful. Every dish I’ve cooked with this cookbook have been delicious and dare I say, as good as the ones from my local take out…
9. The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes– Rachel Khoo
I know that this is the third cookbook on this list dedicated to France but you know what they say ‘you can take the french girl of out France but…you get the gist. I really love Rachel Khoo’s cute take on French classics so if you’re looking to a more modern alternative to Julia Child then this could be the book for you. The photography is also stunning so it doubles as a great coffee table book!
Although I’m not a vegetarian I try to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week and so I’m always on the lookout for yummy vegetable recipes. I only recently bought this book following a friend’s recommendation but I can already tell that it’s going to become a new favorite.The recipes all sound amazing (caramelized garlic tart? mushroom parcels? yes please!) and the photography is gorgeous too.
What are some of your favorite cookbooks? please let me know so I can add them to my
collection Christmas list!