I’ve come a long way since my college days. Back then, cooking consisted of me pouring a bowl of cereal. It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve started to enjoy cooking and baking. My husband has taught me to appreciate a home-cooked meal, so much so that we hardly ever eat out. Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic with no real end in sight, we’re all having to cook at home a lot more. While it can be intimidating, it also can be a new ritual in your day that you start to look forward to. One of my favorite parts is looking through my cookbooks to pick recipes for the week (with a glass of wine in hand). Here are some of my current favorites and a recipe from each that I recommend.
Whole Food Cooking Every Day By Amy Chaplin: If you’re looking for a vegetarian cookbook that is packed with a lot of helpful resources (like shopping lists and pantry staples) and thoughtful recipes made from scratch, this one’s for you. This isn’t a book with shortcuts and quick and easy meals. This book is about making successful meals from good ingredients and planning. It’s meant to teach you the foundation of cooking meals that you can learn to adapt and use as inspiration.
Recipe to try: Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted-Hazelnut Milk
Salad for President by Julia Sherman: Salads are my favorite thing to eat (insert eye rolls here), but it’s true. I love making a salad with fresh ingredients from our farmers’ market (I miss it so much!). Julia’s book is one I go to over and over again. I don’t always make the salad recipes directly. I like to look at it and get inspired by a dressing or a specific ingredient. It’s also fun to read about how different artists eat and what their salad rituals are.
Recipe to try: Alice Waters’ Baked Goat Cheese with Spring Lettuce Salad (a Chez Panisse classic)
Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman: If you haven’t heard of Alison Roman by now, where have you been? This food editor at The New York Times has become internet-famous for her easy and delicious meals. Her rather simple chickpea-turmeric stew has been named “The Stew” by her adoring fans. I can attest, it’s really good! Her first cookbook, Dining In, may be more apt for a home lockdown, but her new book is filled with amazing recipes that work just as well for a party of one.
Recipe to try: Lemony Turmeric Tea Cake
Half Baked Harvest: Recipes From My Barn in the Mountains by Tieghan Gerard: I fell in love with Tieghan’s other book, Super Simple, which is filled with a ton of easy recipes that you can meal prep.
Recipe to try: One-Pan Baked Salmon + Root Veggies With Sage Pesto
Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker: The 1975 edition of this classic cookbook is my favorite. I have followed countless pancake recipes, and finding the perfect one has been a mission of mine these past few years. So far, the recipe from Joy of Cooking has been the best one I’ve made (and my family agrees). I prefer the griddle pancakes to the buttermilk ones—because who has buttermilk in their fridge all the time?
Recipe to try: Griddle Pancakes
Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone: Athena is such goals. Her home, her style and her recipes are all swoon-worthy (as she would say). When I make one of her recipes, I like to pretend I’m channeling a tiny bit of her chicness. All the recipes are sectioned by season with a handy shopping list. Athena has been sharing a lot of wonderful recipes on her IGTV during quarantine, too. I want to try this Citrus-Poppy Olive Oil Loaf.
Recipe to try: Sugar Snap Pea and Fava Salad With Buffalo Mozzarella
Everything I Want To Eat by Jessica Koslow: This book is just really cool. If you’re a fan of the Los Angeles restaurant Sqirl and its famous Sorrel-Pesto Rice Bowl (which is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!), you need this book. The book captures restaurant culture beautifully.
Recipe to try: Sorrel-Pesto Rice Bowl
You may also like: Work-From-Home Lunches That Are Super Easy But Still Delicious
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