We Love Cookbooks!

Favorite cookbooks 1Hi friends! We have a little crush on cookbooks so today we thought it would be fun if we shared some of our favorites from our combined personal collection! Emma’s Favorites: Good to the Grain features tons of recipes to get you baking with different grains and flours. I’ve only gotten to make three things from this book so far-but they were all divine. My Father’s Daughter Yes, a celebrity cookbook. This book is a collection of favorite family recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow, so many delicious and healthy meal ideas.

Favorite cookbooks 2Elsie’s Favorites: Seasons This book features the work of Australian food stylist, Donna Hay. I picked it up (somewhat casually) at Anthropologie one day and it’s become my absolute favorite inspiration for pretty eats. If big, beautiful photos inspire you to cook you’ll probably love this book as much as I do. Jamie’s Food Revolution Emma and I ADORE Jamie Oliver. I like his recipes because they are simple and natural. Best of all, Jeremy loves Jamie’s recipes too (yes, Mr. Larson likes to cook… lucky me!)
Favorite cookbooks 3More of Emma’s Favorites: My Bread This book teaches you to make bread using the no-knead method, which is different from more traditional bread baking techniques. I’m having a lot of fun going through these recipes, working on my bread baking skills. Super Natural Cooking This is Heidi Swanson’s first cookbook. She is also the author of 101 Cookbooks. I had been gifted her second cookbook by a friend and loved it so much that I recently decided I needed to get it’s companion. Joy the Baker Cookbook I have been a fan of Joy’s blog for years so when I read that she was coming out with a cookbook I had to get it.

What are your favorite cookbooks? xo. emma + elsie

  • Even more than cookbooks, I love to read books by cooks. I’ve been fascinated by Anthony Bourdain’s books lately!

  • I love Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French cooking. A close second is Encyclopedie de Gastronomie Francaise because it has everything you could ever want to know about french cooking in it! As for the sweet stuff…Wonda’s Pie In The Sky!!!

  • I watch Jamie Oliver on TV all the time – he makes everything look fun in the kitchen! Maybe I should get one of his books..! 🙂

  • I adore Jamie Oliver!! His passion for food and commitment to health is truly inspiring. His work has made a huge impact in schools and in homes around the world.

  • I will admit it, even though it pains me a little, I like Gwyneth’s cookbook too…

    Joy the Baker!! LOVE!


  • i really dig getting a monthly subscription to vegetarian times!! love it! they have so many great recipes!!

  • Love this! My husband and I are both big cooks, and Jamie Oliver is often our go to guy. His original Naked Chef cookbook was the first one I ever got for myself, well over 10 years ago.

  • i LOVE super natural cooking . . . the carrot soup recipe is AMAZING in the wintertime. jamie oliver is a great pick too- his show is terrific.

  • I raise my hand and admit to a Jamie Oliver obsession too. I have 7 of his cookbooks but here in the UK that’s probably not too unusual (she tells herself, hopefully!).

    For comfort food and bedtime reading, always Nigella Lawson, especially her bible, How to Eat, and also Kitchen and Feast. If you like cookbooks at bedtime, she is the queen!

    If you like a beautiful book written beautifully and have time for some more complicated recipes, try Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros.

  • The Sophie Dahl books, just got the second one for my birthday! Simple but different kind of recipes!

  • Well I’m a bit biased (picking a cookbook from my cultural food). My favorite is “L’encyclopédie de la cuisine de Jehane Benoît”. Jehane Benoît is an iconic French Canadian cook whose recipes I grew up eating. A few years ago my great aunt gave my mother (who’s an excellent cook) all the recipe leaflets she collected over the years (that was the point, you would collect the leaflets and end up with the full encyclopidia that you would bind together in a sort of binder you could order for it). Now you can buy the encyclopidia as a book but my mom has the original version.

  • The one that I find myself going back to again and again is Nigella Lawson’s “Nigella Express”. I adore her recipes, her approach to food, and her delightful and charming self.

  • I’m writing a cookbook! It’s all about pies. It should be ready by the end of the year. Keep a look out for it, will you?

  • My two “bibles” of the kitchen are “The Joy of Cooking” and Deborah Madison’s Vegeterian Cooking for Everyone.” I also adore, adore, adore Molly Katzen’s “Vegetable Heaven.”

  • One of my favourite “cook books” was Like Water For Chocolate. It was the story of a young woman, who was a talented cook, and in between the chapters of her painful and romantic story, were recipes for wonderful Mexican food. It’s a magical book, if you’re ever looking for a good read.


  • I love the classic Vegan with a Vengeance, and really all of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s books!
    Also, Amy Sedaris’ I Like You is pretty amazing. Her cake recipes are awesome!
    Check out the World Food Cafe books if you want some exotic vegetarian inspirations…they have beautiful photographs too!

    I want to check out that My Bread book now, thanks for the rec!

  • Check out the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook. It is amazing—got it from a recommendation via Joy the baker. It goes by seasons, gives a profile of a person from the community for each month, and has phenomenal photographs and stories. Not to mention, the food is absolutely delightful. Love love love it.

  • Gordon Ramsay’s ‘World Kitchen’ I don’t like the man but boy he can cook <3 His Spicy Thai broth is ah-may-zing and I cook it regularly because it is so quick and simple 🙂

  • These are fun! I’m looking forward to the cookie dough cookbook coming out soon. It’s by the author of the blog Love and Olive Oil and it’s all about recipes with cookie dough! Who wouldn’t love a cookbook like that?


  • May I suggest trying out a little bit of Nigela Lawson’s recipes? I love her cookbooks and how she always cooks with such grace. Her recipes are rather fudgey and always creative!

  • Martha’s Entertaining is one of my new favorites. It’s gigantic, but it’s so beautiful to look at. I’m really looking forward to Ian Knauer’s The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food, which comes out next month. It looks like it’s going to have a bunch of really fantastic recipes in it.

  • So much inspiration! I really want to read Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks now….I’d recommend Nigella too, especially the How To Be A Domestic Goddess, and Yottam Ottolenghi, ‘Plenty’ 🙂

  • Who doesn’t love jamie oliver? I´m very intrigued about donna hay, is not the first time that I see the cover of her book.

    Honestly I´m more into TV shows that books, I´m not a cook , but I try to make recipes that I found around the web

  • There is a Jamie Oliver opening RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD FROM ME… soon? It was supposed to be in December but the building work is taking longer than expected. I’m so excited to try it.

  • I am in love with Happy Herbivore at the moment. I also love Appetite for Reduction and all of Sarah Kramer’s books. Yay!

  • I love talking about cookbooks! My go-to reference is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. It’s perfect for when I’m pulling ingredients out of the fridge/freezer and I’m not totally sure what to do with them.

    When I have more time to plan (aka, shop), I love the Moosewood cookbooks! My favorites are Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home and Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden. The recipes are all simple and use whole, seasonal ingredients. Definitely check them out!

  • I’ve always been slightly overly obsessed with Donnay Hay, I have several of her beautiful cook books and have met her a couple of times – as she often comes to New Zealand. Bueatiful food photography too.

  • I love cook books. My collection is growing, and I’m running out of space. Even more than cooking out of them, I love reading them.

    A couple of my favorites are Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday and The Tassejara Bread Book (I used this to learn how to bake bread). I really have too many favorites to remember!

  • I may have a bit too many… but the ones I really really use are Meals in Minutes by J.O., The Silver Spoon published by Phaidon, and two in Spanish: Paula Cocina (easy breezy cooking) and Cocina Popular, our chilean cooking Bible. I do make up my own recipes as I cook, I love it! I even post them sometimes.

  • I went to check them out and in my library and put holds on all! So excited to check them out. Thanks for sharing.

    I really like the “Food to Live By” cookbook by the co-owner of Earthbound Farms, organic products. Lots of great straight-from-the-garden to your plate recipes.

  • Good to the Grain & Supernatural Cooking are also some of my favorites!! I just got the La Tartine Gourmande cookbook and it is quickly becoming a favorite, too. The photos in it are uh-mazing (and the food is, too!).

  • I love the King Arthur Whole Grain cookbook. It was the first cookbook that has ever looked so good that I wanted to try EVERY recipe. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. I also like the 12 Best Foods cookbook. It has fun recipes, including one for frozen hot chocolate.

  • I cannot think of a favorite cookbook…because I love them all (!)

    However, I too purchased Gwyneth’s cookbook and was pleasantly surprised! This is how we should eat on a daily basis. Simple, wholesome, healthy, and DELICIOUS!!!

    My favorite is the Kale Fried Rice. 🙂

  • ATM it´s “Jamie´s 30 Minute Meals” from the series he did a while back. Easy recipes, delicious food and ready in THIRTY minutes! We had chicken with paprika and piri piri sauce for dinner today, and it was delish!

  • I read cookbooks like most people read novels. My go-to cookbook is “American Classics” by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated because it teaches methods as well as recipes. When I’m up for a challenge, I reach for Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

  • My favourite is Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic by Gizzi Erskine. It’s a perfect mix of easy everyday recipes combined with more time-consuming efforts for dinner parties and the like. Plus she has excellent hair and a great wardrobe!

  • If I could marry Jamie Oliver, I would! Or at least stalk him! He’s so genius and so wonderful to watch on his TV show. I have all of this books!

  • i just posted about super natural cooking as well! i am cookbook addicted and come home from the library with handfuls every time i visit. other than heidi’s amazing books (have you tried the oatcakes and kale salad!?!) i love gwyneth’s as well and alice waters books.

  • I am a cookbook addict! I had them stored in one of my kitchen cabinets but it was overflowing. So I cleaned out all my cabinets and reorganized them to make space for my cookbooks. They now take up two cabinets. Sadly that is after getting rid of cookbooks that I did not love – intervention needed????

  • Have you heard of Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Gluten Free Cookbook, “Deliciously G-Free”? It’s great for those who have Celiac disease, but apparently the recipes are supposed to be delicious so anyone could enjoy the cookbook.

  • Thanks for sharing your cookbook picks. 🙂 I have a mad crush on cookbooks, too. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart is my go-to bread reference. I also adore Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh.

  • Love cookbooks! Supernatural cooking is one of my favorites, but i’ll have to go check out the others!

  • I also have the Donna Hay and Gwyneth Paltrow books. I love love them both and use them all the time! At the moment I am also enjoying two Annabel Langbein books – Free Range Cooking and Free Range in the City – she is a well known cook here in New Zealand.

  • You should check out the Cookies for Kids Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook!! It has SUPER yummy recipes and is for an amazing cause! xxo

  • I have been LOVING the Joy the Baker cookbook. I was so excited for that to come out! I really want to get Super Natural Cooking. My stand by fave is How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman- it’s a good staple to have around.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • In Norway we have a “bible” called the red-checked cookbook where you have all the basic recepies and more, and I love it! It has a recepie for the BEST chocolate caramel sauce imaginable. But I got to say that Jamie Oliver is super! He’s made cooking fun for so many people.

  • You should check out some other Donna Hay books – She has a whole series (and a magazine). My favourite is “No time to Cook”, but the Modern Classics has an amazing recipe for beef, bacon, potato and red wine pot pies…

  • I really enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook as well. I was hesitant at first given that it was a celebrity cookbook, but it’s so lovely. As far as celebrity cookbooks go, I also really like Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.

  • I’m with Nikkie: after reading that NYT article, I’ll never look at a celebrity cookbook in the same way!

    I admit that my book obsession may be the only thing that actually motivates me to cook, so thanks for the inspiration, Emma and Elsie.

  • I actually love picking up local cookbooks. I love that they are a collection of favorite tried & loved recipes from regular people. My husband likes to pick them up for me at auctions. 🙂

  • I love my Whoopie Pie book, the two Everyday Food books. Handy dandy for daily food 🙂


  • Jamie Oliver!!! I loved watching his show especially when he was working in the schools. It was so moving. It’s sad to think what we’re feeding our children, and how many people don’t even realize it. My fave cookbooks are definitely “The Joy of Cooking” (which my mom has given to myself and my 4 sisters- when we got married) and my Rachel Ray cookbooks, which I have 3 of.

  • The Joy the Baker cookbook is absolutely wonderful. I have already made the brown butter blueberry muffins and I get to meet her on Saturday for her book tour! So excited!

  • I have many favorite recipe books, one of them being “Cooking with Mickey” bought from Disneyworld some 25 years back… but my recent find is a treasure of a book, especially for someone who would like to turn towards a very healthy living: The Whole Life Nutrition cookbook (http://www.wholelifenutrition.net/id5.html I think it’s only sold here). It’s so great even for a whole foods dummy like myself. It gives you all the necessary info on how buy, stock up and cook whole foods without going to the extremes of only raw or only gluten-free. Certainly has a lot of info worth knowing.

  • I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan. I couldn’t stand him from his early shows, but he has grown on me and a Jamie Oliver recipe never goes wrong. I am also a big fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. River Cottage is an inspirational tv series and the book I have is great. For baking, I can’t recommend Alexa Johnston’s books more highly. These are a MUST for amateur bakers. Curated like artwork, with beautiful images (the author is an art curator by trade) but simple recipes that are pragmatically written.


  • I’m a bit naughty and have collected around 300 cookbooks, mostly vintage ones! I love to cook but never follow any recipe, I just love reading the cookbooks for inspiration and all the handy little hints. Especially depression era hints. Especially love when I find an old book with variations to recipes written in the original owners beautiful handwriting, takes me to their time and makes me happy 🙂

  • I love jamie oliver! His recipes are all so yummy and made which such wonderful ingredients! His 30 minute meals book is also really handy for week night meals!

  • I love Double Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld! You’d never guess that half the food has some kind of vegetable puree as a main ingredient!

  • Most of them are my favourite too!
    I’ve just been kneading bread for 15 minutes and though that was the only way of making bread! I’ll have to get “My Bread”, that no-knead method sounds intriguing.

  • I love Vegan baking, so I have a few Vegan cookbooks. I actually just posted about a Vegan chocolate cake I made! 🙂

  • I love Vegan Diner! Even though I’m not vegan, I try to cook with less animal products at home. She has a fantastic recipe for chocolate cherry cake that is sooooo incredibly moist and yummy!

  • I can’t wait to look through all of these! One of my go-to cookbooks is “100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know” by Cindi Leive. Simple and delicious!

  • “seasons” looks beautiful, and “super natural” …” is on my wishlist.

    may favorite cookbook is definitely “apples for jam”. it’s styled beautifully and the food is broken down into colors. cutecutecute.

  • JOY!! I’ve loved Joy’s blog for such a long time, I can’t wait to get my hands on her cookbook! She needs to come to town for a book signing.

  • You know, I own Good to the Grain, but I don’t use it often enough. Thanks for reminding me!

    I also love Jaime’s Food Revolution – have you seen the TV series it came from? Crazy.

    I love the two Baked bakery cookbooks for desserts. 🙂

  • I’m an Aussie and we LOVE Donna Hap here. Happy to see that she’s making her way across to the US too! 🙂

  • Really need to start my own little collection of cook books! i have just been winging recipes on my own lately. great post, thanks for sharing!

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