Cookbooks


Most of these cookbooks hold memories for me, like Christina's Cookbook, written by the owner of Christina's on Orcas Island where my then boyfriend, now husband and I had a memorable meal. The Coyote Cafe brings back memories of  a Tamale Making Party when I was living in Oakland, California. The Rick Bayless cookbooks remind me of a fantastic trip that my friend Katie and I took to Chicago, we ate in his restaurant and it was amazing. It was my first trip away after having my son.

Cindy Pawclyn's cookbooks are special to me because my husband and I had our rehearsal dinner at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena, California. We were married in Rutherford that same weekend.

There are so many smaller, equally special memories wrapped up in various cookbook, of parties given and meals shared that were taken from these books. Getting a new cookbook, even with all these books, is still a magical moment for me. I sit and look through them, think of meals, read techniques and take pleasure in the author's love of food.

I have owned some of these cookbooks for more than twenty years, with my most recent addition being The Complete Robuchon. I am slowly adding a review of each book, hoping to highlight what I love about the books, how I use them, and the type of cooks they might work for.

Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook
by Cindy Pawclyn

Cindy Pawclyn does not follow the 'less is more' philosophy that a lot of chefs do. Most of the recipes are long, with two or three times as many ingredients than you would find in most other cookbooks. I am a little intrigued by the fact that these recipes are so good since it flies in the face of keeping things simple. 

The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor
by Jerry Traunfeld
We had the pleasure of eating at the Herbfarm when Jerry Traunfeld was captain. It was phenomenal and I have since purchased both of his cookbooks. I think they are a little unique with good recipes that are interesting because of his incessant use of fresh herbs. I am looking forward to the new cookbook he must be currently writing that represents his new restaurant, Poppy.

Stonewall Kitchen Favorites: Delicious Recipes to Share with Family and Friends Every Day
by Jim Stott
This cookbook has a really interesting recipe for short ribs. My husband is mr. meat and potatoes so I am always seeking out new interpretations of traditional recipes. They have an asian bent to them and are served with bok choy and they scrumptious.

The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York's Sweetest Bakery
by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey
There are delicious recipes hiding in these pages but I have run across some inaccuracies, which is kind of unusual for a cookbook focusing on baked goods. I still end up using it though because when you get it right, the baked goods are to die for.

The Silver Spoon New Edition
by Phaidon Press
This cookbook introduced me to the wonders of lasagna made with bechamel sauce. I will never go back to ricotta. It is phenomenal. This is a great cookbook filled with a plethora of recipes. It also makes you feel like you have an old Italian Grandmother standing in your kitchen yelling at you. My favorite is the recipe for tomato sauce. At the end is says, "Do NOT top with parmesan cheese." If you do, I'm not sure what happens but it doesn't sound good.


The New Best Recipe

by Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Contrary to the opinion of the folks at cooks illustrated, I do not believe science is a cure all for bad cooking. There are a lot of good recipes in this cookbook and I give them credit for iterating through many variations to find out what (seems to) taste best. But I find this cookbook kind of soulless. I still use it sometimes but it feels utilitarian instead of a book born out of passion for food and cooking.


Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres Handbook

by Martha Stewart This is a beautiful cookbook with great ideas in it if you are needing some inspiration. I came up with a complete menu from this book for a party of 30. It has great recipes and really wonderful presentation ideas.

The Complete  Robuchon
by Joel Robuchon and Robin H. R. Bellinger

Charlie Trotter Cooks At Home 
by Charlie Trotter


Tacos  
by Mark Miller

The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes
by Wendy Hobson

Florence Lin's Complete Book of Chinese Noodles Dumplings and Breads
by Florence Lin

The Arrows Cookbook
by Mark Gaier

The Good Cookie
by Tish Boyle
Tish is amazing with cookies, bars and all things sweet. I wrote up my favorite brownie recipe, which is from this cookbook, on my blog.

The Union Square Cafe Cookbook
by Danny Meyer

The Martha Stewart Cookbook
by Martha Stewart

Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin and Teri Gelber
This is a fantastic cookbook in so many different ways. She encourages seasonal cooking by breaking the recipes into sections by what is season. She provides complete menus which I wish more cookbook authors did. And of course, there are some amazing, delicious recipes here.

Christina's Cookbook
by Christina Orchid

Barefoot Contessa Family Style
by Ina Garten

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen
by Rick Bayless

The Craft of the Cocktail
by Dale DeGroff

The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl

The Greens Cookbook
by Deborah Madison

Coyote Cafe
by Mark Miller

Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen

Big Small Plates
by Cindy Pawclyn

Quick and Easy Vietnamese
by Nancy McDermott

The Pie and Pastry Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

How to Roast a Lamb
by Michael Psilakas

Bouchon
by Thomas Keller

The French Laundry Cookbook
by Thomas Keller

The Omelette Book
by Narcissa G. Chamberlain
I married into this cookbook. I haven't actually looked it and I doubt my husband has since we moved in together.

The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean
by Paula Wolfert

The Wonderful World of Indian Cookery
by Rohini Singh

Quick and Easy Chinese
by Ken Home

Fields of Greens
by Annie Somerville

The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
by Judy Roger

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck
If you don't own this cookbook and you like cooking, buy this book! Make some stuff out of here. 

Amuse-Bouche
by Rick Tromonto and Mark Goodbody

The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor
by Jerry Traunfeld

Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques
by Jacques Pepin
Okay! I hate this book. My husband bought it for me. It it totally not my style. I am an engineer but this doesn't work for me. If you like to follow detailed instructions then this book is for you.

Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless

Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook
by Alice L. Waters

Fresh Every Day
by Sara Foster and Carolynn Correno

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook
by Anthony Bourdain

Vefa's Kitchen
by Vefa Alexiadou

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
by Ina Garten and Martha Stewart

The North End Italian
by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane
I make a simple marinara sauce out of this cookbook that has an amazing amount of olive oil in it and that is so delicious. I used to make other things out of here but for no specific reason, not so much lately.

The Balthazar Cookbook
by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson

Horn of the Moon Cookbook
by Ginny Callan

Learning to Cook
by Marion Cunningham
Another cookbook that I married into. It is a really good basic cookbook for new cooks.

A Platter of Figs and other Recipes
by David Tanis

Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook
by Madhur Jaffrey

The Seafood Cookbook
by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller

The Food You Crave 
 by Ellie Krieger