Like many cooks and foodies, I collect cookbooks ~ something I've been doing for a long time. I read most of them as if they were novels.
I try to cook from every book I order, sometimes following the recipes exactly and other times just using the recipes (and photos) for inspiration to create a new dish.

I've been practicing a self-imposed cookbook buying moratorium for the past few weeks, but Tuesday my recent order from amazon arrived.

I love amazon! Point and click, place your order and within a day or two your order arrives at your doorstep, it's magical!

Usually at this time of year many new cookbooks are released, just in time for the holiday season ~ this year is no exception.

Here are three I've been most anticipating (you can click the text below each photo to read more about the book, or to order):

The cover just about says it all ~ would you look at that list of contributors?! The book is filled with original recipes by each contributor, along with all kinds of good instructions; the "hows and whys" of preparing certain foods, make-ahead tips, beverage suggestions, etc., a treasure trove of information.
The table of contents is well thought out; the recipes are indexed according to the order the courses would be served at meal; Appetizers, First Courses, Soups, Main Courses, and so on. I'm looking forward to reading through it, cover to cover.

Next is the much anticipated new release from Ina Garten:

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients

I've only had a few moments to glance through it, but if you are familiar with Ina's other books the format is very similar, big gorgeous photos to go along with every recipe (love that!), large print and easy to follow instructions make this a great book for cooks of all skill levels.

If you're an Ina Garten fan, of course you'll want this one for your collection, however there is nothing really "new" as far as recipes, simply twists on old favorites ~ hence the title "Back to Basics". Still, I value Ina's cookbooks for the excellent recipes, and the inspiration they provide.

And then there is Giada De Laurentiis's new one:

I've come to use many of Giada's recipes, they seldom disappoint. I appreciate her use of fresh foods, clean flavors, and simple straight forward recipes with a minimum of fuss or preparation time, and her focus on healthy cooking/eating.

Looking through it, this book appears to stay true to her cooking style and philosophy.

Of these three books, this is the one I'm going to be cooking from first! The photos are beautiful.

Here is a quick sampling of some of the recipes:

These two muffin recipes look very good~
Garlic and Sun-dried Tomatoes, and a simple Olive Oil muffin
Thick Pecorino Crackers
Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, served with a salmon fillet on top of each portion
Lemon Risotto
Rib-Eye Steak with Black Olive Vinaigrette
Prosciutto Lamb Burgers
Chicken with Balsamic Barbecue Sauce
Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Marmellata
Roasted Halibut with Grapefruit Fennel Salsa
and desserts:
Strawberry and Mascarpone Granita
Chocolate Panna Cotta with Amaretto Whipped Cream
Orange and Chocolate Zeppole (the tiny doughnuts)
Almond,Pine Nut and Apricot Coffee Cake
Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate

I hope to be sharing some of the recipes I make from each of these books in the coming weeks, so I hope you'll be following along.

***I would love to know your top 5 favorite cookbooks, cookbook authors, and/or internet sources for recipes!

Care to share them?


  1. only five? (that's hard...)but
    besides Ina and Giada...

    Beth Hensperger (books on bread)

    The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and the Fannie Farmer Baking Book (both updated by Marion Cunningham in the 1980s)

    Lora Brody (especially The Cape Cod Table and The New England Table)

    Diane Rossen Worthington (I seem to have collected all her books)

    Nancy Barrett (her All-American cookie and dessert books; everything I've tried from them has been great)

    My firm moratorium hasn't been that firm, either!

  2. Audrey, I like your choices!

    I would have a very difficult time paring my list down to 5 favorites, too.

    And you know what? I should have asked about favorite web sources for recipes... I think I'll go revise the question. *blush* :)

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! I haven't seen or heard a thing about that first cookbook, Mary, but it looks like a must! :)

    My favorite internet source for recipes and inspiration is right here at your blog, my friend. :)

    I'm hard-pressed to name my five fave cookbooks but a few that I go to over and over again are:

    The Martha Stewart Cookbook
    The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
    Julia & Jacques Cooking @ Home
    James Beard American Cookery
    The Joy of Cooking
    Woman's Home Companion Cookbook

  4. Oh My, this is my first visit thanks to Andrea Under a Blue Moon and I'm not too sure you are going to be good for me!!! I love cookbooks and Ina's and Giada's new books are on the way probably for Monday delivery. I also bought the new Martha book. I love Ina, Giada, Martha, Julia, Jacques and Patricia Wells to name a few. I have never heard of the first one you mentioned but I'm checking it out now.

  5. I can not just pick five...oh my... it is like asking me to choose my favorite child...:(...
    But Marcella Hazan for Italian, anything Julia, Diana Kennedy for Mexican, The Old Silver Palate,Maida Heatter, the list goes on and on...I can not pick...

    I just broke my moratorium...I just got a new Nick Malgieri book the Modern Baker it looks fabulous, I have been reading through it...and I got a new Flo Braker book, and The Secrets of a Jewish Baker....I need to take it easy for a while...:)

  6. I just bought the new Giada and the new Ina myself. They are both great, and I am never disappointed with recipes from either of them.
    In a pinch, I refer to Joy of Cooking, so I need to include that in my top 5. I used to use the Silver Palate books, but now I find that I reach for Ina and Giada--I have all of their books. I also really like Sara Foster. For the internet, I go to, and the Food Network website.

  7. I love Nigella Lawson's cook books (and she has a new Christmas book out). I've used some of the recipes so much, the pages are stuck together!

  8. I love Ina, Tyler Florence, Betty Crocker, Michael Chiarello and Giada cookbooks.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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