The most committed relationship in my life so far has been with food. I learned to cook at a pretty young age, mainly because my grandma also loved to cook and I spent pretty much all of my time at her house. Having spent the last three years traveling non-stop, I am kind of making up for lost time now that I’m home all the time by cooking every recipe I find.
I get asked a lot where I get the recipes I post on here. Well, it’s kind of a mix. I totally just make some up based on other recipes I find, some come from random searches on the Internet, and some of them are inspired by my vast collection of cookbooks. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite cookbooks that inspire me in the kitchen.
Let me just start by saying that Queen Ina Garten is my hero. If you asked me who I want to be when I grow up, I’d say the Barefoot Contessa. Ina is everything to me. I dream of spending my days cooking and baking for all of my fabulous friends who just happen to come by for brunch every single day. And my very own Jeffrey and I spend half the year in the Hamptons and the other half in Paris. Not that I’ve given this a lot of thought or anything.
I have every one of Ina’s cookbooks and cook from them pretty religiously. Back to Basics is probably my favorite of all of her cookbooks, especially if you aren’t that experienced at cooking. She has so many amazing tips in this book and all of her recipes are doable and easy to make your own. I recommend this cookbook for pretty much any level.
2. Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Let’s just begin by saying, these are not the easiest recipes to make. This is definitely not a beginner cookbook, unless you are a beginner who just absolutely loves to cook and does not get stressed out by screwing up. But once you’ve made boeuf bourguignon, you will be totally sold on French cooking and bow down to all that is Julia. I mean, it’s Julia Child we are talking about, everything in this book is amazing and I don’t care what anyone says she is a God.
It is probably not a secret to any of my friends that I have a serious crush on Dominique Ansel. This man made Cronuts a thing. That in itself is a miracle and I’ll love him forever for this contribution to the world. This cookbook is not only full of the best recipes from The Dominique Ansel Bakery, but it also has tips and Ansel’s opinions on many cooking techniques. He talks a lot about how time is an ingredient, which has changed the way I look at baking and my desserts. There are a variety of skill levels in this book and they are clearly marked; so there is something for beginner, intermediate, and advanced bakers. Spoiler: Cronuts are advanced and I’m going to make them and I hope I don’t burn down my house.
4. Jim Gaffigan Food: A Love Story
I know, this isn’t a cookbook, but it is about food and it is hilarious. Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite funny humans and he spends a lot of time making fun of kale. I also spend a lot of time making fun of kale, so you can see why this book makes my top list of books about food. If you need a break from all the boring stuff you think about all week at work, then pick this up and have a good laugh over the ridiculousness of most things culinary.