The Cookbook Collection

cookbook collection

Part of the Cookbook Collection

After a slow start to my meal planning for the holidays, I got into the groove with the Breakfast Cups. I cooked many of my favorite comfort foods over the past few days. Some of the highlights have been Almond Bacon Cheese Dip, Dill Dip, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, and my family’s sausage breakfast casserole.

Some of my recipes are family recipes, but many come from key cookbooks that anchor my cookbook library. Below is a list of my most used cookbooks along with the names of the best recipes (in my opinion) from those cookbooks. If you click each cookbook name below, it is linked to an Amazon listing.

What cookbooks do you have that you cannot live without?

The Artful Table

The Artful Table: Great Food from the Dallas Museum of Art League (This is the best cookbook I own. Everything turns out well.)

  • Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Confit
  • Heavenly Potatoes
  • Country-Fried Chicken Salad (use store bought chicken tenders)
  • Picadillo Sarita
Notice the post it notes marking the most used recipes

You can tell which cookbooks are my favorites by the Post-it notes and other scraps of paper sticking out of the top to mark good recipes.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

  • Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
  • Turkey Tea Sandwiches
  • Banana Crunch Muffins

Barefoot Contessa Parties

Colorado Collage

  • Carrot Basmati Rice Pilaf
  • Ginger Chicken Kabobs
  • Telluride Tortellini with Chicken

Creme de Colorado

  • Pasta with Broccoli

kansas city junior league

Company’s Coming (out of print– available used)

  • Steak Soup

Beyond Parsley

  • Spaghetti Pie
  • Artichoke Sausage Soup
  • Sugared Bacon

Above and Beyond Parsley

  • Pacific Rim Tenderloin
I find scraps of paper with old party notes in many of my favorite cookbooks.

I find old party notes in many of my favorite cookbooks. I never throw the notes away, so I can go back and recycle good ideas I may forget.

Southern Living Easy Entertaining

family cookbook

Family Cookbook (Not for sale at the present time)

  • A few years ago I compiled all of our traditional family recipes into a Shutterfly album with family photos. My dad is famous for kitchen pictures. These are the pictures of people caught mid-bite, or people standing in their sweat pants on a holiday morning stirring a pot of some kind (see photo below). There is usually one group photo at the table during a large gathering too. These were the photos I used to “enhance” the family cookbook. I use my family cookbook all of the time. I have all of my favorite recipes in one location and do not have to hunt through every loose piece of paper and recipe card box I own to remember how to make our family’s Christmas Eve egg nog. This makes a great birthday gift, Christmas gift, or Mother’s/Father’s Day gift.
Making Mashed PotatoesThanksgiving 2007

Check me out making mashed potatoes.
Thanksgiving 2006

14 thoughts on “The Cookbook Collection

  1. I used the family cookbook many times this Christmas! But maybe by next year the dishes will start to feel tired. I think we’re due for a new and improved version. Volume 2? With your party notes included please!

  2. Love this. I usually go to the internet for recipes now, but I love my shelf of cookbooks. I sit and read them like books for inspiration. I hope to take my spiral book–the one where I write all the recipes I don’t want to forget–and compile it into a web-based something so if I ever get robbed they don’t steal my original recipes:)

    • It’s the pictures that always hook me when I read cookbooks. I got the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook for Christmas, and the pictures are really good. If you ever get robbed, I will help you re-build your recipe collection!

      • That’s a great cookbook. Since I’m a strange eater with friends even weirder than me, I always look for ways I can make recipes good for me. I look for the essence of flavor and ingredients, not necessarily what that recipe is. How can I convert it for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, GF… it’s quite a challenge:)

  3. Can I keep 2? The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and her Back to Basics are my go-to books. She is foolproof (which is the name of her newest cookbook I’ll be buying soon). I made her herb marinated pork tenderloin for xmas eve dinner. The corn chowder recipe is my favorite. I add rotisserie chicken and serve with salad and bread to make it a meal. Her coconut cupcakes are heavenly! I’m dying for one right now!

    • Jenn– Totally agree. It was hard to pick my favorite Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for the list, but I went with the ones that have the most sticky notes in them! I got how easy is that? for Christmas along with The Pioneer Woman. Can’t wait to start cooking some new things.

  4. Please sell your Family Cookbook! I would really like one–and Volume 2 as well. Since your Mom and I often talk food, I do have several of the family favorites in my collection now. Happy New Year!

  5. Any Junior League Cookbook…but my never leave home without cookbook is THE NEW BASICS. i have notes, paperclips, highlights thru out the whole thing. i even highlight favorite recipes in the index so that i can find them faster.

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