UPDATED 11/2016 – This page contains affiliate links. When you purchase through these links you’re paying the same price as you would if you didn’t, but you’re helping give me a small piece of the sale to keep Creative Life Explored going. All cookbook recommendations are my own and I only endorse products that I love and use.

I have a cookbook problem. I love them and I buy a lot of them. I haven’t nearly skimmed the surface of cooking all of the fantastic recipes from the cookbooks I own, but they’re never far from me, they’re riddled with post-it notes, and they provide endless sources of inspiration and ideas! If you’re looking for a great cookbook I have updated my list of ‘Cookbooks I Love’ to include some classics that I’ve stumbled upon along the way as well as some great new cookbooks that have graced us in 2016. Enjoy!

Recommended cookbooks Cravings by Chrissy Teigen




‘Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat’ by Chrissy Teigen – Before I even knew Chrissy Teigen’s resume I simply knew that she was a woman who was funny, sarcastic, and loved to cook – a woman after my own heart. I was drooling over her Instagram photo’s and jealous (in the good way!) of her cooking skills, and as I learned her deep love of food it was only natural that a cookbook followed. Craving’s is a compilation of her best recipes with hilarious accompanying stories that will leave you feeling two feelings in your stomach – hunger and laughing pains!



Cookbook recommendation Cooking for Jeffery by Ina Garten


‘Cooking for Jeffery: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook’ by Ina Garten – Let me just get this out of the way and confess that Ina is my queen. Ina is to me like Beyonce is to everyone else (yeah okay I’d totally bow down to Beyonce too). I’m fairly certain that everything Ina touches turns to delicious and she seems to do it so effortlessly – honestly if you haven’t seen her Instagram account with her adorable husband James and her flat in Paris, do yourself a favor and follow her right now for a daily dose of being jealously realizing that your life will never be that together.So I’ll get off my Ina worship rant and get to the reason you’re here – her latest cookbook! The woman has many cookbooks, undoubtedly all of them fantastic, and ‘Cooking for Jeffery’ is the latest in a long line of great cookbooks.




Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook recommendation




‘Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knock-Out Quick Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes’ by Gina Homolka – If you’re not familiar with Gina’s food blog Skinnytaste, do yourself a favor and stop on over. She has her game down to a science – creating slimmed down versions of everyday recipes. And she’s good. I’ve been cooking from her blog since before her cookbook came out, and I was so excited when her latest cookbook came out (because I knew the recipes were going be fantastic) that I literally sat down with mini Post-It’s and flagged all the recipes I wanted to make immediately. Check out Gina’s latest cookbook!



The Inspiralized cookbook is a great compliment to the Inspiralizer this holiday.



‘Inspiralize Everything: An Apples-to-Zucchini Encyclopedia of Spiralizing’ by Ali Maffucci – I can’t leave out Ali. The food blogger I discovered while searching for ‘healthy pasta’. I honestly thought to myself ‘what a silly search term, Heather. As if that really exists’ and wouldn’t you know I stumbled upon this new food blog that was dedicated to making noodles out of vegetables. I’ve been a believer ever since and Ali has grown Inspiralized into a successful healthy food blog, and now I am an Ambassador for The Inspiralizer (I talk more about that here). If you’re looking for a cookbook to accompany your new Inspiralizer OR you’re ready to try some new recipes, check out ‘Inspiralize Everything‘!



Food52 Genius Recipes cookbook recomenndation

‘Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook’ by Kristen Miglore – Food52 is a website I discovered this year and have fallen in love with. From great home cook accessories to great recipes, tips and tricks, Food52 is a must-read if you love food. Food52’s latest cookbook is described as “These are what Food52 Executive Editor Kristen Miglore calls genius recipes. Passed down from the cookbook authors, chefs, and bloggers who made them legendary, these foolproof recipes rethink cooking tropes, solve problems, get us talking, and make cooking more fun. Every week, Kristen features one such recipe and explains just what’s so brilliant about it in the James Beard Award-nominated Genius Recipes column on Food52. Here, in this book, she compiles 100 of the most essential ones—nearly half of which have never been featured in the column—with tips, riffs, mini-recipes, and stunning photographs from James Ransom, to create a cooking canon that will stand the test of time.”



The Molly on the Range cookbook makes a great 2016 holiday gift.






‘Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm’ by Molly Yeah –  Food blogger Molly Yeh quickly became one of my favorite food bloggers in 2016. From her signature photography to her unique recipes, and her inspiring postcard-esque writing, I was excited to read her first cookbook, and it didn’t disappoint.



The Food Lab cookbook makes a great 2016 holiday gift.






‘The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science’ by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt – Serious Eats resident culinary expert hit a homerun with The Food Lab. With 1000s of images, 100s of recipes, and incredible tips, tricks and science-based cooking fats you’ll explore an entirely new side of home cooking with this cookbook that reads like a novel!



Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking Cookbook recommendation

‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1’ by Julia Child – As someone who has lived in France I will be very upfront in saying that I don’t know what the French do to their food, but it’s not an ingredient you can buy at a store or a step you follow in the directions. It’s….magical. But if there is ever a cookbook that will bring you about as damn close as you can be to the real deal, it’s Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. Don’t be overwhelmed by the name; it’s really not as intimidating as it sounds. Can you read? check. Can you follow directions? check-ish. Than you can master the art of French cooking. From cutting techniques to sauces, to breaking down the raw ingredients, to taking you step-by-step through each recipe, you’ll feel like Julia Child is right there in the kitchen holding your hand while you make some some fantastic French dishes! Here is the direct link where you can check out Volume 1, or if you’re so inclined, a Volume 1 and 2 box set. Either way, you’ll be wowing you friends and family with you cooking in no time!




Plenty cookbook recommendation


‘Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi’ by Yotam Ottolenghi – Tired of eating those canned green beans (gross, stop eating canned vegetables)? Been walking by those pomegranates in the grocery store wondering what you could do with them besides squeeze their juice into a delicious martini? ‘Plenty’ is the answer to all of your questions; questions you won’t even realize you had until you own this cookbook. London-based Ottolenghi isn’t a vegetarian, however the dishes he creates could fool any omnivore and are essential to any meat lover looking to make some killer sides for a well-balanced meal. Say goodbye to your boring steamed broccoli side that you cook because unfortunately the world, and your body, can’t live on cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, and say hello to marinated mushrooms with walnuts and tahini yogurt!



Joy of Cooking cookbook recommendation





‘Joy of Cooking’ by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker – In 1931 Irma Rombauer started selling her cookbook out of her apartment in St. Louis, and in 1936 the mother and daughter duo, Irma and Marion, officially had their “little” cookbook published. Since printing in 1936 the book has became the most-published cookbook in the United States, and has sold over 18 million copies. Many consider it the backbone cookbook for home cooks, and it’s tried, timeless and sure-success recipes provide an excellent foundation for cooks at any level!



For now, this is the end of the cookbook’s I love road, but this journey isn’t over.  The goal isn’t to overwhelm you, it’s to bring you the best of the best according to a busy, full-time working, everyday home cook. Have a cookbook you love and recommend? I’d love to hear about it and check it out! I am excited to grow this list as I read more, so keep checking back, and happy cooking!


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