I keep my old edition of Joy and Fannie Farmer but I rarely, if ever, use them. The last time I can recall thumbing through one of them I was referencing ratios for jam recipes. I’ll use them for stuff like that but they’re never the first place I turn for a recipe for let’s say… a soup or an interesting pasta dish.
Lately I’ve been turning to one of those lovely books in that stack. The two titles from Nigella I splurged on after maxing out my borrows from the library. I particularly like these two because the recipes are quick and simple and focus on using ingredients that I tend to keep on hand. You need a recipe for a chocolate dipping sauce? Nigella will always have your back. I also make her chicken teriyaki pretty frequently.
Cooking Light I picked up at the Book Thing… and it’s probably my favorite. I’ve used it for all kinds of things. Sweet and sour slaw, butternut squash and a bunch of soups. I’ve like everything I’ve made from this one. Cooking Light has solid recipes. I use a Cooking Light recipe for my pizza dough… and it’s awesome.
The Cook’s Illustrated book is borrowed from the library but I scoped it out at Costco and I might just add it to the permanent collection. And that’s based entirely on how much I like the recipe for strawberry shortcake (and maybe the sandwich bread). I feel like Cook’s Illustrated recipes are solid enough to just pull out and use and that I might like having it on hand. I just don’t like when they get too complicated.
Of course there’s still my ripped up old copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. My old faithful. What are your favorites?