This Super Page contains a growing list of our favorite Cookbooks!
If you have a favorite Cookbook that isn’t listed, please mention it in the comment section and we’ll consider it for this page.
When we first got married, Annette knew how to boil water and scramble eggs. Her mom told her, “If you can read, you can cook!” Since Annette’s mom was a fabulous cook and both of Steve’s parents were cooks in the kitchen, she had lots of good resources to draw upon. But she also realized that having great cookbooks in your kitchen was one of the fastest ways to learn and become a terrific cook. Annette now has more than 100 meals she can create.
Even though you can now go online and find just about any recipe you’d like, having cookbooks in your house is a more convenient way to navigate the kitchen.
Listed below are some of Annette’s favorite cookbooks.
Betty Crocker Cookbook
The Betty Crocker Cookbookis a great all around cookbook. It contains pictures for some of the recipes and general categories. It is nicely bound in a 3-ring-binder which allows the pages to lay flat when opened.Categories include bread and pasta, cakes and pies, cookies and candy, miscellaneous desserts, eggs, cheese and legumes, fish / shellfish, beef/veal, pork/lamb, poultry, salads, soup, sandwiches, sauces, vegetables and a special helps section.
This book is a must for anyone attempting to cook from scratch. Annette does like to cook, although family activities keep cooking from being a major time taker. Just remember that you don’t need to immediately run out and purchase something, the library is full of every kind of cookbook imaginable — take a few home, test them out and buy the ones that best fit your lifestyle and taste.
Dining On A Dime Cookbook – Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are a mother/daughter dynamic duo of dollar stretching. As a single mom, Jill raised two kids on a limited income without giving up their comfort or security. When Tawra married Mike, they struggled to raise their small family, but by applying the lessons learned from Jill (Tawra’s mom), they were able to pay off $20,000 worth of debt in five years. They did all of this on an average income of $22,000. Tawra and Jill now operate the popular Web site LivingOnADime.com.
The Dining on a Dime Cookbook is like an encyclopedia of frugality. It provides information on; shopping smarter; planning menus; cooking cheaper; making homemade baby food; hundreds of recipes from breakfast to dessert; and even homemade cleaning solutions.
Tawra and Jill’s writing style is easy to read and you don’t have to be an experienced cook to understand the cooking terms they use. The recipes they include are easy to prepare and use inexpensive ingredients. They also weave humor throughout the book — so you’ll actually laugh while you’re saving money. Our favorite line is, “Life’s too short to stuff a cherry tomato.” If you want to stop eating out so much and start cooking more meals at home, this book will get you started on the right path.
Read more about our friends Tawara Kellam and Jill Cooper here . . . we’ve also got permission to share some of their videos – including How to make homemade laundry detergent and their viral video How to fold a fitted sheet.
The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
Our copy is old, dog-eared and stained but we keep using it. And whenever we find a copy at a discount book store, we buy it to give as a gift. The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbookdebuted in 1980 and is still a great resource for the kitchen novice today. Each recipe is accompanied with step-by-step line drawings and a color photo of the finished product.
Annette thinks that this method really makes learning a snap.Annette received this cookbook as a gift from her mom when we were first married and it was a lifesaver because at that time all Annette could cook was scrambled eggs! It is comprehensive, covering appetizers, soups, seafood, meats and poultry, vegetables, fruits, salads and all sorts of desserts including pies, cakes, ice cream, cookies, and candies. It also has extensive sections on quick breads, yeast breads, and beverages. Reference resources include measurement equivalent, bakeware, tools, equipment, herbs and spices and proper food storage.
Once A Month Cooking – Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg
Once A Month Cooking is an incredible book that introduces a concept that not only saves time but also stretches your budget and relieves a heavy daily mental load. So many of us these days are juggling so many balls that having several meals already prepared and waiting in the freezer really does cut down the stress in our lives.
This book includes a detailed explanation of the concept, shopping lists, and step by step details to execute a cooking day. While Annette doesn’t use all of the recipes in this book, it’s still an indispensable resource. As you become accustomed to this system, you’ll adapt your own favorite recipes to fit your family’s lifestyle.
Confessions Of A Butcher – John Louis Smith
Confessions of a Butcher could save you some money on meat. Especially if you regularly purchase expensive cuts of meat, for example, T-Bone, filet mignon and pork tenderloin, this is a great book that will provide you with money-saving options. We buy less expensive cuts of beef — chuck or round steaks — and never spend more than $1.59 per pound, consequently, this book didn’t apply much to our family.
Smith provides some great recipes and good tips on building a relationship with your local butcher. His section on lamb was weak and his idea of substituting pork for veal seems far-fetched. Although we seldom eat veal — it’s beyond our buy price — as a child, Annette’s family regularly prepared it. Veal has a very distinct flavor and texture that can’t be replaced by anything else, especially pork.
This book is self-published, but available on Amazon and directly from the author’s website All-About-Meat.com where he has lots of great information on different cuts of meat.
The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook is another one of Annette’s favorite and first cookbooks – loads of easy to make recipes and lots of pictures. It’s a classic and a must-have for everyone who wants to cook delicious meals at home.