Ask The Readers- What Is Your Favorite Cookbook?

I love cookbooks. I know that I have mentioned it once or twice many times,  but I really do love them. I love to look through them and I love to read them like a book. There is so much to learn from most cookbooks.

Because I love cookbooks, I thought we would talk about our favorite cookbooks today.

I have quite a collection of cookbooks. I would have a lot of trouble narrowing it down to just one favorite cookbook, but I definitely have a favorite type or series of cookbooks.

Of all the cookbooks in my collection the ones I love and use the most are my Taste Of Home Cookbooks and my Martha Stewart Cookbooks.

Taste Of Home taught me how to cook. They were the first cookbooks and cooking magazine that I used after I got married and I will forever be grateful for what they taught me. Many of the recipes that I make now are adapted from old Taste Of Home recipes.

And the Martha cookbooks, what can I say, but I love them. Martha and her team of cooks are full of information.

Yes, some of the recipes are a little over the top, but overall they teach you basic everyday techniques and recipes. From her muffins, cookies, and pie books to her Everyday Food Cookbooks and her magazines. I love and use them all.

Now I would love to hear about your favorite cookbook or cookbooks. If you could only own a couple of cookbooks what would they be?

I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are. I am hoping to learn about some new cookbooks that I have not heard of.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. My absolute favorites:
    Rachael Ray 365 (yes, some are duds, but it has some great recipes and LOTS to pick from)
    Stuffed Cougar – cookbook from the 70s someone gave me for my wedding. Love it!
    and the Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook always gives me inspiration!

    • @Vanderbilt Wife, The Betty Crocker Red Cookbook is a favorite of many I think, but can you believe I did not own one until recently when I found an old edition at a used book sale. I have not tried anything from it yet, but I can see why it is a classic cookbook that many love.

      • @Lynn,
        I have both the newer version that was out at the time of my wedding (2004) and the one I grew up on (the 70s one). Was so thrilled to find the latter in a used bookstore early in our marriage. They are the best!

  2. Currently, I am enjoying my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that I bought myself. The recipes are classic recipes that most households are familiar with, and I have yet to run into an “duds”. I once owned a Betty Crocker cookbook (paperback) that I got from my dad 19 years ago, but the binding split and the cookbook was in 2 pieces. My hubby thought it was ruined and threw it away!! I thought guys love to use duct tape!!!! I really miss that old cookbook and hope I am lucky enough to run across and old edition. I also frequent and I read the reviews of a recipe and tweek to my taste. I get a lot of winners from that site. Happy cooking everyone!

  3. I love my The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook 3rd Edition: Cookware Rating Edition [Ring-bound]. It is the one I pull off the shelf 4-5 times/week. It has tips on using fewer dishes [which I love] as basic cooking information/techniques/methods. I love all the recipes I’ve tried. And I also love the framework it gives for dishes. I find I often use their recipe as a guide or for it’s cooking method while changing the ingredients to fit my family needs and tastes.

  4. I LOVE my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. We have the 10th anniversary edition and it has the BEST buttermilk biscuits! I also like the Rachel Ray 365 book…one of my favorite dishes to make for company is the Island Bird Chiken made with basmati rice. That dish ALWAYS gets amazingly rave reviews :)

  5. Cheap. Fast. Good is a great one and Taste of Home’s Church Suppers is another fantastic one…and any old amish or church recipe book that I happen to run across usually has some fantastic gems in them!

  6. I learned to cook from Mark Bittman’s original How to Cook Everything. It is a terrific modern resource. It gives very clear instructions, and also multiple ways to tweak recipes.
    Funny, I like the 2nd Rachael Ray cookbook…that’s my 2nd favorite.
    Once I learned to cook, I find myself using The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper a lot–very yummy, not hard.
    Thanks for the fun question! I’m loving reading the answers.

    • @MemeGRL, I have the Mark Bittman book and I agree it is really good! Especially for good, more whole foods type ingredients. I have not seen The Splendid Table one, I will have to check my library for it.

  7. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite cookbook. I have so many and I love them all! I guess though, if I had to pick one that I’ve made the most recipes out of it’s Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans. It’s just cookies. But every recipe I’ve tried has been absolutely awesome!

  8. When I was in college, I received the BHG cookbook for Christmas. I used it all the time. Now, I tend to frequent blogs and online recipe sites more, but I still refer back to it for new ideas or old favorites such as their pasta pizza or meatloaf. My favorite cookbook is one my mom has called Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls. I think it has a nostalgia factor as I loved looking at the bright pictures. I also made one of my first recipes from that cookbook: Egg in a Frame.

  9. I have hundreds of cookbooks, but the ones I turn to the most are Gooseberry Patch and Taste of Home.

  10. For our wedding (40 years ago) we got a Betty Crocker cookbook and it’s a great basic cookbook that I still refer to. A favorite among our friends is a church cookbook from 20 years ago – I typed most of it! When someone asks for a recipe, we say, “it’s in the cookbook!” They know what book we mean.

  11. 90% of the recipes I follow come from the internet, rather than from cookbooks. That said, I do have a handful of cookbooks we turn to fairly regularly. My favorite would have to be a 3 way tie between Cooking for Geeks (less for recipes, more for general stuff), Pioneer Woman Cooks, and our family cookbook that one of my cousins published for everyone this past Christmas.

  12. Do blogs count?!?! I do love blogger’s recipes — they are always tried & true and were prepared by people like me!!

    But, aside from that — I love America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated, and Betty Crocker.

  13. Wow!! I don’t know…I love our own church cookbook that we published years ago, but I am also loving my new Taste of Home Cookbook I got. I tend to find things online or in magazines…..

  14. The Simply in Season cookbook has become my new favorite, but I must say that Betty Crocker is a basic everything book and How to cook everything.

  15. Some of my faves are The Big Book of Soups and Stews this is my go to for the winter months. It has a Spaghetti Soup that is awesome. Anything by Mark Bittman and any thing by Americas Test Kitchen especially the Family Baking Book. It has the best chocolate chip cookies. And Saving Dinner nothing to fancy but usually very tasty and simple. I have tons of others but I really love these.


  17. I’m with you Lynn I love cookbooks. I’ve been collecting cookbooks since I could cook which my grandmother let me do since I was big enough to reach the stove. My favorite cookbooks are the ones you can get locally. Like churches, towns, etc… I have a few from my hometown and just love them. Pretty much when we visit a town or city I look for local cookbooks to take a little of the area back with me to revisit whenever I would like. Enjoy your cookbooks and pass them on to your family to enjoy as well. Food will always be there just like family.

  18. Surprisingly, even though 3 shelves on our bookcase are dedicated to cookbooks, pondering this question made me realize that I can narrow it down to just 1 fave (and a runner up)…. the winner is “More-with-Less Cookbook” – a Mennonite book that I have had for as long as I can remember & is clearly my go-to. The Runner up is “Moosewood Cookbook” which was the 1st cookbook I purchased once I was out on my own.

  19. The “Old” red cookbook, aka Garvin County Extension Homemakers recipe book has been the go to book for our entire family (me, my mom, aunts and cousins). For a wedding gift, mom called up the extension office and bought me one of their “old” editions they had left over. Really, I think she was just trying to keep me from making off with hers…lol I have the 50th anniversary from 1980, but grew up cooking out of my mom’s much older edition – those ladies know how to cook!!! Better Homes and Garden and America’s test kitchen are 2nd and third choice.

  20. My sentimental favorite would be an old Betty Crocker cookbook that I learned to cook from many years ago. My mother had a new copy and I grew up learning to cook from that book. When my mother went to work and I had to cook for the family it was my greatest help. I finally found me a copy on ebay. I have the complete Taste of Home annual cookbook collection and I love it. I have so many new favorites from those books. I must confess I am an avid cookbook collector (much to my husbands dismay) and I can look at them for hours. I read cookbooks like most people read a novel.

  21. It’s a little hard to just pick two so I narrowed it down to three. Oops make that four. The first is Southern Plate by Christy Jordan, second is The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond and any of Paula Deens. The Taste of Home has a lot of good recipes also.

  22. Maribeth Alexander says:

    My favorite cookbooks are those by Paula Deen. Being from the south, we (my 87-year old mother, and I) think she cooks like we cook. Nothing I have cooked from her cookbooks has not been wonderful!

  23. I grew up with my mom’s Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. Before I was cooking I would enjoy the pictures for hours. When I first moved out all I could afford was the paperback version, and I used it to pieces. About three years ago I found a like-new hardback copy at Goodwill and snapped it up like it was gold!

  24. Southern Plate by Christy Jordon

  25. I am cekiac and my most used cookbook is “Make It Fast, Cook it Slow”. It’s good for non celiac folks and makes dishes you never would have thought came from a crockpot.

  26. Julie Huey says:

    My favorite cookbook use to be The Best Recipes (by America’s Test Kitchen, Editors: Cook’s Illustrated). My favorite food magazine use to be Cook’s Illustrated. Now that I have to be gluten-free due to Celiac Disease, I’ve found comfort in the cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah (by Silvania Nardone, Forward: Rachael Ray). And, my cooking magazine has changed to Living Without’s Gluten-Free (

    • @Julie Huey, I love America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s illustrated. I agree gluten free eating makes regular cookbooks harder to use, but I still find many useful recipes in them. I bought the Cooking For Isaiah recently and so far I have enjoyed it. And I just got my first issue of Living Without.

  27. My favorite most used cookbook is our local 4-H cookbook. Mom and I were in charge of collecting the recipes so when people asked me what they should submit…I told them my favorite recipe of theirs…so its like my own collection of neighbor favorites. I am also really enjoying Christy Jordan’s Southern Plates right now. I don’t buy a lot of cookbooks anymore…the drawers are overflowing but I did order this one. Its a great read with great recipes.

  28. I have more cookbooks then some stores. They are an addiction. My 1st tried and true is also the red Betty Crocker cookbook. Great starter book.
    But I LOVE JUNIOR LEAGUE COOKBOOKS. The recipes are T&T and also a tad more involved.I love them so much and sadly many book stores hardly carry them anymore. Since Food Network has gained popularity the chef books are more popular but sadly not as tried and true

  29. There are just so many favorites. I have recently been enjoying “Baking Illustrated” from the Cooks Illiustrated family. I also really enjoy “Saving Dinner” for those weeks when I just suddenly have no idea how to feed my family and need some inspiration!!! I am so glad to know that I am not alone when it comes to reading cookbooks like novels…. lol!

  30. I love to collect the “Best of Best” from each state we visit. In fact, I try to collect this as my souvenier from our travels. I also collect “local” cookbooks from churches, civic organizations, etc. I find those recipes are tried and true and always find something new to try.

  31. Wow – how do I pick a favorite?? :) I have a large collection of cookbooks and enjoy looking/using most of them. My favorites would be local Mennonite/Amish cookbooks that I have picked up since I have moved where I live now and my Joy of Cooking cookbook. I am definitely going to have to check out the America’s Test Kitchen ones that a lot of people have commented on. My husband travels to a lot of really cool places (he’s a corporate/charter jet pilot) and he has started finding me cookbooks at the places he has been. So far I have one from Alaska, Mexico and last night he brought me home a Caribbean cookbook – these aren’t ones that I use all the time, but they are so much fun to look at – ingredients that I have never even heard of!! :)

  32. I turn to Joy of Cooking for basic q’s–how do I prepare celeriac, etc. I love everything from ATK/Cook’s Illustrated.

  33. Kathy C. says:

    I think that the King Arthur Baker’s Companion is my favorite baking book, and I have a 1973 Pillsbury Family Cookbook that I got from my great-aunt, and I use that all of the time because it has a lot of good, basic recipes in it (and ones that don’t call for a lot of mixes or processes ingredients).

  34. I really love all of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks & I have almost every one of the collection, which is ongoing. Best of all, they have a master index to tell you in which books all of the recipes are found.

  35. I love Meta Givens “Modern Family Cookbook”. It was my first ever cookbook. The recipes there are very much like what I grew up on.

    I also like “Desperation Dinners Cookbook” by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross because it helps come up with last minute ideas for meals that can be put together in under an hour.

  36. I have over 50 cookbooks and read them like novels, but I’d have to say my “go-to” on is the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. You can find anything you want in there!

  37. My #1 pick is definitely the Fannie Farmer Cookbook – like Elaine said, you can find just about anything in there; it’s a fabulous general-reference cookbook (and I am particularly enamored of my copy, which I got for 50 cents at a church rummage sale in like-new condition!) I also love the More-with-Less book that Amy mentioned. I have a lot of cookbooks, but those 2 probably get used more than all of the others put together.

  38. Two years ago I cleaned out my cookbook shelf. I kept only the ones I frequented most. My favorites are ones I have a personal connection to. Our chruch’s 40th & 50th anniversary cookbooks, a local resturant’s cookbook given to me as a gift from family. The one with most sentimental value is my great-grandmother’s 1909 “The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book”. The one I go to first, especially for baking recipes, is my grandmother’s copy of a Mother’s Club cookbook from 1957.

    Now, with all that’s available on the internet, I don’t know that I’ll need to buy another cookbook. I’ve found recipes on,, vendor sites – King Arthur Flour, Hodgson Mill, etc.

  39. I’m probably very silly but I really only have two favorite cookbooks. The first one is Make it Fast, Cook it Slow By Stephanie O’Dea who did 365 Days of Crockpotting Blog. I need to add her second cookbook sometime here in the next year. My second favorite cookbook is a recipe binder filled with recipes that I have printed off of the internet, and have had passed down from my Mom, and gathered from my friends! It’s a pretty big binder I have. I have a second one where I store recipes that I have found, but have yet to try out! Anything tried and not our taste – get’s tossed! Anything we love and I end up incorporating into regular meal times – gets added to my big ole binder!

  40. Up until the past year, I would say that my trusty BHG was my favorite- but then my hubby gave me the Mad Hungry-Feeding Men and Boys. I have not had a bad recipe come out of that book- AND they are ones the hubby and teen age boys will eat without complaint! What more could you ask?

  41. My hands down favorite cookbook: More with Less from the Mennonite Central Committee. Second is tied ( and could be tied with first): Simply in Season and Extending the Table. Thrifty, local cooking with an eye to efficiency and good health. LOVE these cookbooks. Ladies, go check out these cookbooks! they even feature a few recipes from each of the cookbooks.

  42. Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson, and my mother’s edition of the red and white plaid Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. Because even though I am vegan, my family is not. The vegan book has stuff in it even my family will eat, and the BHG book? Who doesn’t love a classic!

  43. I have at least two or three dozen cookbooks. Some were given to me some I bought. I love Paula Deens books any of them. Also The Barefoot Contessa I love her and Sandra Lee who doesnt love Semi-homeade great. I do a lot of bake sales so I love The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrd. If you want to make any kind of cake this is your book.

  44. Taste of Home Annual cookbooks are some of my favorites! I use them all the time! I have been disappointed in their magazine this last while, but the cookbooks are great! My other favorites that I use all the time, would be a 1950’s Betty Crocker and my BHG red and white cookbook! I also use my Amish Cooking book alot! More With Less is another favorite that I read like a novel every once in awhile and love the recipes

  45. I just got this new cookbook Our Best Bites. I love reading it. I am a big fan of most Taste of Home. I go to a lot of blogs and get a lot there.

  46. tuxgirl says:

    I love old cookbooks. I don’t use them for cooking that often, but I love to read them. For actual cooking, I tend to pull out recent cookbooks, but to curl up with a cookbook, I tend to gravitate toward things like The American Frugal Housewife. I recently came across one from the Great Depression, which was fascinating.

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