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My Favorite Cookbooks

Hi, all.

It’s been a bit of a downer couple of days. I have the sniffles, and work has been pretty stressful. Reading the news doesn’t help.

On the other hand, reading the news has made me thankful for all I have.

And it was a lovely weekend. It finally got warm and sunny after a couple weeks of cold, and Fuzzers took me to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster Colorado and then to Downtown Denver to see the state capitol. Plus I finished my puppy dog puzzle!

Today I wanted to drop by the blog and share my favorite cookbooks! With all the wonderful recipes there are to be found online, I still swear by a good cookbook and cook out of them frequently. If you’re going to invest in just one or two, here are a few I’d recommend.

Betty Crocker’s “Big Red” Cookbook

That’s my toes and Birks down there. Cooking essentials (because walking and standing are very helpful when cooking). Anyway…

I got this cookbook from my grandma a few Christmases ago (thanks Grandma!) and I use it all the time. It’s great for basics–I frequently use the pudding recipe and the hummus recipe, for example. The other thing I love about it is that it has lots of tables for how to cook various veggies, meats, good toppings for everything from pizza to French toast, lots of different ways to cook eggs, etc. Whenever I’m like, “How long do you think it’ll take for the green beans to get done?” or something similar, this book knows the answer.

The only downside of this cookbook is that it includes calorie counts, which is not good if you’re in recovery from an eating disorder. I have to admit that when I was still fairly early in recovery, I threw it across the room when I saw how many calories were in something. Sorry, Big Red. You didn’t deserve that. But if you’re good at ignoring calorie counts or just don’t care, I highly recommend Betty for your cooking and baking needs. (Starting with hummus.)

America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook

I found this one by coincidence at a secondhand bookshop. It’s great, and a lot of these recipes are easily adapted to low-FODMAP, too. The sandwich bread is spot on; if you’ve missed homemade bread, this is your book.

Okay, I messed up this particular loaf because I accidentally added 2 1/2 tablespoons of yeast instead of 2 1/2 teaspoons. Oops. But that was my bad, not the book.

Oh my goodness and the brownies. The brownies! A guy at a party once told me they were the best brownies he’d ever had, and he didn’t even know they were gluten-free.

The Low-FODMAP Cookbook

I have several low-FODMAP cookbooks now, and most of them are hit and miss. This cookbook, though, is great. I can’t think of a single recipe I’ve made from it that didn’t turn out. I make the chicken stock whenever I have leftover chicken bones, plus I’ve made banana bread, chocolate banana muffins, tuna pesto pasta toss, tacos, stir fry…Basically, each week when I go grocery shopping and I need to decide what I’m going to eat for the next week, I pull out this book.

Chocolate banana muffin included with breakfast

The book is also super-useful because when you’ve first gone low-FODMAP, your daily life can revolve around the question: what the heck can I eat now? I’ll never be able to eat this and that and that other thing and that other thing and… This book would definitely be great you’re in the elimination or even re-introduction phase of the diet because it offers such a variety of classic dishes, plus some yummy dishes that are totally unique. In fact, I’d recommend this book even if you’re not low-FODMAP; the recipes are super-tasty and quite easy.

Dianne also writes a blog and posts lots of great recipes there, too!


By the way, this post is not sponsored. Not that there’s anything wrong when bloggers need to reach out to other businesses to support their endeavors. That said, I’m sharing this post because these cookbooks have been great resources for me. I’m the kind of amateur cook who’s often willing to put in a little more time than box mac & cheese, but I don’t have a culinary degree or really high expertise. If you’re a similar boat in terms of your cooking approach, I just wanted to recommend these books to you as well.


Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.


What’s your favorite cookbook?

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  1. Diane Wahto says:

    Your grandma says, “You’re welcome.” I also like both my Betty Crocker cookbooks. One of my favorites is an old cookbook that I got from a farm house we rented in Mexico, Missouri. When we moved out, I asked the landlord, a widower, if I could have the cookbook. He said his wife loved that cookbook and he would be happy to give it to me. Since I don’t cook too many complicated things any longer, I don’t use it as often as I used to. As for calorie counts, I don’t worry too much about them. I can tell when I’ve eaten too many peanuts. πŸ™‚

    I used to remind myself when the grading got heavy and life outside of my house was a downer that I had a job I loved and life inside the house was happy. It worked.

  2. There is something about having an actual book to hold, flip through, get dirty/ripped/stained with love! I will always use and love my cookbooks even if I can get the recipe online.

  3. While she’s not popular over here [duh!], it makes me oddly happy to see Betty Crocker’s cookbook in there. As in that you rely on that one classic cookbook that’s probably been in the family for ages [or at least previous versions of it]. My dad still has the one he learned cooking with in school and I learned how to cook rice pudding plus probably something else from it.
    It wouldn’t really make sense to write down my favourite cookbooks here because they’re all German πŸ™‚ but like you, I definitely still enjoy leafing through an actual book to find recipe inspiration.

  4. Emily says:

    Ooh wow I’ve never seen Denver like that before. We should get together some time Joyce! πŸ™‚ Can you email me your phone #? I could text you about it.

    Also, I just love the feel of a cookbook. It’s so substantial; I have a cupcake cookbook that I LOVE! And I also have a Pioneer Woman cookbook that I love too; I really want to invest more time in cooking when we get back from our trip.

  5. Claire B. says:

    The Low-FODMAP cookbook looks really good! My current favorites are the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, Deborah Madison’s New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and Gluten-Free Baking Classics. πŸ™‚

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