Daily Archives: August 20, 2015

My Favorite Cookbooks of All Time

I love cookbooks, they are one of the only actual books that I still enjoy buying.  I have become so accustomed to purchasing books on my Kindle and while my Kindle is great for reading a novel, I am unable to truly appreciate or peruse a cookbook easily on the device.  So while I try my best to avoid clutter, when it comes to cookbooks I just can’t resist.  Here are a collection of my all time favorites, I hope you enjoy my selections and hopefully see something new.
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The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

I have collected every one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks over the years and all are amazing, however I have to say that this one is my favorite.  Everything I have ever made tastes delicious and so many of the recipes have become regular favorites that I cook time and time again.  Some of my favorite recipes include Ina Garten’s Pan-Fried Onion Dip (always a crowd pleaser), Cheddar Corn Chowder (the perfect soup on a cold evening), Gazpacho, Grilled Salmon Salad, Turkey Meatloaf, Filet of Beef Bourguignon, Outrageous Brownies and the amazing Coconut Cupcakes.  These are just a few of the dynamite recipes that are favorites, but believe me when I tell you I have yet to make a recipe from this cookbook that isn’t fabulous.

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Pasta & Co. by Request
If you live in the Seattle area, chances are you have heard of a little deli by the name of Pasta & Co.   Inside of this deli are freshly made salads, artisan meats, cheeses, gourmet spreads, dips, crusty bread and don’t even get me started on the smell of this place.  This is one of those gems where you walk in and are immediately stricken by the freshness of herbs, olive oil and all around deliciousness.  This book offers up so many delicious favorites that are staples at Pasta & Co. and have been a favorite of mine.  Now, if you have time (and if you don’t live in the area you have no choice really), the recipes in this book are definitely worth making and will not disappoint.  Some of my favorites include

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Neiman Marcus Cooks

One of my very best girlfriends came over with this book one night and after perusing I knew I had to have it, and order it I did the second she left.     The book in itself is worth buying as a coffee table book for its grandiose size and extraordinary pictures, but the recipes are truly spectacular.  Some classic Neiman Marcus recipes include their Popovers with Strawberry Butter, the Neiman Marcus Salad Trio (featuring chicken salad, egg salad and tuna pecan salad) and Mandarin Orange Souffles.  The Chicken and White Bean Chili are favorites along with the fresh and flavorful homemade salad dressing recipes.   There is also an amazing chapter devoted just to cocktails – skinny cocktails too!  Perhaps the food didn’t sell you, but if you are in the market for a good new set of cocktails this book will not disappoint.

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Mesa Mexicana

For the past six years my girlfriends and I go to Vegas once a year for our annual girls trip and we always have the best time.  We have our routine which includes laying out by the pool, drinking amazing cocktails, shopping, laughing our butts off and of course eating delicious food.  We have a couple of tried and true restaurants that we always visit and one of these eateries is a place called the Border Grill at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  The Border Grill is a restaurant that was started by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken and Mesa Mexicana is the cookbook with many of the dishes found at the Border Grill.  Favorites include their salsa recipes, specifically the Tomatillo Salsa and Pureed Tomato Salsa Cruda.  Other favorites include the Turkey Tostada Salad and the Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak.

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How to Grill

My husband got into grilling a few years back and this is the book he bought.  I was skeptical at first since I had never heard of it and from the outside looking in, it just didn’t look like the kind of cookbook I would normally buy – think very utilitarian.   Boy was I wrong.  Every single recipe that my husband has ever made from this book has been delicious and has recipes that are very different from any other cookbooks that I currently own.  Amazing recipes include Ginger Soy London Broil, Asian Grilled Beef Salad, Bourbon Brined Pork Chops, Asian Flavored Vegetables Grilled in Foil Packets and Barbecued Cabbage.

Do you have any favorite cookbooks?  I would love to hear any recommendations!