I am a cookbook junkie. I probably read cookbooks more than I actually cook. Not sure what that says about me, but I digress. I do love cooking though, and it makes me sad that some people don’t like to do something as simple as feeding themselves healthy eats that don’t come out of a box. Here is a list of a few cookbooks that make it super simple to make yourself a great meal that doesn’t consist of ramen or powdered cheese! By the way, this is not by any means an all-inclusive list. Many of these books are available here at the library, but some are not. But never fear! You can still place these titles on hold using your library card number. Other libraries in the consortium that have them can ship them here for you to pick up!
- How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food by Mark Bittman. Start here. Don’t know how to boil water? Bittman will give you directions, and even a picture. Not. Even. Joking. This book is a clearly written, easy guide to many everyday foods.
- Anyone Can Cook! and Anyone Can Bake! By Better Homes and Gardens. These books are similar to your Grandmother’s BHG red and white checkerboard cookbook only in title. The Anyone! books concisely guide one through the recipe, and even have an Ask Mom list on the bottom of each page for reference.
- Semi-Homemade: The Complete Cookbook by Sandra Lee. Ms. Lee is one of the “celebrity chefs” who actually teaches people how to cook the way people are, well, actually going to cook. She uses 80% prepared ingredients, and 20% fresh ingredients, so if the phrase chop an onion makes you hyperventilate, Sandra won’t judge, and will allow you to buy pre-chopped veggies.
- The PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook: 240 Healthy and Easy No-Prep Recipes for Busy Cooks, and Supermarket Vegan, both by Donna Klein. I have listed these both for those lazy veggie people out there (myself included). These are the best veg cookbooks I have read. Klein uses readily available ingredients to whip up some delicious meals…no extra trip to Trader Joe’s needed…even though we all know we’ll go anyway for the Two Buck Chuck.
- Everyday Food: Fresh, Fast, Flavorful and Everyday Food: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart Living. Don’t mistake these with Martha’s other cookbooks unless you’re feeling saucy and want to make a four-course Thanksgiving dinner (no-thank-you). These books are compilations of recipes in the Everyday Food magazine (which is great as well). Recipes are simple; the hardest part will be gathering the ingredients. If you aren’t a cook, you may not have paprika just hanging out in the spice cabinet. Well, you probably don’t even have a spice cabinet…but anyway….onward!
- Fix it and Forget It series by Phyllis Pellman Good. If you don’t cook, slow cookers will be your best friend. This series of books reads like a church cookbook: the recipes are from ladies (and a few gentlemen) around the nation, and are all compiled for your crockpot pleasure in these books. Most of the recipes consist of 1) Get the ingredients together, and 2) Turn the slow cooker on and wait. Almost as easy as takeout.
Happy cooking! You can do it! When your meal turns out well, let me know. (If you make cookies, feel free to, you know, share!)