The modern bookshelf isn’t what it used to be. Though I still like holding a real book, the convenience of the Kindle means most of my books are digital. Recipes are readily available online, but the photos, recipes, and stories scattered throughout a cookbook lend themselves to thumbing though real pages. And they make great gifts, too.
If you’re looking for a cookbook for yourself or someone else, here are a few suggestions:
For the busy home cook: Dinner by Melissa Clark and Eric Wolfinger
Dinner is full of recipes that are interesting, fun, and totally achievable on a weeknight. If you have the right hardware, check out another one of Clark’s books — Dinner in an Instant.
For the studious chef: The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
When cooking a steak, should you flip it once or flip constantly? Why can’t you make mashed potatoes in a blender? What’s the best way to cut a fennel bulb? These answers and more in this cooking-meets-food-science bible.
For those who can’t get enough carbs: Hot Bread Kitchen by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen
Bread brings people together, and the bakers at Hot Bread Kitchen bring their unique backgrounds to the table as well. The book features dozens of international breads as well as the stories of the women who bake them.
(Note: I also work at Hot Bread Kitchen, and can confirm the people in the book are as great in person as they seem on the page.)
For the foul-mouthed and health conscious: Thug Kitchen
Vegans can have a reputation for taking themselves too seriously, but this book does not. It is funny, fun to cook from, and will make #MeatlessMonday a little easier.