Now you see, I'm completely a visual learner, so really love having the photos. My favourite cookbooks almost all have photos (excepting the Moosewood, the Rebar cookbook, and Elizabeth David). I'm thinking from reading the posts, that something fairly non-threatening is going to appeal to more people.
I actually have a 4 ingredient cookbook! I also have a good slow-cooker cookbook but have only made a few things from it.
Originally Posted by Dinahann
My fav cookbooks are those with simple, easy to follow directions with as little ingredients as possible. I want my food flavored but I don't want to have to use 10 different spices.
I don't like meals that require too much prep time. If I have to make and roll out the dough or stuff the shells with 15 ingredients that have to be pre-cooked first, it won't get made! If I have to chop or cut-up too many things, that is also an issue.
And please tell me the best cuts of meat / pork to use for each recipe. I get confused with round, tip, shoulder, butt, loin, etc.
I also would like a cookbook that covers all the diet bases: fat grams, calories, carbs. And if there is a good dietary subsitute for an ingredient, I'd like to know that too.
Am I asking for too much? :whistle
Oh yeah, that prepare a dish to make a dish stuff drives me nuts. Or the Martha Stewart special - which is over complicate stuff. For example, take a cup of almonds, roast then grind. Why not just buy ground almonds? I love lots of ingredients, (I love Indian food), but those recipe within a recipe?
I love cook books and collect them. I have one of Rachel Ray's. I want one of Paula Deen's. I adore Paula!
I too collect cook books, some of them just to read, some just to look at and dream that I could one day cook like that and just a few that I actually use. The ones I do use have three things in common
Pictures of every recipe ( I have to see what the finished product is supposed to look like)
Not too many ingredients (For the same reasons other have stated)
Ingredients you can find anywhere and will use again (I hate recipes that you have searching all over the place for an unusual ingredient to find you have to buy a kilo of it when you only need a tablespoon of it.)
Oh, and a great front cover is really important. I am a sucker for a good front cover.
I also like when a cook book has a glossery of ingredients at the back especially if they tell you what you can substitute if its not available
I love old vintage cookbooks, I go to estate sales and have found some real treasures. I've got #2-7 of the Pillsbury Grand National Bake-Off cookbooks which were published in 1950-56. I don't have #1 because it runs about $50 if you can find one. These are the small paperbacks that you buy at the checkout stands, so I'm not sure if I want to pay that much.
My favorite right now is the new Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book. It's an exact replica of the original 1950 cook book. I got my mom a copy for her birthday and she's been having a blast with it.
I hear you Marleybone. I've got a bunch of those too. Some of them are just gross (too much jello molds), but for things like scones and cakes they can't be beat. I got the new Five Roses out of the library, and decided I like my old Five Roses Flour cookbook better. The old one has info on everything (non-flour included), like how long to thaw a turkey for etc. Also the new one is trying to be too clever, with too many unnecessarily complicated recipes. I've been reading even more cookbooks than usual, looking for ideas, and seeing what I like and don't like as a consumer of cookbooks. I also found a book at the library called Will Write for Food, which is proving to be pretty informative. (I'm pretty big on pictures too, but will make allowances if the font is really readable and the recipes are intriguing enough).
I have several of those types of cookbooks: ones that list 5 ingredients or are one pot cookbooks. My family just likes it warm and tasty; they don't care what country it comes from.
Originally Posted by Dinahann
We save complicated dishes for going out or ordering in. I can't be bothered to make something that takes a day of my life.
Photos of the finished dish are always nice; that's why I like those little Pillsbury cookbooks sold at the check out stands.
I like cookbooks, that explain not just how to do something, but why you do that way, and that also include some of the history of the dish, like Lasagna used to be considered a rich man's dish because you had to have an oven to cook it.
Sort of like recipes with history, that aren't overly complicated, and don't send you shopping to obscure Asian markets hunting for lime kafir leaves, but I also don't like the ones that have too many shortcuts, at the expense of the dish. I don't have a Food Processor, and I doubt I ever will, so anything that requires high-tech Kitchen equipment is out.
I've been looking for cookbooks for just 2 people. My kids are grown (1 married and 1 away at college) but I still cook like I always have out of habit and we end up with too much left over.
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