Jillicious Side Dish: Cookbooks

I love to look at cookbooks.  I don't really like to cook, but I do love to eat and enjoy pouring over the photographs and creative culinary ideas in cookbooks.  A friend with the same feelings once told me that we are "intellectual cooks." :)  I liked the euphemistic term and immediately claimed it.

Luckily my husband likes to do more than just look at recipes, and he is a tremendous cook.  He is also more adventurous than I am.  I basically have the taste buds of a 6-yr-old (my favorite foods are pizza and mac & cheese!), but he has broadened my horizons and my palate.  It is a treat to come home to his delicious dinners after a long day at the library.  And, I am more than happy to do all the clean up!

Here is one of our cookbook shelves with some of my favorites: 


I love Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  I also wouldn't mind living  in her beautiful house in the Hamptons!  Barefoot Contessa recipes are elegant but not too complicated.  Her turkey sausage lasagna is my favorite lasagna in the world.  Her ultimate brownies are purely sinful, and her coconut cupcakes are divine. 

Rebecca Rather used to own the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg (one of my favorite Texas towns).  Her cookbooks are full of delicious savory dishes as well as delectable sweets.  Her tuxedo cake takes some time to make, but it's well-worth the effort; the cake is pure bliss.  I hope opening a new eatery in the Hill Country is in Ms. Rather's 2014 plans!

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, creates recipes that are homey, simple, and flavorful.  I like the way she shows things step-by-step in photos. This fall I picked up her new book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.  My husband tried several of her recipes for Thanksgiving, and they were all delicious.  I particularly liked the cornbread sausage dressing.

Now, for some new cookbooks I'd like to add to our collection:

Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese 
by Stephanie Stiavetti & Garrett McCord
I mentioned that mac & cheese is one of my favorites foods.  I probably shouldn't admit this, but I even love it out of the blue Kraft box!  So, this looks like a must for our shelf.  

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
by Deb Perelman
Deb Perelman is a food blogger at smittenkitchen.com.  She tackles a variety of food challenges in her tiny little NYC kitchen always looking for the best (and simplest) ways to create the best food.  She is a skilled photographer, and her posts are full of lovely, helpful photos. Many have been eagerly anticipating her first cookbook.

by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi 
I have heard and read a lot about this cookbook.  It would likely be stretch for my babyish taste buds, but I think my husband would love this one.  I'll bet he would introduce me to some excellent food I never would have tried on my own. 

Because of our love of food, this is the cookbook we'll be using for the next 21 days!  I hope I can lose some lbs and keep things in better moderation in 2014.

Any favorite cookbooks of your own?

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