Whenever I go into someone’s house to visit or for dinner, my favorite thing to be nosy about is their cookbook collection. Just like food, oftentimes cookbooks connect us with others through another level, bringing together an exclamation of ‘I made that recipe too!’ or ‘I’ve never cooked from that book yet, have you?’. I feel like sharing recipes and favorite entries in cookbooks is a way of saying ‘Hey I like you, I like this recipe, let’s be friends!’, it’s a way of sharing our favorite dishes with someone else, spreading the joy a dish has brought into our own lives. Especially now, as a blogger, I tend to not make recipes multiple times, searching for another recipe to test or trying to exhaust my list of ‘to make’ recipes from other blogs. These cookbooks are the ones I find myself cooking from time and time again, making multiple recipes multiple times until they become staples in my kitchen. If you notice, most of them are on the savory/dinner side, which, I have to admit, is because I’m better at developing recipes for baked goods, rather than meal staples!
1.) Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
– Todd and Diane are two of the most inspiring food stylists and photographers out there. I would love to spend a day with them to see how they work and how lovely they photograph food. This book is not only gorgeous, but the recipes are foolproof and simple as well. Even if a recipe looks like it may be too simple to be delicious, I always come back to this book for more. A recent favorite has been the Crispy Rosemary Roasted Potato Pizza and the Roasted Strawberry Scones. Although not all recipes are vegan, some are or can be modified to become vegan. This is at the top of my ‘must have’ list!
2.) Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan– Every recipe I’ve made from Fran up to this point has been flawless, satisfying every craving chocolate craving I’ve had and ensuring that I can make some of the more decadent desserts I’ve been missing. Up to a point, I hadn’t come across a ton of vegan dessert recipes I was really satisfied with, but Fran’s recipes changed all of that. From Espresso Truffles to a vegan Buche De Noel, Fran knows how to make high end desserts into a vegan treat. I also love that Fran takes the time at the beginning of the book to explain in more detail the reasoning behind vegan baking substitutes and the science of how most of the recipes work. If I could recommend one book for vegan chocolate recipes, this would be it!
3.) Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson– I only just recently purchased this cookbook (as in a week ago), but I am already in love with the simple, yet lovely recipes and Heidi’s ability to make you feel like you are sitting down to a healthy and delicious meal with her. From breakfast to dinner and snacks, Heidi covers it all in this book, without feeling like any of the recipes are intimidating or too hard. I’ve found with Heidi’s recipes, I sometimes wonder ‘Will this really go together?’ and it inevitably does, in the most delicious of ways. So far I’ve made a Dijon Popcorn recipe and the Paprika Roasted Chickpeas, but I have earmarked several others to be made in the near future.
4.) Baked Doughnuts for Everyone by Ashley McLaughlin- As if you didn’t know already, I love a good doughnut. Ashley’s cookbook came out last year and I have to tell you, my copy of her book has already entered the ‘well loved’ stage. There are smears of melted chocolate and sprinklings of flour in the cracks of the book, which only indicates that I’ve made a few doughnuts since I’ve gotten her book, and they have been DANG good. I don’t follow a gluten free diet, but Ashley makes baking doughnuts for everyone in your life just about as simple as can be. I remember sending a text to my friend when I received this book, attaching a picture of the Baklava Doughnuts and exclaiming ‘Do you see this?!! Baklava. Doughnuts.’. From sweet to savory, vegan to gluten free (and even a doughnut cake!), this book covers any and everything you need to know about doughnuts for all occasions.
5.) The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Lidden – If you’ve been around the vegan blogging world for a while, you’ve probably heard of Angela’s blog, Oh She Glows. This is all with good reason, because Angela’s recipes always seem to fulfill two big requirements of recipes for me; the ingredients are probably ones you already have on hand (or are readily accessible) and always turn out perfectly, each and every time. Angela is a master at putting together recipes that seem to transform a few normal ingredients into a perfectly delectable meal that will satisfy both meat and non-meat eaters alike. I have cooked my way through this book, for the most part, and can’t say I have a favorite, because I’ve loved each and every recipe.
6.) Essentials of Baking by Williams Sonoma As referenced a few blog posts ago, I received this book as a gift from my parents several years ago, when I first started delving into the world of baking and pastry. This book inspired me to look past cookies and pies and experiment with the ever fickle souffle or the world of bread making. Again, this book satisfies a key requirement in books for me, reliable recipes that tend to be foolproof each and every time. This book isn’t vegan, but has inspired many of my vegan baking recipes or can be changed with a few modifications. From a simple Whole Wheat Bread to Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, this baking book covers it all!