With incredible access to free recipes on the internet with every variation and dietary restriction available, its hard to justify keeping shelves full of cookbooks. Websites like Pinterest and Foodgawker compile only the best, and cookbook empires like Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker offer tested and trusted recipes on the web. Not to mention reputable food blogs with every culture, diet, and taste in mind.
Why even pay for clunky cookbooks at all when you can access all this, for free? Well, as the holiday season rolls around, I’d like to make a few recommendations for books that I think are worth buying.
My parents are fiends for cookbooks. Even still the kitchen is packed with them. We even have an entire cabinet for them. While many haven’t been cracked open in years, there are a few that are absolutely essential.
Pillsbury Complete Cookbook: Recipes from America’s Most-Trusted Kitchens
This is the book that taught me how to cook. Well, my parents taught me how to cook, but much of their knowledge came from this book, and when I started to venture into my own baking and cooking, this was my go-to. It’s packed with loads of simple, effective recipes ranging from basics like salad dressings and breads to baked goods, including the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe I still use today.
Its the perfect gift to give someone venturing out onto their own or just learning how to cook. Its a no-fuss sort of book. While making fancy dishes with thirty ingredients, twelve of which you’ve never heard of can be exciting and delicious, this book provides simple, easily achievable meals, without having to hunt down grocery aisles in search of guar gum or stevia.
Get is on Amazon, from $10 CAD.
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
If you don’t mind hunting down slightly obscure ingredients, this might be the book for you. This book is worth the purchase just for a little entertainment in your cooking. It’s a slight step up from the simplicity of the Pillsbury, but absolutely achievable if you follow the directions. And trust me, you’ll be inclined to read them thoroughly, because they’re fracking hilarious.
If you’re looking to eat a little healthier, but don’t want to commit to a strict vegan or keto or stick-up-your bum diet, this is the book for you. It’s also super affordable at $20!
Get it on Amazon, $14 CAD.
The Cookie Bible
When I first started making food, I was more into baking than cooking. Whipping up a batch of cookies, brownies, or any sweet treat really was one of my favourite activities. I always loved seeing my family and friends enjoy the food that I made myself, and that hasn’t changed.
The Cookie Bible was the first cookbook I ever owned. My parents bought it as a Christmas gift when I was about 9 or 10, and I still refer to it for most of my baking needs. Its pretty clear how useful this book has been to me. The pages are all covered in butter and sugar and the book cracks right open to my most used recipes. It has both simple basics and more intricate, fancy treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. If you have a baker in the family, young or old, this is the PERFECT Christmas gift! They will use it forever!
Get it on Amazon, from $6 CAD.