A Few Books


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I love reading blogs, the internet, and Pinterest for recipe inspiration, but there’s something about standing in my kitchen getting smeary chocolate fingerprints on the pages of a cookbook that will never go out of style.

Lately, here are a few I’m loving:

Joy the Baker’s book, 100 Simple & Comforting Recipes

I feel like I am sitting in Joy’s kitchen when I read this book and that we’re long lost gal pals. Not only are the recipes and photography great, but her story-telling is fabulous. If you like your cookbooks with a side of story (and butter and sugar), this book is for you.

I met Joy and she is every bit as sweet, funny, and witty in person as she is on her blog and in the book and is just so darn endearing.

Joy the baker cookbook by Joy Wilson cover

Lindsay Landis of Love and Olive Oil’s book, The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

A cookbook dedicated to eating raw (egg-free and safe) cookie dough. Need I say more?

Her photography is spectacular and I also gushed about this book in this post.

The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi. A more complete book review is here.

The book is not for those who are looking for quickie recipes, basic recipes, things you’ve seen, done, or tried before. The recipes are adventurous, both in terms of time needed to devote to them and also in terms of pairing ingredients you likely never have.

Potato chips in cookies, ingredients that you likely have not worked with such as liquid glucose, or techniques like creaming butter and sugar for at least 7 minutes when making cookies are things found in this book. I view this book as culinary inspiration despite it not necessarily being “practical” if you only have 20 minutes to spare in the kitchen.

Milk momfuku milk bar by Christina Tosi

Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks’ book, Super Natural Everyday: Well-Loved Recipes from my Natural Foods Kitchen. I rediscovered this book after putting it down for over a year. Straightforward recipes that focus on using real ingredients, natural ingredients.

There are no marshmallows and no red dye #40 in anything Heidi makes. She is vegetarian and cooks with eggs and butter, and there is plenty of focus on beans, lentils, whole grains, natural, seasonal, organic, locally-sourced ingredients. She makes you want to fall in love with squash blossoms from the farmers market and fava beans all over again.

Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites’ upcoming book, Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers.

Although it’s not a cookbook per se, anything by Matt is a must-read and I can’t wait. I adore his wit, humor, kindness, and the life-changing day I spent with him.

Food Photography for Bloggers by Matt Armendariz

Helene Dujardin’s of Tartlette’s book Plate to Pixel. This is a book that I put down, pick up, come back to, re-read, re-read ten more times, and have been letting it “marinate” for the past year and a half. It’s singularly the best book to date I’ve ever read on food photography and food styling. I cannot recommend it highly enough and wrote more extensively about it here.

Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin cover

I’m extremely excited about the release of Jenny Flake of Picky-Palate’s book, The Picky Palate Cookbook. Jenny is such a sweetheart and she’s a mom, a fellow SoCal blogger, and makes the most amazing desserts.

If you think I have a sweet tooth, Jenny’s desserts are full of Oreos, marshmallows, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and butter. Yes, I love them all. No doubt the photos will be wonderful as Matt Armendariz was the photographer.

The Picky Palate by Jenny Flake

Lori Lange of The Recipe Girl’s book is coming out later this year. Lori is a fellow San Diego and mom, and I am so excited for her book. She has such an extensive collection of recipes (2500+) on her blog and I can’t wait to see what she came up with for her book. Matt did her photography and I am sure it’s stunning.

Jenna has a book coming out

Gaby has a book coming out about avocados.

My dear friend Alison Lewis of Ingredients, Inc. has another book coming out.

There are so many books I am excited to get my chocolate fingerprints all over that I can hardly wait.

What are your favorite cookbooks? Any cookbooks you’ve always wanted but haven’t bought or are excited to purchase?

There are classics that never go out of style (think Joy of Baking) and then there are new books that come onto the scene that fill a gap that you never knew existed. I love those books.

I also will forget about a cookbook put a cookbook down for a month or two, or a year, or even longer sometimes and then come back to it. The recipes, ideas, techniques are new again, all over.

I have more books than I have time to cook and let’s face it, I’m cooking for a family of 3, not 13.

I did a Cookbook Reviews post ages ago and have tried to keep it somewhat updated in case you like books as much as I do.

Do you use cookbooks? Old-fashioned with paper and pages or digital?

I do have a few digital copies of cookbooks that I can read from the Kindle app on my iMac that I downloaded. As I said in the opening of the post, real books that I can hold in my hands and thumb through the pages will never lose their appeal.

Enjoy your weekend!

The winner of the Adonia Greek Yogurt Giveaway is CJ at Food Stories

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I love going through cook books too!
    It’s nice to have the internet and reviews of real people, but it just isn’t the same!!

  2. I love cookbooks I can hold in my hand (with great pics too!), but I also have a few on my I-pad which is convenient space-wise. I had some great Thai food (more than once) in SF, so I’m on the hunt for a good Thai cookbook. I scored some TJ’s chips but couldn’t bring back any mango salsa (managed to travel very light and didn’t check baggage). Next time I’m passing thru Indianapolis, I’ll just have to make a stop at the TJ’s there.

  3. I have bookcases full of cookbooks that I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager. My favorite basic cookbook is America Cooks. I love Pinterest and my Kindle for recipes but there is nothing like curling up on the couch with a new cookbook and putting post-it tabs on all the new things I want to try. All three of my kids are creative, accomplished cooks and they always know where to come for a cookbook.

    1. “I love Pinterest and my Kindle for recipes but there is nothing like curling up on the couch with a new cookbook and putting post-it tabs on all the new things I want to try.” <--- 100% agreed! You have 3 awesome sounding kids....job well done, Mom :)

  4. This is an awesome post. I hadn’t seen a few of those and will be sure to get my hands on them.
    Also- you may already be well aware, but if you’re not check out milk in LA…website: the milk shop, I think. Drool-worthy.

    1. Milk in LA? No, wasn’t aware! I don’t get up to LA very often but I will try to remember it for when I do make it that way!

  5. What a great list of cookbooks! Some of those are on my wishlist, and I have and love a couple others! The Cookie Dough Cookbook will be my downfall, I want to make every. single. thing.

    1. What a fun book! I have a few of Tosca’s books; I need to unbury them and dig them out again!

  6. I love cookbooks, I’ll forever be true to Joy of Cooking and How to Cool Everything Vegetarian, but I need to get Joy’s book, I love her blog.

    1. Very little is vegan, not sure how strict you are or how much you like to adapt. Love the book and there are a few recipes written as vegan, but maybe like 2% or so. Just LYK in advance on that one!

      1. Thanks for the heads up! I’m actually a vegetarian, not vegan, so milk and eggs are a-ok:) but I appreciate your looking out for me!

  7. I got Plate to Pixel for Christmas last year and have been working my way through it slowly, because I feel I best absorb and will remember the info if I go through it bit by bit rather than try to take it all in at once! It’s a great book though and everything is broken down so well!

    1. Yes and what you read one month may sit a certain way with you and then 6 mos later, it will sit another way…it’s like seeing a fave movie again and again…you can always get new info from it. AND there’s like….300+ pages of info. I love that book!

  8. I just bought Super Natural Every Day last weekend! Enjoy! I love buying new cookbooks and trying recipes out of them.

  9. These days I find most recipes via Foodgawker and Google, but I do love flipping through our books and seeing those dog-ears and food stains- it’s the real “bookmark” of a tried and true favorite recipe.

  10. Hey Averie, I just got Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life Newsletter and your Peaches and Coconut Cream Smoothie is listed at the bottom. Congrats!

    1. can you forward it to me via email? I don’t subscribe and if I subscribe now, I don’t think I’ll get it. Would love to see it!
      averiecooks at gmail dot com

  11. I’m actually not a huge fan of cookbooks, mostly because of the ones I know that won’t stay open! (Which I was pleasantly surprised that the cookbook I’m in actually does stay open even though it looks like it wouldn’t – the SparkPeople cookbook). How am I supposed to make things out of a book that refuses to let me look at it! But I do love being inspired by new food ideas.

  12. All these books are great choices … So excited that I won the giveaway … Happy Weekend :-)

  13. I love Plate to Pixel and I was just gifted Joy’s cookbook. Sitting down and pouring over a cookbook is one of my favorite things. As our world becomes increasingly digital, I’m happy to see new cookbooks published.

    1. You’re going to love Joy’s book and yes, P to P is SUCH an amazing resource and I am always happy to see real, paper books published, too!

  14. awesome list of books! Thanks for mentioning my new book coming out this fall! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  15. I love cookbooks too, though in this day and age of Google, I don’t open mine up nearly enough! Heidi Swanson’s book that you mention looks great. My brother gave me a beautiful cookbook (which is soo much more than recipes) this year called “Tender – A cook and his vegetable patch” by Nigel Slater…it’s such a lovely addition to my kitchen’s book collection, I highly recommend it.