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 so wanted to comment on this a couple of days ago. I love Heidi Swanson’s book and I own both and cook from them often. I always hope that I might run into her in Marin or the city but It hasn’t happened yet. I actually just picked up a copy for my friend’s birthday as she is all about vegeterian fare.

    I also just picked up 2 great vegeterian books, The Meat Free Monday Cookbook and Vegetarian by Alice Hart. Both books look great and have pictures in them, which I need. I love the Moosewood cookbooks but they don’t have any pictures and that is a bummer.

    I am so excited for the Matt Bites photography book to come out. I think he is amazing and you are so lucky that you got to attend his class. I would totally go if I lived closer. Maybe I will use my miles and fly down to one of his upcoming ones! hmmmm…. I am sure it’s going to be chock full of info.

    I actually enjoyed Food Blogging for Dummies. It’s a great book for beginner bloggers and gave me tons of tips.

    I haven’t checked out Plate to Pixel but since you recommended it twice, I must do that!

    My photographs are great now but I am nervous about when fall and winter arrive as I will not have any natural light. Most of my recipes are for entrees and I make them at night! I am definitely going to take a course before then so I can figure out how to set up some sort of mini lighting studio. I see tons of bloggers who have great fall and winter photos so I know there is a way to do it!

    So much to say! I also want to chat with you regarding advertising. I may email you later. I have to go and make my 12 year old her morning egg whites! So California, I know!

    Cheers Averie!

    1. Matt RARELY has workshops, so if you see one, jump on it.

      Dinnertime photography…why do you think that 95% of my blog is desserts? I can take the pics any time, no pressure of the family standing around waiting to eat, no lighting issues, I can make it ahead and shoot it whenever I want. Pressure to get the family fed is a 100% recipe for shaky, blurred, rushed photos. Just doesnt work for me. Other bloggers that do savory recipes either pre-cook and take pics at 3pm or somehow squeeze in 5pm pics with the last drops of natural light and then edit. There are a few “this is what I ate” bloggers who pull off dinner/winter pics but rare. It’s just…HARD! If you find the secret, LMK!

      And Heidi & her books are 100% your approach! You two could be the same! I can’t believe you’ve never run into her; I bet one day you will!

      1. Hi Averie. Ok, I will look at his site. I think I saw that he is having a workshop soon but I might of missed it.

        I have noticed that the food blogger that do the entree’s do not have kids because they are definitely making their meals during the day. I just can’t do that and I don’t want to waste food. My family is actually pretty cool about waiting for me to take shots of my food. I tell them to eat away while I photograph dinner. I always have everything set up and staged so it only takes me 3 minutes or so to get my shot. My kids are older though so they know that this is mommy’s hobby and they love that I am finally doing something I love. I am looking at taking this food photography course in June and I am going to ask them about nighttime lighting issues. I will let you know if I get any good tips!

  2. You were nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award, Averie. Check out my site for the deets :-)

  3. I love cookbooks and still buy them on occasion. I got an Indian cookbook for Christmas and have yet to crack it open. I hope to have an Indian themed dinner party something this summer.

  4. I have several cookbooks, but lately have been getting all of mine from food blogs. I print them and keep them in a binder. I like to have something tangible in my hands when cooking.

  5. So many great books and so little time to read, ah! Great round up of books here, thanks for the reviews. A few of my faves are Veganomicon because there’s such a huge selection of recipes, all of Ani Phyo’s books, Thrive Foods, and Peas and Thank You.