Our Favorite Cookbooks, a Cookbook Giveaway, and a Recipe for The Best Cookie Ever (Podcast #105)

What are your favorite family cookbooks, and what are your cookbook reading habits like?  For this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we asked our Facebook fans to weigh in on those questions, and after hearing from dozens of moms, we learned a lot about reading styles:

 

> The Novel Reader: Moms like Sandi G. read cookbooks cover to cover — “I read cookbooks like a novel. They are by my bedside,  in the car, and I read them at work on break.

> The Recipe Flagger: Danielle P. looks at the recipes to see what catches her eye — “I flip through them over and over and over again. I mark the pages I like with Post-Its, write notes on those I’ve tried and go through them again every few months to see if there are some that interest me this time around. Sometimes a recipe will jump out at me that didn’t before.”

> The Index User: Molly P. relies on the index — “When I get a new cookbook, I flip through it first checking out photos, reading recipes and generally checking out what sounds good. When I want to make something I look for what I have on hand in the index and then go from there.”

As for favorite cookbooks, it ran the gamut from The Joy of Cooking to America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 to Junior League and church cookbooks.  Recently, we received three new cookbooks for review, and for this month’s giveaway, we’re sending them to three lucky winners:  SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue (St. Martin’s Griffin – $17.99) by Aviva Goldfarb, Blue Ribbon Edition ($21.95) by Debra Stark, and Slim & Scrumptious (William Morrow Cookbooks – $24.99) by Today Show nutrition editor, Joy Bauer.

To enter to win (U.S. residents only, please), leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite cookbooks. You can also tell us about your cookbook reading habits and whether you have a favorite cookbook recipe of all time. We’ll enter you a second time if you Tweet the giveaway (just leave a separate comment).  The giveaway ends on Friday, June 4th at noon EST, and we will use Random.org to pick our three winners.

We decided to cook up a few recipes from each of the books. For Joy Bauer’s book, check out Liz’s review on our blog from May 10, 2010.

Janice and 10-year old Leah took a crack at SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue and had a hard time deciding what to cook (Leah went a little crazy with all her sticky notes). They finally decided on the Vegetarian Enchiladas (see below).  The book’s subtitle sums up the spirit of the book: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families. The recipes are presented by season, and there are lots of sidebars woven throughout:  tips for stocking your pantry, composting, eating more whole grains, eating on a budget, and packing healthy school lunches.  The author, Aviva Goldfarb is the creator and publisher of the family-friendly weekly menu planner, The Six O’Clock Scramble, so be sure to visit her site.

 

 

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Makes 6 Servings (from SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue)

  • 1 can (15 ounces) enchilada sauce, mild or spicy
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 strips, and diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 10 to 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese (or use Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat sour cream for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread about one-fourth of the can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan.

2. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds, and then add the onions and zucchini.  Season them with the cumin, chili powder, and salt (optional).  Sauté the mixture, stirring it occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.

3. Wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and heat them in the microwave oven for about 1 minute until they are soft.  (Alternatively, warm each tortilla over medium heat in a nonstick skillet for 20 seconds per side, or until soft).

4. On a plate, fill each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture, and about 1 tablespoon of cheese.  Roll it and place it in the pan.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas until all the filling is used.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly on top of the tortillas, and top them with any remaining cheese.  Bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbly.  (Meanwhile, make the guacamole, if you are serving it.)

5. Serve the enchiladas hot, topped with the sour cream, if desired.  (Alternatively, let them cool, cover tightly, and freeze them for up to 3 months).

Print Recipe

Liz and the boys tested a few recipes from Debra Stark’s book, Blue Ribbon Edition: From Our Kitchen to Yours. Debra is the owner Debra’s Natural Gourmet in West Concord, MA, so the book draws upon the amazing array of locally-sourced and organic ingredients available at her store. Liz made a few recipes from the book including Quinoa Breakfast Cereal (which we’ll share in a later post) and Zucchini Orzo Pudding, but the one her boys loved the most was The Best Cookie Ever. Josh and Simon have actually dubbed this cookie, The Best Cookie in the World!

The Best Cookie Ever

Makes 8 – 12 Servings (from Blue Ribbon Edition)

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie plate or 8×8-inch brownie pan.

2. In a small bowl, beat together the sugar, egg and vanilla with a wooden spoon until “liquidy.” Mix in flour and salt. Add walnuts and mix well. Batter will be sticky and hard to mix. Good exercise for flabby arms! Spoon batter into pie plate or pan. Pat out (easier to do with wet hands).

3. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown and edges slightly pull away from the sides of the pie plate. Remove pie plate from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. While cookies are still warm, cut into pie wedges. Cut while still warm or you won’t be able to cut at all. (These cookies are best eaten the day they are made, but they freeze beautifully.)

* Liz didn’t have coconut sugar on hand (but she plans to get some the next time she’s at Debra’s store!) so she used 2/3 cup granulated sugar. She also added 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips for a fun variation.

We can’t wait to read your comments and hear all about your cookbook faves!

135 Responses to “Our Favorite Cookbooks, a Cookbook Giveaway, and a Recipe for The Best Cookie Ever (Podcast #105)”

  1. Cecilia says:

    I love the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks, especially “The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home” (love the African Pineapple Peanut Stew and the Six Minute Chocolate Cake). I also use a couple Weight Watchers cookbooks to try to find healthy meal ideas. I would love to win the Six O’Clock Scramble cookbook!

  2. Alicia says:

    Here’s my go to list

    Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, Robin Robertson
    Never had a dud from this cookbook–it was a lifesaver after my kids were born.

    The Splendid Table – Lynn Rosetto Casper

    The Rebar Cookbook – NOT healthy but good for a treat

    Moosewood and Enchanted Broccoli Forest– tofu with peanut sauce, yum!

    Growing up we used Fanny Farmer more than Joy of Cooking, but I am becoming a convert… less sugar!

  3. Adena says:

    Eat Drink and Weigh Less by Mollie Katzen (of Moosewood fame) and Walter Willett (from Harvard School of Public Health)
    Monday-to-Friday Cookbook by Michele Urvater (out of print but so worth it!)
    How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

  4. Carrie says:

    My favorite cookbook is always changing! Currently I love Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook. I think it is because I am loathe to turn the oven on these days. It’s just too hot for that! Maybe October…

  5. Andrea Bindewald says:

    My favorite cookbooks are:

    Cooking Light-This cookbook as several recipes that I use that are on the lighter side when it comes to fat and calories

    The Pampered Chef 29 minutes to dinner-really yummy recipes and they are really easy to make!

    Webers grilling cookbook-We do a lot of grilling in the summer time

  6. momgateway says:

    Here are my favorites:
    Lebanese Kitchen – simple but tasty recipes
    Rose’s Heavenly cakes- beautiful and delicous cakes and desserts
    Lobel’s Meat Bible-my go to book for beef recipes
    Cooking light – healthy and easy to prepare dishes

  7. I second How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

  8. Nicole, RD says:

    They all sound wonderful! The almond flour gluten-free cookbook is a favorite, as is “The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without”

  9. Katie Murray says:

    I don’t have a favorite cookbook but I love Taste of Home Magazine. I’ve been subscribing for years and will never stop. I love the recipes and have tried so many of them through the years that have become keepers.

  10. Colleen says:

    The Meal Makeover Moms cookbook and Aviva Goldfarb’s first Scramble cookbook are my absolute favorites that I use weekly. A friend gives me the Cooking Light Annual Recipes cookbook every year for the holidays, which always has some great recipes to try. For a few years after college I was a vegetarian, and a favorite from then that I still use is The Meatless Gourmet Easy Lowfat Favorites. So many cookbooks, so little time!

  11. Jennifer Alexander says:

    My favorite cookbooks right now are The Meal Makeover Moms, Cook Yourself Thin, Cook Yourself Thin Faster and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook. I tend to be a recipe flagger. I have to go through the whole cookbook when I first get it and put post its to mark recipes that I want to try.

  12. Jennifer Alexander says:

    Just tweeted:

    go to mealmakeovermoms.com by Friday, June 4th at noon EST to enter their cookbook giveaway.

  13. Marissa says:

    Not really a cookbook, but LOVE taste of home’s website-they have great recipes that are quick, easy and healthy. Also enjoy, cooking light, but lately their recipes don’t really impress me like they used to :(

  14. Rachel Perez says:

    I’m at the beginning of my culinary journey, and I only have 2 cookbooks on my shelf so far (The Joy of Cooking and Cuisine: The Legacy of the Japanese in Hawaii). But I LOVE both of them, and use them nearly ever yweek. I also like to search for online recipes and blog recipes. This giveaway is great, and all three cookbooks look wonderful. Thank you!

  15. Joan says:

    I have close to 3,000 cookbooks and it’s hard to choose a favorite but I love cooking from my JoAnna Lund ones as well as Moosewood. Usually my favorite is the one I’m cooking or reading at the moment. I do have a copy of the book my Mom was given when she frist married, The Lilly Wallace Cookbook. Also have several autographed cooks so those are fun. I enjoy reading my cookbooks like novels and it’s a great way to arm chair travel as well. I am also a recipe flagger and often have papers sticking out everywhere. I write in my cooks so I can remember which recipes we liked and write the names and pages of our favorites in the front of the cookbook.

  16. Joan says:

    I tweeted!

  17. Kristin says:

    Mine used to be anything by Ainsley Harriot or Jamie Oliver, leftovers from when we lived in the UK. I still use them, but yours has become my staple. I go through it and your site whenever I make my meal list. Just last night, we had the fabulous meatball subs:) I keep many others, get other magazines (Cooking Light, Midwest Living and Rachael Ray), but always go back to you.

  18. Love the Six O’clock Scramble and Fix and Forget It BIg Cookbook for slow cooker ideas. I tend to use the internet more than cookbooks but when I find a good one I use it over and over! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Kendra Jernejcic says:

    Your cookbook has become my favorite! All of the recipes are simple and healthy, and I usually have the ingredients on hand. My most useful cookbook is Anyone Can Cook from Better Homes and Gardens. When I got married a year and a half ago, I had no clue how to cook. . . I couldn’t even boil water! Anyone Can Cook provides step-by-step instructions for even the most basic cooking, and by working my way through it, I’ve taught myself quite a bit. Now I love cooking, and can do quite a bit more than bring water to boil!

  20. Julie says:

    I like the Taste of Home, “The Busy Family” cookbook. I probalby would call myself an index person but really I like to clip out recipes from magazines.

  21. Elizabeth Faris says:

    My favorite cookbook is always changing. I love cookbooks esp. the ones that have kid-friendly meals and under 30 minutes to cook. Rachel Ray’s books and Pampered chef 29minutes cookbooks.

  22. jenny says:

    My favorite cookbook is not really a cook book but Everyday with Rachael Ray and the Food Network magazines. They are small enough to look at without being overwhelming and I am able to try a few recipes each month. I have very picky eaters in my house and I don’t like to throw new food at them too often.

  23. sara says:

    my favorite cookbook is a cookbook our preschool put together. I submitted many of my favorite recipes and so did my friends, It is a great compilation and my go to cookbook!

  24. Janelle says:

    My standby cookbook is the “red checked cookbook”. I think it’s Better Homes and Gardens? We just always call it the Red Checked Cookbook, lol. I use it for a basic reference. I have made my own cookbook out of a notebook with sheet protectors and scrapbook paper. I just slip in recipes I collect from all over the place. If I like the recipe it stays, if not then I chuck it! Very convenient :)

  25. Nancy says:

    I love Rachel Rays’ cookbooks. Quick, easy, and DELICIOUS!!!

  26. Jen D says:

    If I could only have one, it would be Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

  27. Beck M says:

    I don’t have a ‘favorite’, but I do tend to like the ‘personal’ cookbooks. You know…like those that are put out by a church, or school that has all those yummy handed down from generation to generation recipes! But if I had to put a name to one, probably my Auburn Cookbook since I simply LOVE the Sweet n Sour Chicken recipe in it!

  28. Kelly Jones says:

    I love my church’s cookbook because it was made with love and a purpose. I like making someone’s dish and telling them later how wonderful it was. Lots of great pot-luck dishes and comfort foods. yumm

  29. Gina says:

    My favorite cookbook is Moosewoods. I also cook a lot of recipes from Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine. But my go-to resource is a booklet of family recipes that my cousin and aunt put together for my sisters and I. It contains all our unique family favorites. I use it all the time to make stuffing, especially.

  30. Valerie says:

    My favorite cookbooks are ones that have lots of reading along with the recipe. I love to see inside the authors head and figure out where the recipe is coming from. When I was first learning to cook when I got married, Racheal Ray’s original 30 minute meals (you should see her picture!) was fantastic. Great for beginners! Now I reference back to that cookbook when I need some refresher in BASICS.
    Looking forward to your new cookbook!

  31. Katie says:

    My favorite cookbook is yours, but I also like recipes from Kraft and Cooking Light. I don’t have time to read anything so I look through cook books when I’m meal planning and look for ones my family will actually eat. They are picky!

  32. Jennifer says:

    The Meal Makeover Moms Cookbook has been my go-to for the last 18 months or so. I love it! I also enjoy picking out recipes from http://www.sparkrecipes.com. I love to browse sites for recipes. I also love the tradtional Better Homes and Garden as well as Betty Crocker cookbooks.

  33. Melissa says:

    I love Ina Garten’s Back to Basics!

  34. Nina says:

    To be totally honest, the cookbook I use most is probably yours! I also rely on Better Homes and Gardens and Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller.

  35. Laura says:

    My favorite cookbook is yours–of course!! I have also started checking a variety of websites lately, but that is never as satisfying as having a real book in my hands.

  36. Lynne says:

    I have the hardcover Taste of Home cookbooks, which I turn to often. On my wishlist is the new Gail Gand (I hope I’m spelling that right) brunch cookbook, and anything by Nigella Lawson.

    I too “read” cookbooks – and like the ones with color photos the best!

  37. Nicole says:

    I’ve read Alton Brown’s books like a novel because he writes so well. I do that with Jamie Oliver’s books too. I also have a binder full of my recipes torn out of magazines or printed out from the web (which really needs to be indexed). I also get cookbooks out of the library to see if I like them before I by them. My tried and true for classics (like roasts, basic cookies/cakes/frostings, etc & substitutions) is BettCrocker’s. It is in a binder so you can take the page out & not have the cookbook cluttering up the counter.

  38. Kim says:

    I’ve been using the Weight Watcher’s cookbook lately but I use Martha Stewart’s cookbook quite a bit too.

  39. Alyssa GF says:

    I like to read the cookbooks from cover to cover and am enjoying The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook right now.

  40. Julie Yousefi says:

    I like Superfoods 300 Recipes for Foods that Heal Body and Mind by Dolores Riccio. There is a nice section in the back for basics.

  41. Melissa Jones says:

    I like the Better Homes and Gardens Slow Cooker cookbook and Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. Recently bought Desperation Dinners (out of desperation!!) but haven’t made anything from it yet.

    And for general cooking questions and my go-to banana bread recipe, I give props to The Joy of Cooking!

  42. Megan says:

    I use Joy of Cooking, Better Homes and Garden, Betty Crocker and tons of websites. Sometimes I use all of the above for one recipe.

  43. Sarah Irving says:

    Pioneer Woman Cookbook, Supermarket Vegan and my Mom’s recipe binder!

  44. Patti Massullo says:

    I love cookbooks. I collect them, all kinds.. My favorites are those who are written by every day people and their “secret” recipes. I try at least one new recipe a week!!

    I hope I win, would love to have one of those!!

  45. JJ says:

    One of my favorite “go-to” cookbooks is The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book, because it has really good, basic, easy to prepare recipes and a great variety. I have SO MANY cookbooks, but I turn to this one time and time again.

    And yes I too sometimes read cookbooks like a novel. I also read a lot of cooking magazines, and I have not found a good system for keeping tabs on the recipes I want to come back to. I keep stacks of magazines thinking “I’ll go back and look through that some day for the recipes” but I just don’t have a good system to do so…any ideas???

  46. Bren says:

    I have so many favorite cookbooks, lately I have been reading (and yes, I read them like novels), “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” “Favorite Family Meals,” and “The Pioneer Woman Cooks.” I love anything with pictures and subscribe to many cooking blogs.

  47. Lisa says:

    Have loved Victory Garden cookbook. Because the chapters are by vegetable it is so easy to eat in season. It is a little dated but still love it. Especially love the bluefish recipe but many others as well. And have loved some of the Moosewood cookbooks. But some of those are dated as well.

    Keep up the great work Meal Makeover Moms.

  48. Tanya gerald says:

    I love to read cookbooks- could spend hours reading them and dreaming of possibilities. My favorite to cook from lately are “fast easy fresh” (Bon appetit) and the splendid table’s ” how to eat supper”

  49. Angela Gabriel says:

    I can’t pick just one favorite cookbook, as I love so many from our collection. Some of my favorites are our ethnic cookbooks. The one I’ve cooked the most out of is “Quick & Easy Indian Cooking” by Madhur Jaffrey, The recipes truly are quick and easy and, most importantly, delicious.

  50. cindy tabing says:

    I LOVE cookbooks and have been collecting them for years. My favorites are fund raising cookbooks from churches and and the grange. I am also a recipe box j unkie and buy them at yard sales.

  51. Renee says:

    My favorite cookbook right now the Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I’ve been learning to bake bread!

  52. Cara says:

    I love reading cookbooks and use post-its to mark ones i’minterested in cooking or fold the corners.
    my all time favorite cookbook is a junior league book from seattle that i got from my mom almost 20 years ago – EVERY recipe in it is delicious and fun to make. it’s what i turn to whenever we have company and i want to impress!

  53. Deanna says:

    I like to try new recipes. I currently subscribe to Everyday Food and Cooking Light. I like the first Everyday Food cookbook. I haven’t bought the second. I also tend to be an index reader — I have chicken breasts…must look for a recipe calling for that! I am looking for a new cookbook to buy and some of the posts have given me ideas!

  54. Debbi R says:

    Right now I am reading a Weight Watcher”s cookbook 5 ingredients, so that is my favorite today! I am one of those that read a cookbook from cover to cover before I use it. Then I start flagging recipes. I would love to win The 6 O’clock Scramble, I know I would love it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  55. lynne-marie says:

    I love cookbooks but don’t often buy them. I open them up and look at a few of the recipes, if they call for 15+ ingredients, some of which I know will go stale in my spice cupboard before they get used up, I don’t buy them. I have 3 picky kids and a pickier husband and I’m looking for simple, easy to prepare food made on the fly but still tasty. My favorite cook books are the best of bridge, easy recipes, taste delicious and ingredients most people would have on hand. I can’t win (Canadian) but thought I would share anyway. :)

  56. Christie says:

    I don’t have a favorite cookbook per se, I just go through each one and mark things I want to try someday. This summer, I’ve decided on a project with my daughters to create one new dish each week. Every other one will be a desert or snack. They are excited about it!

  57. Brandi says:

    I am a cookbook addict. My current favorite is “Family Feasts for $75 a Week” by Mary Ostyn. I also love Tosca Reno’s “Clean Eating” books. I have Pampered Chef ones that I use a lot too. With 4 kids and a husband it is hard to find things that we all like, but I have found a few. I also look up recipe’s online and print and put them in a binder.

  58. Kathy says:

    I have a lot of cookbooks of my own and I am always borrowing them from the library. I would say the cookbooks I love and use the most are Healthy Homestyle Cooking, any of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, Make It Fast Cook It Slow (a new one I just discovered), and yours, of course! I also tear out a lot of recipes from magazines and keep them in different files. I love trying out new recipes!

  59. Katheryn says:

    I don’t have a ton of cookbooks – mostly because I’m so picky. Mostly I love blogs for my recipes. Two of my favorites are smittenkitchen.com and peasandthankyou.com, and pioneer woman. I have Pioneer Woman’s cookbook that is fabulous, but I try to only make her recipes once in awhile, since they’re not exactly healthy.

  60. LeighAnn says:

    I have a lot of cookbooks, but also have found tons a great recipes on blogs. I also subscribe to a couple of cooking magazines. My favorite cookbook & website for healthy recipes is yours – I can always count on making something that is tasty & healthy that my entire family will eat.

  61. Jenny says:

    Since my b/g twins were born 3 yrs ago, I’ve mostly used websites for my recipes, particularly those sites that avoid canned/prepackaged foods. I’m definitely on a tight budget, but with coupons, I can often find recipes for healthy meals made from fresh veggies/fruits, meat without antibiotics/etc, dried organic beans, etc. (no more Campbell’s soup recipes, no more boxed rice or beans with seasonings, etc.)
    http://www.weelicious.com, http://www.eatingwell.com, http://www.sheknows.com, etc.

  62. Lori Myers says:

    I have two young kids (4 1/2 & 1 1/2 yrs old), and one of them has a few food allergies. So, I’ve looked through a lot of cookbooks over the past few years to find new recipes to try & tweak to fit our needs. I like to go through them & tag the recipes that I would like to try. A couple of my favorite cookbooks are Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Kid Pleasing Recipes & Tips by Theresa Kingma and Super Foods For Babies and Children by Annabel Karmel.

  63. Darcey says:

    I love cookbooks and am always looking for new ones to try out. My favorites are Meal Makeover Moms cookbook as well at living on a Dime, Better Homes and Garden (older version), Joy of cooking, Living on Less and Fix it and forget it. I also like to go to Tammy’s recipes website and allrecipes.com to get recipes.

  64. Jamie says:

    I have so many cookbooks (but none of the giveaway ones) and I love collecting them. Some of my favorite cookbooks are, Test Kitchen Secrets, Better Homes & Garden, Southern Living America’s Best Home Cooking. Of course there are numerous food magazines and websites that I enjoy as well. Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

  65. Judy says:

    I love the Meal Makeover Moms Cookbook and I can’t wait for their second book to come out. Because my son was recently diagnosed as having an intolerance to dairy, by new favorite book is

    Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. It is really excellent for food allergies information, tips, recommended websites, and recipes.
    Thanks for the giveaway offer.

  66. Amanda B. says:

    I like to read old cookbooks for fun, and occasionally a recipe I actually use. My late grandmother’s Better Homes cookbook is my favorite ~ love to see the recipes she used, plus other things she cut out and tucked in between the pages.

  67. Joyce M. says:

    My cookbook preferences have varied over time. This year, as part of my Mother’s Day celebration, my three girls gave me a new cookbook. I have tried several of the recipes and have loved each one. The recipes are different from my ordinary ones, yet easy to make, and also are healthy. Appropriately it is titled, “taste of home Guilt Free Cooking” and it has a variety of 356 recipes with color pictures and an easy to read index. It also has helpful information regarding diabetic exchanges and nutrition facts.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share this information!

  68. Daniele says:

    I still love my church cookbooks that I received as wedding shower gifts 16 years ago. They always help me with meal planning, and I love to modify them to make them healthier. There are usually different versions of the same recipe which helps if you don’t have a particular item for one of them on hand.

  69. Stephanie says:

    The Best American Classics from the authors of Cooks Illustrated/ATK–hands down—my favorite and a sure-fire way to find a fabulous recipe!
    I go through phases of being very attached to 1 or 2 cookbooks at a time and then as the months go by and seasons change so do the cookbooks that I am constantly pulling out. I am a cookbook reader, I love to read them, be pulled in by the photographs and LOVE when cookbooks have “stuff” to read along with the actual recipe itself. Whether it is a description of the dish or a story behind the recipe or just about the region it comes from.

  70. Kristine says:

    My fave right now is Cooking Light but I love searching the web for new ones. Love All Recipes and crockpot sites…thanks!!

  71. tamar says:

    I love to read through long lists of ingredients and instructions in cookbooks, but I don’t love to cook that much! I love to make recipes that are short and sweet, with few ingredients. I would love to win some new cookbooks to add to my shelf.

  72. Dana Warner says:

    Wow. this is going to be hard to answer. I love your cookbook for several reasons. The fact that the items i need to make from your cookbook i already have. And my kids can help make your recipes and they like them. I also like the barefoot contessas recipes. Some of her recipes are involving and need specialty items. My other cook not sure if she has a cookbook yet is 5 meal fix. she uses fix ingredence. She is on the food network and she is the one with two french bulldogs.
    But, out of these I would say my favorite is yours :). Thanks Dana In Tucson,az. (104 degress today) Need a cold treat…

  73. Carmen says:

    I don’t have a favorite cookbook, bottom line is I need new cookbooks! When I get a new book I usually read it through, flag pages and then choose based on what I have in the house. I hate cookbooks that are complicated and recipes that have too many ingredients. I like simple recipes with few ingredients. I use the internet a lot for recipes too. I have been thinking of signing up for a weekly meal planner website because I am in such a cooking rut!

  74. Linda says:

    I LOVE to read cookbooks that have extra tidbits of information, whether it is personal notes, entertaining tips, or what-have-you!

  75. Elaine says:

    I like to look at the pictures in Giada’s cookbooks. I go through and mark the pages for things I will like and try to make something new each week.

  76. Jeanne S says:

    Favorites are always changing but right now:
    The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers and The Junk Food Alternative.
    After trying a new recipe, I will mark the page if it is a winner with the kids.

  77. Teena D says:

    I use the Taste of Homes series-1999,2000, 2001, Better Homes and Gardens (Red Checked), Crockpot Cooking and our NYC church cookbook. That’s my core.Pretty much in that order. I also like the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Desserts cookbook for desserts and cookies!

  78. Clare Harlow says:

    I have a whole bookshelf of favorite cookbooks that I consult regularly, depending on what I’m in the mood for! I love Moosewood cookbooks and have favorite recipes in each of them. I also like Debra’s If Kalimos had a Chef and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Martha Stewart’s Cookies has some good recipes and I often adapt from these and other recipes. I like to read recipes and then ad lib based on what I have on hand and what taste I’m going for.

  79. My favorite cookbook is always changing, but I have some favorite recipes that I always use. Jamie Oliver’s Roasted Chicken recipe, a 3 bean enchilada chili recipe from a vegetarian cookbook and a granola bar recipe from Alton Brown.

    When looking through a new cookbook, I do 2 things. I scan the pictures and stop at any that look like my family would enjoy them. I also scan the names of the recipes for the same reason. Between these 2 methods, I can usually find several recipes to try. It’s hard to find many recipes that please everyone in my family as I have one very, very picky eater!

    I sure would LOVE some new cookbooks! It would be great to try some new recipes for summer. :-)

  80. Cindy Bunker says:

    I’m a mix – I use my BH&G pink plaid for basics. Some current favorites include Super Suppers 1 and 2, and Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. I do like to read cookbooks – I’m so glad to find out I am not alone! I also like finding ideas on websites – like the Meal Makeover Moms website! I check out cookbooks from the library before buying. I also have a drawer full of ideas – recipes to try. Thanks for t

  81. Erin says:

    My absolute favorite cookbook is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”. I just discovered it in the past year or two and everything I’ve made has turned out great. The recipes are all simple and the instructions are so easy to follow.

    I also like “Fix Freeze and Feast” which is geared to making large batches of dinner ahead of time and freezing them. I have just recently started using “How to Make Supper” by Lynne Rosetto Kasper. The recipes I’ve made have been great and easy, the only drawback is that a lot of the ingredients are not necessarily kid-friendly for picky kids. “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker” is another good book for crockpot recipes.

  82. Nanci Green says:

    I love to read cookbooks like a book. They tell you so much about the person or group that put it together. Cookbooks are like diaries with foods and ingredients that were popular at the time the cookbook was written. This is a history lesson of sort to allow the reader a glimpse into the lives of the cooks’ homes, community or to follow the cooking trend at the time. My husband and his siblings just cleared out the belongings their mother’s house to prepare to sell it. He brought me a cookbook that was written by Air Force wives in 1965 on the base where they lived. It is amazing to see all of the ethnic recipes enjoyed at the time in this book. My family had never experienced anything much more ethnic than pizza at the time and that was a recent discovery! To read into this, one can see the influence that WWII had on expanding the cooking knowledge of the world’s cuisines. Servicemen and women brought home recipes from countries they had been in during the war. Julia Child, who has some of my favorite cookbooks (my favorite is The Way to Cook, 1989) became popular because Americans were ready to try French cooking. My Mother-in-law submitted a very elaborate French fish recipe to this Air Force Officers’ Wives’ Club cookbook. That is an incredible feat to me not only that she would be able to submit a recipe into the book and be part of the club but that she would be able to have time to create these elaborate recipes. At the time the cookbook was written, my mother-in-law had three stepdaughters in high school and two preschool children and a newborn baby at home.

  83. Rachel says:

    My favorite cookbooks at the time are the Biggest Loser cookbooks. They have healthy recipes that are simple to make and don’t use a bunch of crazy ingredients that I have to go searching for.

  84. Mandy says:

    My favorites are good ol’ Laurel’s Kitchen and The Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook. This is because I like to read a cookbook for enjoyment, to savor… the recipes are fun suggestions, but what’s really interesting are the introduction sections. I like knowing how other people relate to their kitchens and their food!

  85. Tanya says:

    My favorite cookbook ever is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. It has such wonderful recipes and the vegetable section is listed by vegetable type so you can easily find a recipe to use whatever vegetable you have on hand (which is very helpful since I belong to a CSA farm in the summer and sometimes end up with unfamiliar veggies!). I also subscribe to a lot of cooking magazines and clip interesting recipes from them!

  86. Lina DiLaura says:

    My favorite cookbook is Daisy Cooks! with Daisy Martinez. When my Grandmother passed her wonderful cooking and recipes were no longer a part of our everyday. I was young and did not understand the importance of those memories. Daisy’s cookbook gave us back the tastes and the smells of “home”. Now everyone comes to my house and they say it is just as good. To me it is an honor and I feel Daisy Martinez tapped into a lost art in our house.

  87. Jane says:

    I love cookbooks, so I have several favorites, but one I did see mentioned is Desperation Dinner. Fast meals to get on the table.

  88. Theresa says:

    I like to look at the back index of my cookbooks to find a recipe that includes a majority of ingredients that I already have. Then I like to look at “A What Is A Cook To Do?” by James Peterson for finding ways to substitute for the missing ones, while keeping a similar texture and taste.

  89. Candace says:

    I think the south beach diet cookbooks have many healthy good recipes. Of course, I love the Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers cookbook!

  90. Detra. Dowling says:

    I love the American Heart Association cook book. It was the first big cookbook that I bought when I first married.

  91. Emmylou Newell says:

    I love skimming through all kinds of cook books! I never actually sit down and follow many of the recipes but create my own dishes from all of the ideas that I see…sometimes the creations are super yum, other times not so good! I love being able to substitute things I have on hand and see it still turn out delicous! I always try to create healthy meals!

  92. Lori Barnes says:

    I Love cookbooks so this is hard to narrow down my favorite so hear it goes
    The Coastal Living Cookbook is my favorite, love the pictures and love the variety i don’t know of what it doesn’t cover it’s the best cookbook for people that love the coast

    The New England Clam Shack Cookbook by Brooke DoJNY
    I don’t really eat clams but love this cookbook it carries you threw New England to different resturaunts and is loaded with information and the artwor and pictures makes you feel like you have been there it’s a really different kind of cookbook

    Cooking in the South with Johnnie Gabriel
    i like this one for the southern cooking I just love a variety of food and love a variety in my cook books : )

    When i first get a cookbook i go threw with stcky note and put it on the page and write my ingredients doen for my shopping list I’m a read and skimmer but always go back and read and skim again.

    All 3 of these cookbooks offered up for the contest look amazing i would love to be a winner of anyone of them : )
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  93. Lori Barnes says:

    I tweeted this giveaway : )
    photoquest2 visit mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen our-favorite-cookbooks-a-cookbook-giveaway-and-a-few-new-recipes
    less than 5 seconds ago via web
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  94. Jen says:

    I rely on the Meal Makeover Moms cookbook for my picky two-year old and I love Barefoot Contessa for entertaining. I’m excited to try the recommended cookbooks from this post – thanks!

  95. Carlyn says:

    I love to read cookbooks like they are novels! I like it when they have interesting stories and information at the beginning. I then flip through and read all the titles of the recipes, then I go back and read the book like it is a novel.

    My only problem is I buy ingredients for a recipe and then I can’t remember where the recipe is! I have now started writing down the recipes I want to try and the cookbook and page number. It’s helped so far. Not so many ingredients for unidentified recipes.

  96. Luciana Davis says:

    I like to read cookbooks when I’m looking for a new recipe to get
    out of the food rut, I love your recipes!!!!!!!!!! Healthier and easier to do!!

  97. Luciana Davis says:

    I like to read cookbooks to get out of the food rut. Love your recipes much healthier and easier to do!!!!

  98. Celestin says:

    I have so many favorite cookbooks that I don’t think I could pick just one. My husband built me a cabinet just for my cookbooks and it is overflowing. My current favorites are MealMakeover Moms and Six-O’Clock Scramble, at least one recipe from each seems to make it onto our weekly menu currently. I also use the Real Simple magazine and Cooking Light magazine regularly. I like to read through a new cookbook and mark all the recipes I can’t wait to try. Really looking forward to your new one!

  99. Jennifer says:

    I love the Simple and Delicious magazines from Taste of Home; each week I pull out one or two from the current season and flip through to find items my family will love. They aren’t low calorie though so I have to do some swapping, light or low fat for what’s in them, but there’s always a great variety and they normally require basic ingredients that I already have on hand.

  100. Sarah Nottle says:

    I tend to rotate through my favorites…right now it’s Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. I have 2 children and my husband is a camp director so dinner time is usually crazy in our house! It’s much easier to start it in the morning and not have to think the rest of the day. The other think I use alot right now is and app for iphone from Whole Foods. You can look recipes up by ingredient and diet restrictions, my husband has type 2 diabetes, so it’s very east and all the recipes I’ve made are fantastic!

  101. Sarah Nottle says:

    You can tell I was typing that with my 2 yr old on my lap : )

  102. Julie says:

    I like to read the index in the back to see which recipes match my ingredients & family’s preferences. I also like to make my own notes in the margins.

  103. Jen says:

    I love Super Baby Food! There are great recipes for my baby and hubby & myself!

  104. Tanya says:

    I love Junior League of Seattle’s Celebrate the Rain cookbook. Lots of fresh ingredients, easy for me to find in my small Central WA city, and a great variety of recipes from seafood to desserts and some absolutely wonderful soups!

  105. Margot says:

    America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. I love this book as it gives pictures of who prepped food should look (diced salmon for instance) and reasoning for WHY you do the things you do within a recipe. I’ve learned so much cooking from it! I’d recommend it to anyone.

  106. Alexis says:

    I love reading cookbooks for ideas and inspiration. Especially this time of the year when our garden is brimming with fresh vegetables…nothing is better than picking something fresh from the ground and serving in new, creative and healthy ways for my family. Cooking is an expression of love!

  107. Susan Sargent says:

    I have many cookbooks and I enjoy them just like a good bedtime book. I especially enjoy reading the annual cookbooks from Taste of Home. The recipes are not complicated but they always come out wonderfully. When I’m reading them, I keep a stack of little post-its near by so that I can stick them on the pages of the recipes I want to try. Then, when we’re having a little get-together I can pull out the cookbook and have plenty of ideas to choose from. But when it’s time to cook dinner for my family, I usually pull up recipes on-line from a few of my favorite, healthier sites, including the Meal Makeover Moms!

  108. Kim says:

    I have tons of cookbooks. I guess I’m a cookbook-aholic :) I love to cook for my family and am trying my best at this time to find cookbooks, on a budget, to fix healthy meals for my husband and kids. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking if you eat healthy it’s the exact same thing day after day, when it’s not! I hope to be able to show my kids my collection of good, healthy cookbooks for them when they grow up to have their own kids.

  109. Tonya says:

    I love cookbooks and my favorite ones are Southern Living. The recipes are perfect every time. I get so many compliments are my new dishes that I bring to potlucks or when we have guests over. I’d like to take credit for myself, but I can’t. When my guests leave, they leave with a little recipe card if they compliment me on it! My cookbooks are precious to me and I’m sorry, but I don’t like to have people borrowing them. Pray for me please. :)

  110. Sandra says:

    The New Basics Cookbook is my favorite cookbook and cooking resource as well!

  111. Leslie says:

    I like to read cookbooks to learn tips from chefs and others who love to cook. Right now I am enjoying “Allergy Free Cooking” as I try to cook healthy meals for my family (our youngest child has food allergies).

  112. I love to buy cookbooks from the thrift store, Tear out the pages of the recipes I want to try, and then if I like them, put them in a page protector in my “master” binder!

  113. Elizabeth Shields says:

    I read cookbooks like novels!! My favorite one right now is “Mad Hungry, Feeding Men and Boys.” I can sit down anytime and flip through it. I am the cookbook reader that reads everything on the page, the little blurb at the top about the origins of the recipes and the little side notes. If a cookbook doesn’t have these, I won’t enjoy it. These little tips are invaluable. This is where you learn the authors great tips!

  114. Michelle says:

    Most of the time I flip through, looking at pictures and ingredient lists. However, I recently purchased the Meal Makeovers cookbook and have been reading it from the beginning. I have a handful of cookbooks, but my go-to cookbook is The Joy of Cooking.

  115. Monica E says:

    My favorite cookbook is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, with the red checkered cover. It has all the basics, I love it and use it a lot.

  116. My favorite cookbook is the old “Betty Crocker” cookbook from the 1950’s. My mom gave me an original and I use it for basic recipes and tips. I also read my cookbooks from cover to cover. I collect cookbooks and have quite a collection. I love each and every book because they were all made with the passion for cooking. I love to cook and bake !

  117. Nic says:

    The one I refer to the most is “Dinner is Ready” by Deanna Buxton. It’s about making freezer meals, which i love to have on hand. The first half of the book talks about freezing techniques and how to plan to make several meals in one day to freeze. I’m not a 30 freezer meals in one day type of person, but I try to keep 3 or 4 in the freezer for days I know I won’t have time to cook. I often change the recipes up a bit, but it gives me ideas of where to start.

  118. Leslie says:

    My favorites are Quick Vegetarian Pleasures and Express Lane cooking – good for quick meals. The cookbook I turn to the most is one that we’ve made out of a ‘blank book’ where we’ve copied in all our favorite recipes. Makes finding them quick and easy! I’m one of those people who read cookbooks like they were novels. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, so I’d love any of your cookbooks.

  119. Bonnie Clift says:

    I have a large collection of cookbooks – I love them. I like to read them like a book. I love the neighborhood and “church lady” books because they are easy and yummy recipes. Currently my favorite is Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes. I got a new pressure cooker a few months ago and I love it!!! You can cook EVERYTHING in it….My kids think that I am obsessed! I would love to see some more of your pressure cooker recipes.

  120. Tricia says:

    My first stop is usually Moms Guide to Meal Makeovers. Even though I know it by heart I sometimes stumble upon a recipe I haven’t tried yet. And all are great. Thanks!

  121. Kerri says:

    I generally use the good old Better Homes & Gardens checkered cookbook. I’m also a dietitian and love to make healthy substitutions for recipes! The other recipes I use are generally from magazines – Runner’s World, Fitness, etc… My cookbook reading style is page surfing, so I’d never buy a cookbook without pictures!

  122. Stacy says:

    I’ve enjoyed getting some new sources for recipes – thanks! My favorites:
    Traditional foods : “The Southern Living Cookbook”
    Fast, easy, kid-friendly, healthy: “Desperation Dinners”, and “Desperation Entertaining” by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross
    Cooking for the freezer: “Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer” by Martinez, Howell & Garcia.

  123. Daniella says:

    My current favorite cookbook is Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. This cookbook teaches everyone. even meat eaters, how to incorporate delicious vegetarian dishes into their diets.

  124. Kendra says:

    My new favorite cookbook is “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” It’s not the healthiest cookbook but there are some great recipes in there!

  125. Miranda says:

    My favorites would have to be the Mealmakeover Moms – along with the website (which is awesome and in a binder!) I also use Taste of Home, Kraft Food & Family, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Robin Miller, Rachael Ray, The Hungry Girl, Paula Deen. I love recipezaar! I am constantly making a new dish, it’s so fun!

  126. Karen says:

    I love to read cookbooks! My favorite one right now is the $5 Dinner Mom cookbook. She has lots of great ideas and wonderful recipies.

  127. Lisa Nieth says:

    I love cookbooks even though I don’t get the chance to use them as often as I would like. I nose through the pictures and titles for things that sound tasty.

    My recent favorite is the Now Cook This, by Rocco DiSpirto. It takes the comfort food favorites and drops them to 350 calories or less. He’s also been on The Biggest Loser and gained some popularity that way. I’ve tried two recipes so far and the best part…I was able to get creative and adapt while still keeping the meal healthy. I love finding recipes!

    My picky eater (2.5 yrs old) is something I struggle with now so am looking for a way to feed him healthy food and not just snacks!

  128. eatingRD says:

    I love reading cookbooks like an actual book from front to back. I also enjoy lots of yummy photos of course :) hmmm that’s tough, I always love giada’s books and try to adjust them with a little less fat. CookingLight has some good ones as well. I can’t wait for yours!

  129. Charity H. says:

    My go-to cookbook for many years was Whole Foods for the Whole Family from La Leche League. My latest go-to cookbook is 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.

    I prefer to page through to see if anything jumps out at me. Then, I prefer to read like a novel. But I don’t really have time for that, I just read chunks of it and mark recipes to try when I have a chance!

  130. Meryl Hyatt says:

    I have a lot of cook books and the one I use the most is joy of cooking for basic cooking questions. A lot of the cook books I own I got before children when I could spend much more time cooking.
    I would love a podcast on favorite recipe web sites. These days I often have several ingredients in my fridge that I want to use, so I google them, but then I’m not sure whether I trust the recipe.
    Thanks for an awesome podcast, I love it.

    • Hi everyone! Congrats to Viviana, Rachel, and Nicole who are the winners of our latest giveaway of three awesome cookbooks. We hope they all report back to us with their favorite recipes from their new books!

  131. Molly Garza says:

    My favorite cookbook is one that my mom, typed by hand for each one of us sisters (she did 4 individual cookbooks) when we got married with all of the family and our particular favorites. I have used that book over and over again. I collect League, Church, School, Auxillary, etc cookbooks because I know that they contain recipes that are well used and well loved. I have over 400 cookbooks, use them all and read a cookbook at night before I go to bed.

  132. Sandy F says:

    I am a Recipe Flagger. I love to look at the pictures and flag the ones I want to try. My go to recipe books are the Silver Palate Cookbook, the Wilson Farms Country Cookbook and any Cooks Illustrated magazine or cookbook.

  133. Cindy B says:

    I like “Dinner on a Dime” from Tast of Home. It has easy, affordable meals in it. http://www.cooks.com is a great website for almost any kind of recipe also.

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