Favorite Cookbooks

A cookbook is one of my favorite gifts both to give and receive. I have shared this story 800 times, but my Nana gifted me all recipes in a cookbook binder when we got married and truthfully, I probably cherish that more than our wedding album. There’s something about stained pages of a cookbook that just gives a feeling of comfort. The more worn the page, the more you know you love that recipe.

Some cookbooks sit on my pantry shelf as something pretty to look at, but not use. I was actually sitting on the kitchen floor with Maxi last week and we were flipping through cookbooks trying to pick a cookie recipe and I thought, “Does anyone actually bake from this one?! This is so difficult!” In my list of favorites, a cookbook has to be practical, family-friendly, and easy. I’d love to cook for 2 hours, but my baby at my feet won’t allow it, nor do I want to clean a kitchen after a 2-hour ordeal.

So in case you have quite a few Pinterest flops or need a gift idea, I thought I’d share my 3 favorite cookbooks {outside of my Nana’s} that permanently reside on our kitchen counter. These are filled to the brim with post-it notes and have pages that are always stained, worn, and marked as a reminder. I have yet to have a recipe from one fail!

What Can I Bring? Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Up

This one is my absolute favorite! If I’m hosting a dinner party, if I want to make a big family Sunday dinner, if I need a meal to bring a new mom, this one never lets me down. I mean there is even an entire chapter on meals to bring to a Potluck, so if you are a Southern Girl this cookbook feels like a taste of home. If you order it, the very first thing you have to make is the pimento cheese. You have not tasted pimento cheese until you try this one! It’s pictured above in my photo and some Sundays I will make a big batch and munch on it for lunch throughout the week. Another personal favorite is the bacon jam. We make this whenever we host people- they can add it to deviled eggs or crackers. People just can’t get enough of it! I mean this cookbook has a sausage, egg, and grits soufflé- if you are a gal that loves a homecooked meal and many cookbooks seem a little “too fancy” for your taste, this is the best. Okay, I’m ranting about a cookbook as if I birthed it, so I’ll wrap it up.

Magnolia Table

This is nothing new. You probably own this. You are probably thinking, “A mom recommending Magnolia Table? How groundbreaking.” But as a Texas gal that used to shop at her store when it was a quaint little shop, I promise I’m not just recommending it because they are the King and Queen of renovation television. I love her cookbook because it is realistic for families. AKA- my kids and my husband will devour each meal. She also has a ton of photography in it, so Maxi can dig through and point to what she wants me to make. A few personal favorites: her banana bread {My kids eat this way too fast!}, her chicken enchiladas, and her quiche. The orange-walnut sweet rolls are next on my list to make.

True Comfort

This is actually one of my mom’s favorite cookbooks and has a ton of little notes in it, as she let me keep her copy. She memorized her favorites! My mom can’t have gluten and she typically avoids refined sugar to help with inflammation with her RA. She eats extremely clean, but I never want her to feel left out during family dinners. I use this cookbook to make meals our entire family will love. One of my favorite things to note about this cookbook is how simple the recipes are. She doesn’t have you grabbing 80 ingredients from Central Market as some health-conscious cookbooks do. Her “cozy nights” chapter is perfect for date-night at home. Her bone broth chicken noodle soup is what I make my kids when they are sick and her sheet pan nachos are just to die for on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Maybe you need a newlywed gift or maybe you are like me and just want a simple cookbook that will give you meals your family loves in less than an hour. These are my three safe bets for any meal of the week! What is your favorite cookbook?


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  1. Molly wrote:

    My favorite is defined dish!!

    Published 12 Aug 21Reply
  2. Taylor wrote:

    I love the magnolia table cookbook! You can tell which recipes I use the most by the stains on the pages?

    Published 12 Aug 21Reply
  3. Jessica wrote:

    Thanks Katey. Seems so basic sharing cookbooks, but I love it. Thank you!

    Published 13 Aug 21Reply