Cookbooks are an underutilized treasure trove of culinary expertise, recipe ideas, and winning flavor combinations. But as the printed word gives way to Pinterest and recipe blogs, cookbooks have been pushed to “coffee table book status,” collected as much for the pictures as the recipes within.
Not one to let a book go to waste, I devised a simple tactic to make sure that I get the most out of my ever-growing cookbook collection. In fact, until I make at least 5 recipes from every cookbook I own, I don’t plan on buying another. Here’s how it works…
When I first get a new cookbook, I curl up in a cozy chair and flip through it like a magazine, marking the recipes that I want to make with a flag on the side of the page. Once I actually make one of these recipes, I move the flag up to the top of the page.
With just a quick glance at the top of my shelf (see above), I can tell which cookbooks I’ve used the most, and which need a little more love. When I want to try a new recipe (which I aim to do once or twice a week), I look for a sparsely flagged book top, then start flipping to some of the recipes that I marked. With this system, it’s easy to track my progress towards my 5-recipes-per-cookbook goal.
So far, my favorite, most used cookbooks are:
- So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Day of the Week, by Ellie Krieger (7 recipes)
- Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets, by Giada de Laurentiis (6 recipes)
- True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure, by Andrew Weil (4 recipes)
We’ll see how this list changes as I get closer to reaching my goal…
What is your favorite cookbook?