Finding the right Cookbook

For my birthday, my sister asked me what I wanted. I said get me anything food related.

She then replied,  well what do you want exactly.  (In our family, sometimes its better to ask exactly what we want, it saves us time from returning).

I said just get me a cookbook.  I guess she felt it easier for me to just pick out a cookbook so I met her at Borders.

Now going into a bookstore not knowing a single thing about which cookbook to get is quite an overwhelming experience.  I can now understand why my sister just wanted me to pick out the cookbook myself.

How does one choose a cookbook? I know I probably should have done my research prior to heading to the bookstore but the trip to the bookstore was last minute. This Border’s location was closing down and everything was 20% off.

As I arrived to Borders, I headed straight to the cooking section.  I felt like their selection was limited, probably due to the fact that it was already rummaged through.

borders bookstore

I could of went for a cookbook that was made by a famous chef, or focused on a region.  I even thought about just getting a baking cookbook for cupcakes and cookies.  As I went through cookbook to cookbook, none had what I was looking for. And at the time, I didn’t know what I was looking for but I figured if I looked through enough cookbooks it would hit me.  Now, I didn’t want to get a cookbook by a famous chef, I personally feel like that its their way of promoting themselves.  Other cookbooks, had recipes that I knew I would never make or even like for that matter. I would have gone for a baking cookbook but I really was set on recipes that I could make for dinner.

When I finally saw the section for All Purpose Cooking. I knew that it was exactly what I was looking for. I’m not ready for the big leagues and I knew I want something that I could cook that everyone can enjoy. Now to find the right cookbook…

The Final Three

Like I mentioned above, the store did not have a large selection. I saw three that peaked my interest.  I really liked the Cooking Light recipe book, but for me to pay (sister pay)  for this book, I might as well just order the magazine and get the recipes that way.

cooking light cookbook

The next book I came across was Better Homes but as soon as I saw Bridal Edition on the front cover I was completely turned off. I almost had a winner but for someone who is recently out of a 3 year relationship buying a Bridal Edition cookbook would just give me more anxiety then I already have. Sigh.

I finally stumbled on the Joy of Cooking. As I heard my mom calling my name from downstairs of the store, she sounds like a loud Jewish New Yorker, I had to quickly make my decision.  I browsed through the book quickly and saw it had recipes that I knew I wanted to cook. The only downfall is there are no pictures. But, hey back in the day, I don’t think there were cookbooks that had pictures. Food Porn did not exist. A world without Food Porn, crazy right?

joys of cooking

Anyways, I grabbed the book went downstairs and showed my mom and sister.  My mom’s first reaction,” isn’t that a very old book”

Does she not know that I just spent the last 30 minutes looking for a cookbook ??? Ugh! Who cares that its an old cookbook, the recipes don’t change that much.

I decided to get it anyways and figured you can’t go wrong with a book that’s been around for decades? Right? Either way I wasn’t about to go back upstairs and spend another 30 minutes looking for a book.

Lesson Learned

Next time, I’m heading to Amazon, virtually that is and doing my research. Don’t worry, I’m still intending on using The Joy of Cooking but I’m just planning for my next cookbook. :)

Plus, with my new outlet of Twitter you can just ask people what their favorite cookbook is. You may even find a cookbook aficionado like I did.

I was  browsing through Twitter and found @SimonCookSays. His description on twitter says

“Obsessive cookbook collector w/ nearly 800 cookbooks who loves to cook & eat. Professionally, by day and by night, I work around food.”

I knew he was the perfect person to ask.

Read Botttom Up

Next cookbook will be Mark Bittman. :) That was easy!

Now that I have your attention, hopefully I didn’t lose it with all my ranting, what cookbook would you recommend for everyday cooking?

Leave me some comment love

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  1. I know how overwhelming that cooking section at border is. I always get confused and don’t know what to buy and it takes me very long. So, now i just live on amazon. I love that people leave reviews and give so much details. That helps alot in making my decision mow. And i think i like pictures…lots of pictures….heheh.. At least, that way i know what a new recipe which i have never heard of is supposed to look like.

  2. On the contrary, I really enjoy looking for books easpecially cookbook in bookstore :) Sometimes I spend more than 2 hours in it and the shop owner used to invite for a cup of coffee after spending so much time and money on books :)

    • Gabby@FoodChowDown

      which bookstore is this? I want to bond with the shop owner. I don’t think they exist anymore, at least in South Florida :(

  3. I love shopping for cookbooks. A while back I posted my favorites :) Cookbooks Worth Checking Out Lately I’ve been using The Steamy Kitchen cookbook a lot :)

    • Gabby@FoodChowDown

      I will def be sure to use your cookbooks worth checking out for reference. It’s great to know that other people enjoyed a cookbook and would recommend it to other people rather than buying a cookbook blindly

  4. The loud New Yorker says good luck with your new cookbook : )

  5. I don’t really have any major cook book that I use. I could probably use a couple though. Enjoy your new birthday gift. Next time I’m at the bookstore I’ll have do browse the cookbook section and see what catches my eye.

  6. I saw your blog on twitter, read your bio to follow& you’ll follow back, so I did follow your blog.
    I use the same spices on my wings, and chicken pieces, especially when I’m going to bread the chicken, I leave it to marinate for about an hour before breading it. Great basic spice combination.
    As for a great cookbook where you will find everything from A-Z, I also recommend Mark Bittman. I have the paperback edition which I got brand new, at my local Goodwill, for 79 cents, last year, now they upped the prices to $3. to $5. on books like these. I do cookbook giveaways, from time to time books that I found while thrifting…they are great books, in new condition!

  7. my fav chicken wings !! i just SO love them .. and i love them on Friday night … with chill beer .. yummmmyyyy

  8. I too have many cookbooks, and to be honest I really don’t use them much. I used to however use my Better Homes and Gardens book ALOT and the recipes in it always work. Of course I love The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Cook through the whole darn thang! Pam Anderson is a REALLY good cookbook author. I also like Ina Garten. But if I were you I would do Amazon I have bought brand new cookbooks for 2-5 dollars, they said lightly used, but they looked new to me!

  9. I find it so relaxing to browse cookery books in a book store even if I don’t buy one (who am I kidding). The ones I use regularly for every day cooking are River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall and All you can eat – by Tamasin Day Lewis. It’s good to have an all encompassing cookery bible and my Good Housekeeping book does that for me.
    Looking up at the twitter comments you received I agree with Claudia Roden as providing fabulous recipes for Middle Eastern cooking. Have fun with the Joy.

  10. loving all of your posts!

  11. Nice post. I am constantly trying to find wonderful online books.

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