Sunday, January 27, 2013


It's no secret I am a cookbook fan.
I collect cookbooks for various reasons.
Sometimes a book tells a story with the shared recipes.
Sometimes I buy them as a remembrance of a place I have traveled.  
But for the most part, I'll be drawn in by the recipes and the photographs of the food. 
I have been known not to purchase a specific cookbook based on the fact that there are no pictures of the food. 

These are just a few of my favorites

'The Farm Chicks In The Kitchen'

 Not only are there delicious recipes inside, but crafty projects galore.

Embellished Dishtowel how to...

Food Covers...

And who can resist Susan Branch...
 'Vineyard Seasons' by Susan Branch
 'Girlfriends Forever'-Besides being a  'Girl Food' cookbook, it is filled with stories of girlfriends. 

 I adore Susan's art work. I'm sure I have every book she has ever published. 

Alisa Barry 'La Bella Vita'
 Alisa tells of her story in traveling to Italy, and how she fell in love, with not only the food, but the people, the landscape, and the language, but most of all the love of simple fresh food.  

You can almost taste the fresh basil and mozzarella. 
I have used the recipe for 'Pane' basic bread dough a hundred times. 

'Soul Food Desserts & Memories'
 by Patty Pinner.
Patty was raised in a small town in Michigan. 
Patty tells of spending her childhood helping the women of the house,
the 'Queens Of Soul Food'.
She shares her family's stories, part recipe and part history. 

Who can resist the Pioneer Woman's 
Simple Perfect Chili? 

My kitchen would not be complete without Ina Garten -The Barefoot Contessa. 

Ina's introductions are such a joy to read. 
In her book 'barefoot contessa at home' she begins by saying that she didn't always know how to make a home. Her philosophy is this...
'A good home should gather you up in its arms like a warm cashmere blanket, soothe your hurt feelings, and prepare you to go back out into that big bad world tomorrow all ready to fight the dragons'. 
Ina talks about table setting, gathering family and friends, lighting candles and good music at any social gathering to set the mood.
Just reading her cookbooks makes me want to have a party. 

Positively, my favorite COMFORT food cookbook is the cookbook
I purchased when Beth and I went to Williams-Sonoma for a cooking class. 
There is not a single recipe contained within that I would NOT cook from this book. 
I've cooked almost all of them, and each and every one of them are heavenly. 
As a matter of fact I am making Chicken Pot Pie this week. 

This is/was my very FIRST cookbook. It was a wedding gift in 1976, the first time I marred Caveman. 
 I used it for many, many, years. While it does not host any photographs, I adore it none the less. 
It has a special place in my heart. 
A gentle reminder of a young bride who married very young, and knew absolutely nothing about cooking. 
The pages are soft and well worn, full of stains and some small tears. 
My Aunt & Uncle who gifted this to me are no longer here on this earth, but I am reminded of them each time I look through the pages. 

Brillat-Savarin wrote: 
'The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter of what place in history or society; they can be part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest to console him when he has outlived the rest'

Tell you have a favorite cookbook?

The Girasole Lady


  1. The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is probably my favorite, followed by other "Moosewood" cookbooks. No photos of food, but GREAT recipes. The only one you mentioned that I also have is Pioneer Woman's, but I haven't made any of her recipes because they are heavy on the fat and meat - not good for a cardiac patient (my husband)!

    1. I will be checking out your Broccoli cookbook suggestion, and let you know how I like it.
      Yes- I agree about PW vs. cardiac pts.

  2. my favourite is my mom's old "joy of cooking" - I can turn to our childhood favourite, apple crisp, and see all the stains and greasy smudges from us 'helping'

    1. Ah yes- The Joy Of Cooking. A wonderful cookbook as well.
      Don't you just love the stains and memories....
      Hugs- Becka

  3. Love your collection. Was just thinking to myself last night, when I pulled out my favorite from my hometown (Colorado Cache), that I need to replace it, as it is SOOO stained and dog-eared now...but I love it, and know I will not. My Bobby Flay is for keeping nice and gazing lovingly at (sigh) favorites are for cooking! Hope your week is wonderful - Tanya

    1. Hometown cookbook are great. I agree, don't replace it, it has many memories for you inside all those pages.
      Bobby Flay is a great book too.

  4. Great topic!! I was recently shown a Susan Branch book and fell in love with it, and she gave me one for Christmas. And I have every Ina cookbook and refer to them almost every week. I love her style, her ingredients and the flavor never let's you down. Thank you for sharing your cooking library- Paula

    1. Susan Branch was the very first cookbook I was inspired by. I purchased 'Heart Of The Home' in about 1986?
      Thank you for stopping by.

  5. OMGosh Becka! I just popped over to say Hi and to thank you for the comment you just left on my most recent post and got caught completely unawares! Cookbooks!!!! I used to collect them like crazy even though I have really never been a big cook (I fell more into the baker area). When we downsized to our converted barn I donated a ton of cookbooks to the local college library. Susan Branch's books were amongst the donation and I am still kicking myself for that one. I have to say though, you have listed quite a few that now I am going to have to go looking for... your blog should come with a sign, "Beware, content may not be appropriate for the collector." LOL! Thanks for the great post...
    Hugs and talk again soon,
    Beth P

  6. Thanks for sharing some of your cookbooks. Over the years I'd collected too many...gave them to my daughter. I think my favorite is an old copy of the Pillsbury cookbook. My newest is the book of Kale, lots of new recipes to discover.

  7. Hello, wonderful to visit your blog..What a great way to meet like minded women..Still working my way thru all the blogs..such delight.

  8. Good Evening Becka, What a lovely collection of cookery books. I have heard of Ina Garten, I used to watch her programme when I lived in Cyprus, we used to be able to pick the programme up via Dubai. I enjoyed her programmes so much my daughter bought me one of her cookery books. Like you, I do have a lot of books, one which I loved reading was Apricots on the Nile, it is a memoir with recipes written by Colette Rossant. I tells the story of her life when as a five year old she left Cairo to live in Paris. It is peppered with recipes, but none with photographs, although there are photographs of her family. I love how she tells her story mingled with recipes.
    I have written down the name, Susan Branch, Girlfriends Forever as I love the title, but I do not know of her, I look forward to seeing her book.
    Have a lovely day,
    Best Wishes