Friday Favorites: Cookbooks

She’s back! All our holidays landed on a Friday and I just got lost in Holiday commotion. With everything kind of settling down a bit, I wanted to get back into my Friday Favorites routine.

As you all know, I love cooking. I am not a “let me look at what we have in the fridge/pantry and make something delicious happen” person though. I follow recipes. I love trying new recipes and returning to old ones. I’ve been collecting cookbooks through the years and I thought I’d share a few of my absolute favorites. Most of these, I use multiple times a week!

The Forest Feast

This cookbook is life changing. I got it a few years ago because it is the most beautiful cookbook I’ve ever seen. It’s fully vegetarian, which works well for me because I get overly paranoid about cooking meats sometimes. When I was commuting into work, I’d come home too late to really cook. This cookbook (along with another one of hers) was my salvation. Jacob would take care of the meats and I would cook some vegetable from this cookbook. Most of the recipes are super simple and don’t take a lot of time! I’ve used the salad recipes for multiple potlucks and just looking at the cover makes me hungry.

Favorite Recipes: Rosemary Gin Fizz, Kale Caesar w/ Polenta Croutons, Red Salad, Aglio, Olio, & Peperoncino Collards (Jacob asks for this at least twice a month), Corn and Cauliflower Tacos

The Forest Feast: Mediterranean

If there is one book I use more than The Forest Feast, it’s her Mediterranean follow-up. Everything is inspired by European cities by the sea and it just makes me want to travel again. The photos are just as beautiful (maybe more). Most everything in this book is fairly simple and easy to make. It’s one I definitely use at least once a week still!

Favorite Recipes: Stuffed Cherry Peppers, Golden Beet & Orange Salad, Pesto Chopped Salad, Winter Caprese, Summer Corn & Peach Salad, Brussels Sprouts Pappardelle, Herbes de Provence Winter Vegetables

Plated

This cookbook intrigued me because it has a whole different set-up than a lot of other cookbooks. It is broken down by Weeknight Dinners (simple), Great for Leftovers (things you can make a little extra of and transform for dinner the next night), Make Ahead (meal prep!), Weekend Feasts (when you have much more time) and a few others. I mostly stick to the first 3 sections. The coolest thing about the Weeknight Dinners is that the authors give you four different ways to cook the vegetable for the dish, depending on the season. These are full meals right here! The Great for Leftovers is fantastic for freezing too.

Favorite Recipes: Shrimp Tacos, Brown-Butter Pork Chops, Pan-Roasted Salmon, Turkey Burgers, White Lasagna, Whole Salt-Baked Fish

One Pan, Two Plates

Jacob got me this as a Christmas gift one year and I took it as a hint that he wanted me to cook more for him (this was pre-us living together). This is fantastic for two people. Every portion is pretty spot on and it makes clean up simple. I’ve even used this to plan camping meals. To be completely honest, I haven’t used a lot of the recipes in here. I tend to go back to the same ones (the photo on the front, for example) but I’m hoping to try out some more. The title says it all. This is a cookbook that’s made in one pot for two people. I also like that this cookbook is separated into the types of meats (or lack there of) that are used instead of BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER.

Favorite Recipes: Jambalaya, Braised Lentils w/ sausage and cabbage, Flank Steak (from the cover!), Turkey Tonkatsu

Cooking with Loula

Hi. I’m Greek. If you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll know that there’s 2 things you have to know about Greeks. 1. We’re VERY proud of our Greek heritage and 2. We love food. Unfortunately, my Greek family wasn’t very big and after my Aunt Joan passed away, no one else in the family really cooked Greek food. Other than having our family baklava recipe (cause we all have a different one and we guard our secrets with our LIVES), we don’t have much else. I researched for a good Greek specific cookbook and was delighted when I found this on. It’s beautiful. The author takes her family recipes and shares them with the world. The photos and the stories really touch me and makes me miss my Greek family.

Favorite Recipes: Lavraki Plaki (oven-baked sea bass), Moussaka, Spinach Gnocchi, Vasilopita (New Year’s Cake)

half baked harvest

I remember seeing the cover of this book and going, “Yeah, I want this”. I barely flipped through it and I loved it immediately. Her two books and the two Forest Feast cookbooks I’ve mentioned are my 4 main go-to cookbooks. I cook for parties, potlucks, friends, family, and just day to day. The recipes are things you might already know but the author has really freshened it up and given a great spin. My goal is to have eventually cooked everything from here.

Favorite Recipes: Croque Madame Breakfast Pizza, Buddha Smoothie Bowl, Salted Brioche Cinnamon Rolls, Waffles with Browned Honey Butter & Chamomile Syrup, Five-Ingredient Honey Butter Beer Bread, Gyros w/ Roasted Garlic Tzatziki, Al Pastor-Style Beef Enchiladas

Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple

I found out that the Half Baked Harvest author had another cookbook right as lockdown happened. It was my first (of many) Quarantine purchase. I think I only cooked out of here for at least 2 weeks. Everything has been delicious (this is true of both books). This second one has fewer ingredients and is a little more “basic”, without being boring.

Favorite Recipes: Cheesy Poblano & Bacon Quesadilla (bonus points if you use homemade tortillas), French Onion Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Pumpkin & Sage Lasagna, Spicy Poblano Tacos, Falafel Bowl, Jalapeño Garlic-Butter Shrimp


Now I’m starving. What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Leave me a comment below!

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