Weekly Tip: Cookbooks for the Beginner


I use other cookbooks for inspiration. I must say I tend to cook from my own cookbooks for parties. ~ Ina Garten

Cookbooks for the College Graduate

A friend, whose daughter recently graduated from college, asked me to recommend some cookbooks that would be good for the beginning cook. I asked for help on Facebook; and the suggestions were really great.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.


The two most recommended cookbooks were:

  •  The Joy of Cooking   and
  •  How to Cook Everything – by Mark Bittman

I am not familiar with either of these cookbooks so I’m not able to comment on them.

The other suggestions were:

  •  Betty Crocker’s Cookbook – Bridal Edition
  •  Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics
  •  The Cake Bible – by Rose Levy Berenbaum

Cake Bible

This is a cookbook that has recipes for every cake imaginable.  I have used it so much that the binding has broken.

  •  Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook – I gave the latest version to my daughter when she started cooking.  A good basic
  •  The New Basics Cookbook – by Julee Rosso and Sheila Kukins


My favorite recipe in this cookbook is Bobbie’s Chicken.   So delicious.

Silver Palate


  •  Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That – by Ina Garten

Barefoot Contessa

All of her cookbooks are terrific.  Most recipes have only 5-6 ingredients.

  •  My Year in Meals – by Rachael Ray

My Year in Meals

I like this cookbook because it has recipes that include the fresh ingredients that are available for each month of the year.   Also,  this is 2 books in one.  The back of the book includes My Year in Cocktails.  These are recipes that her husband has perfected.  Great drinks!!

My Year in Cocktails

  •  Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking – by Marcella Hazan
  •  Pies and Tarts (The New Version) – by Martha Stewart

Pies and Tarts

A nice collection of the basics and many new favorites.

  • The Good Cookie – by Tish Boyle

The Good Cookie

I can’t say enough about this cookbook.   I use it all the time.  The recipes are fabulous.  I think everyone should have this book in their collection.

I love cookbooks as I have said many times before.  They push me to try new things and introduce me to cuisines I have no knowledge of.  This post was a lot of fun.  I hope it inspires Ellen to enjoy cooking and baking.

Patricia Rio
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