The collection

# cookbooks: 53

# cookbooks up for grabs: 44

Before I begin the cooking the books, I need to take stock of what I’ve got and what type of cook I am. This will determine the types of books I want in my collection.

How do I cook?

My cooking changed in the past couple years when I had to cook for my ex-partner. He needed a lot more food than me and was used to having meat with every meal (despite claims that he wanted to become vegetarian!). So I fell into the pattern of making some kind of meat (usually chicken or pork), starch (potatoes, risotto, polenta…he’s Italian!), and vegetables. Salad with Every. Single. Meal. After work and commuting, I found this an exhausting way to cook.

I prefer to eat less meat and more vegetables. I love one pot meals; I could eat soup every day and not get tired of it. I also don’t need to eat as much food; a piece of frittata and a bowl of soup or salad (or even a substantial salad) is more than enough for a meal. In general, I eat mostly vegetables, beans & lentils, whole grains, eggs, fish, and chicken (whole roasted chicken is one of my favourite things!). If I eat red meat, it’s lamb, very rarely beef. Given the choice, I will always choose pie.

What’s in my collection now?

I have a few books I love, definitely use and already know I will keep. Others are on the chopping block.


  • Clueless in the Kitchen – my mom gave me this book when I left home. I am way beyond it now, but it taught me a lot of basics and it’s really funny. I totally want to pass it down.
  • An Everlasting Meal – more a novel than a recipe book, and one I have read multiple times. I love it for the philosophy. I’ll keep going back.
  • The Vegetarian Flavor Bible – not a recipe book, but a guide to combining flavours. Useful for becoming a more intuitive cook, as I aspire to be.
  • Pie School – I love pie, and this little book has been an amazing resource. I use it, so it’s staying put.
  • The Professional Chef (Culinary Institute of America) – slightly ridiculous (it’s a huge textbook), but a great resource for how to make anything.
  • In Grace’s Kitchen: Memories and Recipes from an Italian Canadian Household – again, part memoir, part recipes. A book that is fun to simply read. A book that has too much emotional attachment to get rid of right now.
  • Reinhardt’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – I have tried many recipes out of this book and return to it every time I want to make bread, so it’s not going anywhere!
  • Make the Bread, Buy the Butter – I love going back to read this memoir/recipe book. Because I want to keep this, the rest of the DIY books are likely going to go, unless the recipes convince me otherwise.
  • Whole Grain Mornings – another book I use consistently. The granola template alone is worth the book!

Up for grabs (* = already questioning!). Do I really need three Bittman books? Four books on soup alone? Two more DIY pantry books? Probably not…

  • Keys to the Kitchen*
  • The Kitchn Cookbook
  • Cook with Jamie (Oliver)
  • Ruhlman’s Twenty
  • How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
  • The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
  • The Silver Spoon (Italian)
  • My Kitchen in Rome
  • Flavours of Friuli
  • Giorgio Locatelli Made in Italy*
  • Giorgio Locatelli Made in Sicily*
  • The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook
  • Sylvia’s Table
  • At Home in Provence
  • Around my French Table
  • The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
  • Budget Bytes
  • Oh She Glows
  • Deliciously Ella*
  • Love Your Leftovers
  • The Pure Kitchen*
  • Me, Myself and Pie*
  • Soup Sisters
  • Love Soup
  • Homemade Pantry
  • All About Braising
  • All About Roasting
  • Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics*
  • Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking
  • River Cottage Veg
  • DIY Delicious*
  • 1000 Sauces, Dips and Dressings
  • Bittman, How to Cook Everything*
  • Bittman, The Food Matters Cookbook*
  • Bittman, The Kitchen Matrix
  • Weeknight Wonders*
  • Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking
  • Cheap, Fast, Good*
  • Simple and Simply Delicious*
  • Soup of the Day
  • A Beautiful Bowl of Soup
  • Quinoa 365
  • Canal House Pronto

Let the cooking fun begin!


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