I have many, many cookbooks, but the ones I go to the most frequently (and would recommend to anyone) are the following:
The New Best Recipe–really, this book belongs in every kitchen. Almost everything I’ve tried is flawless. They describe procedures in great detail, and it’s a great way to learn how to cook better. It also makes for great bedside reading.
America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook: I just bought this book a few months ago, and to my surprise, it has many of my favorite recipes I’ve been collecting from their other publications for years. I can’t say enough about what great recipes these are. I use this book almost every day.
The Joy of Cooking–a great compendium. Almost everything is in this book, and most of it is good.
Fun Dinner Ideas
Williams-Sonoma Taco Night: So many ideas; I’m excited about nearly every one!
Jerusalem: Just brilliant. I’ve loved every single thing I’ve tried.
The Food Lab: Great ideas for tried and true recipes
Winter Cabin Cooking: European Alpine Cooking. I love it!
Beth’s Basic Bread Book–I learned to bake bread from Beth Hensperger. I picked up this book at BYU Bookstore on clearance years ago, and it’s been loved ever since. In fact, I’ve collected her other bread books as well. Of the others, I also like Bread for All Seasons.
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and Baked: Explorations: If I’m looking for something new or a twist on something traditional, I go to these two books. The recipes are unexpected, interesting, and turn out wonderfully, although they are a bit on extravagant/indulgent side. I love the cakes the most. Beautiful, perfect cakes every time.
Other Baking Books I’m loving right now:
Pocket Bakery by Rose Prince: love the bread recipes and introductions to many English baked goods
Baking Williams-Sonoma Essentials
Handheld Pies by Wharton and Billingsley
Macarons, Cupcakes, and Cake Pops by Mia Orhn — terrific recipes for French Macarons!
Wintersweet by Tammy Inman: great uses of fruits and nuts for winter baking
Chewy, Gooey, Crispy and Crunchy by Alice Medrich: this woman can bake! I love her recipes. Foolproof.
Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters
Josey Baker Bread