My most used cookbooks

Just like a good novel, I love a good cookbook.  Over the years I’ve amassed (and purged to refine) quite the collection.  With such an amazing world of food blogs, recipe sites, magazines, and friends, the cookbook still holds a strong attachment for me.  I love adding my notes and changes on the pages.  Some cookbooks get pulled out for dinner party planning, but others come out on a much more regular basis – serving us well for both every day cooking and entertaining.

There are three cookbooks which all have pages turned down, spilled on, flagged, and marked up.  These are my essentials.

My first essential cookbook:

For the Love of Soup by Jeanelle Mitchell

For the Love of Soup by Jeanelle Mitchell an essential kitchen cookbook

I love this entire book.  I’ve made almost 75% of the recipes, and probably make a steady rotation of them on a regular basis (so much so that when I pull the book out, I usually open it to the page I need and never consult it…).  This book helped me realize how quickly and easily a warm batch of nutritious soup can be made, and now I make soup weekly. We always have some in our freezer too.  Especially in the cooler months!  One of my favourites from the book is Curried Leek and Zucchini.

My second essential cookbook:

The Joy of Cooking 

Joy of Cooking an essential kitchen cookbook for the home cook

I use this ALL the time.  It’s got some of my go-to ‘use up food before it goes bad’ recipes like banana bread, but it also has a lot of solid basics like how to roast a turkey.  I love this book so much I gave it as a thank you to all of the beautiful women who served as bridesmaid’s on our wedding day a little over 12 years ago.  It makes me so happy being in their kitchens and seeing the cookbook with the others they’ve collected over the years.

My third essential cookbook:

Earth to Table Cookbook by Jeff Crump

Earth to Table essential kitchen cookbook

So many of the recipes in this book are a regular in our house.  The colcannon potatoes are made crazy frequently in the winter.  The Pepperonata appetizer is warm and delicious appetizer for entertaining and includes capers…mmmm I love capers!

I had deep fried capers with a fish and chip dinner once in Moncton and I still dream of that meal.  But I digress….

A photo posted by Heather (@heathertravis) on

I can’t talk about ‘most used’ in the kitchen without mentioning my Moleskin Recipe Journal.

I use this to jot down recipes I find online and really love.

I use it to keep recipes I gather from friends (like my BFF’s grandma B’s coffee cake) and family, and magazines too! What I love love love about this most though is….in this I keep a record of every dinner party.  Who came, what we ate, and any other notes.  Like, “night I set the kitchen on fire and didn’t ruin dinner”.

That was a fun night.  So was the night of the ‘Moroccan incident’.

Do you have essential cookbooks you find yourself turning to over and over again?


  1. by Julia at Home on 129 Acres on November 26, 2015  10:18 pm Reply

    I love cookbooks too. I will happily spend an afternoon reading a cookbook just like I would a novel. Joy is one of my favourites as well. I've heard really good things about Earth to Table but haven't added it to my collection. I really like the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Most of the recipes are now on her site, but the book is still very nice and a good reference for some basics. The pot pie pastry is my go-to... like a croissant on top of your stew. I'm also a fan of Donna Hay.

    • by Heather on November 27, 2015  10:23 am Reply

      Oh! I love Donna Hay - lots of great recipes:)

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