What are your essential cookbooks?

Sid

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Most stuff I find on the Internet these days.
I have 3 cookbooks that I use every now and then, but they are all in Dutch, so I don't think it has any use to post their titles here.
 

Rose Karuna

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I use a lot of old family recipes. If I can't find a recipe for something in my Family Recipe Box then I resort to either the Good Housekeeping Cookbook (which I've had for close to 40 years) or Alton Brown's Every Day Cookbook. I like Alton's cookbook because it tells me the science behind the cooking. For example, I always had lumpy gravy. It wasn't until I read Alton's cookbook that I learned that when you're adding flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy that it should be cold to hot or hot to cold and then you won't get lumps.

I also get a lot of my recipes online, particularly for global types of foods. I love experimenting and learning how to cook things from different countries.
 

Casey Pelous

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My main copy of Joy of Cooking looks like it has traveled through a particularly messy war zone. (I also have an old 1950's edition I found in a used book store, once, and that makes interesting reading but not so interesting cooking.) I seldom actually cook a Joy of Cooking recipe, but it's indispensable as a reference or source of ideas.

Since I've gone all ketoriffic, Cravable Keto by Kyndra Holley and Keto Instant Pot by Maria Emmerich have gotten quite a workout, though I've learned that any time Kyndra says "1 teaspoon onion powder" 1/4 teaspoon will be quite adequate -- the same with her and garlic powder.

Not really a cookbook, but I've also repeatedly watched my Great Courses classes from Culinary Institute of the Arts -- they're solid gold and teach you how to cook without a recipe. (People reviewing the course have gotten their panties all in a twist because the courses don't tell you things like "1/2 teaspoon salt" -- I think those folks sort of missed the whole point. First time that ever happened in on-line reviews ....) I especially recommend any course by the late Bill Briwa, an amazing teacher. They had a really great sale on a couple of the courses, so I thought I'd get a few "good tips" since I had been cooking fairly seriously for dang near 50 years. Color my mind blown, 'cause the guy totally reworked how I think about a meal.
 

Rose Karuna

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I hadn't heard of the Great Courses classes from Culinary Institute of the Arts but now that I'm closer to retirement I'm looking at watching or attending things like this. I have gone to a couple of cooking courses in Italy which I LOVED!
 
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Kara Spengler

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I also found a vegan nissu recipe on the web and tweaked it a bit for mistakes, the use of a bread machine, and recording how different variations turned out.

 
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I use a lot of old family recipes. If I can't find a recipe for something in my Family Recipe Box then I resort to either the Good Housekeeping Cookbook (which I've had for close to 40 years)...
I also get a lot of my recipes online, particularly for global types of foods. I love experimenting and learning how to cook things from different countries.
I have one of those books too, and I do still use it from time to time. Mostly, though, I see recipes that interest me on Facebook, or from other online places like Taste of Home or Food Network.
 

Rose Karuna

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I also found a vegan nissu recipe on the web and tweaked it a bit for mistakes, the use of a bread machine, and recording how different variations turned out.

I am definitely going to try this. I make Challah for my friend during Hanukkah (she always has Christmas dinner with us). It looks similar but with all the sugary, cardamon goodness. :)
 

Kara Spengler

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I am definitely going to try this. I make Challah for my friend during Hanukkah (she always has Christmas dinner with us). It looks similar but with all the sugary, cardamon goodness. :)
It certainly is! I did have to make a few tweaks (partly to make it bread machine friendly) and can send that to you if you want. It comes out pretty good. The most recent one I made into a twisted wreath shape (the traditional shapes vary but the one I grew up with is braided). It came out looking a lot like challah after baking. Perfect for the holidays as it combines several traditions.

The glaze can be done in several ways. The traditional one is an egg wash (that should be on the web somewhere), although I use the vegan variation that is in that recipe. Although for the holidays (when I most often make it) I use another variation: bake it unglazed then slather it with a simple frosting that has candied fruit mixed in. Note that for logistics if you are going somewhere and doing the frosting you might want to warm up the bread at your destination and then spread the frosting: you wind up with fresh bread (the smells!) and avoid possible frosting mess in whatever container you used.

No topping for the bread is needed when serving between the cardamon and the sugar. Although if using either the traditional or vegan glazes when baking you can toast the slices and optionally serve it with butter/margarine.
 
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