The Best Cookbooks

These cookbooks are so excellent, you may want to make a permanent place on your bookshelf for them – I know I’ve checked each one out from DPL several times. The library can be a real lifesaver for thrifty cooks like me!

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman: Drop everything and try the recipe for “Jim Lahey’s No-Work Bread” on page 833. It will blow. your. mind.

The Good Housekeeping Cookbook: Nothing but the best, most versatile, most standard, most essential recipes. I have checked this book out at least 5 times, and I’m always finding something new to try. I’ve gotten tons of compliments on their recipe for roasted red potatoes!

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook: Although I’ve never joined Weight Watchers, I’ve always loved their cookbooks. All the recipes are flavorful despite being light, and the included nutrition facts are helpful for any weight loss goals. Recipes in this newest WW book run the gamut from the easy (Turkey Chowder: ten ingredients and 5 hours in your crock pot) to the hard (Tandoori Lamb with Almond-Apricot Couscous: unfamiliar ingredients with a big flavor payoff). Bonus: includes a large and very yummy vegetarian section.

The Sneaky Chef: how to cheat on your man (in the kitchen): Cooking healthy food for picky eaters is tough, whether they’re your kids or your spouse! This book is full of ingenious ways to hide healthy ingredients in hearty, familiar foods that anyone would love. Want to learn how to sneak cauliflower, zucchini, white beans, or yogurt into your mashed potatoes to cut down on fat and boost nutrients? How about adding spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and zucchini to chili for a hearty and decadent meal with a serious nutritive punch? Awesome.

Everything Old is New Again

Just like in fashion, different crafts rise and fall in popularity. Quilting, however, never really goes out of style, it simply reinvents itself over and over, evolving from simple necessity to art form. Here are some of the latest quilting books that blur the line between art and craft.

Modern Minimal by Alissa Carlton – Quilts get super sleek and ultra modern with these gorgeous graphic designs that use lots of white space to show off the simplicity of the quilting. Add a splash of sophistication to any home by draping one over a bed, a couch, or change the color palette to make one for baby’s room. These beginner-friendly quilt projects work well with any décor, in any room, and for everyone in the family!

Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts by Jacquie Gering – From two pioneers of today’s modern quilting movement, “Quilting Modern” teaches quilters how to use improvisational techniques to make graphic, contemporary quilts and quilted project with seven core techniques and multiple projects using each technique.


Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects by Amanda Nyberg – features 16 bold and scrappy projects including piecing, appliqué, and improvisational work as well as expert hints and tips for adapting patterns to your own style, and effectively cutting, storing, and organizing your scraps.


Block Party – the Modern Quilting Bee: the Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog and 12 Improvisational Projects – Twelve chapters (one for each month) showcase the designs of today’s leading modern quilters along with easy-to-follow guidelines, so you can reinvent their work in your own signature style. With this book in hand, you’ll have everything you need to start your own online quilting bee and enjoy collaborating with other fabric lovers around the world.

Transparency Quilts: 10 Modern Projects by Weeks Ringle teaches you how to use traditional piecing techniques to create layered translucent effects. By learning how to distinguish and balance the subtleties of color in your fabrics, you can achieve remarkable results. You’l l also discover how the visual relationships between different colors make all the difference in your quilts.

Natural Companions by Ken Druse

In Natural Companions, acclaimed garden writer Ken Druse presents recipes for perfect plant pairings using diverse species that look great together and bloom at the same time.

Organized by theme within seasons, topics include color, fragrance, foliage, grasses, edible flowers and much more, all presented in photographs of gardens that show planted combinations from a wide variety of climates and conditions. Natural Companions also features more than one hundred special botanical images of amazing depth and color created in collaboration with artist Ellen Hoverkamp using modern digital technology.

Filled with an incredible amount of horticultural guidance, useful plant recommendations, and gardening lore–all written in Druse’s charming, witty style–this book is a must-have for gardeners and lovers of plants and flowers. (description from publisher)

Herbivoracious by Micheal Natkin

In Herbivoracious: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, Michael Natkin offers up 150 exciting recipes notable both for their big, bold, bright flavors and for their beautiful looks on the plate, the latter apparent in more than 80 photos that grace the book. This is sophisticated, grown-up meatless cooking, the kind you can serve to company–even when your guests are dedicated meat-eaters.

An indefatigable explorer of global cuisines, with particular interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and in East and Southeast Asia, Natkin has crafted, through years of experimenting in his kitchen, dishes that truly are revelations in taste, texture, aroma, and presentation. A third of the book is taken up with hearty main courses, ranging from a robust Caribbean Lentil-Stuffed Flatbread across the Atlantic to a comforting Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and around the Cape of Good Hope to a delectable Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu. An abundance of soups, salads, sauces and condiments, sides, appetizers and small plates, desserts, and breakfasts round out the recipes.

Natkin, a vegetarian himself, provides lots of advice on how to craft vegetarian meals that amply deliver protein and other nutrients, and the imaginative menus he presents deliver balanced and complementary flavors, in surprising and utterly pleasing ways. The many dozens of vegan and gluten-free recipes are clearly noted, too, and an introductory chapter lays out the simple steps readers can take to outfit a globally inspired pantry of seasonings and sauces that make meatless food come alive. (description from publisher)

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both.

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond–from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women–Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them. (description from publisher)