5 Favorite Cookbooks

EDP red dress kitchen

5 Favorite Cookbooks

favorite cookbooks everyday parisian

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Baking and cooking are my love language. It brings me a lot of joy to make a meal or bake something sweet for loved ones and friends. I do a lot of the cooking in our house, and my husband enjoys watching and chatting with me in the kitchen. We buy cookbooks, and he immediately looks for the Post-it notes to mark his favorites. Below are some of my favorite cookbooks and the ones I often reach for when we want to make something new or different.

barefoot in Paris Barefoot Contessa

My sister and I also text recipes for new ideas. This recently bought cookbook influenced many of our dinners, and I immediately sent a copy to my sister. I was inspired by this cookbook to round up a few of my favorites. It is no secret that I would love to do a cookbook club in 2025 for EDP. 

Listen to Your Vegetables

From one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago. Monteverde launched a year-long menu activation called the Year of the Vegetable. My husband and I often sit at the bar for date night, and the creative and delicious menu items got me to eat vegetables I never thought I would. I wasn’t the biggest fan of cooked vegetables for most of my life, but my mind changed thanks to Monteverde. I bought this as a gift for my husband for his birthday since it was also where we celebrated that night for dinner.

Also, you can’t go wrong with Italian-inspired recipes made seasonally.

Cooking in Real Life

This was an Instagram impulse purchase, as I was influenced by someone who posted about it. The book ended up being better than I anticipated. We have owned it for a few weeks, and I keep discovering new recipes for dinner. I love that the ingredients are easily located in my fridge or pantry, so I am not scrambling for the grocery store. The flavors pop, and the recipes come together easily in a decent amount of time. Cooking in Real Life inspired this blog post because I wanted to convince you you needed a copy, too.

Cooking in Real Life

There are two female cookbook authors I admire so much. The first is Dorie Greenspan. My aunt introduced me to her cookbooks years ago. Now, Dorie’s vanilla sablés have turned into “auntie cookies.” A simple modification of adding colored sprinkles instead of sanding sugar made them an instant hit when the kids were little, and they have become a family tradition. We also make her World Peace cookies every year. Both cookies are sliced and baked so that you can make and freeze them. I will make them at my sister’s and put in a cookie dough log for her to make for the kids after I return to Chicago.

You can see some of my favorite desserts to bake in this post, along with recipes.

It is a dream to bake with Dorie in person one of these days. Our worlds cross in Paris occasionally, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. Take this as my attempt at manifestation to make this dream come true.

My Favorite Cookbooks

Baking with Dorie

Baking with Dorie is perfect for having it at your fingertips when you want something sweet. One of my favorite recipes is the one-bite cinnamon puffs. These are delicious and an instant crowd-pleaser. You are bound to find something from this cookbook, from cakes to cookies. Plus, I love her helpful tips for becoming a better baker. Dorie Greenspan has a lovely newsletter, too, and a new book is on the way next year I can’t wait to add to my collection.

Take It Easy What’s Gaby Cooking

I had the opportunity to meet Gaby Dalkin in Chicago, and she was an absolute delight. Her cooking videos are fun, and her simple recipes and flavors are delicious. Her chicken parmesan meatballs are on repeat at our house and are so good! In this book, Gaby’s sauces and dressings are a great addition to any meal.

Favorite Cookbooks for The Francophile

À Table Recipes for Cooking + Eating the French Way

As I was flipping through this cookbook recently, I was reminded that our neighbors gave it to me as a gift. They found it in a shop and thought it was perfect for me. We are fortunate to have wonderful neighbors, and I often send food next door to share with them. They are also excellent recipe taste testers when I have something new to try. I love this book for its beautiful photographs, lessons on the French lifestyle, and flavorful recipes. It is a perfect Francophile gift. Don’t miss how to stock a modern French pantry.

The second female cookbook author that inspires me is, of course, Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. She is an absolute joy to watch on TV, and I love that she taught herself to cook. My husband and I are watching “Be My Guest” and find it entertaining. It motivates me to try new recipes in the kitchen. I dream of meeting her in person one day as well, and of course, being able to cook with her would be incredible. Her memoir will be released in October, and I have tickets for her talk in November.

When we registered for our wedding gifts, I added a lot of different cookbooks to the registry. I think cookbooks make great gifts for couples of all ages. My wish list is to perfect my pasta-making skills, and I have a few pasta cookbooks to inspire me. We also were gifted a cooking class for our first anniversary. It is wonderful how a good meal can bring conversation and spark memories. I hope this roundup was enjoyable. For those of you who don’t love to cook but know someone who does, gift them a cookbook.

*This post includes affiliate links. I earn a small commission on items purchased from my links. Merci!

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  1. A fun post! I am also a huge cookbook fan, especially just simply reading them. Many have such interesting stories and background. I find that inspiring – both to bake/cook or just learn! I wanted to mention something about Lidey’s new cookbook that you didn’t include in your comments. You probably discovered this in the cookbook’s introduction, but just in case you didn’t….. She was Ina Garten’s assistant fresh out of college, hired to establish a social media platform for Ina. Over time, she started helping with recipe development and testing, and obviously learned a lot along the way!! I love her new cookbook too – so many great recipes! A must-have cookbook in anyone’s collection, along with every single one of Ina’s cookbooks (yes, I do have ALL of them)!

    • Hi Susan,

      Yes, thank you for pointing that out. Someone on instagram mentioned that to me and it was so great to learn that. I love that Lidey created something special and Ina wrote the forward.

  2. Thanks for sharing these! I want to start a cookbook collection and these seem like great items to include. Can you also share info on the necklace you are wearing in these photos? Thanks – really enjoy your blog!

  3. Are ant of Julia Child’s books worth a try? I always think I need to get them for a true French experience and heck a life experience but I never do.

    • Hi Theresa,

      Yes, of course, Julia Child is an icon. She paved the path for so many female cookbook authors that are mentioned in this post. I wanted to share some other cookbooks that I enjoy cooking from that aren’t Julia Child 🙂

  4. You posted about le SUD recently. I immediately knew I had to have it in my collection. The day I received my copy, I ordered three more for gifting. Thank you for always sharing such wonderful and information.
    All the best!

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      Yes! I am so happy you picked up a copy and more as gifts. Your friends are lucky to have copies too. It is the same author as A Table that I shared in this post. I really want to make the lemon tarte in Le Sud. Have you made anything yet?