- The Joy of Cooking, Irma Bombauer -- a true joy! Everything you ever need to know about everything culinary. I got my copy (and so much more culinary inspiration) from the nanny-mamma, when I was a nanny in Seattle, which was the best job I've ever had. I also knew Ry was the "one" when he brought his own copy to the relationship. I knew he had his priorities right, and he got it from his sister and family, which meant his whole family had their priorities right.
- Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, Julia Child et al -- I rented this from the library no less than 9 times (yes, around the time the Julie and Julia movie came out...), and finally bit the bullet and purchased it for $22 from Half.com. I don't know what took me so long...it's heaven, and a French lesson all in one. If you can only read the first paragraph and the section on cutting an onion, you will still be changed forever.
- Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?; Back to Basics; The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook -- Ina Garten is the best. She makes things look so easy, and watching her show is just like curling up in your favorite pajamas with a cup of cocoa. Her recipes are fabulous and glamorous without breaking the bank or breaking a sweat.
- Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Takes Off; Ministry of Food -- I first got interested in cooking, cooking shows and good food when I was studying in London and watched my first episode of Jamie Oliver's the Naked Chef. Oh Em Gee. He was CUTE, and British, and had cute little -isms, and loved his wife, and cooked a whole salmon in wet newspaper in a fire on the beaches of Brighton. He followed it up with a Nutella-swirled sweet bread. Seriously? And now he's a good, homegrown, local food advocate the world over. The love affair has never ended.
- Gordon Ramsey: Makes it Easy -- Some more British indulgence; this one a bit more "high end", but the wild mushroom risotto is to die for, and he explains the full English breakfast quite well.
- Nigella Lawson: Feast; Nigella Bites -- Ok, so I might be an Anglophile. Nigella is also British, and also cute as a bug, and also makes cooking approachable. I was also introduced to her when studying abroad in London, when my Health Psych class professor had us watch a documentary on her first husband John Diamond's battle with throat cancer, which he unfortunately lost. So it's more than just admiration for the "queen of food porn", as she sometimes has been called. She also makes a ham cooked in Coca-Cola.
Just realized I have to go to work in 7 minutes, I am still in my glasses and pajamas without breakfast...with so many cookbooks left to talk about! So I think this will have to be Part I. Part II will come soon...