Good Modern Cookbooks

The only cookbooks I have in the house are the Better Homes and Gardens 11th edition and my father’s old Peg Bracken books from his single student days. The Internet can be nice, but it can be really hard to find a good recipe and they never have any nutritional info. The Peg Bracken books are definitely a product of their times (I’ve never seen so much butter and cream used in my life) and the BH&G is okay for some things but awful for others. So, what are some good cookbooks, both general and specific?

I’ve recommended it before and I will again:
Basic Cooking

Target audience is people with cosmopolitan tastes but not a ton of kitchen experience. It has recipes from all over the world with simple instructions and great photos. I’ve yet to make a bad dish from it. Yum!

It depends on what you are looking for. has nutritional info on their recipes, but they are hit and miss as far as quality goes. I’d say I keep about half the recipes I’ve tried from there.

If you are just looking for a cookbook that has lots of good recipes in it, the one I use the most is called Tidewater on the Half Shell (available used, and very cheap, on Amazon). Every single thing I’ve ever made from it is good - but you’d still have to look up nutritional info separately. Most cookbooks that include nutritional info are going to be the ‘cooking light’ or ‘cooking for heart health’ type books. Don’t know if you are interested in those, but I can tell you about a couple of that type that I like too. The Half Shell book I use the most of all my cookbooks for good recipes, though.

I also like Giada DiLaurentiis’ recipes from her show, Everyday Italian. I’ve only made a couple of those I didn’t like. Quite a few of them are regular feature at romans house.

I’m not a big fan of the 11th edition BH&G cookbook, but I highly recommend the 1967 edition (you can usually find inexpensive copies at used book stores and rummage sales.)

Get the 1973 edition of Joy of Cooking. All else is extraneous.

I like Weight Watchers Cookbooks. My favorite is the NEW 365 Day Menus Cookbook. The recipes are eas and healthyy, nutritional information is given, and each recipes has a day’s menu using it (which you can easily change). The cookbooks are easy to find in used book stores and library sales.

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

Title says it all. Ah luuuv him.

My standard recommendation in threads like this. Many recipe books are its equal. None are better.

I recommend How to Cook without a Book by Pam Anderson of Cooks Illustrated. The recipes are thoroughly tested, very adaptable, and very practical.

I like this South Beach Cookbook:

I don’t do the South Beach Diet, but the recipes are good and the stuff is healthy. It has all the nutritional info. And all the things I have tried can really be done in under 30 minutes.

Another vote for Joy Of Cooking - but only the hardbound version…greatest recipe for Moussaka ever.

Plus, what other cookbook goes from how to make and grill a hamburger to how to skin and prepare a bear?

Seconded - it’s an excellent, excellent cookbook. It’s so specific, yet so general - “here’s how to make any white flaky fish”, but it tells you exactly when to add stuff to the melted butter and exactly what it should look like when it’s done and such.