Over the years I’ve built a pretty impressive collection of recipe books and it’s only over the last year or so (as I’ve gotten more and more into cooking) that I’ve actually started using them rather than just propping them up on various shelves to make my kitchen look more homely. I find there are 5 I go back to time and time again and they are as follows…
Mary Berry’ Complete Cook Book
I absolutely adore Mary Berry. My mum bought me this book when I was at uni and my culinary expertise stretched to a chicken stir fry. Whether you are just starting out, or need a meal plan for a dinner party, you will find it in here. Split out by ingredient, time required and difficulty with step by step images, each chapter is filled with hundreds of easy, simple recipes that are both fail proof and idiot proof. Nothing I have made from here has ever gone wrong! (even the time I attempted a beef wellington) It’s also bright pink – what is not to love?
Recipe to make: Page 160 – Tarragon Chicken
Deliciously Ella Every Day (Book 2)
I own all 3 of the DE books and number 2 is IMO absolutely the best. The recipes are a lot more reliable and the book has been structured in an easier to read format than the first version. I’m obsessed with the pesto butter beans in here, as well as all the sweet potato dishes. The recipes use simple, easy to find ingredients which I think sets her apart from other similar food bloggers. I’ve learnt a lot about veggie cooking from these books and now love finding new healthier variations of my fave foods Deliciously Ella style.
Recipe to make: Page 157 – Pesto Butter Beans
What To Cook & How To Cook It
I don’t think this book is that well known which baffles me slightly as it is SO good. You know when you’re following a recipe and the instructions say something vague like “a handful of this” or “when it looks done” and you have a mini meltdown? This book is your answer. Each recipe comes with step by step photos, as well as photos of how all the ingredients should look before/during/after the cooking process. There’s also a baking version if that’s your thing (it’s not mine)
Recipe to make: Page 116 – Mushroom Risotto
The Low FodMap Diet Cook Book
This one is bit more specific for people with digestive issues. It’s a long and boring story but I was diagnosed with a form of IBD in 2016. During the process my doctor recommended I try the Fodmap diet to work out what a) my stomach liked and b) what made it kick off. The diet is pretty restrictive and I had a few breakdowns at which point my mum stepped in and sent me this book. It’s full of really tasty and filling recipes that you can make for friends/partners too. There’s loads of helpful advice to help you manage your condition but best of all it makes you see how you can still eat what you love and live a normal “food life” with what can otherwise be a pretty overwhelming experience.
Recipe to make: Page 42 – Rice Paper Rolls
Itsu The Cook Book
Anyone who says they don’t love Itsu is either lying or hasn’t tried the right thing, it is amazing! I’d get lunch from there every day if I could but sadly my bank balance doesn’t feel the same. This book enables you to make everything at home that you can get in the shops, and it’s super healthy too. There are step by step guides for sushi, chicken/duck dishes, all their sauces as well as amazing juices and smoothies. I’m normally a bit sceptical of books like these thinking they are just cashing in but honestly, I’m obsessed!
Recipe to make: Page 120 – Grilled Chicken Teriyaki