Beloved Cookbooks

You can tell which cookbooks you really love and cherish. They’re well-worn, with pages stuck together and a missing cover.

This holiday season there will be dozens of new cookbooks to choose from (including a couple of locals: Michael Ruhlman’s latest, Ruhlman’s How to Roast, and a series of cookbooks celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cleveland Independents), and countless others you may not yet know. To help you find one you’ll fall in love with, we turned to the Edible Cleveland team to ask for a few of their favorites.

Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen represents the young generation of folks who get the food issues. Authors Anna Lappe, the daughter of Frances Moore Lappe (Diet for a Small Planet), and Bryant Terry have created an informative and fun book. Plus it has some delicious meatless recipes.”—Mary Holmes, community development

“The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual is Italian American food done perfectly, a beaut of a book with a gold-stamped blue leather cover and simple illustrations. The dishes may seem familiar, but the instructions are lived-in and refined. Make their Sunday sauce, braciola, and cacio e pepe.”—Jon Benedict, editor

“The Joy of Cooking is my go-to encyclopedia of all things culinary. I used to read it at bedtime like a novel. It’s perfect for the newly-married novice I once was, as well as the intrepid home cook I am today.”—Lisa Sands, social media manager “I love The Silver Palate for its easy-to-follow recipes of literally everything from soup to nuts, with short ingredients lists and a user-friendly layout. The Christmas Coffee Cake recipe is a favorite.”—Heidi Parker, sales manager

All Around the World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins is a great read and my go-to guide for delicious dishes that remind me of my own globe-trotting culinary adventures. There are tons of recipes adapted for the American kitchen, including the chicken satay with peanut sauce that I crave.”—Laura Watilo Blake, photo editor

“I am the baker that . . . shh . . . doesn’t follow a recipe. So I search the web for inspiration, not instructions. Recipe search engines, especially Epicurious.com, let me browse multiple recipes, reviews, and creative suggestions. If I find something I really like, I write it down on a notecard and save it in, yes, an actual recipe box.”—Molly Drake, operations coordinator

“Buying cookbooks while we travel has been a great way to remember our favorite trips. From Brooklyn, to Martha’s Vineyard, to New Orleans, to Vienna, to one of my favorites, The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, each book includes photos, stories, and yes, recipes, that feed my soul. A favorite from Big Sur is the breakfast pizza—it’s changed my life.”—Noelle Celeste, publisher