Cooking with Fire (and Comfort)

Those who know me, know that I have an obscene relationship with cookbooks. Other people read psychological thrillers, romance, I dunno, memoir. Ahem. Me, self-help and cookbooks greet me bedside each time I roll over to switch on the nightlight. Though in truth, I switch on nothing. I’m all up in Alexa’s business, telling her to “Turn on Stephanie,” my shorthand lingo to get Alexa to turn on only the light above my bed, leaving the rest of the room dark. We’re just going to ignore what all of that says about me and jump straight into the goods.

Here are the book releases to which I’m most looking forward in the coming days:

Ottolenghi Simple
Made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot. Do I really need to add anything?

SkinnyTaste One and Done

140 No-Fuss Dinners for Your Instant Pot®, Slow Cooker, Air Fryer, Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven, and More

Comfort in an Instant

Oh, Melissa Clark, you have the best cookbooks.

Cook Like A Pro Beloved Ina.

Everyday Dorie The Way I Cook

Don’t feel like waiting?
Here’s a great book in my collection that was released this past September:
Now & Again Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers

I LOVE Now & Again! I love the way it’s arranged–seasonally and also by occasion (hi, Chili nachos) and mood and all the really thoughtful ideas and suggestions about what to bring to someone’s home when they invite you for dinner (like a good bottle of olive oil in lieu of wine, or granola and freshly squeezed O.J. for the hosts to enjoy the following morning). Love this book!

If you’re anything like me, you own an InstantPot. You bought it because everyone said you had to have one. And now you have one, but you don’t use it except for maybe making the same 3 recipes you’ve already made ad nauseam. I am blessed with a man who can follow direction. God love him, Phil asks me what he can make for dinner. Until we owned an InstantPot, this request was code for, “What can I grill you for dinner?–and if you make me follow a recipe, never mind.” But now, with the InstantPot, I send the man in the direction of a recipe, and he makes that shit happen. We’re not baking cheesecakes in here yet, but we’re working on it.

Related: What your cookbooks say about you >>



  1. Haha! I feel you! We collect tons of cookbooks and rarely use them. Except I can’t seem to remember the beloved CIA cookbook banana bread recipe that i doctor to use less points, even though I’ve been making it for like 20 years. Nowadays, I usually just google what I want to make and POOF! There it is on my laptop, complete with a video if I like…

  2. I am embarrassed to say that I’ve donated most of my cookbooks to church fairs, etc. My favorite YouTuber is Laura Vitale and like Suzanne, she’s in my kitchen in seconds. I love my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbooks because they also include reviews of cooking tools and the best ingredients.

    1. Author

      I buy some of my cookbooks in digital format, just to take up less space, but there’s still something special about the actual book and filliping through it for ideas. It’s not the same digitally.

  3. I’ve always thought the best way to know what a person is really about is to take a peek at the books on their bookshelf. Forget the medicine cabinet; look at what they’re reading! For me, the same…cookbooks, self help, DIY, crafts, and some social/political weight when I want to learn more than what’s being spewed online or on the television. Lately it’s been escapes into Rosamund Pilcher…always makes me long for some hot tea, gum boots, and a scullery.

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