Between the two of us, Geoffrey definitely cooks the most. He'll often make dinner while I put Sloan down, which is a win-win because he loves it—and I love his cooking. While he finds many of his recipes online (we're both fans of pretty much anything the NY Times puts out), I still gravitate towards hardcover cookbooks. There's something so satisfying about cooking or baking a recipe from a book, then reading excerpts about it and the chef's experience. It provides a personal and special connection to their food. I also love that over time, a well-loved cookbook begins to fall open to favorite recipes. I own countless cookbooks (we have an entire section of our bookshelf dedicated to them), but here are the eight I turn to time and time again:
The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball: In my opinion, this is the definitive cookbook for learning baking basics like how to form perfect crusts and bake cookies and cakes. It's hard to narrow down a favorite dish, but their lemon bar recipe is a perfect balance of tart and creamy, with a crisp crust.
The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton: This book holds a special place in my heart, since the restaurant was the location of my first date with G. Although it's a five minute drive from our house, we don't go too often, but we do attempt to replicate their dishes regularly—especially now that we have a wood-fire pizza oven. One of my favorite appetizers to serve is their burrata with bacon, marinated escarole, and caramelized shallots.
Giada at Home by Giada de Laurentiis: I'm a huge fan of Giada—she's poised, talented, but still incredibly relatable, and her recipes are approachable and simple. I've turned to this book for years for simple and flavorful Italian dishes. I've made the Pasta Ponza so often I could pretty much do it in my sleep.
Miette by Meg Ray: Whenever I'm in San Francisco or Oakland, I make a point of stopping into Meg's beautiful and bright bakery. I had to purchase her cookbook so I could make her chocolate sables in between visits to Northern California.
Speakeasy by Jason Kosmas: Geoffrey gifted me this book a few years ago and it helped to introduce me to making proper cocktails at home. It also got me hooked on gin. Their Aviation cocktail is the standard upon which I judge others.
Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer: Like many people, this was the first cookbook I ever received as a gift, which included a sweet inscription from my dad. Although I don't turn to it as often as I used to, I still rely on it for its classic soup recipes.
Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten: I think it's fair to say I have an Ina obsession. I own all of her books, but this particular one has my all-time favorite vegetable dish–cauliflower gratin.
The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated: Cook's Illustrated is probably the only magazine I truly read cover-to-cover, and hoard issues of. It's always filled with carefully-tested recipes. This book, which includes the best-of, is probably the first one I'll give to Sloan since you can't go wrong with any of their recipes, especially the roast chicken (no offense to Ina).