Resolved: Be a better cook — A Book List
To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas from now through Epiphany and to advocate for the idea of reading books to support New Year projects, resolutions, and goals, I’m writing a series of posts with themed book lists for various popular resolutions. So far…
Day 1: Be More Fit
Day 2: Be Happier
For Day 3 and Weekend Cooking, I have books to support resolutions like “cook more at home” or “improve my cooking.”
The book that improved my cooking the most in 2013 was Cooked by Michael Pollan. Not a cookbook, but more an extended essay on the deep satisfaction of home-cooking, Cooked provided inspiration for finding more pleasure in the daily tasks of the kitchen.
A book that Pollan recommends and I’ve been meaning to read is On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, a classic work on how cooking works.
America’s Test Kitchen has a new book out that looks perfect for improving cooking skills: Cooking School Cookbook. According to Goodreads:
Whether you’re starting out in the kitchen or have been cooking for years, this essential guide to cooking fundamentals, featuring 3000+ step photos and 500+ recipes, will make you a better cook for everything from scrambled eggs and roast chicken to layer cakes and fruit tarts.
Have you read any of these books? Which did you like? Do you have other books on the topic to recommend?
If you’re reading books to improve your cooking in the new year (or for other goals, projects, and resolutions), join us at The New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge!
Hi Joy. I have just got into Cooking around my French table by Dorie Greenspan – may not have the title quite right! Lots of inspiring stuff – I got it from the library first but then asked for it for Christmas. Happy New Year!
My resolution for improving my cooking this year is to follow the advice from expert cooks to get all the ingredients out and prepped BEFORE starting the actual cooking. I also need to make a resolution not to ask for or buy any new cookbooks during 2014!
I haven’t yet read the new(ish) Pollan (I know, I know)! I have the ATK Cooking School book but haven’t cracked it open yet. I do love ATK and have been a fan for years. I always learn a lot from their books and magazines.
I love to cook, which is a good thing because I cook dinner more than 300 nights a year. I really need to do a better job of recording my meals, especially the dishes I make up on the fly.
This is what I keep meaning to do…keeping some kind of cooking log to record meals and recipes..what worked and what didn’t..what I should change, etc. I have a recipe book on evernote and I can add notes to it..I just don’t …sigh
I love that idea. I tried Evernote, too, and didn’t make any progress. I suspect this is something I’d be more likely to do with pen and paper in some kind of notebook that I didn’t mind getting messy so I could do it right in the kitchen.
What a great idea to have your 12 days of Christmas lists. I still haven’t got to reading any more Pollan either, but will get to it some time.
I prefer baking to cooking, which is just something I have to do. I know, that’s not a good attitude. My favorite cookbook is Jamie Oliver at Home. It is the only one I’ve seen that is organized by garden seasons and I love that. It has basic recipes that inspire me to be creative with my produce.
Man I sure do need to be a better cook. I try.. but it seems I always find myself back in a rut of making the same things.