I have a confession to make: while I love to cook, I’m absolutely useless without a recipe. Sure, I can tweak a dish and make it my own once I have the recipe down (like I did with my favorite shakshuka recipe), but I really need guidance the first few times I make it.
While I used to primarily search online for recipes, I find myself now using cookbooks for inspiration.
Fun fact about me: I collect cookbooks.
Every time I visit a new country, I buy a cookbook of that country’s traditional cuisine. I started this tradition in my early twenties…. and now I own cookbooks for Israel, Greece, South Korea, China, France, Cuba, etc. Oh and obviously several for the UK (London and Edinburgh are two of my favorite destinations, after all)!
Then, earlier this year, the lockdown hit. And suddenly, I was cooking daily. I rapidly realized that while I had plenty of fun and exotic cuisines represented in my cookbook collection, there was a gaping hole when it came to like… random recipes to make on a Tuesday. Or American dishes in general. Or healthy eating.
So I went out and bought a few cookbooks. And then a few more. And a few more after that.
I now have well over 40 cookbooks in my house… But I only have a handful of cookbooks I’d recommend you buy this fall. Each of the 7 cookbooks I recommend would be perfect to gift to somebody who loves to cook… or even to buy for yourself! (I bought this one, this one, and this one for my mom this summer!)
7 cookbooks you need to buy this fall:
(these would be perfect to gift this holiday season to a friend who loves to cook btw!)
If you want to eat healthier this fall, add this cookbook to your shopping cart. Every recipe included in the cookbook is healthy-adjacent… and most are even Whole30 compliant!
At this point, I’ve made nearly every recipe in the cookbook. For the official record, my favorite is the Enchiladas Con Carne recipe: I’ve made it for friends and family and it’s always a crowd-pleaser!
I love this cookbook. And Half Baked Harvest in general (I definitely recommend following her on Instagram!). Her bread is a masterpiece. She even has cocktails in this book. The recipes included in this cookbook are flavorful and largely fairly easy to make; I particularly love the Garlic Butter Ramen recipe!
Yes, another Half Baked Harvest cookbook… but trust me: you should definitely buy both this fall if you don’t already own them! This book includes recipes for every meal – I particularly love her tiramisu cupcakes!
I bought an Instant Pot® last year… And then I proceeded to not touch it for 10 months. I rediscovered it this fall and immediately purchased this cookbook so I could experiment more. I love Indian food and follow @minitry_of_curry on Instagram for inspiration – I love that she made an entire cookbook just for the Instant Pot®!
Note that some of the recipes may require ingredients that can be difficult to find… but it’s so worth it. I love the Butter Chicken recipe and the Chicken Biriyani.
So when I mentioned earlier that I rediscovered my Instant Pot® this fall, I left out that I rapidly became OBSESSED with it. At that point, I went out and bought this cookbook for Mexican recipes (I live in Texas, so Mexican food is basically a weekly staple for me!). So far, I’ve made the Arroz con Pollo and the Chicken Tortilla Soup – both were absolutely delish!
Truth be told, this wasn’t a 2020 purchase. I actually bought this cookbook years ago, after my birthright trip to Israel. But I rediscovered it this year, so I think it counts for this list! I crave Middle Eastern food at least once a week, so having this cookbook on standby is a MUST for me.
Is it really so surprising that the cookbook from my absolute favorite restaurant in London made my list of cookbooks to buy this fall? Because it shouldn’t be. You need to try the Black Daal – it’s seriously life changing. And the cocktails. You must try the cocktails.