Joy the Baker

The Sweet Tooth

Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes
By Joy Wilson

Buy this book for the “Single Lady Pancake” recipe alone. Nothing is better on a solo night in. Joy Wilson takes lunchbox favorites like sheet cake and banana bread, and injects them with an extra dose of rum, chocolate, peanut butter, or raspberries. Unlike some pastry-centric books that rely on finicky layer cakes and exotic flavors, Joy the Baker is conversational and homey. The perfect companion to a rainy afternoon where you just want a superlative plate of brownies, right now.

Skinny Beach

The Girl That’s Always on an Elimination Diet

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your Bod
By Kim Barnouin

If you like hating Gwyneth Paltrow, you’ll LOVE hating the creators of Skinny Bitch. This beautifully photographed cookbook wraps the ethos of Skinny Bitch (animal products are evil, junk food is for the weak, your body deserves to be fed only quality nutrition) into one gourmet package. The Bitches are violently against meat and cheese (great for gourmet vegans!), but absolutely unapologetic about eating clean primarily as a means to stay slim. Kim Barnouin isn’t the most likable writer, but her venomous take-downs of the Standard American Diet may be the punch you need to cook better food. Think solid life advice from Martha Stewart’s foul mouthed, hot younger sister that was voted Prom Queen as a sophomore.

*I have to say that those in ED recovery may want to steer clear. The message to treat your body to whole, fresh foods is great, but Barnouin’s language will be triggering to anyone struggling with restricted eating or working to train their brain away from forbidden foods.


The Vegan

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz
By Terry Hope Romero

Markowitz and Romero are already beloved for books like Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan with a Vengeance, but Veganomicon is a desert island pick. Veganomican is a massive tome with more than 250 recipes, but it’s not the size that makes this book so great. Veganomicon works for all levels of vegan chefs. You’ll find basic info on meat substitutes and chopping and steaming veggies, plus grown-up vegan fare like from scratch chickpea cutlets, risotto, rich gravies, hearty pastas, and omnivore-worthy desserts. If you only own one vegan cookbook, get this one.

Well Fed

The New Paleo

Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat
By Melissa Joulwan

If you’re jumping into the Paleo-verse with a hardcore Whole30, this book has plenty of recipes to keep you full and happy and far away from boneless, skinless anything. The 115+ recipes are free of grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, and alcohol, and rely on richly varied spices and sauces to build flavor without additives. If you’re a meat-eater, paleo or not, this book breathes new life into weeknight dinners, and may inspire you to try new cuts or simply buy better quality meat.

How to Be A Domestic Goddess

The Girl in a Relationship

How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
By Nigella Lawson

Maybe I am biased by my smalltown bringin’ up, but I maintain that comfort food is the best way to show a guy or girl you are girlfriend material. Spending a Saturday morning wrist deep in cake flour is a fun, sensual way to show someone you care. Domestic Goddess highlights the legendary Lawson’s talents as an indulgent home pastry chef. This is aspirational pastry at its finest, but not out of reach. Wear your sexiest apron and heels, pour a glass of red, and get messy.

Homesick Texan

The (Aspiring) Southerner

The Homesick Texan Cookbook
By Lisa Fain

An absolute essential for anyone who respects the power of chili peppers and deep frying. The Homesick Texan maintains a wildly successful food blog committed to down home staples and spicy Tex-Mex. These recipes are authentic and rich, full of meat and spice and guaranteed to please a red blooded crowd. Make cream gravy, salsa, or poblano mac and cheese and watch your friends swoon.

Cooking for One

The Single Girl

The Pleasures of Cooking for One
By Judith Jones

Being single and living alone is awesome until you have to feed yourself. A girl can only live on peanut butter and Golden Grahams for so long before acquiring rickets. Jones makes cooking and eating solo and indulgent treat. Cooking for One is a reminder that you and you alone are still worthy of duck confit and fresh baked bread. Plus, this book elevates leftovers into gourmet dishes of their own.

Barefoot Contessa

The At Home Foodie

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust
By Ina Garten

There’s a saying that you should never trust a skinny cook (I think). I love me some Giada, but you get the feeling that Ina Garten actually cooks, eats, and enjoys the recipes written under her name. We all want to live in Ina Garten’s world. It’s worth remembering that Barefoot Contessa’s trademark is an aspirational lifestyle, and that “foolproof” does not mean “basic.” This cookbook relies on grocery store ingredients and thorough, heavily detailed instructions for turning out stunners like Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding and Elegant Slow-Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise in your home kitchen. A wonderful resource for cooks willing to put in a little time for perfect results.

In the Small Kitchen

The Millennial

In The Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World, Cara Eisenpress
By Phoebe Lapine

The authors call this “the cookbook to go with your first apartment.” It’s not so much a learn to cook book, but it does include beginner friendly tips on shopping for your first kitchen, how to host a dinner party, and cocktail recipes beyond vodka/mixers and beer. Apartment dwelling city girls will appreciate recipes that don’t require much counter space or finicky ingredients. Perfect for those that want to cook and entertain, but don’t exactly own a wine cellar and Le Creuse set. Sold? Check back tomorrow… we’re giving away a copy of this totally necessary book!

Better Homes and Gardens

Literally, the One Cookbook Every Girl Needs To Own

New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

It’s not fancy, but buy a copy of this cookbook and you can cook just about anything. Need to know how long to hard boil an egg? Pick a watermelon? Make a basic banana bread? Seven ways to cook a steak? If all you want is a basic recipe, you can search the index of the OG cookbook and get an answer faster than you can Google. The tried-and-true recipes are also a great place to start if you’re looking to create your own signature dishes, get it.

With these ten books on your shelf, you are prepared for just about any kind of finicky dinner guest, from gluten-free vegans to hardcore carnivores.

Don’t forget to enter tomorrow’s giveaway for a chance to win a copy of In the Small Kitchen!