8 beautiful, practical cookbooks you'll turn to again and again

Fans of Rosenstrach’s cookbook Dinner: A Love Story will love her latest offering. Her family decided to limit their meat consumption to the weekends and turn to plant-based meals during the week—reducing meat intake is an easy way to combat climate change. This cookbook contains 100 recipes, as well as what Jenny and her family learned along the way.   
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If you’re familiar with Chungah Rhee’s blog of the same name, you know this is aptly titled. After discovering her site years ago, it quickly became one of my go-to destinations for dinner recipes because her recipes are always tasty, and they always work. This cookbook includes the recipes she’s most well-known for, as well as new ones created for this print edition. This is my go-to whenever I’m looking for something quick, easy, and full of flavor. Favorites include one-pot garlic parmesan pasta, bang-bang chicken, and slow-cooker french dip sandwiches. (Bonus: my 14yo has been making family dinners from this cookbook a lot lately.)
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I was thrilled when Sam Sifton released this collection of the best recipes from the NYT Cooking website and app, which he founded. This cookbook is all about the principles behind cooking. There’s an ingredient list but no measurements. The instructions are easy to understand, leaving you free to adapt and adjust the components of each recipe to your taste.
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My introduction to Deb Perelman of the fantabulous food blog smittenkitchen.com wasn't via the usual route: I found out she was speaking at my local library, a friend told me I should go, I took her advice and found Deb and warm and funny and smart, and only then did I look up her website and her first cookbook, the excellent The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I love them both, and was so excited when I found out about Smitten Kitchen Every Day. This follow-up contains more than a hundred real recipes for real people, gorgeously illustrated.
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If you enjoy sitting down with hefty cookbooks and reading them like novels, it’s especially easy to do here. The first half of the book consists entirely of enjoyable stories and explanations about the cooking process, as Samin examines how each of the key elements—salt, fat, acid, and heat—affect a dish. I especially enjoyed the way she drew from her experience at Chez Panisse, sharing stories of kitchen disasters that happened because one of these elements had gone horribly awry. Once you understand the essentials, Samin leads you into the recipes held in the book's second half. This book made me want to get cooking, and the gorgeous illustrations and flavor wheels make it particularly fun. 
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My Barefoot Contessa cookbooks are well-loved and notably worse for wear. From the publisher: "Ina Garten shares 85 new recipes that will feed your deepest cravings. Many of these dishes are inspired by childhood favorites—but with the volume turned way up, such as Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches (the perfect match for Ina’s Creamy Tomato Bisque), Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions, and the crispiest hash browns that are actually made in a waffle iron! Old-fashioned crowd pleasers like Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions are even more delicious and streamlined for quick cleanup. From cocktails to dessert, from special weekend breakfasts to quick weeknight dinners, you’ll find yourself making these cozy and delicious recipes over and over again."
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When we discussed cookbooks worth of completely cooking your way through, Indian-ish ranked multiple mentions. Inspired by her mother's creative recipes that combined the traditional Indian recipes of her childhood with American favorites (like spaghetti), Priya Krishna shares fun, everyday recipes that can only be described as "Indian-ish." I'm interested in picking this one up for the stories. I love reading my cookbooks like novels, and Krishna shares funny and endearing family memories in between recipes. This one sounds fun to read and to cook from, making it a great candidate for a cookbook completion project.
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Like many cooking enthusiasts, we watched the Netflix series A Chef’s Life, “a show about people, place, tradition and family told through the lens of food.” I’ve since checked out some of Howard’s cookbooks from the library. Her newest, filled with simple recipes sounds like a fun project. She’s insistent that she will CHANGE THE WAY YOU COOK, and that makes me want to pick it up. Of course, the emphasis on "simple" is appealing when you're ready to tackle every single recipe. Bonus: more than half the dishes are vegetarian, gluten-free, or both.
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