Addicted to cookbooks

My name is Alex and I am addicted to cookbook. 

But lets justify this for a second (as any addict will) - they provide insight, inspiration and oggle factor in equal measures. As an avid home cook and blogger its also clearly my job to have as many cookbooks and magazines as possible... right?  Anyway, here is a little round up on my books - what I love and what I do.. 


I actually stole this idea off my good friend Hannah - her house is one of my favourites for cookbook perving. She takes things a little further than me by colour coding for ingredients but I'm happy just to tab anything I've cooked. I also add a score out of 10 and any notes about improvements/ changes... When you head back to that book at a later date, its super helpful! 

Recipe collecting

The best recipe books are the ones you make yourself - I have a recipe journal and a scrapbook and both have been with me for most of my adult life. The scrapbook I started when I was back at uni and it's been with me ever since. There are so many things stuck in there - from supermarket recipe cards to things cut out of magazines. The pages are all full now but I still use it as a valuable resource.


I always have a cookbook on the book stand on my counter-top. I like to change it around to keep myself inspired and often put something up before I'm going to cook it. Geek alert. At the moment I've got my brand spanking new copy of Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales - Glynn Purnell's rather fabulous book.  If you don't have a copy I really recommend it, there are a whole variety of recipes and his stories elevate this from the usual chef cookbook into something totally magical! 

I'm pretty lucky that I have space for book shelves in my kitchen but they just aren't enough and my books have now spilled down onto the counters. In fact, there are around 2 years worth of Good Food and Olive magazines plus even more books shoved in the sideboard in the lounge!

So... out of all those books - which are my favourites? It changes all the time but at the moment, these 4 have to be ranked at the top! 
  • Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking - as you know, I love a good curry and this book is excellent, every dish I've made from it has been a winner (and you'd never miss the meat!).
  • Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales I've already mentioned this above. Go and buy a copy! 
  • The Kitchen Diaries II - a true classic from Nigel Slater. Like Glynn Purnell's book, this one works on two levels - great recipes but also a brilliant read in its own right! 
  • Two Greedy Italians - I will never grow tired of this book. I absolutely love Italian food and this book has some crackers in it!  

What are your favourite cookbooks? I've had some great suggestions on twitter and facebook for new ones so come on guys - feed my addiction! 


  1. My name is Louise and I am also an addict. I have over 300 cookbooks and 'several' years worth of Olive, Delicious et al magazines. I can't stop. Hours can be lost in Waterstones cookbook department before I leave clutching my haul. I hide them under the bed and then squeeze them into the bulging custom made (solely for my cookbooks) bookshelves. I lie (somewhat unconvincingly) when my husband asks suspiciously 'Is that a new cookbook?'. Some bought because of the recipes, some because of the photography, some both, some because I read them like a book (yes, that is you Nigel Slater), some because I've eaten in a great restaurant and some because I have exhausted all the previous excuses and need a new fix. I'll pause for breath now and say thank you Alex, I'm with you and this has been a cathartic confession! ;-)

  2. I love this post alex!! My name is Roz and I am a cookbook addict! (Think you've started something here...) love your kitchen too and may start to 'borrow' the labelling idea....

  3. Just great comments ladies, thankyou both for making me laugh! We have to accept our affliction and keep going! 😃

  4. This post made me very happy - You've inspired me to write a post on my cookbook obsession! I just re-did my dining room and set out all my cookbooks which had been on the floor previously because my old shelf snapped under the weight of them all! My all time favourite cookbook is the one I learnt from - It's called the complete cookbook and it's over 1000 pages long and inside is how to do everything, from cracking an egg to boning fish, cutting meat, making pastry, anything you can think of! Then it has a whole buttload of recipes in the back. All technical ones that are amazing. Plus it has a whole section on cocktails, so I can appear sophisticated if I need too. ;)

    1. Thanks Emma, I love your blog and can't wait to read your post! That book sounds great, anything with cocktails in = classy :-)

  5. Oh my. That labels idea may have just changed my life. I'm such a cookbook addict, and love cooking my way through them, but adding labels and notes with thoughts and suggestions is just genius!!

    Sophie x

    1. Hehehe.. I can't take the credit Sophie - my friend introduced me to the labels. They are great when you return to a recipe or when you're perusing a book for inspiration!

  6. Wow, that's some collection. I'm in love with cookbooks and they are absolutely necessary as we need to eat well, don't we x


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