Which Cookbook?

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Basic Cookbooks & Recipe Sources Specific Types of Cookbooks

Go-To Cookbook

May 2011

Which cookbook do you turn to the most for your favorite family recipes? I'd love to expand my repetoire with reasonably easy, reliably good recipes and would so appreciate some new recommendations. I find I really appreciate illustrations and straight-forward techniques. Thank you. No Cordon Bleu for this chef

Alice Waters' 'The Art of Simple Food' http://www.amazon.com/Art-Simple-Food-Delicious-Revolution/dp/0307336794/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

We have starting calling this 'the bible' in our house. It stays out on the counter in the cookbook holder and we refer to it nearly every day. It is full of simple recipes and great ideas...I use it far more than any other cookbook I own. Sally

I would highly recommend http://allrecipes.com as I have found many solid recipes that are easy to make and taste great. Just search for the most popular recipes for the most loved ones and you'll see the ones that hundreds of people have tried and liked.

I also like searching for a dish on Google to see what pops up and often find interesting recipes and blogs from home cooks that way.

As for actual books, I like Better Homes and Gardens' 'America's Best-Loved Community Recipes' which came out in 1994 for easy, yet tasty recipes. home cook

For good, fast and easy recipes, I usually turn to Martha Stewart's 'Great Food Fast' and 'Fresh Flavor Fast'. For something a tiny bit more advanced, but still easy, I really love Tyler Florence's 'Tyler's Ultimate'. And for more inventive, yet more effort are Tyler Florence's 'Eat This Book' and Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie at Home.' I use these last two almost every night. I appreciate that all of these cookbooks have an assortment of flavors ranging from Asian to Mexican to Mediterranean to American. I can't wait to see what other people recommend! fyi: For the slightly more experienced, I just picked up Ottolenghi's 'Plenty' and I think it is the perfect 'Berkeley' cookbook. I've really been trying to de-meat my diet and eat more veggies from the farmer's market. Shelby

Amy Sedaris's 'I Like You' yes it is funny and yes the recipes are real! Easy to follow, basic, & fun. Chicken Taverna? Yum!

Mark Bittman is my favorite cookbook author. I have his 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' cookbook (we're not veg, but the book has a lot of yummy, straightforward recipes for anyone). I also have his 'How to Cook Everything' iPhone app.

And if you're into summer grilling, this New York Times column is da bomb: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/dining/30mini.html I happily worked my way through about 1/4 of the recipes last summer, and am looking forward to more. No omnivore's dilemmas for me!

I own over 50 cookbooks, but the one I end up using 90% of the time is Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything'. If I were to only own 1 cookbook, this would definitely be it. Whenever i decide to cook something I've never cooked before, this is my first stop. Mark's writing style and recipes are straightforward, simple, and most importantly he always has opinions on everything (and has never led me astray). It's basically the Fannie Farmer for our generation.

He also has a 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' version as well. Although I share your affinity for cookbooks that have illustrations, this is the one cookbook I own that doesn't have any photos, and it hasn't bothered me a bit. m

Low-Sodium Cookbook or Reference

April 2008

Hello BPN My son (7) has to go on a very low-sodium diet because of some god-awful high dose steroids he'll be on for at least a couple years(no, we don't have a choice, it's medically called for). I'm looking for a great reference book, cookbook or otherwise, with accurate sodium listings for whole foods and prepared foods. Hopefully, less about food dogma, more about actual-factuals. Meal ideas would be great. Also any website ideas? Salt Is No Go

I don't have a specific book recommendation, but Kaiser Oakland has a library/resource center that sells such things. I don't recall if you need to be a Kaiser member to buy anything (you do to check out from the library), but even if you do, it might be helpful to browse and be able to flip through the books, rather than the limited info available on line. They also have files and files of information on specific condiditions ( the librarian helped me find a Gout diet for my mother-in-law). The resource center is located on Howe street in the basement below the optician (which is next door to the parking structure and across from the hospital). Carrie

Dear salt-free mom: Sorry about your dilemma. I sent your request to my stepmother, who is a registered dietitian and has done a lot with schools and children. Here response is below and I hope it helps. Good luck...

There should be a good pediatric dietetic group in your area. They should have a website, or try Bay Area Dietetic Asso website. This child's pediatrician also could refer to a'' kid friendly' dietitian for help. My first reaction is how low? Very low sodium is usually under 1000 mg daily and used to prevent brain swelling. I doubt this is what the doctor wants. She needs to know how many mgs. sodium. A good reference book would be The Diabetic Carbohydrate and Fat Gram Guide, by Lena Mae Holtzmeister RD, CDE This book also lists sodium per serving of most foods including name brands, fast foods, frozen foods, whole foods etc. It's 12 dollars in paperback. American Heart Asso also has cookbooks etc on low sodium cooking. The library and nutrition section of book store also have many helps as well. Good luck. Supported by saltless stepmom

American Heart Association has a low-salt cookbook. Also if you check on Amazon under low-salt cookbooks, you'll find several listed. I've eaten low salt for several years. If it gets difficult, might want to check with nutritionist. Good luck with your son. Nearly saltless

Cookbook for preparing seasonal local foods

Feb 2008

I know there are lots of great cookbook recommendations in the archives, and we love lots of them (Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, Moosewood cookbook, etc.). But after reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I'd like to be better about cooking more seasonally using local ingredients. Any suggestions of good cookbooks that are geared to seasonally appropriate, local, farmer's market food? I'd especially love one that has relatively quick and easy recipes since we have two kids. Thanks! Get cookin'

Check out the recipes on the website for Farm Fresh to You, the Capay Farms site. They do an organic box delivery, but if you don't want to do that, the recipes are all free on the site. farmfreshtoyou.com fresh produce lover

Deborah Madison's Local Flavors is exactly what you're looking for. caroline

There is a nice cookbook called Simply in Season. It is well organized and emphasizes the need to eat in season and locally. You can buy it online directly from the publisher (recommended route) http://www.mph.org/hp/books/SimplyinSeason.htm Or, you can also get it on Amazon. There is also a children's version called Simply in Season Children's Cookbook. I haven't used it but I have heard good things.

I've been cooking seasonally for awhile and exclusively from a farm box for a year and a half now. I find the go-to book to be Chez Pannise Vegetables: http://tinyurl.com/2lgumx. It's an alphabetical listing of vegetables with with a nice, general explaination of what they are and how they cook and then a variety of preparations detailed in several recipies. For local meats, get a classic like Julia Child's, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and work through her recipies. You'll start to pick up technique that you can apply on your own. I'm huge fan of getting a good technical grounding so you can ditch recipes, at least on weeknights, so also check out Harold McGee's classic: On Food and Cooking. I think Nourishing Traditions and the Moosewood Cookbook will serve you well with beans and grains! If you get a CSA box, most of them have newsletters with recipes in them. If you're buying from the farmer's market, talk to the farmer. I favor simple preparations. For example, we're swimming in greens now, so we eat them sauteed in olive oil, or lard until they wilt and then sprinkle them with sea salt. They're truly some of the tastiest things on our plate. You can throw greens in to soups, too. For root vegetables, I mostly chop them in to cubes and roast them with oil, salt, pepper and some herbs. You can finish them with a little acid to brighten them up. Local food lover

I highly recommend this book: The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD Her book is arranged by season for the farmers\x92 market shopper. It\x92s all about veggies \x96 and pretty much just veggies. It has some good pressure cooker recipes too. http://www.theveggiequeen.com/ Valerie

It's not a cookbook but it is a good source for recipes using seasonal produce. See http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/recipes/ New recipes are added each week, usually using produce in season at the time. Sally

Best websites for recipes

May 2007

I love to cook. I have a whole bunch of favorite cookbooks...and yet every once in a while I want to find a good recipe for something that is not in one of the cookbooks I already own.

Since the Bay Area is full of foodies, I ask the foracle...oh great berkeley parents network...where do YOU go online for that occasional odd recipe?

I'd prefer a place that is full of fairly eclectic recipes from around the world. For instance...the other day I was looking for a recipe that used urad dal/black lentils. Once I was looking for basic hints on modifying bean and chile recipes for a crockpot. This afternoon I was looking for a Sangria recipe. I still need help troubleshooting my croissants...the pastry kind that you have to fold with butter a gazillion times.

Know what I mean? Any suggestions? foodgeek

Epicurious always wins hands down for me because even though it has some holes in ''ethnic'' cooking the often extensive user comments and tips are so helpful.

I especially like that, unlike some other recipe websites, very, very little on Epicurious calls for readymade ingredients (e.g. packets of cake mix, canned soups, etc.). Probably helps that many of the recipes are originally from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. (And it's a nice bonus that there are some really old recipes from those mags included, so if you're hankering for shrimp in aspic, you can probably find a way to make it there.)

I've also looked at blogs to doublecheck what I find on epicurious. I was looking for a Hungarian recipe the other day and ended up making a version of something I found on a blog by a Hungarian woman while also comparing it with the epicurious version. Of course this approach is probably easier for recipes with distinctive ''Googleable'' names. Happy eating!

Ahhh .. another foodie!

Here are a few of the websites that I use for recipes. Granted, with two 4.5 year olds in the house, and being a single mom, I don't do a lot of cooking for grown-ups, so my list isn't as eclectic and exhaustive as you might want, but here goes.

www.epicurious.com -- archives recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit, going more than 10 years back

www.americastestkitchen.com -- provides recipes from the current year's shows. You can subscribe to www.cooksillustrated.com through this website, if you like, which would give you access to all of those ''best recipe'' recipes that Cook's Illustrated provides. I would bet they would have the answer to your croissant dilemma.

www.foodtv.com -- yes, the TV Food Network has slid recently (in my opinion -- too many ''personalities'' and too little serious cooking), but there are still many of the shows from which I draw inspiration. If you're not familiar, I recommend Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and Good Eats (Alton Brown) to start. Not much in the way of ethnic cuisine, however.

www.KQED.com -- there are some recipes on their website from their many cooking shows

http://www.indianfoodforever.com/ -- a good source for Indian recipes -- well organized to find what you're looking for Happy cooking!

I'm sure there are craftier responses than this, but CookingLight.com has been pretty reliable for me. A quick recipe search found 51 black lentil recipes, 11 sangria recipes, and you can search recipes by all sorts of ethnic origins. Sorry, nothing on making croissants. For that kind of thing, try Yahoo Answers (answers.yahoo.com) in the Cooking and Recipes section. Fellow Food Geek

I too love to cook and have many different cookbooks. But my one-stop internet recipe search place is with www.epicurious.com. I have found some great recipes there. It's really a database of years worth of recipes from Gourmet, Bon Apetit, and several other magazines. The best part about it is actually the user comments from other people who have tried the recipe and note substitutions they made, or changes in cooking time, or whatever. Check it out -you can even collect your own virtual ''recipe box'' of recipes you find.

I have been impressed with epicurious.com

can type in a single ingredient and browse 100's of recipes or search various other ways. also people write in rating the recipe, and suggesting modifications, etc. chris

There are a ton of recipe websites. The one I use the most is Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com). Users rate and review the recipes, which is so helpful. I have picked up a ton of tips and variations on the recipes that way. They just revamped their site and have cooking forums now, which I suppose would be a good place to ask specific questions relating to types of food or cuisines you need help with. The advanced search function is awesome. You can specific certain ingredients, type of cuisine, low fat, etc, or you can exclude certain items such as dairy, eggs, and wheat.

I recently ran across another site called The Post Punk Kitchen (http://www.theppk.com). It has a lot of vegan and world cuisine. It also has reviews, but I find the ones on Epicurious to be a little more helpful.

Lastly there is AllRecipes, which I find to be a little more middle-of-the-road, Family Circle, Betty Crocker-ish, not to sound like a total snob. But it never hurts to check it out: http://www.allrecipes.com

Lastly,I think The SF Chronicle's food section is really great. All the articles and recipes are archived online at http://www.sfgate.com.


Try Epicurious.com. I searched for urad dal and they gave me four recipies. Three were from Gourmet; one from Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. Cheers! Another foodie

Hi there! I know I am responding late, but if the person who asked for the recipe website - and I have to agree that www.epicurious.com is great for all the reasons people mentioned as well as suggesting that you check out www.recipesource.com (although it can be a little all-over-the-map) - is reading, I am a pastry chef and would be happy to answer your questions about croissants. Claire

Favorite Cookbook

April 2004

My husband and I are venturing back into our kitchen and, since I can cook about as well as I can do advanced algebra, I'm looking for a favorite, trusted, wonderfully tasty cookbook that I can rely on to produce consistently delicious but manageable meals. Our kids are now 8 and 10 and willing to try new things within reason. Vegetarian we are not, nor do we subscribe to anything remotely Atkins-like, although of course we'd rather make healthy meals given the opportunity. There has to be some completely great cookbook out there to fit the bill, but I haven't come upon it yet. Archives do not have said recommendation. Many thanks. Alice Waters wanna-be

2 books came to mind as I read your post. I love ''How to Cook Everything'' by Mark Bittman. It really has EVERYTHING in it. Also, ''Cooking with Claudine'' by Jacques Pepin--the master chef cooks with his 20-something daughter. Instead of just dishes, there are whole menus for meals, from appetizer to dessert. That's always tough for me, figuring out what will ''go'' with what. The dishes are sophisticated, but not too complicated or with too many ingredients. Happy cooking! Heidi

You could try Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely. It gives 32 weeks of menus, 8 for each season and includes recipes and a shopping list for each week. The recipes I've tried so far are mostly good, quick and easy to make. They're also pretty healthy. You can get it on Amazon. Mimi

We received the New Joy of Cooking years ago and I constantly use it. It works as a ''bible'' to me and I not only use it for the recipes but it also gives great descriptions on how-to, why, what, etc. Everything we've cooked from it has been great. There are a lot of basic recipes in it, too. Happy Cooking! Felicia

Hi, I have many (many, many) cookbooks just because I enjoy reading them. I think it is important to define the cooking style that you want before selecting the right cookbook. I have a big collection of Williams Sonoma cookbooks with pretty colored pictures. I enjoy these books very much but never really use any recipes from them. (Yes, some cookbook collectors behave this way :) With my 5 1/2 year old daughter, I now need my cooking to be practical. The most practical cookbooks I use are from Reiman Publications. There are a few of them -- Tase of Home and Light & Tasty are my favorite. You can check them out by going to this website: http://www.countrystorecatalog.com/category.asp?SID==I305=Cookbooks=CBK

It's hard to recommend just one cookbook to people whose tastes I don't know but . . . here are some suggestions: first, vegetarian or not, I love, and use ALL the time The Savory Way by Deborah Madison. I also find that the Sunset books are very user-friendly, have pretty easy recipes, and turn out consistently tasty food. They cover a huge swath of various cuisines, from crockpots to Thai. For basic stuff (how to make pot roast, how to cook a turkey, how to make a yellow cake) Fanny Farmer, ed. Marion Cunningham and/or James Beards' American Cookery. I can also wholeheartedly recommend, speaking of Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables. Wendy

My vote for favorite cookbook goes to Mark Bitman's ''Cook Everything.'' It's like today's version of the Joy of Cooking (and there's no recipe in there for possum or bear!!) It has chapters on everything, from meats to fruits/veggies to breads and deserts. He educates you as well. Recipes are easy to read and complete, and virtually everything I've made has turned out delicious. A few of my other favorites include Madhur Jaffries' Indian Cooking (the Delhi-style lamb - oh my God) and Moosewood Cooks at Home. Happy cooking! Taught myself to cook

Mark Bittman: How to Cook Almost Everything (or something like that)is a 21st Century Joy of Cooking (more low-fat, low sugar,and ethnic/California cuisine type recipes as well as basics such as cornbread and mac and cheese). I like that in addition to set recipes, he gives suggestions for substitutions or variations and gives sample menus for different occasions. I would say that its a good basic cookbook that is useful for almost every skill level. I refer to it for basic techniques as well as special occasion recipes. Karen H.

My long-time favorites are: The Joy of Cooking; Better Homes and Gardens; and any of the Taste of Home (or others from that family) annual collections. The Sunset recipe book for slow cookers (crock pots) is great, too. Happy cooking! Amy N

I highly recommend The New Basics Cookbook (and The Silver Palate Cookbook, and The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook) by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Every one of their recipes I have tried has been excellent. Beware, however, they are not the most fat conscious. They are all about taste. And their recipes are not too complicated. They include very useful information as well like measurement conversions (e.g., how many tablespoons in a 1/4 cup), all the different cuts of meats and which are best, what fish can be substituted for one another, etc! Check it out. Burr

We have a few. Lately, I've been using How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. It has manageable, good recipes for, well, just about everything. It's kind of like a Joy of Cooking for the 2000s. Another good one (and we aren't vegetarians, but like it anyway) is Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It's been very helpful as we try to use up those organic veggies we get in our box every week. Happy Cooking! Michael

A great first inclusive and trustworthy cookbook is the new edition of The Joy of Cooking. The cookbook has been completely updated with many recipes contributed by renowned Bay Area cookbook writers. The range of dishes is wide - and the preparation is usually quite simple. Certainly the instructions are always clear. I am not a novice chef at all - I have hundreds of cookbooks - but I heartily recommend the new Joy of Cooking. Lucy

As an avid cookbook collector (I have over 300), congrats on making your foray back into cooking. My favorite ''starter'' cookbook for people who love to eat good food but are perhaps not equipped with tons of equipment or the luxury of lots of time is THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA or THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA FAMILY COOKBOOK. Ina Garten's recipes are simple and tasty, and she tends to have lots of things children are willing to eat. The pictures are lovely, the instructions are straightforward. I would not recommend her foods as the most diet friendly, but they are wholesome and fun.

Another great book is THE BARBEQUE BIBLE, if you are a meat eater. As the title suggests, it's got lots of marinades and rubs and recipes for grilled and barbequed meat, plus a smaller assortment of vegetable recipes. I like this book because its unintimidating and everyone loves to play around the barbeque (try the fabulous adobo marinade!).

Daniel Boulud, my favorite chef, has a number of cookbooks include THE CAFE BOULUD COOKBOOK. Each section is peppered with memories of his childhood in France, which gives you an idea of his philosophy. His recipes range from simple savory foods, like short ribs, and chicken grand mere francine, to more complicated preparations that require specials pans and a little baking prowess. That said, it's a wonderful collection.

As a dessert book, my hands-down favorite is ROOM FOR DESSERT, written by the former pastry chef at Chez Panisse. Simple, beautiful desserts that are absolute show stoppers.

You may also want to go with a subscription to Bon Appetit. That way, you will have a little of everything: they have a quick cook section, a more elaborate section, typically they have healthy foods intermingled, and best of all, the book is seasonal so the recipes are timely for what's in the grocery store. What's more, you can ''test'' your recipes a month later on Epicurious.com. Readers try the recipes and write comments about them. It's a great way to cook for the beginner.

Best of luck. Tsan

I have 3 to recommend. The first two *are* vegetarian cookbooks, since I started my passion for cooking while I was a vegetarian, but have since started eating fish and poultry. The recipes in these books can often be supplemented, if you like, with cooked ground turkey or something else. These are Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. I refer to them over and over again, even when I'm improvising, for ideas.

The other one is called Extending the Table - it's a spiral- bound, fairly low-budget cookbook that's a collection of recipes from around the world (but I think you can find it on- line). I have 5 or 6 standards from it that I make over and over again, and every once in a while I try something new (and almost always love it). Jen

Easy Family Meals Cookbook

March 2004

Juggling work, 3yr old, 6 month old, marriage, managing a household...it's always a challenging to come up with super fast, easy, yet interesting meals day in and day out...I'm curious how others manage this situation! Any cookbooks recommended? tana

This has been fabulous for us: www.savingdinner.com. Each week you get a menu of 6 easy to cook meals (put together by a nutritionist) plus a grocery list. Print it off, go to the store (once a week, not every other day, like I used to), and cook to your heart's content. It's not haute cuisine, but it's not bad, it's quick to cook, and it beats pizza and take out! Cheaper too. They have regular and low carb menus for families of 2 or 6. The regular menu has vegetarian substitutions listed. The veggie options can be a bit unimaginative, but I just make my own substitutions if I find theirs boring. Happy cooking! Saving Dinner in Kensington

I really like ''Pasta e Verdura'' by Jack Bishop. It has 140 vegetable & pasta recipes that are quick, simple, and quite child-friendly. I often refer to it when I have a few veggies left in the bottom of the fridge and/or when I just can't come up w/ anything creative. Thanks for posting -- I look forward to seeing what others recommend!! Christine

I love the ''Five in Ten Cookbook'' by Paula Hamilton. Here is a review:

''The 5 in 10 Cookbook makes -- and keeps -- an extraordinary promise: quick and easy recipes that use 5 ingredients (or fewer) and cook in 10 minutes or less. If you're like Paula Hamilton, tired of fast-food meals and determined to serve your family a delicious, nourishing dinner even if you've just come home from work, The 5 in 10 Cookbook is just what you need. Meals in minutes are guaranteed by limiting the recipes to 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of cooking time. Now your family can sit down to a home-cooked meal together every night. The 5 in 10 Cookbook encourages healthier eating and saves money too. Why waste one of the 5 ingredients on fat when herbs and spices contribute more pizzaz and flavor? And by limiting the number of ingredients purchased and cooking in rather than carrying out, you will save a fortune on food bills.'' Helena

I have this problem, as well as having the TIME to cook, with a toddler.

About saving time: I usually cook a big pan of something every few days after my son has gone to sleep, and eat off it for a couple of days - that way dinner prep is quick; just throw it in the microwave. I also, when I do have time, prepare veggies ahead of time, so they can just be thrown into a pan to cook something quick (a few days ago, I cleaned and chopped a bunch of spinach, and I have been throwing handfuls into everything I make). And I save special activities for my son for when I need to cook, so that I don't have to entertain him and cook at the same time (he's 1.5, so little things still amuse him - last night I let him play with a flashlight and it kept him busy for half an hour while I made dinner. When he was littler, I just put him in the sling and cooked).

About variety - we get an organic veggie basket delivered every couple of weeks. They put veggies in there that I wouldn't usually buy at the grocery, and it's great because I am forced to improvise with new stuff. Also, I skim the food section in the paper, and it gives me new ideas. Sometimes I try to duplicate things I have eaten in restaurants, and that forces me to be creative.

Cookbooks I like - Molly Katzen's books are great. Also is something by Jeanne Lemlin (spelling?) called something like ''Quick Vegetarian Meals'' anon

Try the MenuMailer program at savingdinner.com. Check out the sample menus on the website;

http://savingdinner.com/menumailer.html and here is a link to the book on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345464869 Happy mailee

P.S. regarding the recommendation for MenuMailers from savingdinner.com. . . if you write my email address in your correspondence when you join, as in, ''ldaniels [at] tularik.com referred me,'' I get free months on my own subscription. That would be much appreciated!

Also, there is a new support/chat group for subscribers to any of the Menu-Mailers and/or owners of the Saving Dinner book. It generates a lot of mail, so if you sign up you may wish to go no mail or receive a digest: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/simplysavingdinner/ And finally, the same author has a new book called Saving Dinner: The Low Carb Way coming out in January 2005. Happy MenuMailee

I really like Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2 - sophisticated enough palate for adults, yet most foods can be enjoyed by young kids (can always leave sauces off etc., if you have an eater who prefers it plain. Plus you really can make them in 30 minutes! I also like the 99-cent magazine you can buy at the Safeway checkstand - Safeway Select. They have an easy weeknight section and those meals are also good. Valerie

Book about Juicing

Sept 2004

Hi. My younger sister keeps extolling the virtues of juicing for health and balance. She gave me her old juicer and got my mother's. Unfortunately, she didn't give me a copy of the ''cookbook'' that she uses to help her figure out what to juice and what makes you healthier. Does anyone have a suggestion on a book to buy or a website to go to? Otherwise, it will continue to gather dust on top of my fridge. Thanks, beth

After being given a wonderful juicer as a Christmas gift, we have started juicing and love it. We have two books that I like: ''The Juice Master's Ultimate Fast Food'' by Jason Vale and ''The Juicing Bible'' by Pat Crocker & Susan Eagles. The Vale book has more about the general health benefits of juicing and a fair amount of general dietary information plus general juicing guidelines and recipes. The Crocker/Eagles book has lots of information on many different fruits, vegetables, and other juicables(herbs, seeds, etc.)as to their particular health benefits. It also includes recomendations for particular health conditions, as well as recipes.

That being said, I can't say that I follow specific recipes very often, but rather have gotten ideas and then just experimented. The basic guidelines are:
- use bases of carrot, apple or cucumber for most juices.
- add smaller amounts of other fruits or veggies.
- veggies other than carrot and cukes are mostly very potent - use small quantities, especially at first.
- try to use organic as much as possible

The books usually recomend just mixing fruits with fruits and veggies with veggies, with the exception of apple and carrot that can cross over. We don't really follow this. If we are going to juice for a whole meal, we make several different combinations and then usually mix them in various combinations that may include both fruits and veggies.

Some of my favorite combinations:
1)Tomato and red bell pepper (I like to use Roma tomatoes for juicing- I might use 6 -8 tomatoes and 1 med. pepper)
2)Cucumber with celery, cabbage, and asparagus (2 large cukes, 1 stalk celery, small piece of cabbage, 6 asparagus spears)
3)Apple/pear or apple/pear/ruhbarb (about 3 to 1 ratio of apples to pears - I like to mix gala and granny smith apples and bartlett or comice pears - might be 6 apples, 2 pears, 2 stalks ruhbarb)
5)Carrot juice - usually juice it by itself and then mix it with anything or everything!

Besides juicing several times a week, we have also done two 4 day juice fasts in the past 8 months (only fresh juices and water). It really does feel great.

Enjoy! lisa

Cookbook for egg allergy

Oct 2006

I have developed an allergy to eggs, but love to bake! Can anyone suggest a good cookbook that features baking recipes that don't require eggs, or offer an alternative to eggs? Elizabeth

I have flipped through a book called The Wholesome Oven: Successful Baking Without Dairy or Eggs and the recipes look good. Haven't tried them though... You can use Ener-G egg replacer for most of your favorite recipes too Liz

I love to bake too. Try ''Bakin' Without Eggs'' by Rosemarie Emro Lois W

Southwestern Cookbook

July 2003

Can anyone recommend a really good, practical (not gourmet) Southwestern cookbook? I want to get my daycare lady a present for all her years of amazing service. She loves all things Santa Fe and loves to cook. So I'm hoping someone who's more in the know about this topic than I am can recommend THE Santa Fe or Southwestern cookbook. Thanks for any ideas! Julie

Several years ago, my mother gave me many of ''The Beautiful'' cookbooks -- large format, with many beautiful photographs. I have really enjoyed The Southwest -- The Beautiful Cookbook. It's really a coffee table book, but I like the recipes and the background information on the cuisine (and the glossary) is quite interesting. I don't know if you can find these books new anymore, but you might be able to in used book stores. an Arizona transplant

I have ''Southwest, The Beautiful Cookbook'' published by Harper- Collins 1998. I found copies available on bookfinder.com. It has beautiful photos of the food and the places. Elaine

I don't know if it's THE Santa Fe cookbook, but it's certainly gotta be ONE of THE Santa Fe cookbooks: it's Coyote Cafe's cookbook - put out by the famous Santa Fe restaurant. stephanie

I lived in New Mexico for a number of years and it seemed everyone I knew had Simply Simpatico: A Taste of New Mexico from the Junior League of Albuquerque. You can mail a check to The Junior League of Albuquerque, Inc., 2920 Yale Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. They have new additions every year to every three years. My copy (1992) requests 14.50 for shipping and handling. I imagine it has gone up but I have no phone number--hopefully they still are printing them.

It has all the excellent basic staple receipes that make up the New Mexican cuisine--very practical, tasty, and easy to follow. I happened to professionally cook in Santa Fe (Gernonimo's) for a time and this book is my absolute favorite for home cooking while satisfying my snooty side too. kathleen

Creating own recipe book and printing cards

Oct 2004

Hi all, I am interested in creating my own customized recipe box and printing my own cards (rather than writing them by hand). However, I don't quite know where I could turn to, in terms of company that could help me do this, materially, and help me with printing exactly what I want. Would anyone have some recommendation, at least about the type of company I should turn to? Something like a local printing shop (I don't think that Kinko's is going to be the type of business that would do a very nice customized job)? Or does anyone in the list do these type of things professionally? Thanks! Mom who has an idea

I would suggest finding a graphic designer. There are plenty of freelancers out there, and they can help you set it up and get it printed, and possibly even help with distribution. You can start by looking on Craigslist, or place an ad yourself. Note that the going rate is averages about $50 an hour. There's always room for bargaining, but you need to know where you're starting. Graphix Person

PrintMasters in Castro Valley has great customer service for unique small printing jobs. It's run by a woman with a graphic arts streak; she's patient and very helpful in getting things to look beautiful. Ann

Try Fig & Twig on Walnut Square (Walnut @ Vine, Berk), a new custom print shop. They do everything, though might be expensive. Or Canterbury Press on University. Katalin

I have used Kinkos many times for business printing and found them to be absolutely fantastic. Very flexible, fast, easy to work with, lots of materials options, customized service. Liz

How to Make a Family Cookbook

July 2003

I am putting together a cookbook of my family's favorite recipes, and need some help finding someone to bind it. It will be 50-75 pages long and will include some color photos and drawings. I want to make about 20 copies. I do *not* want it to be a 3-ring binder or a folder; I really want it to look like a book, but don't know what the options are for binding (I have done all the typing and can scan the pics in myself). I know this might be an expensive project... Any suggestions on where to start? Thanks! Ellen

Try Kinko's on Shattuck Avenue for binding your cookbook. They have several attractive choices for binding and they are definitely a step above three ring binders, though they may not be as professional as you want. The prices are reasonable. anon

Right in Berkeley, there is a great place called Taurus Bindery. They do all sizes of projects (many grad student dissertation) and you can choose from a variety of cover styles (cloth, leather, etc.) and lettering to go on it. Here is there contact info: Taurus, (510) 548-2313, 2748 9th Street Hilary

Check out Cafe Press - http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/sell/books.aspx anon

Self publishing is a booming business and not as expensive as you might imagine. On the cheap side, places like Copy Central might be able to print your material off disc and then do a simple glue binding. Do a web search of self publishing and you will find companies that do very small runs and also what is called ''print on demand''. Check out Dan Poyntner's web site, he call himself Mr. Self Publishing. He offers a lot of free information and leads on every possible aspect of self publishing. Bon voyage! Helene

I used to work at Kinko's and they have a pretty good selection of binding options. Just take one of your books in, or all if you think you might make the decision right then, and ask them about their options. They do everything!! Good Luck! Michelle

try talking to the folks at Copy Central in Shatuck Square - the one at Shattuck/University. They can show you your options, Ann is the manager and is very good. If you want the cook book to be bound like a paperback book, that is generally called ''perfect binding'' but there are many other options that might work for you. Although parking is hard downtown, I would not go to the Ashby/Shattuck Copy Central, I have not had good service there. cynthia

My mother-in-law's bridge club published a cookbook using Fundcraft. The toll free # is 1-800-351-7822 or www.fundcraft.com. It has a hard front and back cover, original artwork cover, and is bound with a thick plastic ''spiral''. Good luck!! Courtney