questionswhat's your favorite cookbook?

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my mom's. I call her and ask her how to make things and she tells me.

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my personal favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/Frugal-Gourmet-Cooks-Ancient-Cuisines/dp/0688075894

It provides some good history of the cuisine of those areas, has some well written basic concepts of cooking theory and practices and of course... recipes.

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Love the "Taste of Home" cookbooks.

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Cook's Illustrated, "Best Recipes".

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Amazon has some great cookbooks. Do a search for "Beginners Cook Books" and you'll get some good ones. If you want some creative dishes check out the vegan cookbooks. I'm an omnivore but I do like a lot of those recipes.

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How to Grill by Steven Raichlen. Changed the whole way I looked at BBQ and smoking.

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@snapster: said "the internet." I agree.

Quite often I will buy a piece of fish or meat that looks interesting and noodle around the 'net using various techniques and seasonings from different recipes

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I have always had a copy of Joy of Cooking in my kitchen. More as a reference than for recipes. Looking things up on the internet is great...but it's nice to be able to quickly access random information (how long to poach an egg, other names for a cut of meat, etc.).

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Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (from 30 years ago), James Beard's American Cookery, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and For Goodness Taste from the Junior League of Rochester are my four main sources beyond family recipes, depending on what I want to make.

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We have a family recipe book. It has hundreds of recipes from as far back as 1792. Some are in German, and from the "homeland" as my great grams would say. My second favorite cook book is from the 50's. I stole it from my mom when I turned 14 and moved out in the 80's. Out of the ones I have purchased, I like the Taste Of Home and Southern Living collections.

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I absolutely love anything by Alton Brown (The same guy who hosts the "Good Eats" show on food network). After 10 years of good eats, they have released a book:
http://www.amazon.com/Good-Eats-Early-Alton-Brown/dp/1584797959/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259386767&sr=8-1

This book is great, it gives simple and advances skills, great recipes and also the science behind what is going on. I would STRONGLY recommend it.