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Adult Summer Reading Program: Staff Favorite Cookbooks

From vegan to burgers, from Guy Fieri to Game of Thrones, staff share their favorite cookbooks (and what makes them so great).

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook to A Game of Thrones by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

I like that it is broken apart by geographic region of this totally make-believe world and very much appreciated the guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms so I can stop committing so many faux-pas at my dinner parties.

Recommended by Josh from Library Headquarters

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Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

My daughter recently became vegan, and we have loved every single recipe we've made from this cookbook. They're delicious for vegans and non-vegans alike, AND low in fat and calories! What more could anyone want! Her recipes are easy and don't take long to make, although she uses many different spices that you may not already have in your cupboard. But that's where the delicious flavor comes from, so don't leave them out.

Recommended by Margo from Hacienda Heights Library

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Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker

Sometimes the simple things are the best! The 75th anniversary edition of this classic cookbook has your old favorite recipes and cooking guidance, along with new recipes for modern times. Whenever I want to cook a basic no-fail recipe, I turn to Joy of Cooking.

Recommended by Katherine from Paramount Library

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Guy Fieri Food: More Than 150 Off-the-Hook Recipes by Guy Fieri

Features over 150 recipes, with detailed photographs, step-by-step instructions, and original artwork by Fieri's personal tattoo artist. These are party-friendly recipes that combine elements of Asian, Tex-Mex, and Old World French cuisines. The end result is dishes that are both new and classic at the same time.

Recommended by Robert from Library Headquarters

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How to Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food by Mark Bittman

This is a great book for those who do not know how to cook and want to learn the basics. You learn the basic foundations of cooking and there are pictures to accompany directions. No more guessing how a certain dish should look!

Recommended by Joanna from Duarte Library

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The Book of Burger by Rachael Ray

While the book title says burgers, Ray also offers recipes for sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, sliders, sloppies, and so much more---it's basically 200 recipes for anything that fits on a bun. And if you are looking for burgers, but want to think outside the beef, there are recipes featuring chicken, pork, salmon, veggie, and lamb patties. Burger recipes from other award-winning chefs are also highlighted. This is a fun, fun book that will make you very hungry.

Recommended by Robert from Library Headquarters

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Good Eats: The Early Years by Alton Brown

If you enjoy some science with your food, love the show Good Eats, or just have a penchant for geeky knowledge, this cookbook is for you. Alton Brown doesn't just tell you what to do, he tells you the science behind why it works, often in a very funny and memorable way. (And if you like this book, there are two more in the series!)

Recommended by Heather from West Covina Library

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Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater

Like sitting down with a good friend, Slater's style is comfortable and accessible. The lavish photos will make you want to cook everything! Slater includes notes on each fruit as well as food pairings, both sweet and savory.

Recommended by Elaine from La Canada Flintridge Library

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Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan's book is a must for any baker: beginner or experienced! This cookbook has hundreds of delicious recipes - I've made most of them in my kitchen. Favorites include the Banana Bundt Cake, World Peace Cookies, and Pumpkin Muffins. Dorie's writing style encourages you to have fun baking while fully explaining every technique. She brings you into her kitchen with stories of her family and career. If my house caught fire and I could grab just a few cookbooks, I would reach for this one!

Recommended by Mary from Library Headquarters