I've been cooking for a long time now; long enough to create my own recipes, or tweak something found on the web to suit the way we like to eat. But no matter how many dishes I create, I still love cookbooks.

Needless to say, my kitchen library is enormous. These are the ones I keep coming back to. Click the cover images to read summaries and reviews.

Essential reference books

The Cook's Companion [2004 Ed.]

The Cook's Companion is my go to book for just about any ingredient. There are no pretty pictures, but I've never had a food miss from this book.

Maggie's Harvest

Maggie's Harvest is a great companion to The Cook's Companion, especially if you like to cook from seasonal produce.


Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Over 200 Delicious Recipes

This one is absolutely full of healthy comfort food that almost looks after itself. The perfect winter cookbook.

Cooking from the Market - Vegetables

Cooking from the Market is based around ideas for foods you're likely to encounter at farmers' markets. Another good one for seasonal cooking.

Garden Feast

Garden Feast is unique in that it's a gardening book and a cookbook. If you've ever thought about planting a kitchen garden, you need this book.


Festive Food of Mexico

If you're after enchiladas and nachos, give this one a miss. If, on the other hand, you want to learn authentic recipes, then grab a copy.

Cook Brazilian: 100 Classic and Creative Recipes

Brazilian food is delicious, and the recipes in this book are no exception. Well worth a look.

The Food of India: A Journey for Food Lovers (Food of the World S.)

This one also classifies as an essential reference at our house. We haven't bought take away Indian food for a very long time...

A Little Taste of Spain (Little Taste of...)

Spanish food is a lot more versatile than just paella. This isn't a comprehensive book, but it's a good start.

Fire: A World of Flavour

This one is super inspiring. The book I get out when I have a bunch of foodies coming over for dinner.


What's not to love about French food? This is another great reference.

A Little Taste of Morocco (Little Taste of...)

Moroccan food smells and tastes divine. What's more, a lot of it is cooked in a single pot. Win win!


Tagines are a regular menu item for us over winter. They're simple, and like slow cooker recipes, really look after themselves.

The Silver Spoon

Another great reference book, this time of Italian food and cooking.

Baking and decorating

Planet Cake: A Beginner's Guide to Decorating Incredible Cakes

I have a feeling this book is to adults what the AWW Birthday Party book is to Australian kids. I've certainly had a few friends pick their cakes out of this one.

The Home Guide to Cake Decorating

An excellent reference for people starting out in cake decorating.

Cookie: Over 100 Excuses to Indulge (Bake Me, I'm Yours...)

If you don't have the strength to get in to cake decorating, there's always cookies. There are loads of ideas in this little book.


Preserves (

Making jams and preserves is really satisfying. This book has step by step instructions, with pictures, and is really quite failsafe.

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