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How To Find The Perfect Cookbook

Walk into the cookbook section of any bookstore or library and you'll see shelf after shelf of these culinary guides. From classics like "The Joy of Cooking" to a collection of recipes from an up-and-coming chef, cookbooks are one of the most popular books sold today.

Even as the usage of e-books continues to rise, the electronic versions of favorite recipes will never replace the beautiful images or permanency of a good cookbook. Seeking out recipes online has also become extremely popular, but sometimes all those reviews from people who you don't really know can be misleading. Online recipes can be hit or miss, but cookbooks are likely filled with kitchen-tested recipes.

A good cookbook is a great tool in the kitchen, but with so many choices available it can be challenging to choose the right one. With a little preparation, finding the perfect cookbook won't feel so intimidating.

Finding Inspiration

Recipes should be pleasing to the taste buds, as well as to the eye. When looking through home decor catalogs, what style draws your attention? If you envy rooms with crisp colors and simple lines, you may find yourself drooling over the simple beauty of a steamed artichoke. Enjoy country chic? A good stew will warm you from the inside out. The style of your space reflects where you find your comfort; pull inspiration from where you are and where you want to be.

Practice Practicality

Look for cookbooks that fit your taste and lifestyle. If you enjoy casseroles, look for a book that focuses on casserole cooking. If you're always in a time crunch, consider a cookbook that focuses on easy meal preparation with quick-to-make meals, or easy cooking using slow cookers. Make sure all ingredients are readily available where you live, and consider the time and effort it takes to obtain special ingredients. Be sure to write down these preferences in advance to avoid buying a cookbook that doesn't fit your needs.

Focus On Your Diet

Your cookbook should offer enough recipes to fit your current diet and also have variety. Many cookbooks now focus on special dietary needs, like gluten-free, vegan or sodium-restricted diets. Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring or bland. Most new cookbooks offer delicious varieties of recipes that are both healthy and flavorful. In addition, these specialized cookbooks often combine those tasty recipes with exercise tips, meal plans, workout strategies and other advice to keep you on the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Judge A Book By Its Cover

Judge that cookbook from front cover to back cover and everything in between. If you are a visual person, check if there are pictures for each recipe. If you aren't comfortable cooking new recipes, stick with a book with a lot of visual examples to follow. Also look at the types of dishes featured. Cookbooks can feature one particular meal, and some have a bit of everything. A great cookbook's cover will tell you what type of recipes to expect inside, both from its title and the cover's design.

Know Your Event

Consider a meal's purpose. Specific details will help you find a cookbook with your style. Serving a formal holiday dinner in the dining room is much different than serving barbeque in the backyard. Are you using the nice china, or the casual dinnerware? You can even take into consideration your decor colors and theme and complement those into your meal. These details will help decide the type of menu you should feature, and knowing the type of menu will guide you to your perfect cookbook.

No matter how you go about it, finding your perfect cookbook will be easy and fun with the right preparations. Want more examples of cookbooks? Check out our entire cookbook section. Bon Appetit!