Latest Cookbook Love

I've been finding my way back to the kitchen lately, and it's made the biggest difference.  I feel so much better, healthier and more organized when I'm cooking nightly and my little family has their meals planned.  (Sounds dorky I know, but we're seriously in a better grove when I have time to cook real dinners nightly!  For a while there, things were getting a little crazy around here :)

We shared a few of these cookbooks around the holidays.  I was gifted a few and a few I've had for years, but these seem to be my "go-tos" lately and I'm loving this fresh inspiration.

ONE | The Yellow Table - Heath and I both love all things Anna Watson Carl!  I commented on Instagram the other night how much I'm loving her cookbook.  It's full of fresh, healthy meals - and most of the cookbook is "doable" on weeknights.  During the winter, we loved her tomato-chickpea curry with kale (so easy and so good) and this summer we've been loving her cold salads.  She's currently running a pre-order sale making the book only $15!!

TWO | Callie's Biscuits and Southern Traditions - I'm obsessed with this book!  My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas and I LOVE it.  I spent the entire holiday reading and rereading.  I don't turn to this as much for nightly cooking, but I think every southerner should have this as a more up to date guide to southern cooking.  I also LOVE her entertaining style.  You won't find "pinterest worthy" parties in here - you'll find inspiration for the most fun, real life parties - the kinda parties your friends actually want to attend.  Parties full of delicious food, too many cocktails, fun music and a thousand candles.  I think she mentions that she has about a thousand inexpensive tealights!  I want to be Carrie and make/eat biscuits all day, live on the water in Charleston and have margaritas with my friends at night!

THREE - Sheet Pan Suppers - This was a happy surprise.  I just ordered it randomly when I came across it on Amazon, and I'm loving it for weeknight meals.  I'm all about simplifying things during the week.  Every recipe in this book is made on a sheet pan - the entire dish - meat plus sides.  It makes clean up so easy, and I also do not have to actively cook while entertaining Virginia.  Instead, I just chop a few things and toss it on a sheet pan to cook itself.  Fair warning - J.D. calls this a "weeknight cookbook" meaning these aren't your best (Ina Garten style!) dishes to use when entertaining.  But they get the job done to simply feed a family.  We're loving the roasted peanut butter chicken and broccoli, and next we're trying the fajitas steak with onions and peppers.  Bonus - this cookbook is like $8 bucks!

FOUR - Ina Garten's Make it Ahead - of course I love anything by Ina Garten!  This book is all about make ahead strategies.  It's not full of completely-make-ahead-of-time dishes (like lasagna) but she does give tips on how to plan for each dish in advance.  I won't turn to this as often for weeknight cooking, but for weekend cooking and entertaining, it's hard to beat.  Jalapeno margaritas, Summer Rose Sangria, Kale Slaw, Slow Roasted many good things!  And tips on a make ahead Thanksgiving - this will make my mother (Queen of make ahead Thanksgiving!) so happy!

FIVE - Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter - I've had this cookbook for years and I've been turning to it often this summer.  Gwyneth is surprisingly an amazing cook.  Her style is fresh and healthy and I love her simple salads and pasta dishes for weeknight cooking.  I also have her It's All Good (which is super healthy!) but I find these recipes a bit more time consuming.  I'm putting it on the shelf for a different stage in my life when I'm not entertaining Virginia while cooking!

Any other cookbooks you're loving lately?!  Something about summer has me loving simple cooking lately.

~Mary Keller


  1. Do you have a favorite, "go-to" dinner? I know I'm about to have zero time to cook with a brand new baby at home, but I'm with you - I feel so much better when I'm cooking for my little family. I need some new inspiration though! I end up cooking the SAME THINGS over and over.

    1. Sara you just gave us an idea for our next series!! come prepared to the next book club prepared to share your "go-to"! ha, one of my go-tos is salmon - I'm working on a post showing my 10 favorite ways to prepare and it's super easy, requires zero effort. I also default to "good" sandwiches when I'm worn out - I get good bread from the bakery at Teeter and for some reason it makes it feel dinner acceptable - grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, blts in the summer with avocado (that's our favorite) and somehow we got hooked on turkey, avocado and pepperjack cheese on toasted bread. Tonight we're having split chicken breasts that I throw in the crock pot in the morning with taco seasoning and a jar of green verde salsa, that evening I pull the chicken and serve with flour tortillas and toppings. that's super easy. We get in major ruts too!

      I'm ready for your sweet babe to get here!!!!

    2. Not sure helpful at the moment, but our go to from September-March is turkey chili. Brown the meat, strain, add one can green chilies, one can diced tomatoes, one can kidney beans and chili seasoning. It's pretty healthy until we pile on Fritos, cheese and sour cream :) And did I mention it's in one pot?!