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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Few of my Favorite Things

I love books!  Here is a list of my favorite books and movies on the subjects of cooking and health and a few I want to read/watch.  These are some great last minute gift ideas or just more things for you to check out from your local library. 

Books on Cooking

The Joy of Cooking – a great basic cookbookI recommend this for new and experienced cooks.  It covers every category and every food type.  I like to pull this off the shelf and just read it sometimes.  It has more than just recipes, but explanations and techniques. 

How to Cook without a Book by Pam Anderson

Learn techniques, not just recipes.  This is a great cookbook for the new cook or the cook that wants to get away from packaged food.  Watch out for a couple of packaged food ingredients, but overall it’s real food. 

The Perfect Recipe by Pam Anderson

I love all Pam Anderson’s books.  She used to work for Cook’s Illustrated magazine (another favorite of mine).  She will test every possible way to prepare an item and then present you with the best version and also explain why. 

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

This is another great basic cookbook, for new and experienced cooks.  It’s not as expansive as The Joy of Cooking, but covers a lot of ground.  In this book are recipes for popcorn, hot cocoa, and much more.  Mark Bittman shows how easy it is to prepare food from scratch; there are no packaged items in his recipes. 

Magazines on Cooking

These are my favorite magazines.  I LOVE that they don’t include advertisements (Fine Cooking includes a few, but nothing like Bon Appetit!), and they show you how to cook real food!  Gourmets insist on fresh, real ingredients, like butter and cream so these recipes are going to be healthier than packaged food.

Fine Cooking

Cook’s Illustrated


Books on Health

The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin

Ignore the word “diet” here.  This is a book about healing.  Jordan Rubin has an awesome testimony of healing through whole foods. 

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig

An excellent source of nutrition information from an unbiased source including lots of recipes for foods prepared in traditional ways, the way our ancestors prepared their food.  At last, a successful challenge to politically correct nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats! 

Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig

A very well written book about how wrong we have been to avoid fatty foods, with concise information about why we need fat.  Includes lots of whole-food recipes.  Great for someone needing healing or needing to lose some weight. 

The Untold Story of Milk by Dr. Ron Schmid

Fabulous information about the dangers of pasteurization and the wonders of raw milk. 

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz

Recipes for everything fermented, from sourdough bread to beer to pickles.  These items are fermented naturally so they retain their enzyme and vitamin content.  I made his pickles and they were awesome! 

Living the Low Carb Life by Jonny Bowden

This is the book that started it all for me.  When I quit nursing my first baby I started gaining weight.  That nursing really uses up the calories for me.  The weight kept creeping up so I tried to eat as little as I could and cut out as much fat as I could.  I not only kept gaining weight, but I was STARVING all the time!  My blood sugar would drop and I would reach for something lowfat to bring it back up (like a granola bar) and then an hour or two later it would drop again.  I felt miserable and I craved food all the time.  So I turned to lowcarb eating.  The pounds starting coming off and I was feeling good, but my thoughts were, “all this fat can’t be healthy.”  So I started my research.  I read lots of books, Atkins, The Zone, Suzanne Somer’s food combining book, and more.  I stumbled upon Living the Low Carb Life at my library.  This book compared all the low-carb diets out there and gave great information about how fats, sugars, and protein react in our bodies.  I recommend this to anyone that wants to learn! 

Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan

This book is great if you want to cut down on those toxic household-cleaning products.  Karen Logan gives many different recipes for natural inexpensive cleansers you can make at home.  She also talks about how we kill those germs without toxins.  This was the selling point for me, germaphobe that I am.  

Movie on Health

 Super Size Me – Morgan Spurlock decided to document himself as he ate McDonald’s for every meal for a month.  He visits a dietician, and various medical personnel during the month and they chart how badly his health declines.  Even though I knew McDonald’s was unhealthy I was shocked by his results.  The only downside I saw was the movie’s emphasis on both the fat and sugar as the culprits.  I would really like to see the same study done just isolating sugar.  Sugar is our real enemy, folks.  The fat at McDonald’s is the wrong kind, but too often all kinds of fat gets lumped together as the bad guy.  If you want to watch this with your kids, please check it out at www.kids-in-mind.com first.   

Wish List

These are books I really want to read and movies I want to watch, when I find the time. 

The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov 

Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Dr. Ron Schmid 

Life Without Bread by Christian B. Allan and Wolfgang Lutz 

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes 

Whole Food Facts by Evelyn Roehl  

These are documentaries.  Please not that I have NOT watched them yet, so I have no idea as to the quality of the content. 

King Corn 

Big Fat Lie – watch a clip here 

What Would Jesus Buy? 


  1. These sound like some great sources. I think I'll be adding some to MY wishlist now. Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for the recommendations! My mom is thinking of getting a cookbook for my brother. Which one would you recommend for him? She was just going to get Betty Crocker or Better Homes, but do you think the Mark Bittman would be better? He is very into health these days, but not into cooking too much, but needs something basic.

    Hopefully he doesn't read your blog or the surprise is ruined!


  3. What a wealth of information! I'm going to print this out, then see what I can get through the library system.
    Thank you!!