Our Favorite Cookbooks, Part 1

Our Favorite Cookbooks, Part 1.

So many beautiful memories are made collaborating in the kitchen or gathered around the table. We assembled a short list of some of our favorite cookbooks as a useful resource. Tried and true, these cookbooks are our go-tos when we need something delicious. Each cookbook serves us differently, but they all serve us well. In fact, some of them have been cherished in our family for generations. We hope this selection will help shape your family traditions for years to come. 


Our Favorite Cookbooks

The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking, (2005)

Louis Van Dyke and Billie Van Dyke

On Fleming Lane, we love this time of year filled with food and family. This cookbook features sample holiday menus, guidelines for feeding large groups, and delicious southern staple recipes. It is my favorite cookbook for southern side dishes! It has all of the essentials, and especially comes in handy for Thanksgiving! 

Favorite Recipes: Sausage Gravy p. 138, Blue Willow Buttermilk Biscuits p.151, Hot Cross Buns p. 160, Corn Pudding p. 177, Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole p. 194, Meatloaf p. 218, Sausage and Egg Casserole p. 230, Nell’s Carrot Cake, p. 282

Shop The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking

Virginia Hospitality, (1975)

Junior League of Hampton Roads

This cookbook is my go-to for easy weeknight meals and appetizers. The recipes are great for family meals or delivering a meal to someone else. My family particularly enjoys the delicious casseroles. Moreover, this cookbook is filled with wonderful hostess tips! 

Favorite Recipes: Hot Virginia Dip p. 15, Islander Cheese Ball p. 16, Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce g. 85, Hot Chicken Salad p. 95, Dig Deep Salad p. 151, Chocolate Reese Cups p. 205

Shop Virginia Hospitality


Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, (2004) 

Ina Garten

Ina Garten is classy, fabulous, and a genius in the kitchen. This is my favorite Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Although a trip to Paris still remains on my bucket list, this cookbook transports me there! It has a plethora of simple recipes that are dinner party ready. Separately, Ina Garten’s website is a great resource for entertaining year-round. 

Favorite Recipes: Raspberry Royale p. 26, Green Salad Vinaigrette p. 102 (I was terrified of the raw egg for years, but it really does make the dressing!), Filet of Beef au poivre p. 124, Garlic Mashed Potatoes p. 166

Shop Barefoot in Paris

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, (1961)

Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

In case you haven’t noticed, I love French recipes! In contrast to Ina Garten, Julia Child takes a more textbook approach to traditional recipes. I find this cookbook very informative as it provides insight on cooking techniques, as well as wine suggestions to accompany meals. 

Favorite Recipes: French Onion Soup p. 44, Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream p. 269, Boeuf Bourguignon p. 315, Buttered Asparagus Tips p. 438

Shop Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1


Just Feed Me: Simply Delicious Recipes from My Heart to Your Plate, (2020)

Jessie James Decker

This newly published cookbook is filled with culinary treasures! I will likely never need another chocolate chip cookie or pancake recipe. This cookbook is useful because it holds, with slight variation, traditional recipes I like to keep in my everyday rotation. 

Favorite Recipes: Extra-Fluffy Homemade Pancakes p. 11, Hawaiian Roll Breakfast Sandwiches g. 21, Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls p. 22, Breakfast Sausage Balls p. 25, Ground Chicken Lasagna p. 93 (I still use beef), Cauliflower Potato Salad p. 97, Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta p. 101, Barbacoa Bowls p. 128, Dirty Beans and Rice p. 133, Fried Tacos p. 141, Banana Bread Muffins p. 213, Chocolate Chip Cookies p. 237

Shop Just Feed Me


We hope you find this post helpful and will share your favorite family cookbooks with us in the comments. If you use these cookbooks, let us know your favorite recipes too! 

Do not forget to check our Fall Tabletop Guide, where we discuss our favorite entertaining pieces to help make your holiday entertaining season effortless and beautiful! 


Happy Cooking!


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