If I'm going to be real with you, I have maaaaybe 7-10 things I rotate through a weekly meal pattern for the sake of my budget, my sanity, and my time. Truly,  you haven't lived until you've had my overnight oats + whatever fruit I had + dang it, I forgot to buy more yogurt. SO GOOD. But I live for the weekends where I have time, some wiggle room left in my wallet, and of course some hanger to make this all worth it. Here's where I get inspiration for those happy times!

Tried & True

This section is full of resources I've actually used to make meals, from blogs to *gasp* actual paper cookbooks. There's just something satisfying about having a stack of cookbooks that are a little worn, well-loved, and food-splattered. But then again, there's also something satisfying about a searchable recipe index. It's a win-win all around, and here are my faves from both screen + print.

SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow

I love, love, love this book. Not only is it co-written with a registered dietitian (all the heart eyes!), but it provides a great mix of both quick meals + ones you throw in the slow cooker. Everything I've made out of here comes out looking professional, and usually the recipes either give you instructions to make a side, or suggestions for what to combine the entree with. I also love the original SkinnyTaste Cookbook - the shrimp and grits recipe in here makes me weak at the knees.

Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes

Okay, I don't own this book (although it's at the top of my wishlist). HOWEVER, if Chungah wrote this book to be anything like her website, I'm sold. I've made quite a few recipes of her invention, and none have disappointed! I also think she writes every other recipe pin on Pinterest, which is an excellent (and delicious) sign.

Dinnertime (The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

This is one of my favorite impulse buys. First of all, Ree is hilarious onscreen and that translates into the way she writes. Somehow this cookbook is both practical and entertaining. PLUS, she piles in lots of freezer recipes, fast dinners, and fun combos. Highly recommend. I do sometimes make recipe swaps to lighten things up with this one (skim milk instead of whole, etc) but mostly I leave things untouched. Bonus: it's not in her book, but Ree's Asian noodle salad is phenomenal. I paired it with grilled chicken and ate it for 5 meals in a row (and I hate leftovers, so that's the highest compliment I can afford).

Gimme Some Oven

This site is what foodie dreams are made of. It's SO well organized into every category you can think of (entrees? Check. Gluten-free? Check. Non-alcoholic AND alcoholic beverage? ALSO CHECK). Seriously, Ali knows what's up and I've yet to be disappointed by anything I've made off this site. I ate this salad for a good week or so, and I'm eyeballing these chicken carnitas tacos as my next conquest. The Instagram associated with this blog is also adorable, and full of hunger-inducing cooking vids!

The Woks of Life

I'm half Asian and was therefore raised to be discerning about my Chinese food and wary of takeout chains. So, this blog is amazing A) because it's all authentic and B) because it's run by a family of four and C) nothing on it is bad. There's a good mix of American/other recipes on here as well, plus a Chinese ingredients glossary to help keep your head on straight! I've tried a good amount of entrees from this site, but my next plans include the pineapple buns + Hong Kong egg tarts off the Chinese Bakery archive.

Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

This book keeps it simple and I could not be happier about it.  There's so many quick, easy recipes in here, organized by season so you can take advantage of what's fresh right now. Who better than to teach you the basics of cooking than Martha Stewart? Other Martha and her main sidekick Snoop, of course (I will preorder any book they write together the second they announce it. Shut up and take my money).

The Lust List

AKA, books I'm hoping end up in my hands sometime soon. No blogs here because obviously those are a more instant resource.


How do I not have this book yet?! Somehow, this one hasn't landed in my Christmas stocking or to my birthday (I would buy it myself but...unpaid intern life). I did put it on my wedding registry, so fingers crossed. But anyway, Chrissy Teigen is #goals and a 5-star review on Amazon can't be wrong. Inside, there's SO MANY THINGS like chicken lettuce wraps, French toast casserole, and pasta on pasta on pasta so I'm sensing this is the perfect date night in/treat yoself/just because cookbook. Let's hope I get my hands on this book before Cravings 2 comes out and I'm completely behind.

Mix and Match Meal Planner

This book had me at the description, which promises tasty, simple recipes with easy to find ingredients. YES. THANK YOU. PRAISE HANDS. Please don't make me run circles around the grocery store to find a very specific spice that they will inevitably not carry. Also, please don't make me spend 3 hours making dinner on a Tuesday. Save that kind of nonsense for Saturday. Just as a side note, Shay Shull (the author) is Sean Lowe's sister, thus confirming that that family can do no wrong.

Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook

This documentary gave me a few mixed feelings but overall I think we can all agree that less sugar never killed nobody. The preview list for this book ranges from simple (smoothies, oatmeal, stir-fries) to do-I-even-have-skills-for-that (millet-stuffed chard rolls? What?) but I think it would provide some tasty, plant-y recipes.


Goodness. I'm going to need a special bookshelf in my kitchen just to keep up with this hot mess. But there you have it - my favorites + my future favorites! Just remember, it's okay to cook out of a cookbook or blog and not totally agree with the food philosophy that the author is selling (for example, I've cooked/eaten out of the Whole30 book and it was delicious but that doesn't mean I have to jump onboard). There's everyday recipes, there's treat recipes, there's holiday recipes, recipes in a box, recipes with a fox, recipes with some socks... you get the point. At the end of the day, my goal is to find joy in cooking and balance all around.

Do you have any favorite cookbooks/food blogs I need to try? Leave feedback in the comments below - I love new ideas!