Drool Session: Favourite Cookbooks

I LOVE to cook. I think it’s safe to say it’s the part of my day I look forward to the most (second would likely be grocery shopping). Getting creative in the kitchen is meditative, gets my mind off of things and it involves eating. Who doesn’t love to eat?

Many of us turn to Pinterest or a popular blog to figure out what to cook for dinner, and while I do enjoy a good session scrolling through Pinterest, nothing quite beats flipping through the pages of a physical cookbook. That tactile experience brings you closer to recipe and allows you to look at pictures larger than screen of your iPhone. Give your eyes a break. Crack open a book.  

I recently purchased the new Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook by Angela Liddon and I’ve baked, sautéed, blended, and chopped my way through seven new recipes in less than a week. The cookbook is so refreshing to flip through with brightly coloured food juxtaposed on stark white pages. It definitely feels fresh and light and accurately reflects the healthy vegan theme of the book. (Seeing as I’m already raving about Angela Liddon, do yourself a favour and check out her new Oh She Glows App. Not only is it gorgeous, but I love the functionality of being able to cross off ingredients as you go through the list.)

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This book has inspired me to share other cookbooks with designs that really ‘work.’ With the design of the KEEN cookbook and now a new cookbook in the works for a great client, I think it’s safe to say we can add cookbooks to our list of services. Here are some other office favourites:

Beautiful AND delicious!

Here are some of KEEN’s favourite cookbooks:

The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson

What’s so beautiful about Erin Gleeson’s work is all of her watercolour typography. If you have ever read her blog, you know what I’m talking about. These illustrations are combined with a brightly coloured collage style to make each recipe feel like they came right from her recipe box. Each recipe is simple, with minimal ingredients and directions, leaving ample room to showcase the whole ingredients. The top view photography is also a huge trend right now, and I’m not complaining–everything looks delicious and gives the entire book a photojournal sort of style.

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Make Ahead Meals by Michael Smith

While the design of this cookbook isn’t anything extraordinarily groundbreaking, there are some details that I love about this book. First, highlighting elements of the recipe that can be prepared ahead of time, plus storage and freezing tips is super helpful. How many of us cook a giant portion of food and then question if it’s still safe to eat four days later? These tips definitely eliminate any guesswork. Second, I adore the index of this book. Being a visual individual (aren’t we all?), I always remember the picture of a recipe before the name. This index displays all the recipes in little thumbnails with page numbers that makes navigating through meals so much easier.

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Home Made Winter by Yvette Van Boven

Home Made Winter feels special and intimate the moment you open the book. With its collage-style and warm-toned photography, it feels cozy, like a warm hug on a winter day. Complementing the photography are little paper cut-out images, a hand-rendered font, and adorable illustrated recipes appearing on the occasional page. Another unique aspect of this cookbook is that it not only is separated into the typical categories of Breakfast, Drinks, Mains etc., but Yvette also highlights special occasions during the Winter season and the recipes associated with it. Overall, this book certainly feels Home Made.

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Edmonton Cooks by Tina Faiz and Leanne Brown

Fellow designer Tess Belke introduced me to this new cookbook which highlights local restaurants and their best recipes. Overall, the design of the book is clean and modern with a grey cast on many images and mid-grey copy. What I enjoyed was the little blurb about each restaurant and the chefs that run them. Also, including the ingredients at the top of each recipe was a different approach I haven’t seen often, but is a smart choice. Ingredients are always the first question I have when flipping through a cookbook: “Do I have these in my pantry… do I need to make a trip to the store…?” There are also these bright little pops of red throughout the book which highlight the servings or different points of the recipe. Overall, the book has a taste of hipster that makes me proud to be an Edmontonian and the great food we put on the table. If you’re a local foodie, it’s worth checking out. 

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We hope you enjoyed this list of beautiful and delicious cookbooks! Let us know what some of your favourite cookbooks are!

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