Cookbook Obsessed

When I was shooting pictures of my kitchen over the weekend to show you our new rugs, I caught a glimpse of one of the little parts of our kitchen that makes me so happy- the built-in shelves in our island where I keep my most-favorite cookbooks and cooking magazines.

Originally, there were three shelves and I asked our builder to change it to two, so that I could stand my cookbooks upright.  A few months ago, James was really into pulling out the books, and my husband thought we should pull them all out and put them somewhere else if I didn’t want him getting into them.  But, I’ve stuck with repeating, “No touch. Mommy’s cookbooks.” and he pretty much leaves them alone now.  He’s got better things to do anyway, such a busy kid.

Barefoot Contessa got me started with a fondness for cooking so, naturally, all her cookbooks take center stage.  They have beautiful photography and simple recipes with an introduction to each one.  The two white binders to the right are where I store recipes I’ve printed or torn from magazines- one for desserts and one for meals.

Then, I’ve got more cookbooks on either side.  I try not to be too picky about how they’re displayed since I’m always pulling them out and returning them.  I actually love reading them and looking at the pictures.  I haven’t gotten to read “20 Years Younger” and the “Family Vegetarian Cooking” is new, I’ve yet to try any recipes, but am anxious to soon.

I’m also a fan of The Pioneer Woman and love her show on Food Network and the way her cookbooks help tell the story of her life. 
These wire baskets from The Container Store are the perfect size for my cooking magazines.  I subscribe to Food & Wine and Whole Living, and I like to keep those within arms reach.  I also love my Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen mags, but they are underneath.  

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I’ve been storing the lesser-used cookbooks in our pantry
and keeping some in the media cabinet shelves, see, next to the picture of James? I really do swear by that Cooks Illustrated cookbook- every recipe I’ve made from it has turned out really well- even the pie crusts. Part of the genius of that cookbook is in the detailed explanations of what works and why.  
So, you can see I may be a little cookbook obsessed, but I actually do read them (and reread them, even just for pleasure).  Are you cookbook obsessed?  What’s your favorite? 


  1. May 10, 2012 / 11:31 am

    I am ABSOLUTELY cookbook obsessed! I have TONS!!! I have a large cabinet in my kitchen dedicated solely to cookbooks… them!

  2. May 10, 2012 / 11:50 am

    I love baking cookbooks. I love going into a book store and drooling over the pictures. I really do need to buy more cookbooks. I'm sure my husband would appreciate a change of meals every once in awhile!

  3. May 10, 2012 / 11:51 am

    i've definitely started collecting cookbooks, but i'm nowhere near you on that number!! impressive.
    my favorite is probably the few i have from williams sonoma–they are easy recipes, but still with a flair for something fun and special!

  4. May 10, 2012 / 12:06 pm

    SInce downsizing I also downsized my cookbook collection, but slowly I find myself building it back up (ooops) I too am a fan of the Barefoot Contessa as well as Giada. I once saw on a blog where the covers were taken off and since I store my cookbooks in an open shelved entertainment center I decided to do the same and its a much cleaner look. I organize by size then color following the rainbow. While I love the internet for recipes, nothing beats an actual cookbook!

    ps. LOVE your kitchen

  5. May 10, 2012 / 12:45 pm

    Your cookbooks look so beautiful!! I love the BareFoot ones – so bright!

  6. Anonymous
    May 10, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    I love my cookbooks! I have all of the Barefoot Contessa books, too! Love her! You should check out

  7. May 10, 2012 / 1:50 pm

    Oh goodness…I have an entire six foot Ikea bookcase full of cookbooks…and stacks of magazines. It's definitely an addiction to say the least. Sad to say though, they are stuffed into the storage room downstairs and are seldom looked at…out of sight, out of mind. I love your idea of a shelving at the end of the island!!

    evie @ brown paper packages

  8. May 10, 2012 / 2:19 pm

    I love Paula Deen's books, {I'm a Savannahian, just can't be helped} but I have books passed down from my great aunt as well as 3 boxes full of her original recipes. Those are what I'm constantly pulling, nobody cooks like Aunt Lucille did!

  9. Anonymous
    May 10, 2012 / 3:00 pm

    I have many cookbooks. The question is do I ever use them? To be honest not in the past but lately being inspired by eating healthy and providing big happy tummies for my family I have started cooking up some fabulous dishes mostly from the internet though. I am from the caribbean so our culture is pretty much cooking everyday. I don't mind it but now I am branching out and making a lot of things I never thought I could ever make. I seem to have a bucket list of sought now. I made my first Lasagne, Baked Ziti and the other day I made fajitas. OMG. I am loving your style and kitchen and of course your ideas so I am going to head out and buy myself one the the Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks as a gift to myself for Mother's Day. Your blog is now the first thing I check on the computer everyday. You really do inspire me and your site makes me so happy. Girly happy. LOL.

  10. May 10, 2012 / 3:38 pm

    I'm definitely a cookbook junkie. I have a ton. I love that you have a spot to stash all of them. The wire baskets are super cute.

  11. May 10, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    My husband is also cookbook obsessed (I suppose he should be, he does all the cooking!). We have so many, I'm running out of room. I like your idea of keeping lesser used books in other areas. It's either that or force the husband to get rid of an old book everytime we get a new one!

  12. May 10, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    I love cookbooks but don't have a lot. The Vegetarian Family sounds really interesting. Especially, since we try to cook vegetarian most nights and only have meat when we eat out. I might have to check this one out.

  13. Natalie {Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers}
    May 10, 2012 / 11:19 am

    I am glad I am not the only one obsessed with cookbooks. I own like 50! Sadly I have them stacked on top of my fridge because we have no builts in yet. Barefoot Contessa is my favorite, did you see she has a new book coming out in October? I can't wait. The wire baskets are a genius idea for old magazines. Totally copying that idea!

  14. May 10, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    Wow, look at those gorgeous stacks of books! You've inspired me to drag some of mine out of the cabinets!

  15. Danielle
    May 10, 2012 / 12:22 pm

    I love my cookbook collection and my cooking magazines. I need a better storage system though. I like how you have them displayed.

  16. May 10, 2012 / 8:01 pm

    Cooks Illustrated and ATK are my absolute favorites. I love Cook's Country by ATK too. The recipes turn out perfectly and I love their explanations too.

  17. natasha {schue love}
    May 10, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    I love Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks! And the wire racks for food mags is genius!

  18. May 10, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    I finally weeded through some of mine as we had way too many, and if I wasn't really using them I figured it was best to pass them on. I kept my favorites which are plenty. You will be glad you didn't move the books. I was never a fan of moving things just because I had kiddos, unless of course it was due to a safety factor!! All it takes is a few gentle reminders and they usually find something else to occupy themselves with.

  19. Dream Mom
    May 10, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    I don't have too many cookbooks any more but ironically, I cook more now than ever. When I had a ton of cookbooks, I rarely cooked, lol. Now I keep just a few. My largest ones are two notebooks, one for recipes I've tried, like and use and one for recipes I want to try someday.

    One time I saw a design in a kitchen where they took three ledge type shelves and displayed 15 different cookbooks. The had this near the table in lieu of wall art. I just loved it because you could see all of the beautiful magazine covers!

    I am now looking for a new recipe software program where I can customize recipes. Do you use a software program? I had one that was adequate but recently decided to upgrade.

  20. May 10, 2012 / 9:41 pm

    I LOVE the Pioneer Woman!! I recently drove 4 hours to one of her book signing. She is such a sweet person!

  21. May 10, 2012 / 11:24 pm

    I loooove the way all of your books are displayed – SO beautiful. Do you have 'Creme de Colorado?' It is honestly one of the BEST collections of recipes out there – and it's a classic! You must add it to your collection if you don't have it!


  22. Lisa S.
    May 11, 2012 / 12:09 am

    You would love the Houston Junior League cookbook, Stop and Smell the Rosemary. Every recipe I have made from it is delicious. I have even been lucky enough to find copies at Half Price Books to give as gifts.

    Have enjoyed reading your blog for the past year. Love your beautiful house and sweet boy!

  23. May 11, 2012 / 1:00 am

    I absolutely love The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook! It has so many recipes ranging from quick and easy to challenging and time consuming. Every recipe I have made from it is absolutely delicious!

  24. {Hi Sugarplum!}
    May 10, 2012 / 9:41 pm

    Dang girl — now you see why I called you with my fish question!!

  25. May 11, 2012 / 3:09 am

    I am also obsessed with cookbooks! Every time I get a new one my husband says I already have enough cookbooks I could a try new recipe every day for the next 20 years and still not have used every recipe! I have nearly every one you do and Barefoot Contessa got me started too. Now I love the healthy Ellie Krieger books. Yours look gorgeous they way they are displayed.

  26. May 11, 2012 / 3:41 am

    I LOVE cookbooks too. My husband keeps telling me to stop buying them! I love Peas and Thank You, even though I'm not a vegetarian. Great stories and some good food.

    I also have a special hutch just for my cookbooks!!

  27. Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
    May 10, 2012 / 11:31 pm

    Love all your cookbooks, I have mine displayed too 🙂 I'm going to catch up on some posts I've missed. Have a great weekend

  28. May 11, 2012 / 5:36 am

    Hi Megan! I looove the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks too. And I adore my cookbook collection.
    I just sent MY first cookbook in to my publisher! So I feel that I have literally been obsessed with cookbooks the last few months. whew! I'll have to send you one when it's finished next year.
    I hope you have a very happy Mother's Day. xo

  29. May 11, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    I was just telling my husband that I wished I had kitchen shelves for all my cookbooks. Love this! Apparently you are a huge Barefoot Contessa fan 😉

  30. May 12, 2012 / 4:01 am

    Racquel- that was such a sweet comment! Thank you! So exciting to be branching out and trying new things:)

  31. Maillardville Manor
    May 15, 2012 / 11:06 am

    Seriously, we might be the same person! haha Loving all your cookbooks!
    Lots of love

  32. May 15, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    I love how this looks! The cookboooks look so elegant in your kitchen! I know so many people wh display them to just display them but I love that you actually USE them! What a concept huh?!?! Very cute idea and the color scheme works nicely!


  33. July 25, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    Love the baskets from The Container Store. Do you remeber what size they are? They sell them in small, medium and large…. Thanks so much!! 🙂

  34. May 12, 2013 / 11:21 pm

    I love cookbooks!! Any ideas for organizing them or showing them off when I have no open shelving in my kitchen?

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