My Favorite Cookbooks, Magazines, TV & Blogs

I love food magazines, cooking shows, cookbooks, and food blogs. If anyone tells you they know it all in the food business, watch out. Even the great chefs of our time are learning new ideas and techniques every single day from many sources.

The first thing I do before preparing a new recipe (and sometimes even an old one) is to Google. Before Google, I would go to Barnes and Noble and look for a cookbook or two. Now, with the internet, research is made easy with hundreds and even thousands of recipes at our fingertips.

One tried and true recipe source is the Martha Stewart website – this lady is a true master at teaching. I also trust Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated. Both Martha, and Cook’s are like the Consumer Reports for cooking. My advice to you is to not be afraid to fail. Cook with GUSTO and reckless abandon. We learn what actually works from our failures.


Magazines are fun for me. I just don’t have enough time to read all the ones I like. I do however look through them all every month to choose a recipe or two. I have stacks of magazines dog-eared with recipes I want to try but never seem to get around to making most of them. This is why I so much like the blog – these guys really get into food magazines and provide some super information and recipes.

Gourmet magazine use to be my favorite magazine of all time, but they are no longer. If I could only have one food magazine, it would be Bon Appetiit for I seem to use this one most of all.

  • Bon Appetit
  • Cooks Illustrated
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Fine Cooking
  • Food & Wine
  • Food Network Magazine
  • Paula Deen Magazine
  • Cooking Light
  • Saveur
  • Southern Living


Not a big fan of the way food television is going with all these game shows like Cupcake Wars, Cut Throat Kitchen, Restaurant Impossible, and the like. Some are entertaining for sure…but I prefer a true cooking show where I can learn techniques as well as recipes. That said, I absolutely love watching Gordon Ramey’s Kitchen Nightmares.

  • Anything Martha Stewart
  • Anything Julia Child
  • Anything Jacque Pepin
  • Anything Anthony Bourdain (especially new CNN series Parts Unknown)
  • Barefoot Contessa
  • The Pioneer Woman
  • Emeril Lagasse
  • Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
  • Anne Burrell’s Chef Wanted
  • Good Eats
  • America’s Test Kitchen (PBS)
  • Throwdown with Bobby Flay
  • Mario Batali
  • Davis Rocco’s Dolce Vita
  • Paula’s Home Cooking
  • Giada at Home


I collect cookbook like a squirrel collects acorns. There must be 2000 in my collection…and I’ve looked at every single one of them – and probably have prepared a recipe or two out of most of them. Reading and looking through a cookbook is one of my favorite past times. I literally have every cookbook by Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, and Cook’s. The Time-Life series, and the 2-Volume Gourmet cookbooks are some of my all-time favorites. My mom gave me Vincent Price’s cookbook where I learned how to make butter.

Cookbooks are fun. I still have the tattered cookbook my mom used, “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” by F.M. “Fannie” Farmer, of which my cream filling, sugar cookie, and pumpkin pie recipes I use to this day.

Below are essential cookbook that every kitchen should have:

  • The Joy of Cooking (Irma Rombauer & Marion Rombier Becker)
  • Mastering The Art of French Cooking (Julia Child)
  • Hors D’Oeuvres (Martha Stewart)
  • Betty Crocker Cookbook
  • Better Homes & Garden
  • American Cookery (James Beard)
  • The Silver Palate (Sheila Lukin & Julie Rosso)
  • Complete Techniques (Jacques Pepin, and Leon Pererr)
  • The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking (Barbara Trapp)
  • The Original New York Times Cookbook (Craig Clairborn)
  • How To Cook Everything (Mark Bittman)
  • Authentic Mexican (Rick Bayless)
  • Maida Heatter;s Book of Great Desserts (Maida Heatter)
  • The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Ina Garten)
  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Marcela Hazaan)
  • The North Beach Diet (Kim Bailey – ha!)
  • Heat (Bill Buford – not a cookbook but a great read)


Food blogs are fun, entertaining, and informative…people pontificating on all kinds of subjects. I almost called this blog Bailey’s Profundities. Our Bailey Blog will come out every Thursday and I hope you will find it fun, entertaining, and informative as well. Admittedly, my blog list is nowhere near as long a list as my cookbooks, magazines, and television shows, but now that I have my own blog, I expect my blog list will be growing. Clue me in on what food blogs you read and enjoy. Here are mine.


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