Fun fact: my dream career as a child was to be a chef. I’ve always had an innate love for food, cooking and cookbooks. I grew up in a household where Barefoot Contessa cookbooks were flowing and this had a big impact on me. I tend to gravitate towards cookbooks with great photos and, lots of them. Being a Francophone comes with its territories; I’m pretty sure there’s a rule book stating that every francophone must love French food or at least just food in general. But I also am deeply tide to my Swedish roots and love everything Scandinavian, including the food. So my top 3 cookbooks incorporate all of these criterium.
My Paris Kitchen by David Leibovitz is such a good book for the current day in age. There are plenty of classic French dishes but he also incorporates a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes which I really appreciate. The photos are beautiful and he talks a lot of having a very ‘basic’ kitchen, essentially a French kitchen. Small, probably no counter space and limited gadgets. But that’s okay because some of the best food comes from French kitchens. This is another quality I really enjoy about this book. I don’t get around to making much of the main dishes in here, because its all meat, but my favorite recipe is the Israeli Couscous. It’s a staple of mine. Sometimes I make it with quinoa for a bit of a healthier option but I love using dates, figs, lemon preserves and cinnamon to make this dish.
Nordic Light by Simon Bajada is just wow. It left me speechless when I first flipped through it. The photos pack a punch in the best way possible and the recipes are classically Scandinavian but with healthy twists. I especially love making the fish recipes in here as an inexperienced cooker of meats and fish. On Mother’s Day I made my mom the buckwheat crepes and salted caramel sauce. They were amazing and the salted caramel sauce is a great solution to an otherwise unhealthy option. It’s nut butter, honey, maple syrup and sea salt. Mix it together and voilà a very healthy salted caramel sauce. I feel that these are the kinds of recipes I will be making for decades to come.
Fika and Hygge by Brontë Aurell is true gold. The photos, the hygge and the delicious recipes are enough for me for the rest of my life. I just want beautiful winter weather, unlimited baking time and a cup of coffee when flipping through this book. The recipes are a lot to take on; most of them have several components that can be time consuming but it is always worth it. I love the rhubarb custard cake the most out of everything I’ve made from this one. The perfect balance of cake and custard and rhubarb will forever be a favorite of mine.