Eat Your Books

I’ve always had this weird relationship with cookbooks.  As soon as I walk into a bookstore I make a beeline for the cookbook section and can lose hours of my life as I peruse individual titles.  It feels like certain books call out to me; they glimmer on the shelf and catch my eye. They beg me to bring them home and I’m always tempted even though I know I can find a much cheaper price online.  Usually temptation wins. I love the smell of a brand new cookbook; the shiny crisp new pages filled with bright beautiful food photos and incredible sounding recipes.  I love the instant gratification of a book store. When I know I want a particular cookbook it becomes like an obsession.  I must have it.

So as you may have guessed, I’ve built up a pretty sizable collection of cookbooks. But here’s the thing. When I’m looking for a recipe, I rarely turn to these gems I’ve spent so much time collecting. Why? You probably know; the internet is so much faster. I mean talk about instant gratification. When I need a recipe for banana bread I can type it into Google and voila! I have hundreds of options, often rated by users, within seconds.  How can you beat that?  So I use my internet recipe while my poor neglected cookbooks remain on their shelves, lonely and longing for attention.

At least, that’s how things were a few months ago.  Everything has changed now.  A few months ago I was driving home from an appointment while listening to NPR (my standard driving music these days). I can’t remember what show I was listening to but they were discussing cookbooks.  Someone called in to the show to ask if anyone on the panel had tried a website called Eat Your Books. I’d never heard of it and listened with curiosity.

Eat Your Books is an online cookbook database.  For $25 a year you can input all of your cookbooks and search them for specific recipes or ingredients, just as you would search Google.  And it’s not just cookbooks; Eat Your Books has archived cooking magazines and numerous blogs.  All of those Cooks Illustrated and Bon Appetit magazines sitting in my closet?  Yeah, they’re archived as well now.  Instead of searching Google for banana bread I now search on Eat Your Books.  And my sweet cookbooks and magazines that were collecting dust come alive with possibilities.  Hello Julia!  Hello Dorie!  It appears you have the recipe I’m looking for!  Life changing, I tell you.  Simply life changing.

So today I’m incredibly excited to tell you that Eat Your Books has offered to give away a free LIFETIME membership to one reader.  How cool is that?  Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

Contest rules: All entries will be verified before a winner is selected and invalid entries will be removed. This contest is open word wide.  I’ll select a winner on 2/10/13 and contact them via the email provided.  If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours a new winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    What a cool program and a great giveaway! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

  • Lara

    Hard to say favorite…but most frequently used is Joy of Cooking!

  • Kim Bee

    Very cool giveaway. My fave is my old Betty Crocker Cookbook. It’s just a mess and I’ve already replaced it twice since I’m so hard on my cookbooks. I also really love my copy of The Williams Sonoma Cookbook. Lots of great recipes in that one too.

  • Anne

    So hard to pick just one favorite! However, a sentimental favorite is my mother’s only cookbook, which now has a place of honor on my shelf: The American Woman’s Cookbook, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, copyright 1953. I can’t recall ever seeing Mom use it, but it’s pretty worn, so she must have. And I have yet to use it, but I love it dearly.

  • Kimberly Smick

    Way too many favorites but if I must choose: Gluten Free on a Shoestring!

  • Amanda

    I had not heard of this… thanks for opening my eyes to a wonderful resource!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    I’ve never heard of this, but it sounds amazing. Lord knows I have plenty of cookbooks collecting dust!

  • Karen H.

    This would be so awesome! How exciting!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    I have Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Cookbook and it’s my go to cookbook. Never failed me! Love this giveaway!!

  • Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    My favorite cookbook has to be Ina’s Back to Basics. EVERY time I make a recipe from her everyone is happy.

  • Susan

    How fun! My favorite cookbooks change. Current top three are Anna Bremzen’s Spanish Table, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, and Pushpesh Pant’s India.

  • Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

    Currently The Modern Cafe by Migoya

  • Rachel

    So many! Right now I’m loving the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

  • Rachel

    So many! Right now I’m loving the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook!

  • Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks!

    Right now my fave cookbook is A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson

  • Rebecca

    I have several that I love, but the one I use most often and is closest to my heart is probably Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

  • Dan

    This is something I have wanted to check out for awhile

  • Isabelle @ Crumb

    Love this giveaway! I’ve been dying to try Eat Your Books, but I have to admit the annual fee is a little bit steep for me right now. So obviously this giveaway was made for me! :)
    My favourite cookbook of all time is Joy of Cooking – specifically, the tattered 1970s paperback version I inherited from my mother when I moved out, as opposed to the awful 1990s re-issue. :P

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Such a fun giveaway! It’s hard for me to pick one favorite but I’m currently loving the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

  • catsluvr

    My favorite is Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking

  • James G

    My favourite is Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi.

  • Evi

    What a great giveaway! Glad you like this Jennifer- will have to give it a try (especially if I win!).

  • Rachael

    You’re going to think there’s something wrong with me, but the only cookbook I’ve ever really used is more of a diet book… Sass Yourself Slim by Cynthia Sass. ;) I’ve used a few Asian cookbooks from the library, but that’s about it.

  • Bonnie M

    I have so many, but I do love the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook.

  • Liz

    My favorite cookbook lately is Alice Waters “The Art of Simple Food”

  • Marit

    America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

  • Linda S.

    The Splendid Table, for reading as much as for cooking. I love it because it details the cooking of Emilia Romagna, the section of Italy where my mom’s parents come from.

  • Pinchofsalt

    How can you have a favorite cookbook? It’s like saying you have a favorite child. The cookbook I am most in awe of is Julia Child’s Mastering the Art (both volumes)…. but the one that made the single biggest difference to me in the kitchen is Dan Leader’s Bread Alone.

  • Trish

    This is so, so, so cool. I have the same problem with cookbooks. I love them, I can look at them for hours, but I never seem to find what I want (or even try for that matter) when I am looking for something specific. The very idea of this is thrilling.

  • Olivia @ Liv Lives Life

    I love the Sparkpeople cookbook!

  • Lia Simpson

    America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is my go to guide.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Fave cookbook – I’ll say Cooks Illustrated b/c it’s 900 pgs and super scientific!

  • Jean

    What a wonderful competition. I have only just discovered eatyourbooks and was wondering if I could afford to join for a year. Thanks.

  • Kristen M.

    It’s hard to say that I have a favorite – I go through a lot of them by checking them out from the library. Everyday Food is one where I’ve saved a lot of recipes.

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    So cool! My cookbooks are definitely collecting dust on my shelves right now. And I’m too lazy to get the stepstool to bring the books down.

  • Laura

    I LOVE Eat Your Books, so a lifetime membership would be appreciated, to say the least. And it is good to know I am not the only one without an iota of patience when I decide I must have a cookbook. Do you use thegoodcook also?

  • Laura

    Ooops not trying to confuse things, but I see you want a question answered. Uh. I can’t. I have 592 cookbooks. I just cannot pick a favorite. Because it is February, I’ll say ChocolateChocolate by Lisa Yockelson lol. :)

  • Jean

    I find it very hard to say what my favourite cookbook is. Probably one related to baking bread as this is my favourite pastime at the moment.

  • Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories)

    Right now I would say it’s Baking in America…picked it up at a thrift store or used library book sale and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

  • Alice

    my favorite cookbook is one that my grandma and Aunt made for me once my oldest daughter was born – a treasure! Other than that I really enjoy “My Family Table: by John Besh!

  • Karen Marie

    My favorite cook book is a local church cook book, A Tradition of Fine Cooking by St. Francis Academy. I have to say it was my first cook book, in what has become a collection. My Aunt gave it to me when I was thirteen. She wrote her favorite cookie recipes in it for me. She is in her eighties now and her health is failing. I will forever know that she helped me along this cooking road that I enjoy so much.

  • kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    What a great idea to archive cookbooks–I flip through mine now and again but you are right, the internet is fast and comes with photos!

  • Janet

    The Good Home Cookbook is my go to cookbook!

  • Jan

    I love the Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    What an amazing program! I have never heard of it before but I so want to join! My favorite cookbook is my Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks.

  • Marcia

    I’m a big Ina Garten fan – and with one exception, everything I’ve ever made from her recipes has been a success. My favorite is Barefoot Contessa at Home.

    • Jennifer Farley

      I’ve always loved her recipes! Out of curiosity, which one failed? I’ll make sure to avoid it.

      • Marcia

        I made her parmesan crackers one time and the dough was too dry and crumbly and they never came together. It was probably an error on my part since EVERYTHING else I have ever made of hers has been an absolute winner!
        You may have better luck with the crackers than I did! Give them a try!

        • Jennifer Farley

          What’s funny is I actually made those last summer and posted about them. I noticed the recipe had mixed reviews about the crumbling so I modified it slightly. I may have added a bit more water but I think what made the difference was I rolled the dough out and used a cookie cutter instead of slicing them. But you were not alone!

          • Marcia

            That is so funny! I have to check your archives and find that post!
            By the way, I just love your blog!

  • Jennelle Jones

    My favorite cookbook is The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. Seriously, it is “no fail” and all the recipes are geared to weeknight cooking from scratch. Who couldn’t love that?

  • Megan

    My favorite cookbook is my America’s Test Kitchen Family cookbook!

  • Natalie S

    My favorite Cookbook is The Best of Cooking Light!

  • pat simon

    This sounds like a fantastic benefit!

  • DB-The Foodie Stuntman

    Oh the irony! I remember discussing cookbooks with another food blogger recently and we both agreed that paper editions’ days are numbered with the millions of free recipes online but since then my collection is quadrupled. My favorite is probably Cook Like a Rock Star by Anne Burrell and with Susan Lenzer because I got it autographed at a book signing when it was first published.

  • Carey

    Favorite?! Oh gosh, it would probably something from Ina. Maybe her first cookbook.

  • Rachael

    My favorite cookbook is actually the one put together by our church family. Awesome recipes from lifelong friends! :)

  • Valerie

    It’s so hard to pick a favourite! Right now I think it’s Baked Elements… :D

  • sandie

    so Cool!!!!

  • Jackie

    Right now, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook!

  • Debra

    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing about it!

  • Erin | The Law Student’s Wife

    I make that exact same bee-line! The cookbook section never gets old to me, and I continue to be impressed by the amount of amazing, creative things you can do with food. Current favorites: Ina Garten’s Foolproof and Simply in Season.

  • Lyn @LovelyPantry

    My favourite cookbook (one of, I should say) is The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson. I have a cookbook problem. I get so annoyed when I’ve purchased the same edition of a magazine or cookbook. I laugh at myself but I’m annoyed at the same time! LOL :-)

  • Jessica K.

    Thank you for this giveaway!! Even if I do not win…what a great thing to introduce your readers to!! Oh, favorite cookbook?? I would have to say Williams-Sonoma’s Art of Preserving and Betty Crocker’s Christmas cookbook. I am EXACTLY like you about falling in love, buying, and never cracking them open again!! So glad I am not alone!! LOL

  • Alissa

    Fave cookbook of all time HAS to be The French Laundry cookbook…it’s just so pretty and inspiring!

  • Winston

    My favorite, at the moment, is Modernist Cuisine. All right, that’s six books, but it’s an amazing set.

  • Nicole (MyLoveForCooking)

    Wow this just blew my mind!!! My dear cookbooks have suffered a similar fate for the most part I fear but perhaps no more! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    I don’t really have a favorite cookbook. But I do seem to gravitate back to my Old Checkered Better Homes and Garden Cookbook! It’s a classic!

  • Allison Almond

    Right now i’m on the hunt for a gluten free ish cookbook. I’m allergic to 29 different things, and so I’m stumped in the kitchen as to what to make these days.

    I’m allergic to:
    Barley, Corn, Flax, Gluten, Wheat
    Eggplant, Mushrooms, Oranges, Peppers, Pepinos, Pimentoes, Potatoes, Raisins, Tamarios, Tomatillos, Tomatoes (all nightshade)
    Peanuts, Sesame, Walnuts
    Aspartame, Saccharin
    brewers yeast, egg yolks, paprika, sulfites, green tea, Textured Vegetable Protein, whole cow’s milk
    If you know of a good cookbook that doesn’t have any of these ingredients, then I will buy it! :)

  • Jesse

    How do I choose? It depends on the day…. I love the Moro cookbooks!

  • Mark

    I could never pick just pick one so first book that comes to mind is, “Essential Pepin”. When I saw banana in the ingredients for lamb curry, I couldn’t believe it but I followed the recipe. Best lamb curry ever!!

  • Mark

    Also enjoying Japanese Hot Pots.

  • Mark

    Wood Fired Oven Cooking

  • Saya S

    I love the “Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook”!

  • lo

    One of my very favorite cookbooks is Andrea Chesman’s The Roasted Vegetable. I use it all the time to get the perfect cooking times for roasted veg, and to gain inspiration for future cooking projects.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    This is such a cool idea! Cooks Illustrated is my favorite right now.

  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    I don’t actually own many cookbooks (yet!) but my favorite that I have is Food and Wine’s annual cookbook! It has pretty much every kind of recipe you’d ever want :)

  • JacquiO

    Definitely Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie Does’. There is nothing that makes me more passionate about cooking than discovering new flavours and techniques from around the world. Jamie’s cookbook takes the amateur cook through Greece, Spain, France, Morocco, Italy, and Sweden on a culinary world tour. Includes stunning location photography as well, plus endearing traveling stories, which makes reading and cooking from this book a true experience.

  • natalie @ wee eats

    My favorite cookbook is probably Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, although that’s more of a baking than cooking lol – maybe Joy of Cooking?

  • Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

    I have this old cookbook from my mom’s church- it’s the book I first learned how to cook from with all these crazy recipes written by a bunch of old church ladies that call for things like oleo. There’s also ground beef in EVERYTHING. It’s fun to adapt things from there- still my favorite.

  • Meryl

    My favorite is Alice Medrich’s “BIttersweet.”

  • Louis

    Pierre Franey’s “Cooking In France.”

  • Vanessa

    Has to be a Mary Berry one – the lady cannot do a thing wrong!

  • Paul

    The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris is great!

  • Jamie G

    This is such a neat idea! I just wish I could index the old church cookbooks I own. They have such homey recipes.

  • Beth Barnes

    I’m not sure I have a favourite cookbook, but I do love Eat Your Books enabling me to use all of them!

  • Christina

    I have so often dreamed of being able to google my cook books, never thought such a site existed! Freakin brilliant. Super keen to sign up whether I win a free membership or not. I’m a fan of personal cookbooks, y’ know, from your favourite cafe in your home town, or a collation of your mothers best recipes, or the fundraising book for a local charity. Cookbooks with history and personal significance.

  • Jennifer

    Eat your Books is brilliant! It’s too hard to decide which is my favorite. At the moment, I’m enjoying tweaking old favorites.

  • Joanna N

    You always share the best giveaways!!

  • Katie Randall

    My favorite cookbook is my bread machine cookbook, I use it all the time.

  • Carolina Chirichella Brody

    My favorite cookbook is the Academia Barilla Cookbook!!

  • Erin B

    I plan on tackling the Bouchon cookbook this summer. Truly inspiring!