October is National Cookbook Month!

Daphne RobinsonBooks

Fall is a great time to expand your cooking repertoire as the season changes. Autumn, Fall Festivals, and Halloween are all great occasions to celebrate – but what about observing National Cookbook Month?

Cookbooks for Kids & Beginners

Cooking can be a family affair! Teaching kids safe kitchen skills helps budding chefs gain confidence. A good starter cookbook to help children develop cooking skills is Super Simple Cooking for Kids by Jodi Danen, RDN. Cooking doesn’t have to be a boring chore, especially if you make it a STEM activity. For those who want to play with their food before eating it, Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids offers fifty edible experiments. Not only will this book entice your tastebuds – it may help with some ideas when the science fair comes along.

To expand your culinary horizons beyond just the basics, a good place to start is to consider whether you want to cook or bake and what types of foods you like. For the novice home cook or someone who is short on time, Sabrina Snyder’s Dinner Then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5, or 7 Ingredients gives an overview of different meals that can be made with a limited number of ingredients, not including the basics (oil, butter, seasonings). The author considers this a starting point and suggests you consider what you and those you cook for like to eat and to use what you have on hand. Substitutions are listed for most recipes, and Snyder suggests that these are recommendations not hard and fast rules.

Another cookbook for quick and easy meals is 30-Minute Cooking for One: 85 No-Waste Recipes Made Easy by Amelia Levin which provides tips on cooking quick, flavorful meals for one as well as snacks and desserts to avoid getting delivery as often. Levin also offers tips for planning additional meals for with leftovers.

Projects for the Ambitious Home Chef

If you are vegan, trying to eat less meat or just want to eat more seasonal vegetables, a good cookbook to check out is The Complete Vegetable Cookbook: A Seasonal, Zero-Waste Guide to Cooking With Vegetables by James Strawbridge offers solutions on how to use dozens of seasonal vegetables, so you never need to wonder what to do with the vegetables that are in your local farm box or want to try some fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market.

Do you love soup, year-round? A good cookbook to use for inspiration is Soup Of The Day
365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year
by Kate McMillan. There are lighter soups for the Summer and heartier soups for Winter with a variety of options for various diets.

For those with more advanced culinary skills or who are feeling adventurous in the kitchen, there’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook by Julia Child. Often considered to be a legend in the kitchen from her long career and many television shows, this book is worth considering if you want to try expanding your skills.


If cooking an entire meal seems too daunting, there are always cookies. A few cookbooks devoted to the sweet treats that will have enough options for even the most discerning tastebuds. Cookies for Everyone by Mimi Council. Cookies for Everyone offers a selection of traditional cookies as well as vegan and gluten free options. The “Cake Mix Doctor”, Anne Byrn, gives some history and background in American Cookie about different regions where each sugary treat was popularized as well as and different names for them. The book features bars, brownies, and many traditional favorites in this easy-to-follow cookbook.

These cookbooks are just a sample of the hundreds of available. Browse the shelves of your local library or bookstore and try a new recipe during National Cookbook Month.