I'm Kendra, and I'm here to help you be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. Welcome to your people.

My Favorite Cookbooks

My Favorite Cookbooks


This summer I started sharing a cookbook tour on Instastories. I'd pull one of my favorites down from the shelf in my kitchen, walk through why the cookbook works for my family, and share a few of the recipes that I always make from it. I can keep doing this for weeks (and I plan to!), but here is a good starting point if you want to expand your collection or just see what I use on the regular.

(And if you decide to add to your collection, buying through these links is such a kind way for you to support The Lazy Genius Collective and keep it on your screen. My sincerest thanks.)


The Kitchn
If you've been around here for long, you know I'm obsessed with The Kitchn. I love everything they do, including publishing my Tim Riggins Salad recipe

Amanda Frederickson
She's a trained chef but cooks at home like a regular person with the tiniest bit of extra fancy. Her style is straight-forward and lovely, and her Fridge Foraging Instastories every Wednesday are so great.

I don't use this much, but when a recipe is highly rated and it passes my flavor, salt and heat test, I'm all for giving it a go. 

Simply Recipes
Elise is food blogger royalty and has been around awhile. Not all recipes are super kid-friendly, but this is a really solid resource and a fun place to browse.


Mad Hungry Family - Lucinda Scala Quinn
She worked for Martha Stewart for years and has a similar aesthetic - simple and lovely - but more manageable and less fussy. Solid, standby recipes.

The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook - Coco Morante
If you have an Instant Pot or are thinking of getting one, this is truly the only cookbook you need. 

Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook - Jessica Fisher
Lots of riffs on enchiladas and pasta, but sometimes that's what you need. There's A LOT in here with zero pictures, so if you're looking for pretty inspiration, look elsewhere. If you're looking for ideas on how to use your freezer better and meal prep like a champ, give it a try. Easy, riffable recipes.

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow - Gina Homolka
Not a lot of ingredients and great uses of the slow-cooker. When I plan a week of recipes from one cookbook, this is an easy one to choose.

Real Simple Easy, Delicious Home Cooking
Shockingly great even though it's from Real Simple which doesn't always feel real or simple. I've loved everything I've made from this, and the approaches are super straightforward.

The Flavor Bible - Karen Page and Andrew Dorenburg
If you're a confident cook and don't require a recipe, this will be your most favorite book ever. It's literally a Bible of flavors. It's like an encyclopedia of flavors and lists what ingredients go best together. I reach for it almost daily for both making dinner and baking. It's a gem.

Salt Fat Acid Heat - Samin Nosrat
If you nerd out over food and want to understand better what makes food good, you'll adore this book. Not many recipes but tons of explanations about why salt, fat, acid, and heat are essential in creating delicious meals. Love love love it.


Note: These are more like cooking encyclopedias. If you're just starting out in your kitchen, maybe wait on these for a bit. 
How to Cook Everything - Mark Bittman
Literally everything. It's crazy.

How to Cook Everything Fast - Mark Bittman
Some GREAT ideas in this one on how to streamline your cooking process to get meals done quickly but without going crazy. As Mark says, "Fast doesn't have to be frantic." Amen.


Magnolia Table - Joanna Gaines
This is a possible contender because I haven't had it on my shelf for very long, but my sweet Sam is obsessed with Fixer Upper right now. We've made the brownie pie (quite tasty), the chicken and rice soup (also tasty), and will try the pancakes this weekend.


Like this list? I have one just like it for desserts. Check it out here

Magic Instant Pot Curry Rice

Magic Instant Pot Curry Rice

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper