I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

My Go-To Cookbooks


I used to get almost all of my recipes via Pinterest, but I realized the other day that I’ve been turning to cookbooks a lot more over the last year. The cause, I think, was finding a few cookbooks I absolutely love and really do cook from (there are more cookbooks than I want to admit on my shelf that I’ve hardly even cracked open!). To make sure I don’t wind up with any more that fall flat, I’ve started checking cookbooks out from the library before committing to purchasing them…if I make a handful of recipes during my borrowing time, it just may earn a place in our collection. There are three cookbooks in particular that have been our go-to recipe sources over the last six months. I think you may be surprised to hear what they are!

Love Real Food, by Kathryne Taylor: I renewed this cookbook four times before finally buying it, and it has been worth every cent! Even though we aren’t vegetarian, we have added SO many of these recipes to our regular repertoire, especially from the breakfast category. One reason this book has been a huge success for our family is that Kathryne includes instructions for how to modify each recipe for different restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, etc.) as best as she can. We love having the opportunity to modify something for Charlie as needed, and have been happy with every recipe we’ve tried, both adapted for Charlie, and as originally printed. As a delightful bonus, the photography in this book is beautiful (no surprise if you’re a follower of the author’s popular blog, Cookie + Kate).
Favorites: Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies, Banana-Coconut Pancakes, Southwestern Roasted Veggie Salad with Chipotle-Balsamic Dressing (the best winter salad!), Beans and Greens Quesadillas, and Roasted Broccoli, Bell Pepper, and Tofu Bowl with Peanut Sauce

The Oh She Glows Cookbook, by Angela Liddon: Fun fact: Oh She Glows was one of the very first blogs I EVER started reading! I’ve loved Angela’s perspective and recipes ever since, and snapped up her premiere cookbook as soon as it hit shelves. Again, even though we aren’t vegan, tons of her recipes have been staples in our house for years now. She uses real, simple ingredients that we almost always have on hand, and her dishes are known to please dedicated “carnivores” (ahem, like my husband) just as much as they do vegans. Her Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas are actually Dave’s number one favorite dinner!
Favorites: Maple-Cinnamon Apple and Pear Baked Oatmeal, Classic Green Monster Smoothie, Velvety Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Long Weekend Grilled Salad, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas, Tex Mex Casserole, Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Pure Delicious, by Heather Christo: I stumbled across this allergy-friendly cookbook at the library one day, and after reading it, promptly texted three different people who deal with food allergies telling them to order this cookbook immediately. Many allergy-friendly recipes are laden with sub-par substitutes (like egg replacer, blech!), but this thorough volume, authored by a professionally trained chef, is packed with recipes that don’t call for anything of the sort. Flipping through it literally almost brought me to tears because I was so excited to be able to make so many “normal” foods for Charlie!
Favorites: “Buttermilk” Biscuits, Cornbread, Baked Banana Oatmeal, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Muffins (Note: this is still in our library book phase, so rest assured, this book is PACKED with amazing-sounding entrees, side dishes, salads, soups, and desserts…we haven’t gotten to them yet, but practically every other page is bookmarked!)

Do you use cookbooks or stick to food blogs? Let me know your favorites of either below–I’m always looking for amazing new recipe sources, especially if they’re healthy or allergy-friendly!






  1. I love Danielle Walker {Against All Grain} for allergy friendly. Her blog and cookbooks are some of my favorite.

  2. Dana says:

    I love cookbooks! My favorite is the tiny muffins book at home. How Sweet Eats is still my go to food blog.


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