Favorite Cookbooks

We are big supporters of a good cookbook – filled with stories, recipes, and useful tips and tricks in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer


Our copy of this time tested and much loved classic was originally Eva’s grandmother’s and was passed down to us by her aunt. The pages are well worn by the years, with many ears and bookmarks for favorite recipes, including rice ring and corn pudding. For comforting simple dishes full of flavor and nostalgia as well as party pleasing appetizers and mains, this is our cookbook of choice.

Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard


A big ole “bible” of a cookbook, Howard’s beautifully curated 600 pages are filled with delightful photos and stories of Howard’s life and the foodways of Eastern North Carolina. Each chapter of the cookbook explores different local ingredients, such as collard greens, sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, squash, rutabagas, beans, melon, and turnips – all of which we grow at Heartstrong! We enjoy adapting her recipes to what we have on hand in our kitchen.

The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters


Simple, wholesome, nutritious and delicious dishes. This is what we find time and time again when we consult recipes out of this beloved cookbook. Waters is one of the most widely recognized and respected pioneers of the farm to table movement, and her recipes highlight this focus through the use of fresh, seasonal, and heirloom ingredients. With our affinity for herbs at Heartstrong, we especially love her herbal recipes, including basil mayonnaise, fried rosemary, and borage cocktail.

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison


Talk about a delectable treatise! This cookbook was the first vegetarian cookbook we referenced as we began our journey as a married duo. It quickly became a staple in our kitchen due to the diversity of choice and ease of recipes. Madison has a dish for every vegetable you might ever have on hand, and provides you with an introductory crash course into many components of the culinary experience: equipment, seasoning, sauces and condiments, and simple yet delicious recipes for everything from sandwiches, salads, and soups to pasta, bread, dumplings, and tofu. She provides in-depth information on vegetarian and vegan cooking, and all the recipes can be adapted for omnivores.