{Food} Top 5 FOF Cookbooks

We asked hundreds of FOFs for their favorite, no-fail cookbooks. The consensus: no book can replace years of trial and error. But, when referencing the basics in a pinch, FOFs tout these top kitchen tomes:


1. The Good Housekeeping Cookbook

FOF Shannon Darnell: “I have a Good Housekeeping cookbook that is approximately 25 years old. It has absolutely everything. From measurements to substitutions to setting your table for any occasion and endless recipes; it is like a mother in a book. I reference it all the time.”

FOF Lois Maassen: “I received Good Housekeeping for my tenth birthday in the sixties. I made oven-fried chicken–quite adventurous for a kid! It’s still my go-to for some family basics and traditions, like biscuits and popovers.”


2. The Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook

FOF Marie Miller: “My old Better Homes & Gardens is falling apart. I’ve had it since my wedding… 41 years ago! I refer to it a couple of times a week.”

FOF Wendi Dusek: “The checkerboard book always seems to have the answer for me!”


3. Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

FOF Kristie Godwin: “My mother gave it to me in the late 70s. I go back to it time and again when I can’t quite find what I want in my newer cookbooks. There’s a recipe for a cake called the “Dinette” that I’ve used for years. It’s easy, moist and tastes really great.”

FOF Hannah Beck: “I bought it over 40 years ago when I first got married and it was the only one I had for many years. My cookbook collection grew over time, but Betty still has a place of honor in my kitchen and I refer to it for all of my basic questions.”


4. The Joy of Cooking

FOF Alexandra: “It was the only American cookbook that my mother owned in Italy. She didn’t read English, so I would translate, and she would tweak the recipes with an Italian twist. Using the cookbook, she prepared the best apple pie, with the flakiest crust for my 16th birthday. All my friends were drooling over it. Years later I still think about it.”

FOF Rochelle Bitton: “It offers several options in its recipes so that you can easily vary a recipe depending on the ingredients that you have in the house.”


5. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

FOF Donna O’Sullivan: “My mom’s is old and worn, with notes she made on some of the pages. When she and my father married, he gave it to her as a gift on their first Christmas together. She threw it at him! She was highly insulted that he thought she would need a cookbook!”

For a chance to win a premiere copy of the 125th Anniversary Edition of the Good Housekeeping cookbook tell us below: What’s the best time-saving cooking trick or gadget that you use in the kitchen?

{Contest ends Friday, September 10 at midnight E.S.T. U.S. and Canada residents only.}

Note: Cookbook will ship to winner upon release in October
Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

32 Responses to “{Food} Top 5 FOF Cookbooks”

  1. sharon910 says:

    I am a great gramma who doesn’t have much time to cook after 6 month goes home so I make meals and freeze them for time saving. Or go to the old reliable betty crocker

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  2. estella miller says:

    I could not live without my mandoline!

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  3. Birdie S. says:

    My best time saving kitchen gadget is my garlic roller I can put five or six cloves in at a time roll it back & forth on the counter & presto my garlic cloves R skinned perfectly & ready for the chopper !!

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  4. Michelle Barnes says:

    The Magic Bullet is amazing. Not only does it make smoothies and milkshakes, but it rapidly shops and blends vegetables and other things needed for cooking meals!

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  5. Maureen says:

    I save time by not separating the yolks and whites when I make cakes. Here’s why: the whole idea behind separating the eggs is that the stiffly beaten egg whites will make the cake nice and fluffy. Well, I don’t like fluffy cakes–I like dense, heavy cakes. So, by leaving the eggs as is, I save time and I end up with a cake more to my liking.

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  6. Kathy says:

    My all-in-one chopper saves time and does a great job!

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  7. MG Stewart says:

    Freezing single portion sizes!

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  8. Betsy says:

    Sharp knives! A sharp knife makes the work go faster and is safer. My father taught me to sharpen my kitchen knives, and his test was to shave a bit of hair off his arm!

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  9. Evelyn Garrington says:

    I could not cook without my Kitchen Aid mixer

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  10. peggy says:

    My favorite cookbook is my old Betty Crocker book that was my mothers,She also left me a book she started from an old WW11 ,book she cut recipes and wrote on paper recipes and pasted them all in this old book,some recipes are from her mother,my mother was born 1910 and passed away 1967,I use alot of her old recipes,they are old country farmhouse recipes.I like the old Grange cookbooks too and ones put out by churches,schools,tried and true recipes.
    My tricks to making meals go further are I start out making fried chicken for dinner,I always make more than we would need,next day,I make chicken and homemade biscuts,last day it becomes what is left into a chicken potpie with veggies and homemade crust.
    I thicken soups with instant mash potatoes.Put a cold leaf of lettuce on soups to soak up any grease,as it will stick to the leaf.
    I open a can of tomatoe paste and put a Tablespoon in a baggie ,do that until can is done,put baggies in freezer,when I need to thicken sauces just take out a baggie and drop 1 Tsp in if I need more just add another baggie.
    I like to make food fun to eat for kids,like taking a hotdog bun,add tuna salad,or chicken salad,in the bun,make wheels from carrots,celery as a taile pipe,and cucumber as the steering wheel,you have a car sandwhich.Make a boat with the bun,use a sail made from thin slices of cucumber or carrots.with carrot stick people.
    I find all cooking takes is an imagination,and the desire to have fun with food.

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  11. Sonya says:

    I use the roasting bag for turkey, roast, chicken and brisket. It makes the main entree tender and no basting or anything.

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  12. Nancy H says:

    I’m a big believer in parchment paper; makes clean up so much easier!

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  13. Tricia says:

    TIME-SAVING TIP: I always peel, chop/dice extra veggies and fruits, put 1 c. ea. in small fold-over sandwich bags (and then put these small bags in a larger, labeled freezer bag). Speeds up prep time for any recipe you would use chopped veggies or fruits in. And also only need to take what I need out of the freezer.
    FAVORITE GADGET: I LOVE my flexible cutting boards. A different color for different types of foods (red for beef, etc.; yellow for poultry, green for veggies, etc.) so there’s little chance of cross contamination. Easier clean-up–just wash in hot, soapy water, rinse well and let air dry. Saves my wooden cutting boards a lot of wear and tear and gouges, etc. by putting a flexible board on top. Also, you can chop up more than one thing at at time if needed, e.g., chicken on the yellow one, with veggies on the green one without the danger of cross-contamination. Also the juices don’t sink into the flexible boards like they do with wooden boards. Plus, the flexible cutting boards are very inexpensive and easier to use because they are so light-weight. I replace mine only every 3-4 years.

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  14. Elyse says:

    I use my blender quite a bit. I use it for smoothies, sauces, salad dressings, and soups. It is also great for making adult beverages.

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  15. Gwen Surell says:

    I love to bake, and a lot of my recipes call for shortening. I prefer to buiy the tub of shortening, since it’s more economical than the sticks. My favorite “trick” in the kitchen is using the water displacement method for measuring shortening. If I need 1/3 cup, I fill my 2-cup Pyrex to 1-2/3 full with water, add enough shortening to bring the water level up to a full 2 cups, then drain the water away. Works great with peanut butter, too!!

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  16. sue hieber says:

    when i bake big potatoes i insert 1 or more(depending on length of potato) nice shiny nails, quickens and evens out the cooking.

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  17. Merle Halpryn says:

    One of my favorite tricks when running low on time is using Caesar Salad salad dressing in cooking. Either the regular or low fat will do. It serves as a fabulous sauce for pasta, macaroni salad is great with this as its core, as a salad dressing, OF COURSE, over fish, over veggies to add a little zing! And even meats, chicken and steak tips are delicious when marinated in Caesar salad dressing! No one knows the “secret” ingredient but it’s a winner!

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  18. Debbie Nye says:

    In this day and age of fast foods and hurried meals. I t is hard to plan good and healthy and balanced meals. A little help, is greatly appreciated, Good Housekeeping is a trusted friend.

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  19. Margarida says:

    My vegetable peeler/scrubber/and core combination tool saves a lot of time!

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  20. darlene says:

    OK … here’s my 2 cents … my favorite cookbook is the Better Homes &^ Garden paperback I’ve had for like 20 years (pretty raggidy right now) … It has everything you could imagine in that little book – not only recipes but measurements, facts about specific cuts of meat, how to alter some basics , etc … it’s my very favorite for finding a recipe when something in the frig is about to expire … I also use my crock pot alot in the winter for “do it in the a.m.” and eat @ 5P

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  21. Carolyn Parkin says:

    My mom had the Joy of Cooking cookbook and gave me one when I got married 37 years ago. It is the only cookbook I have kept as other cookbooks came and went. Mine is old enough to have game recipes in it for venison and squirrel (I’ve never tried the squirrel). When my daughter married I made sure she had a Joy of Cooking also.

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  22. deb geist says:

    I have a devised a week calendar where I organize my thoughts and plans for my upcoming food event. Then the week of the event, I already know what needs to be done each day, and have the grocery list ready, the errand list and what I need to pick up at each place organized that I just zip through each dayand have fun doing it. The list is detailed down to even lighting the candles on the table right before serving. I never miss implementing all my fun ideas this way, and helps me make entertaining look easy! I can enjoy the whole process stressfree!

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  23. Hannah B. says:

    My favorite gadget is my Kyocera mandoline. It only cost about $20 and saves me lots of time slicing veggies, cheese & meats. The best part is that you can select the thickness of the slices, there are no blades to change, and it’s a breeze to wash.

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  24. Nijuana Jones says:

    Clean as you go! Saves tons of time with cleanup later on, plus keeps you organized. I also keep a bowl (empty margarine container) filled with water and just a teeny bit of bleach nearby so I can disinfect constantly. This keeps bacteria and other bad germs at bay.

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  25. KMM says:

    My food processor is definitely a time-saver! I just started using it and it’s like magic.

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  26. Theresa Buchle says:

    I learned long ago to pull all the ingredients before cooking. Now I put the ingredients for cooking near the stove, the ingredients for seasoning near the serving dish. It has always saved a lot of time. Of course, it cuts down on walking around the kitchen so working off dinner might become a necessity!

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  27. KC says:

    Individual freezer containers. Cooking extra on the weekends and freezing it in individual portions for another meal. This one on the go.

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  28. Barbara Mangini says:

    I would have to add the Silver Palate’s The New Basics to this list!! It has saved me countless times ; ).

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  29. barbara wicklund says:

    I altered most of my potato recipes to include the skins so I don’t have to peel the potatoes. Turned out that everyone loves it!

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  30. Cheryl says:

    My favorite is the Melon Baller. I can, of course use it for melons, but also coring fruit like apples and pears, scooping ice cream, cookie dough, and pastry dough and making tiny meatballs. It’s a great timesaver especially when I do anything small. It is also great for putting the indentations in cookie dough, I use it to scrape out the seeds and insides of tomatoes, peppers,and other vegetables, and making truffles, It is great! And I had to buy several extra due to Grandkids using them for Playdough, Plaster of Paris, and plain old mudballs!

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  31. Diana says:

    Great little gadget is a strawberry huller from Sur La Table or William and Sonoma. Even looks like a strawberry – just place it over the stem and twist. Makes a perfect divot and doesn’t waste the fruit. Make a chocolate dip to go with them in minutes – heat up 3/4 cup of heavy cream, take off the heat and add a cup of your favorite chocolate. Let sit, then stir until smooth and creamy. You can also add a tablespoon of your favorite liquor to jazz it up a little.

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