Does this mean much to you? Probably not. But to me, it means that I finally got over my fear of my oven. Honestly, I was scared to death. But I forced myself to buy the ingredients for cookies in order to persuade myself to do it.
And I didn’t burn down the apartment.

Hello. Winning.
I will say that I was truly spoiled with the ovens in my parents’ house. I’m used to convection ovens and this is just… not. But it will do.
So in addition to getting book recommendations… I’m now officially looking for cookbook recommendations! The thing is that I’m a (modified) vegetarian of sorts. Nothing too drastic or crazy, I just don’t eat meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.). I’d love to hear what your favorite dishes to make are.

I’m going to really try to commit to learning how to cook some staple meals. Because, you know… a refrigerator with only chocolate syrup is just not going to cut it for the rest of my life.

I’ve been collecting amazing recipes on Pinterest in the hopes that I’d finally conquer the whole oven-phobia thing. Now I’m super excited to get to try some!

Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Quinoa Salad // Italian Fries

Orange Sweet Potato Baked Chips with Thyme // Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Fennel Salad

What is your favorite meal to cook? Do you have any favorite cookbooks?


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Julia B

Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook is a solid healthy option, and pretty straightforward. If you don't eat meat, in the vegetable section I recommend the roasted cauliflower w chickpeas or the grilled asparagus and mushrooms (use a cast iron grill pan – you can get one from BB&B, they're inexpensive).

Kate Mitchell

Check out the website My Whole Food Life for delicious and healthy meals, as well as Chocolate Covered Katie for healthy desserts!



I like this one because it teaches you how to make things healthier and teaches you the cooking process terms like braise, roast, etc.

Modified vegetarian as in pescetarian? Fish eater? Same here but I do eat some meats on holidays to keep my parents from having to make something else (they seem to eat meat with almost everything).



I think you might really like Her stuff is vegetarian and sometimes vegan, is pretty simple (hello, minimalist – genius), and there are several recipes that don't involve the oven.


Use to pick the recipes you want to try and have the ingredients delivered to your apartment! It expands your normal dinner palate and, considering grocery prices in NYC, is reasonably priced. This has curbed my 'eh, I worked late don't want to deal with Fairway so I should just order from Seamless' excuse. 19 Charles Street is good as well, but tends to be a bit pricier.

Sarah Hafley

A comprehensive cookbook that is good to have is "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." Its a huge green monster of a cookbook that has literally everything. Maybe not super useful if you're just browsing for a recipe, but for reference its really awesome.

Jenn from A Pop of Style

You've finally conquered the oven fear! Haha. Now it's time to experiment with brussel sprout recipes! I love cooking homemade fries in mine, and chicken dishes. But you should think about investing in a countertop toaster oven to bake veggies too (it'll prob heat up faster than your oven, and is perfect when you want to make something small and quick!)


Chef Chloe Coscarelli's two cookbooks "Chloe's Kitchen" and "Chloe's Vegan Desserts" are amazing! She's a vegan chef and while I'm nowhere near vegan or vegetarian I love making a lot of her recipes because they're tasty and healthy. You can totally find them at B&N or Costco. She even has a recipe for vegan frosted animal crackers 🙂


Congratulations on overcoming your fear of the oven and making such beautiful cookies! As far as cookbook recommendations go, Momofuku Milk Bar is brilliant, though a bit tricky. For savory food, Candle 79 and Crazy Sexy Kitchen are great (if you're cool with vegan food). As far as baking goes, Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours is essential.

Have fun!

Julia Rodney

I'm vegan and I cook A LOT. Blogs are awesome because you don't have to invest in the actual cookbook. Post Punk Kitchen is the best- Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the vegan goddess pretty much. I also really like recipes by Bryant Terry, they're a little more detailed but good. Here's my pinterest- lots of Isa on there


I have always used and bought Southern Living cookbooks. I have always been a cooker so I like making dishes that either can feed a large group of people or that are mini(I am that person that likes mini food because it looks cute).

Meredith Scroggin

Baking is one of my favorite things, and I always turn to one of my favorite blogs, Sally's Baking Addiction, when I need something because her recipes are always fabulous! (And I'm a vegetarian, too!)


Yay! I love cooking. I'm on a reduced meal plan next year, so hopefully I'll get to cook more! I just got the book Relish by Daphne Oz, and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes!

Katie McC

I just have to say, roasted cauliflower is the best thing in the entire world! I usually bake mine for 20 mins drizzles with olive oil and then drizzle on balsamic vinegar and bake another 20 mins. It's SO delicious. I could eat it daily. And I never even used to like cauliflower until I found this recipe.


Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) books are ah-mazing. Also, Gwenyth Paltrow wrote one that I hear is good.


What do you eat if you don't cook for yourself? Not in a mean way, just genuinely interested! I'm from New Zealand and the concept of never using your oven is so foreign to me! 😛

Taylor Lacey (A Twist of Nerd)

Good cookbooks have been mentioned – Ina and Gwyneth write some mean cookbooks. I get most of my cooking inspiration from Pinterest. There a ton of food recipes on there that I find myself making. I, like you, am a modified vegetarian. A simple oven dish with tilapia is just baking it in tin foil with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. Seal it up, bake for like 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the fish. If you want to get fancy, you can even add veggies like asparagus or green beans to the packet. It also packs nicely for BBQs :] Hope this helps.


My favorite recipe…Roasted Smashed Potatoes. Buy a bunch of tiny potatoes (those little red ones work great!) and boil them in salted water until you can pierce them with a fork. While they're boiling, pre-heat your oven to 350. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet. When the potatoes are done (and slightly cooled) put them on the baking sheet and slightly smash them with either a fancy potato smasher ORRRR a heft fork (post grad style!). Brush olive oil on each potato. Sprinkle kosher salt over the potatoes, followed by Italian seasoning. Bake for about 20 minutes. DONE! (Also, I know you have an aversion to ketchup…these taste great WITHOUT ketchup.)

Rachel A

My cousin bought me my first cookbook. It's called "Clueless in the Kitchen" by Evelyn Raab. She wrote it for her sons for when they got out on their own. I have turned to it many many times! It's funny, witty, and she doesn't make you feel stupid for not knowing basic kitchen tools, appliances, and such what. She even teaches you how to defrost your freezer!!

It's marketed for teens, but I honestly believe that everybody, no matter how old, can learn from this cookbook.