Riley Heruska
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With so many online recipes and cooking apps at our fingertips, the thought of cracking open a real cookbook might sound a little outdated. However, there's something to be said for tried-and-true recipes that have been published on paper pages. That's why these five cookbooks have all received raving reviews from chefs of all levels. Give one of them a try to see if you can spice up your meals at home. 

The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking 
by Mary Younkin 

Let's be honest: who among us really has the time or energy to whip up impressive meals on weeknights? Between balancing social commitments, work, school and extracurricular activities, making complicated dishes is pretty much impossible. That's where this cookbook comes in. Younkin has developed tons of recipes that can be followed in under half an hour. You can find instructions for everything from Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork to Chicken Parmesan meatloaf, and they're all sure to please the whole family. If you end up loving this cookbook, you can also check out Younkin's companion publication, The Weekday Lunches & Breakfast Cookbook

Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman 

You've probably seen Teigen's book praised across social media, but surprisingly, her recipes are far from overrated. Teigen has spent much of her life collecting recipes from various sources, and now, she's brought them all together with Sussman in one book packed with spice and salt. Her down-to-earth voice and simple instructions appeal to any kind of cook, and the food itself is impressive. Some of her best recipes include her Skillet-Charred Fish Tacos, Literally Stovetop Pork Chops and Buttery Glazed Green Beans. If you've been skeptical of this cookbook because of the ridiculous hype that's surrounded it, try to step past your initial impressions and give it a shot. After your first meal, you're sure to be wowed (and full). 

The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart 
by Alex Guarnaschelli 

There are some dishes, like Roasted Beef Brisket or Chicken Marbella, that everyone should know how to make. Guarnaschelli approaches tons of great meals in a friendly, easy-to-follow manner while ensuring that you'll use her recipes time and time again. She was trained at La Varenne Culinary School in France and lived in Paris while working at Guy Savoy. Now, she's been on multiple Food Network shows and is bringing her best concoctions right into your kitchen. Try a few of her humble but classic dishes and you'll be recommending this cookbook to everyone with an oven and a stove. 

Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains
 by Tieghan Gerard 

Just looking at the stunning pictures in this book will have your mouth watering. Everything from Gerard's Death by Chocolate Icebox Cake to her No-Guilt Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo looks downright amazing. However, the dishes aren't actually that difficult to make. Gerard approaches cooking with such a friendly, fun attitude that you'll find yourself enjoying every step. Under her instruction, you'll be able to create restaurant-quality dishes at half the price. Don't think you know how to cook? Gerard will prove you wrong. 

Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family 
by Christy Jordan 

Every Texan needs to indulge in some good old-fashioned Southern cuisine every now and then. Jordan is here to help you do that with simple, time-tested recipes that will satisfy your deepest cravings. Many of her favorite dishes have been passed down to her from generations of family cooks, and you can practically taste the classic Southern flair in every bite. Be sure to try her Homemade Banana Pudding or Chicken and Dumplings as soon as your copy of Southern Plate arrives. You'll truly feel like you're right back on grandma's porch, digging into her best kinds of comfort food. 

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