The category of cookbooks that I’m discussing today is picture books. These are the typical coffee table books with lots of glossy pictures and usually a picture or several pictures for each recipe. Examples include:
- Food Network Kitchens Cookbook
- 1 Mix, 100 Cakes
I use these cookbooks for inspiration. I usually go to them when I want ideas; maybe to find a main dish to build a menu around, etc. They typically have fewer recipes in them, but are often more detailed in providing step-by-step instructions for a difficult technique, along with pictures to help you along.
I find the electronic equivalent of this type of book in browsing blogs and magazine sites where you can see lots of pretty pictures that make you say “that looks yummy.”
I think cookbooks like this are helpful, especially for new cooks, when you don’t know what the end result is supposed to look like, or if the steps are complicated and are better presented in picture format. However, they take up more room on the bookshelf. I find myself gravitating more towards other types of cookbooks as my skill increases, although I still enjoy picture books.