The new year always starts off with the best of intentions. The problem is, those resolutions sometimes aren't as easy to keep as they are to make.
All this month, CBC Books is here to help with Make or Break, our series to help you live up to those good intentions. First up, healthy eating. And the best way to stay on track with eating better is by staying in and cooking at home. Here are some great books to get you started.How to Cook Everything
by Mark Bittmann
Cooking doesn't need to be complicated. At least, that's the message of this cookbook from New York Times food writer Mark Bittman. This general cooking reference guide contains more than 2,000 recipes, but it will also teach you the methods, techniques and strategies you need to be able to relax in the kitchen and cook without a recipe. If you want to be able to just open the fridge and know how to whip something together, this is the book for you.
Delia's Complete How to Cook
by Delia Smith
Released in 2009, this is a 700-page compilation of Smith's entire How to Cook series, containing every skill and technique you could possibly need to know to get cracking in the kitchen. One of the most trusted names in British cooking, Smith offers a useful guide for both the absolute beginner and the accomplished amateur, with no-nonsense instructions and step-by-step photography accompanying everything from how to boil an egg to the most complex risotto.
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Originally published in 1973, this is the
classic for cooking Indian food in an authentic and yet simple and straightforward manner. It's centred on north Indian cuisine, as Jaffrey shares the recipes of her native Delhi through ideas and menus for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. It's also the reason Jaffrey was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Cook Book Hall of Fame in 2006. The book's staying power -- close to 40 years of popularity with home cooks -- is proof enough that it's worth having in your kitchen.My Bread
by Jim Lahey
If you're interested in baking bread but worried it might be difficult or time-consuming, then this is the book for you. Jim Lahey first gained notoriety when his revolutionary no-knead bread method was picked up by the New York Times. That's right. Lahey has developed a technique for baking really great bread with a method so easy, you'll feel like you're cheating. This book is chock full of delicious bread recipes, as well as offering a generous dose of tasty pizza and dessert ideas.
by Jamie Oliver
Before he was a television star on a crusade to change our eating habits, Jamie Oliver was a chef who loved to cook rustic Italian dishes. This book takes you, on the back of his Vespa, to the people and the ingredients of the Italy he loves so much. Yes, it's a beautiful book to leaf through, filled to the brim with photos that will make you want to get on the next plane to Tuscany, but it's also an inspiration to start cooking great food. Oliver's recipes are, as always, bold and delicious, but also remarkably accessible and fun.
Think we've missed a big one? Help us out. Tell us which books you think a home cook can't be without in the comments below.