HerKentucky Entertaining: Kentucky Cookbooks



Mark Badgley and James Mischka's KY Farmhouse, via Elle Decor.
I collect cookbooks obsessively.  This is odd, because I'm notorious for freestyling recipes.  I tend to line two or three recipes for the same dish out onto the kitchen counter, then compare ingredients and techniques before deciding how to independently proceed.  Sometimes, this technique produces unique and inspired recipes.  Other times,I'd be well-advised to find a recipe and stick to it.  Personal cooking style aside, though, I've found quite a few lovely Kentucky-themed cookbooks over the years.  Here are a few of my favorites, and a few I want to try.


Tried and True Favorites: 
  • What's Cooking In Kentucky -- The author, Irene Hayes, was my hometown's postmistress and a member of my parents' church.  In my town, "Irene's Cookbook" is a traditional gift for brides or others who are setting up housekeeping.  I love to see this 1960s favorite proudly displayed at State Parks and local bookstores!!
  • Bluegrass Winners -- The original Bluegrass Winners and its companion volume, Entertaining with Bluegrass Winners, contain classic recipes from the kitchens of central Kentucky horse farms.  Excellent recipes and stunning photography.
  • Splendor in the Bluegrass -- The Junior League of Louisville's signature cookbook. I sure have had to sell a lot of these, so I can certainly assure you that there are some wonderful recipes.
On my to-buy list:
What is your favorite Kentucky Cookbook?