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Five Kickass Cookbooks That Aren't Regular Cookbooks

I have a metric junkton of cookbooks in my kitchen, but, there are a few that are my absolute favorites. Some sit on the shelf and have never been opened, while others are so banged up from use that you can barely read the recipes anymore.

And then, there are the cookbooks that are conversation starters. Here are the five cookbooks (well, four and a magazine) from my collection that always get ripped off the shelf when friends come over. They're hilarious, inspiring and they make cooking fun. Which, to me, is the second most important thing about cooking. (After whiskey.)

1) What The F*** Should I Make For Dinner? by Zach Golden

It looks like this:

The recipes are simple, and the author constantly reminds you mid-recipe, "Don't fuck this up."

2) Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz

It looks like this:

Not only is Mission Street Food a great story about a restaurant/charitable organization/food truck, it's also full of some badass recipes like this one:

I appreciate that they always include riffs on the recipes, too.

3) Baby Mix Me A Drink by Lisa Brown

It looks like this:

Part of Lisa Brown's Baby Be Of Use board books series (which includes Baby Make Me Breakfast , Baby Plan My Wedding and Baby Fix My Car), Baby Mix Me A Drink is my favorite gift to give a friend who just had a baby. I keep it with my cookbooks, because it is the most valuable cocktail bible that exists.

4) I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence by Amy Sedaris

It looks like this (Thanks, Amazon):

I don't have a picture of my own copy of the book, because I keep lending it out. My favorite thing in this book is The "Fuck It" Bucket. The recipe comes from her brother Paul "The Rooster" Sedaris and goes something like this: "Go get a 1 gallon paint pail, fill it with candy, write 'Fuck it Bucket' on it. When shit gets you down, just say 'Fuck it,' and eat some motherfuckin' candy."

5) Lucky Peach

It looks like this:

Lucky Peach is a quarterly magazine from McSweeney's, focused on food and writing. Each issue tackles a single theme and usually includes recipes, art and all kinds of fun essays. In this issue, there was a recipe for a two-minute chocolate mug cake that you make in the microwave, an interview with a lunch lady about what it's like being a lunch lady, an essay by Anthony Bourdain, and these badass illustrations:

If you like things that are great, I promise you'll like these cookbooks (and magazines).

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