For a homebound Milk Streeter, curling up with a good book usually happens in the kitchen. And we find that what keeps us coming back to our favorite cookbooks is more than just pretty pictures and a good recipe. Some are comprehensive, some are precise, some are downright funny. But in them all, bold food dominates. Here is a sampling of the stained and tattered cookbooks our kitchen staff and editors keep reaching for during this crazy time.

“Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavor," by Sonoko Sakai (Roost Books)

"Sonoko Sakai’s 'Japanese Home Cooking' is just brilliant. With its simple approach to home cooking, it challenges anyone who thinks Japanese food is only something you can have in a restaurant. And the charming writing makes it all feel doable." — Matthew Card, Food Editor

“Shaya,” by Alon Shaya (Knopf)

"From 'Shaya,' by Alon Shaya, you get an engaging mashup of Middle Eastern recipes coming from a New Orleans chef, and it reads as much autobiography as cookbook." — Matthew Card, Food Editor

"Casa Moro” and “Morito,” by by Samantha Clark and Samuel Clark (Ebury Press)

"I’m drawn to the very simple and short ingredient lists in 'Casa Moro' and in 'Morito,' both by London chefs Sam and Sam Clark (Samuel and Samantha got married in 1996). The recipes combine flavors and textures to make food much larger than the sum of its parts. Both books are smart and approachable with creative riffs on Spanish classics." — Rosemary Gill, Director of Education

"Josey Baker Bread," by Josey Baker (Chronicle Books)

"Also, 'Josey Baker Bread': I just love his witty and encouraging tone. And his method for making bread really really works well! He makes me laugh and helps me make good bread. Win win!" — Rosemary Gill, Director of Education

“The Jewish Cookbook,” by Leah Koenig and Julia Turshen (Phaidon)

"'The Jewish Cookbook,' by Leah Koenig and Julia Turshen, is my go-to. Somehow this book has everything, so much that it’s become a joke in our house, as in 'surely THAT won't be in The Jewish Cookbook,' but then it is. The book is so thoroughly researched and illustrates beautifully how complex the idea of authenticity is." — April Dodd, Cooking School Manager

"The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion" (Countryman Press)

"Also, 'The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion,' even though all of the content in the book is on their website, too. After a long day looking at a screen, I love having that gigantic anthology on hand. Most-worn page: definitely biscuits." — April Dodd, Cooking School Manager

"Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone," by Mark Vetri (Ten Speed Press)

"I've been getting a lot of mileage from Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri's 'Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone.' Particularly, the 'Old School Naples Dough at 70% Hydration' has been a hit—you can bake it at 500°F (so, a standard oven cranked way up can actually handle this), and it ferments in a single day. He also has lots of interesting tips and tricks that have been really helpful for pizza making in general." — Shaula Clark, Managing Editor

“Dosa Kitchen,” by Nash Patel & Leda Scheintaub (Clarkson Potter)

“'Dosa Kitchen' by Nash Patel & Leda Scheintaub. Their dosa recipe is really straightforward and easy; helpful because I do have all the ingredients on hand. It's got the satisfaction of making a fermented bread, but with less effort and waste than a sourdough starter, and the batter lasts in the fridge for up to a month. It's helping to break up the sandwich routine." — Courtney Hill, Senior Recipe Developer

“My Vietnam,” by Luke Nguyen (Lyon Press)

"The other is 'My Vietnam' by Luke Nguyen. This has always been one of my favorite books to cook from, but now I'm spending more time reading his stories as he travels region by region through Vietnam. It's got chapter titles like The Songs of Sapa, Dalat in Bloom and Quiet Quy Nhon. The recipes are well written, but the stories are what I'm sitting down with to transport me." — Courtney Hill, Senior Recipe Developer

“Cocktail Codex,”by Alex Day, David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald (Ten Speed Press)

"I’m a big fan of 'Cocktail Codex,' by Alex Day, David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald, which brilliantly covers every aspect of home mixology. The authors do a wonderful job of explaining the key cocktail styles, how they are related and the techniques that go into crafting a great drink. I learn something every time I thumb through it. And for mastering the classics, it’s hard to beat." — J.M. Hirsch, Editorial Director

“Koreatown: A Cookbook,” by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard (Clarkson Potter)

"One I’ve been reading for fun as well as flavor inspiration is 'Koreatown: A Cookbook,' by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. In particular, I've been borrowing flavors from the banchan chapter to use in my full meals. Most ingredients are already in my pantry, and even if I don't have, say, eggplant, I have been borrowing a recipe's flavors to use on other veggies or protein." — Julia Rackow, E-Commerce Culinary Coordinator

“Indian-ish,” by Priya Krishna (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

"Also, for no-brainer pantry cooking, 'Indian-ish,' by Priya Krishna. She is an excellent writer, and I love reading the notes from her family. It all feels very cozy, happy and personal, so it feels apropos to the current climate." — Julia Rackow, E-Commerce Culinary Coordinator

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