Trust us on this one.

By Stacey Ballis
December 18, 2020
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Need the perfect thing for a last-minute gift for the foodie in your life, with no worries about shipping or arrival times? Or are you ready for a little gift for yourself this holiday season that is a game changer for how you cook?

I see you; I feel you; I am here for you. And I am going to let you in on one of the best new things that has come into my life recently.

It's called EatYourBooks.com.

What is Eat Your Books?

The premise of this subscription site is simple. People who love cookbooks tend to have a lot of them. When it is time to figure out what is for dinner, many of us make the same dishes over and over again because who has time or bandwidth to go searching through our collection for new recipes. If we have an ingredient on hand that we are unsure of what to do with, it becomes a deep dive into the indexes of our books, taking time and energy and often leaving us without a recipe we really want to make.

But what if we each had a personal database of the recipes contained in the cookbooks we already own? And we could search that database by recipe title or an ingredient, and the search results would give us a list of recipes and which books they are in so we could quickly and efficiently search our own libraries for the perfect dish?

We can.

Credit: Getty / Udi Tam / 500px

How Eat Your Books works

Eat Your Books has more than 160,000 cookbooks in its database, so you enter your cookbooks and add them to your bookshelf. Then, when you do a search, the site searches the cookbooks you own. It is a fast and intuitive process; I was able to enter almost 200 books to my shelf in about an hour. They also have an online set of more 320,000 recipes that you can search and add to your personal collection. If you follow blogs, you can add those to your shelf, and if you are someone who keeps the hard copies of your cooking magazines, you can add those to your shelf as well.

You can bookmark favorite recipes to find even more easily or return to again and again. You can add the recipes you want to make to a shopping list that will give you a printout to take to the store or use to help you load your online delivery cart. There is even a forum where you can connect with other cookbook lovers.

Best part? The subscription is only $30 per year or $3 per month. Boom.

The more I use it the more I like it. I recently received a bag of dried black chickpeas, which I wasn’t sure how to deal with, and a fast search led me to a recipe for a chicken, pumpkin, and black chickpea tagine in the back of a cookbook I have not opened in probably a decade, would not have thought to look in, and it was just the right dish.

You can gift a 1, 2, or 3-year membership to your favorite cookbook collector (including yourself!).

Buy it: Eat Your Books subscription ($30 for one year), eatyourbooks.com.