growing up, it was a family joke in my house that if mom made a dish for dinner that we absolutely loved and hoped to taste again, we'd better get her to write it down—margin notes on additions and adjusted quantities et al. she loved to improvise when she cooked and rework new recipes to her tastes—always correcting oversights by adding what world renowned culinary artists and featured chefs in bon appetit magazine managed to leave out. she had a large closet off the kitchen (think carrie bradshaw's shoe closet) with double french doors and ceiling to floor shelving teaming with wonderfully beguiling cookbooks and culinary magazines, each one dog-eared and worn beige with use. the little darlings of the bunch are the over-stuffed accordion files, volumes one and two, with treasured notes in her great-grandmother's handwriting on how to make the perfect pie crust or dad's favorite Spanish rice and other clipped out and scribbled recipes passed down through generations. Seriously, i'm giddy just thinking about that magical closet back home. and it's clear to me that i share my mom's obsession as i look at how much space on my bookshelves is devoted to my own growing collection of precious cookbooks. this is why heidi swanson of 101cookbooks.com is a girl after my own heart.
the premise 101 cookbooks was built on is best summed up in two sentences: when you own over 100 cookbooks like she does, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking. with personal anecdotes about recipes that intersect her life, travels, and everyday interests and with her own stunning photography, heidi's site chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time. she focuses primarily on natural, whole foods and ingredients. heidi swanson is a san francisco based photographer, cookbook author, designer - and creator of 101 cookbooks.