To make a proper meal, you’ll need fresh ingredients and a few good recipes. Set the table and fire up the stove for our favorite old and new culinary tomes.The Homesick Texan CookbookBorn of the dearth of Tex-Mex in NYC, Lisa Fain’s ode to the Lone Star State is more than chips and queso. It’s the whole enchilada.NatureBrevity is the soul of wit, and simplicity is the heart of a perfect meal. Famed chef Alain Ducasse turns basic ingredients into world-class recipes.An Everlasting MealWe consider ourselves smart and resourceful, which is why we settled in with Tamar Adler’s “lessons on instinctive cooking” as if at tea with an old friend.D.I.Y. DeliciousWe weren’t sure we wanted to make our own pickles, but we let Vanessa Barrington show us how — and now we’re queen of the cuke. Very Fond of FoodSophie Dahl’s second cookbook came out in April. The spicy eggplant and tomato with poached eggs immediately joined her asparagus soup in our dinner rotation. PlentyOne of our editors calls Yotam Ottolenghi’s collection of vegetarian delights her “bible.” We bow down before our plate of green couscous. Fill the bread basket with all our best-loved cookbooks and never go hungry again.