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So Easy To Preserve, Fifth Edition
With its single color printing and chunky plastic binding, So Easy To Preserve may not be a trendy or glamorous book, but I’d argue it’s an essential one. I reach for it constantly, trusting it as my go-to reference for canning, pickling, freezing, and drying food. • Who wrote it: Fifth edition revised by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D.
Feb 14, 2013
Fifty Shades of Naughty Cooking Puns: Cookbook Riffs on the Popular Book
The rapid, feverish ascent of Fifty Shades of Grey has proven to be too much for PR persons and trend watchers. When there’s a bandwagon, one must jump on it. The two latest riffs on the erotic novella have come from the food world: Fifty Shades of Chicken (which includes recipes for “Dripping Thighs” and “Mustard Spanked Chicken”) and 50 Shades of Kale (“Thai’d Up Roughage”). Oh yes (yes, YES!) it’s true.
Nov 9, 2012
Great Idea: Use a Dictionary Stand as a Cookbook Holder
This clever idea from Berkeley-based musician Ayla Davila solves two common kitchen challenges: more counter space and cookbook storage/preservation. By repurposing a dictionary stand, Ayla keeps whatever cookbook she’s using held open and supported at a good reading angle. This frees up precious counter space and saves the cookbook from spills and splatters. But it has another use as well. Can you guess what it is?
Mar 2, 2012
Dana’s 5 Essential Cookbooks
Since most of my cookbooks are in storage, I thought I would share this wonderful photo of Julia Child’s bookshelf.For me, cookbooks are so much more than a vehicle for delivering recipes. They inspire and entertain me and teach me about the world. They represent particular a time in my life, a place I’ve traveled to, or my family history. Some of my favorites are beautiful, with amazing photographs and well-designed pages, and some are quite plain.
Feb 23, 2012
Anjali’s 5 Essential Cookbooks
Looking to cook more by feel and depend less on recipes? This is the list for you. It isn’t flashy; my most essential books, the ones that deserve a space on the shelf right next to the kitchen, are less food porn and more trustworthy reference tomes. What they lack in glossy photos they more than make up for with solid, inspiring advice on what to actually do with the ingredients I bring home from the market.
Feb 23, 2012
Cookbook Author Diane Morgan’s Timeless Kitchen
Today we get to tour the kitchen of a culinary professional! Prolific cookbook author Diane Morgan renovated her kitchen fifteen years ago, but she designed it to feel both solid and timeless, so as you will see it still looks fresh and modern.This kitchen has been the site of development for over seventeen cookbooks. Come peek into the incredibly organized cabinets and drawers of a professional food writer! Diane Morgan’s kitchen is beautiful, functional and highly organized.
Dec 6, 2011
Which Cookbook to Buy? 7 Questions to Help You Choose
In a perfect world, I’d have a bottomless well of money, time and shelf space, so I could buy all the noteworthy cookbooks that come out each year.Alas, this isn’t a perfect world, which is why I’m bookmarking reviewer T. Susan Chang’s list of seven questions she asks herself when rating cookbooks. I think it is going to come in handy when I’m trying to decide if a cookbook is worthy of a spot on my shelf.
Dec 6, 2011
Recipe Headnotes: Do We Really Need Them?
Headnotes are practically a requisite for a recipe published these days. Open a cookbook or visit a blog, and you can’t miss it: a paragraph or two of friendly introduction leading into the recipe. But do these headnotes really add anything to the recipe? Do we need them?I’ll confess. I often skip over the headnotes.
Sep 19, 2011
The Cookbook Wall: Bookstore-Style Cookbook Storage
Where do you store your cookbooks? Do they live in the kitchen, or somewhere else in the house? Cheryl Sternman Rule at 5 Second Rule has a unique way of storing and displaying a rotating selection of her cookbooks. She puts them up, face-out, on shelves right in the kitchen! Cheryl shows off her wall o’ cookbooks in a post on recipe organization and searching. She puts up the books she’s currently cooking out of (see all those sticky notes and tabs in the pages?
Jul 12, 2011
12 of Our Favorite Cookbooks for Summer
Cookbooks often feel unnecessary in the summertime. After all, who needs another recipe for grilled zucchini or corn on the cob? And yet with summer’s easy living and easy cooking sometimes I get lazy and forget to try new things. A few cookbooks are breaking me out of my routines this summer, pulling me away from popsicles and grilled eggplant, encouraging me to enjoy the generosity of summer in new ways.
Jul 11, 2011
Fany Gerson’s Lime Pie Ice Pops
Did you know that the very first Mexican ice treats were made with snow carried from the tops of local volcanoes? What this says to me is that, by now, the people of Mexico must be the authority when it comes to icy treats like paletas. To support my theory, we have Fany Gerson and her latest book Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Iced, & Aguas Frescas.
Jul 5, 2011
Cookbook Recipe: Matt Armendariz’s Caprese Sticks
Matt Armendariz’s new book, On a Stick, inspires us to skewer anything edible! Oh boy, we’re glad we put our favorite salad, um, on a stick. Read on to find out more about this wonderful new cookbook and the global flavors it encompasses!Matt Armendariz, acclaimed blogger and food photographer extraordinaire, has just released his first cookbook of his own original recipes (he’s photographed many other authors’ cookbooks).
Jun 22, 2011
Why You Should Give Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cookbook a Chance
I’m not what you’d call a celebrity-obsessed person, so when I heard that Gwyneth Paltrow was releasing a cookbook, I admit I rolled my eyes a little. Who needs to be told how to cook by someone who probably has an army of assistants cooking for her? But then I actually read the book. And you know what? It’s a good cookbook.Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why I think you should give Gwyneth’s cookbook a chance:1. It’s heartfelt.
May 4, 2011
Apps vs. Books: Is It the End of the Cookbook Era?
The New York Times recently took a look at a number of gadgets that may now be unnecessary, thanks to the multitasking capabilities of smartphones and other consumer technology. The verdict? Books are worth keeping — except for cookbooks.Is it time to move beyond cookbooks?The article points to an iPad app, Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, as the future of cookbooks.
Apr 1, 2011
Serves One! Eggplant Flatbread on No-Knead Pizza DoughCookbook Recipe from Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan
The Washington PostThe recipes in this book are pared down in size but not in flavor or technique. There’s an entire chapter on tacos (Joe is from Texas), beautiful soups and stews, and small-scale desserts, like Coconut French Toast with Bananas Foster. This pizza is one we’d make in a heartbeat; it has spicy homemade hummus and pan-fried chickpeas on top. And, of course, a dough in the now-classic method.
Mar 29, 2011
Recipe: Laura Santtini’s Mocha Chili Ribs
In Easy Tasty Italian: Add Some Magic to Your Food, Santtini approaches Italian cuisine with a touch of whimsy and a dash of chocolate-chili-gold stardust powder. Hold on to your pasta-makers, folks, this is definitely not your nonna’s cooking.At its heart, Easy Tasty Italian is just a whole lot of fun. And how can you not have fun when you’re playing with gold dust powder and pinot grigio butter?!
Feb 24, 2011
Do You Have a Favorite Soup Cookbook?
While I’m not usually a fan of single subject cookbooks, I make an exception for the soup cookbook. I guess it’s because soup can be so incredibly versatile: hot or cold, hearty or light, meat-filled or vegan, creamy or chunky. Soup can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert and is an important part of nearly every cuisine around the world.What’s your favorite soup cookbook? Read on for my top three recommendations and add your own the list in the comments.
Jan 5, 2011
David Tanis’ Wild Mushroom Ragout with Ziti
Heart of the ArtichokeTanis’ own kitchen ritualsDavid calls himself a restaurant chef that prefers to cook at home. Chez Panisse allows him to bring the best of home cooking to the tables there in the six months a year he cooks at the restaurant. The rest of the year he, presumably, is cooking up the dishes in this book (all beautifully and simply photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer of Canal House Cooking).
Dec 8, 2010
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders Book Review 2010
I wrote aboutreally, reallyTitle & Publisher: The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, by Rachel Saunders with photographs by Sara Remington. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2010.First impressions: Wow. This is a BIG book, weighing in at 372 pages. It’s a hard cover, with a nice matte textured dust jacket and a sturdy sewn binding that helps the pages to stay flat when opened. The book is divided into three main sections, with bibliography, sources and an index in the end.
Nov 12, 2010
Cornmeal, Parmesan, and Poppy Seed Crackers: D.I.Y. Delicious by Vanessa Barrington
food writersome of her past posts heregreatIn the introduction to D.I.Y. Delicious: Simple Food from Scratch, Vanessa says, “I like knowing that I have the skills to make something I could easily buy.” She describes the process of learning how to make yogurt, and how she realized it was so simple.
Oct 26, 2010
Recipe Review: Clotilde Dusoulier’s Mini Financiers
What’s a financier? It’s not just a person who handles lots of money, it’s also the name of a lovely little French treat! This petite cake would be a great make-ahead item for a brunch, shower or tea party. I deviated from the traditional recipe with one Pacific Northwest ingredient addition — I couldn’t help myself.I plunked one blackberry into each of my financiers.
Oct 1, 2010
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson with Eric Wolfinger Book Review 2010
I live in San Francisco. There are many, many reasons why being able to write that last sentence makes me happy but one of the primary ones is that San Francisco is home to a place called Tartine Bakery. Tartine has an international reputation for their croissants and scones and fruit-filled bread pudding, but there’s one thing they sell that pretty much only the locals know about. Hint: It’s on the cover of the book pictured above. Tartine Bread from 4SP Films on Vimeo.
Sep 29, 2010
The Lost Art of Real Cooking Book Review 2010
Let me just say straight-off that I love this book. Love love love it. Why? Because it does more than just list a bunch of recipes, it teaches an adventuresome, fearless approach to cooking. It encourages the reader to be curious and bold and involved. It teaches us to trust the natural world and methods of cooking that have sustained humankind since, well, in some cares, almost forever. That said, it’s probably not for eveyone.
Jul 26, 2010
Cheery Tomatoes with Jalapeño-Pimiento Cheese Cookbook Recipe
We sometimes forget about pimiento cheese, that Southern lunch staple of cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimientos that is much more than the sum of its parts. Well, cookbook author Denise Gee (whose book Southern Cocktails is another favorite) reminded us how good it can be with these summery, bite-sized appetizers.These cheery cherry tomatoes are part of her new book, Porch Parties, which is all about entertaining outdoors.
May 6, 2010
The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook by Albert W. A. Schmid Book Review
In honor of Kentucky Derby this weekend, we’re looking at a book that takes America’s native spirit beyond Old-Fashioneds and Mint Juleps and pours it into everything from breakfast dishes, to appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Talk about 3 Square Meals!Title & Publisher: The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, by Albert W. A. Schmid. Published by The University Press of Kentucky, 2010.
Apr 30, 2010
How to Cook Everything: Revised 10th Anniversary Edition
This cookbook hardly needs an introduction. A 1998 copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything can be found in most of our kitchens and taught many of us how to cook. We were curious to see how this new (to us) revision stacked up against the original: How much had changed? Is it really worth buying a new copy?Title & Publisher: How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman. Published by John wily & Sons, Inc. 2008.
Apr 20, 2010
Cookbook Classic: The Breakfast Cookbookby Marion Cunningham
Since breakfast is the theme this week, I thought I’d dust off an old favorite cookbook to share with you: Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Cookbook. This book has been on my bookshelf for years and has never failed me when it comes to authentic, fool-proof breakfast recipes.Now well into her 80s, Marion Cunningham has been an inspiring grandmother figure to many cooks, some rather well-known.
Apr 5, 2010
The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker
After seeing Faith’s delectable post about making maple syrup taffy à la Little House in the Big Woods, I was compelled to pull down my battered copy of The Little House Cookbook and pore over the recipes inside. If, like me, you regularly re-read the Little House series as much for the mouthwatering food writing as for the stories, this cookbook is a must-read.
Jan 19, 2010
Weekend Meditation: On Not Resisting Nigel Slater
Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable PatchI’ve written about cookbook lustnotIt isn’t always the objects or situations or people themselves that are problematic, it’s how we are relating to them. One person’s pile of cookbooks could be a symptom of something difficult, while for another it could be an expression of a passionate engagement, a source of inspiration. Of course, I like to think that I fall in to the later category and here’s why.
Sep 13, 2009
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee Book Review 2009
If you’re the type of cook who needs to know why onions make us cry and gets curious about the molecular structure of melting sugar, then this is definitely the book for you. It has become our #1 reference book for all questions relating to food science, and not a day goes by when we don’t end up consulting its pages for one reason or another.Title & Publisher: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. Published by Scribner, 2004.
Aug 21, 2009
Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids by Beth Sheresh Book Review 2009
Do your kids help out with the cooking in your house? Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, Beth Sheresh thinks that there are lots of ways that kids can contribute in the kitchen – not to mention the garden, the grocery store, and the farmer’s market! After reading her book Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids, she definitely has us convinced…Rather than simply focusing on “kid-friendly” recipes, Sheresh takes a very holistic approach.
Feb 18, 2009
Four Great Chinese Cookbooks
When most American homecooks think of Chinese food, it’s the kind eaten out or ordered in, not cooked at home. This is partly a function of a pantry not fit for Chinese cooking and partly the intimidation factor. Heating a wok properly, making tasty condiments, folding dumplings; it can all seem like a lot of trouble when a bowl of pasta, just a boiled pot away from the plate, beckons at the end of a long day.If this sounds familiar, might I make a plug for some good Chinese cookbooks?
Jan 26, 2009
Book Review: A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
When first encountering David Tanis’s new cookbook, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, skeptics might roll their eyes: why do I need a full-color, hard-cover book from a chef who splits his life between the Chez Panisse kitchen in Berkeley and a dinner club in Paris to tell me how to put some figs on a platter? Stop.
Oct 2, 2008
Cookbook Review: The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper
So many cookbooks leave us in the dark wondering why do we have to add salt here or why does this need to sit overnight.Not this one!This is a cookbook for the people. It’s written with the Splendid Table’s characteristic wit and down-home language, which is always inviting and never offended when you have a question.
Jul 10, 2008
Recipe Review: Daniel Leader’s Ricotta Bread
Like an ant to the picnic, we couldn’t resist trying out another bread recipe from Daniel Leader’s book, Local Breads, this past weekend.We had such success making baguettes last time, so we thought we’d try another straight dough recipe. We decided on Ricotta Bread, a basic yeast bread–no sourdoughs or starters–enriched with milk and ricotta cheese. Yum!The dough was pretty sticky at first and difficult to work with.
Jul 7, 2008
Good Quote: Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate
These days it’s trendy for restaurants to develop a relationship with a local farm, but here in the Bay Area this has been going on for quite a while. Greens Restaurant in San Francisco has been featuring Marin County’s Green Gulch Farm’s organic lettuces, potatoes, chard and other coastal-grown vegetables since they opened almost 30 years ago.
May 12, 2008
Store Review: Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks
We admit it. We have a cookbook addiction. Our bookshelves are overflowing, and yet we keep buying them. In New York, our favorite place to feed that delicious addiction is Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks. This tiny Greenwich Village shop is a must-see destination for cookbook lovers and anyone interested in culinary history.Crammed floor to ceiling with historic, vintage, and contemporary cookbooks, Bonnie Slotnick’s is a dangerous place for the cookbook addict to browse.
Mar 27, 2008
What Are Your Favorite Food Scenes in Classic Novels?
Last week we talked about your favorite food-themed picture books. This week, we’re curious – what are your favorite food scenes in classic novels? There is so much to choose from, especially among the great Victorian authors.We actually summon up scenes of privation as much as anything else; poor Oliver Twist, so hungry and begging for more; Jane Eyre with her wretched burnt porridge in the horrible school.
Mar 12, 2008
Book Review: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
The host of no-knead recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day have been making quiet ripples through the baking community, and we felt that it was time take a look for ourselves to see what the hubbub was all about.Given that this book was likely in production around the time when Jim Lahey’s recipe appeared in the New York Times, we were curious to see how they compared.
Feb 20, 2008
Jessica Seinfeld’s New Cookbook
Have you heard about the brownies made with carrots and spinach (PDF recipe)? The new cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian and sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld, shares advice on how to hide vegetables so kids will eat them. There’s recipes for pureed cauliflower in mac and cheese and kale in spaghetti and meatballs.
Oct 22, 2007
Book Review: The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook has quickly become a classic in our kitchen, and we know that it is in many of yours as well. After we mentioned Judy Rodgers’ granitas last week we thought it would be good, though, to spotlight this book for those of you who have never picked it up.Rodgers acquired her training in France and later at Chez Panisse.
Jun 25, 2007