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Your favourite recent cookbook purchase?

shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 07:28 AM

I have a birthday coming up and I'd love a couple of new cookbooks. I'm a little out of the loop (new baby, no time to sleep let alone read) so I'd love to hear about your new cookbook purchases.....

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  1. n
    nissenpa RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 12:11 PM

    I'm in the same situation! I hope you get some responses.

    1. c
      ceeceee RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 01:17 PM

      "all about braising" by molly stevens. a book dedicated to both short and long braising of just about everything...fish, veggies, meat. great late summer to spring recipes....with a particular focus on hearty fall and winter dishes. most are somewhat hands on, but there is no need to be exact and precise as you can't really screw braising up!
      great for those with little time to pay too much attention to detail.
      the recipes...oh my...the recipes. i've only made about 5, but they have all been divine!

      4 Replies
      1. re: ceeceee
        prunefeet RE: ceeceee Nov 7, 2006 04:00 PM

        I can't wait to get this one!

        1. re: ceeceee
          skigirl RE: ceeceee Nov 14, 2006 08:37 PM

          I recently got this cookbook and love it. Want to make just about everything in it. The first recipe I did ROCKED.

          I also recently purchased Dorie Greenspan's new baking book which is chock full of food porn.

          Are you looking for any particular type of cookbook?

          1. re: skigirl
            EllenMM RE: skigirl Nov 28, 2007 07:49 PM

            I just got both of those and I'm having trouble putting them down. They're excellent - good reads, as well as seductive recipes. Definitely porn!!!!

            1. re: EllenMM
              yayadave RE: EllenMM Nov 29, 2007 05:14 AM

              Both of these books were Cook Book of the Month in the past. A little search might get you a lot of tips about the recipes.

        2. b
          bbc RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 01:21 PM

          You might list some of the ones you already have since there are so many out there & so many cuisines that ones that might be familiar to you may not be to others & vice versa. Do you want ones that have brief recipes b/c of baby's sake? I saw one called "Spoon" that seemed not so new (but was to me) that I loved. Basic Italian, but quick, buildable recipes, nice design (I'm a big sucker for that). Some of my favorites are not so new though...

          There's also another post about the New New Joy of Cooking (& an article in the Times about it last week?).

          1. marthadumptruck RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 01:22 PM

            The new Gourmet cookbook. Can't say enough good things about it. Can think of a couple of negatives: no pictures (save a couple of illustrations), and the yellow print of the recipe titles is a little annoying. But the recipes are great, and the explanations are good.

            Just yesterday, I received Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen "The New Best Recipe." I like it because there are lots of illustrations, explanations, reviews, etc. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I don't think I'll be disappointed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: marthadumptruck
              MrsCheese RE: marthadumptruck Nov 28, 2007 04:54 PM

              The New Best Recipe is my go-to cookbook for anything and everything.

              1. re: marthadumptruck
                kkbriggs RE: marthadumptruck Nov 29, 2007 06:45 AM

                I don't think you'll be disappointed. I LOVE the New Best Recipe and it has a near-permanent home on my counter. The chocolate chip cookie recipe makes the absolute best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted and the meatloaf recipe has replaced grandma's recipe (!) Any time I want to make something but am not sure where to start, this is where I turn. I think I actually use it more than Joy of Cooking now. It has been many of my friends' birthday/wedding/new baby/etc. gift in the past year or so.

              2. yayadave RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 02:57 PM

                I recently picked up "A Taste of Home" cookbook from the magazine by that name. It was not too expensive at Costco. I expect it would be good, standard fare and not too hard to do. I bought it as a Christmas gift, but, well, it may not make it under the tree. Anyone have experience with this book?

                1. w
                  Walters RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 03:07 PM

                  I'm digging through "Cookwise" by Shirley O. Corriher. Along with some excellent recipes, a lot of useful information about cooking techniques, food and ingredients. (Like the respiration rates of Grapes...)

                  1. g
                    ghbrooklyn RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 03:56 PM

                    There is a book caled Cradle of Flavor about Southeast Asian cooking that I have not bought but it is a great book.
                    I don't buy many cokbooks, but my best recent purchase is definately Bittman's "Best Recipes in the World," which has a ton of great recipes but also is simply a great reference on flavor combinations and cuisine specific techniques for when you are developing your own dishes.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ghbrooklyn
                      chocodile RE: ghbrooklyn Nov 7, 2006 06:11 PM

                      I too recently bought this and tried some of the recipes for the first time this weekend. One thing I really like about the book is the section on ingredients, particularly the photos- this made the shopping much easier. Overall, I was very pleased with the recipes, particularly the beef rendang and the stir-fried water spinach. I am really looking forward to cooking more from this book and recommend it to fans of SE asian cuisine.

                      1. re: chocodile
                        oakjoan RE: chocodile Nov 7, 2006 07:34 PM

                        Chocodile, it's hard to figure which cookbook you're referring to in your post. I guess it's the first one ghbrooklyn mentioned because of the ref. to SE Asian cuisine. However, Bittman's book also has lots of SE Asian recipes. Thanks for a clarification.

                        I agree with ghb that Bittman's Best Recipes is wonderful. I've made many dishes. Favorites recently have been the potato and kimchee pancakes and the marinated chicken thighs with sesame.

                        I've really been using and loving Molto Italiano by Batali. Usually, I like him but am a bit sick of all the hype. This book, though, is wonderful. There's a great stuffed meatloaf and a basic tomato sauce that I make all the time. There are also a bunch of desserts - cakes and such.

                        I also love Jamie's Kitchen and have used it a lot lately.

                        I'd also get one of Paula Wolfert's books on cooking of the Mediterranean - emphasis on the Eastern end - Turkey, Syria, Israel, etc. Wonderful! Cooking of the Eastern Med. or Greens and Grains are both great.

                        Actually, so is her Southwest France cookbook. The sparerib recipe is the best I've ever made.

                        1. re: oakjoan
                          chocodile RE: oakjoan Nov 8, 2006 01:10 AM

                          Oops! I was referring to Cradle of Flavor.

                          1. re: oakjoan
                            adampaul RE: oakjoan Nov 14, 2006 05:23 PM

                            I just purchased Wolfert's SW France cookbook last weekend and it looks great. The only thing I've made so far is the chicken stock, and it's definitely the loveliest stock I've made to date (5# of chicken parts, a roasted carcass or two, and a marrow bone probably help contribute to this - that's a lot of meat for an 8-cup yield!). Now to make the demi-glace and dive into the recipes that call for 'em.

                            Any other standouts besides the spareribs?

                      2. adampaul RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 04:10 PM

                        I've been using the Gourmet cookbook for a year'ish, and have been quite happy with nearly everything I've made from it. It's clear, concise, and has enough recipes to keep me occupied for years to come.

                        More recently I purchased Marcella Hazan's "The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" and don't know how I ever got along without it. She explains the concepts behind each dish type, gives the "whys" for techniques, and most importantly, the half-dozen or so recipes I've made so far have been fantastic.

                        Jacques Pepin's "Fast Food My Way" is also excellent for quick'ish French country-style fare.

                        Mario Batali's "Molto Mario" has not proved very good - very pretty (both the book and the food), but of the three things I've made from it so far, none have been all that great.

                        Does anyone know of a French equivalent to Hazan?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: adampaul
                          soupkitten RE: adampaul Nov 7, 2006 04:31 PM

                          Julia Child

                          1. re: adampaul
                            luckygirl RE: adampaul Nov 7, 2006 04:34 PM

                            I just purchased "Marcella Says..." and feel the same way about it s you do about her book "The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking". In fact, that will be my next purchase.

                            1. re: adampaul
                              oakjoan RE: adampaul Nov 14, 2006 03:22 AM

                              I really like (and mentioned above) Molto ITALIANO, not Molto Mario What don't you like about MM?

                              1. re: oakjoan
                                adampaul RE: oakjoan Nov 14, 2006 05:17 PM

                                Sorry, it's Molto Italiano that I have - must've been thinking of his TV show. I haven't made a lot from it, but the eggplant parmesan was soggy, the foccacia was inedibly salty (this may have been due to too-old pecorino romano, but the recipe calls for what seems like a lot of salt, and then adds a ton of parm reg and pecorino romano, both of which are also very salty). I agree with you that the basic tomato sauce is tasty.

                                It's certainly an attractive book, and the recipes resulted in attractive food, but I find that I prefer cookbooks that focus on more on technique and concepts than those than have lots of pretty food photography.

                                What recipes are your favorites from it? I'm certainly willing to give it a few more times to prove itself. In the end, though, I'm not sure that there's a good reason to have both it and Hazan's books.

                                1. re: adampaul
                                  Megiac RE: adampaul Nov 28, 2007 04:02 PM

                                  I've been having lots of luck with many of the pasta sauce recipes in Molto Italiano. it has a great bolognese, which is an interesting counter to Hazan's (which I also love).

                                  1. re: Megiac
                                    oakjoan RE: Megiac Nov 28, 2007 06:26 PM

                                    I love the stuffed meatloaf recipe, the basic tomato sauce (simple but just wonderful), turkey meatballs, grilled mackerel (I used bass) with eggplant and salsa verde and orange tart and sponge cake with pear marmalade.

                            2. celeste RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 04:26 PM

                              Based on a post on this board a couple months ago I purchased a copy of each of the "Best American Recipe" edited by Molly Stevens and Fran McCullough. They comb through all cookbooks published in a given year as well as newspaper food sections, recipes on boxes, etc, and present the best of the best as well as some extra tips. Every recipe I have made is *fantastic* and they are my new go-to set of cookbooks (and I have a lot of cookbooks).

                              I bought them used via Amazon for only about $10 per hardback copy. I think it started in 2000 so there are 5 versions now.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: celeste
                                buttertart RE: celeste Nov 7, 2006 05:30 PM

                                And there is now a compilation volume which is extremely worthwhile - 150 Best American Recipes - picked it up in a Barnes & Noble and sneaked 2 recipes (one for a prune and walnut cake and one for a shortbread-type thing topped with jam and almonds) - and made the prune cake before buying the book. Read the whole thing last weekend while down with a cold and even through that haze saw fewer than 5 recipes that I would not have liked to have made/eaten that very moment...this is a gem.

                                1. re: buttertart
                                  foxy fairy RE: buttertart Nov 28, 2007 03:02 PM

                                  A year later -- is this still a winner? Combing through some previous cookbook threads for gift inspiration, I found this suggestion, and it sounds PURR-fect for my mom this year ;) I like that mention of less than five you wouldn't make...

                                  1. re: foxy fairy
                                    buttertart RE: foxy fairy Dec 3, 2007 09:26 AM

                                    Yes, it holds up very nicely. Gave copies as gifts last year.

                              2. s
                                soupkitten RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 04:32 PM

                                I love "vegetarian cooking for everyone" by deborah madison-- even if you are not a vegetarian it is a comprehensive cooking method book

                                everything by marcella hazan & patricia wells

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: soupkitten
                                  oakjoan RE: soupkitten Nov 7, 2006 07:37 PM

                                  Ditto on this book (and her Green's and Savory Way). Also ditto on Patricial Wells and Hazan.

                                  I also love Madhur Jaffrey's International Vegetarian Cooking (or something close to that title). More dishes from more places than Madison's.

                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                    debbiel RE: oakjoan Nov 7, 2006 10:36 PM

                                    Another ditto. This is my favorite cookbook. I've given it to five or six other people, all of whom seem to really like it, none of whom are vegetarians.

                                    1. re: debbiel
                                      Smokey RE: debbiel Nov 8, 2006 03:47 PM

                                      I love it too. I'm just not sure it's what the OP is looking for. I had the feeling s/he was looking for recently released cookbooks? Regardless, it is a good book that I use regularly.

                                2. g
                                  Grubbjunkie RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 04:34 PM

                                  If you like reading cookbooks as much as actually using recipes, Paul Bertoli's "Cooking by Hand" has a lot of terrific stuff about artisanal italian cooking.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Grubbjunkie
                                    cgfan RE: Grubbjunkie Mar 16, 2007 08:40 PM

                                    If I hadn't purchase Bertoli's book so long ago, I would answer the same as well. Definitely a thoughtfully executed book from a true food artisan in the old tradition. I've posted about his book elsewhere on Chowhound, and my take on the book can be found here:


                                    (And as to the question of the post, my favorite recent purchase would have to go to "The Improvisational Cook", by Sally Schneider...)

                                  2. emily RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 04:43 PM

                                    "The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle" is a book that I keep reading over and over. Different recipes from the pastry chef at Chanterelle. Covers cakes, cookies, puddings, souffles, candy and more.

                                    1. pitu RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:25 PM

                                      Sunday Suppers at Luques

                                      are the newish ones I've been enjoying alot
                                      but it really depends what your interests are

                                      I have my eye on Curry Leaves and Mango and the new Africa book by Marcus Samuelson

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: pitu
                                        prunefeet RE: pitu Nov 7, 2006 07:20 PM

                                        Anything from Duguid and Alford...Curry Leaves and Mango is a gorgeous book and a good read.

                                        1. re: prunefeet
                                          jennywinker RE: prunefeet Dec 3, 2007 09:41 AM

                                          Yes, yes! Anything by Alford and Duguid. I've had the opportunity to cook with Jeffrey a couple of times and he is so my hero. I have all their cookbooks (autographed), except Home Baking. I just scanned Amazon and see they have a new book scheduled for a May 2008 release: "Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China." Place your advance order now!

                                        2. re: pitu
                                          walker RE: pitu Mar 18, 2007 10:16 AM

                                          Isn't it Mangoes and Curry Leaves? I have it -- it's such a beautiful book. Only have made the dal so far -- was great.

                                        3. s
                                          sam21479 RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:27 PM

                                          Although it is about a year old now, I got America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for Christmas last year. I think of it as the updated Betty Crocker cookbook (that my mom has in her kitchen duct taped together). It has every type of recipe in it, of varying degrees of difficulty. It is definitely my go-to, basic, reference cookbook now-it booted Joy to the corner of my bookshelf.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sam21479
                                            nothingman RE: sam21479 Nov 14, 2006 06:02 PM

                                            I'll second this one. I got a copy as an early gift and I have to say it is much less preachy than their best recepie one. A great refrence book. More info than the Betty Crocker w/o the usual over the top analysis from ATC.

                                          2. Ora RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:34 PM

                                            Which cuisine(s)?? [There are so many good books out there now.]

                                            1. Karl S RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:40 PM

                                              Well, I purchased it in paperback years ago, but I noticed this weekend that late Edna Lewis' immortal "A Taste of Country Country Cooking" (1976) has been reissued in hardcover in the wake of her departure from this life. Though it is not a big comprehensive cookbook, anyone American cook who does not have that should get it. Edna Lewis may not have had the TV fame of Julia Child, but she was a profound influence on many of the great American chefs of the past generation.

                                              By contrast, I would say that the new Bon Appetit cookbook cannot hold a candle to the Gourmet book of 2 years ago. I am reserving comment on the new Joy.

                                              Though it is not new (it came out in 2005), earlier this year I did get a remarkable book on traditional Irish cooking that provides some splendid recipes that will force many hounds to appreciate an under-appreciated ethnic cuisine:


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Karl S
                                                soupkitten RE: Karl S Nov 8, 2006 04:01 PM

                                                oh, i didn't know she died. i have the out-of print book & it's great: fresh & unpretentious american cooking at its regional best-- thanks for the obit, Karl S, i will definately be raising a glass to Edna Lewis later on.

                                              2. m
                                                montrose RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:48 PM

                                                I received The Elements of Taste for a gift a few years ago and have leared a great deal from it. It's as much about the art of creating a dish from various tastes as it is a collection of recipes. It really changed how I approach cooking - I no longer feel like I need to follow a recipe lock-step. I can't recommend it highly enough.

                                                1. c
                                                  cheryl_h RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:48 PM

                                                  Recent purchases include Cradle of Flavor by James Oseland, mentioned already - the cooking of the spice islands, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. I'm still assimilating this but it has lots of interesting ideas.

                                                  Sunday Suppers at Lucques - I've had this for a few months and so far I like everything I've made from it.

                                                  Charcuterie by Ruhlmann and Polcyn - if you're interested in home curing, this book makes it all seem accessible. I cured my own hams last winter so I'm keen on learning more. So far, the merguez I made from this book was right on.

                                                  Spice by Ana Sortun - creative twist on Middle Eastern, particularly Turkish, cuisine. So far I love everything I've made from it. Oleana, Sortun's restaurant, is a favorite of ours and this book makes it possible to recreate some of her signature dishes.

                                                  1. Candy RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 05:56 PM

                                                    I have changed my mind about Sunday Suppers at Lucques. The first time I looked through it I just was not interested. Yesterday I spent the afternoon going through it and have revised my opinion of it. It is on my to buy list now.

                                                    I just bought Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours after a good read of a friends copy. It is all sweets and I also ordered Damon Lee Fowlers New Southern Baking Book which has both savoury and sweet recipes.

                                                    new in the past few years that I like are;
                                                    Mangoes and Curry Leaves-Alford and Duguid
                                                    Frank Stitt's Southern Table-Stitt
                                                    Cowboy in the Kitchen-Spears
                                                    Essentials Of Asian Cuisine-Trang
                                                    Land of Plenty-Dunlop
                                                    Good Tempered Food-Day-Lewis

                                                    1. c
                                                      ChiliDude RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 07:27 PM

                                                      On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
                                                      by Harold McGee
                                                      Scribner 2004
                                                      884 pp.

                                                      1. c
                                                        Chimayo Joe RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 07:38 PM

                                                        My four latest are:

                                                        Cradle of Flavor--James Oseland(great book, even someone who knows nothing about the cuisines should be able to do well with this one)

                                                        Into the Vietnamese Kitchen--Andrea Nguyen(another good one, probably the book I'd recommend for someone looking for a first Vietnamese cookbook. Lots of photos and nicely explained recipes)

                                                        Curry Cuisine--David Thompson, Corinne Trang, Sri Owen, among others.(good sampler of curry dishes from many regions, probably best used by someone with some familiarity with the cuisines because the recipes don't go into much detail. Plenty of photos.)

                                                        Tradewinds and Coconuts--Jennifer Brennan(couldn't resist a hardcover for $5 so I picked this up from Hastings' bargain books shelf. Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Good book on cuisines that don't get much cookbook coverage. Well explained recipes. No photos.)

                                                        1. gridder RE: shazzer65 Nov 7, 2006 09:49 PM

                                                          I love Rick Bayless's books -- I think the most recent is Everyday Mexican. I am also enjoying Vegetable Love (kafka), but have found the dishes to be more uneven than Veg. Cooking for Everyone.(madison)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: gridder
                                                            soupkitten RE: gridder Nov 8, 2006 04:05 PM

                                                            yes, you're right (vegetable love vs veg cooking for everyone), but i love all of barbara kafka's books-- i even have her "microwave gourmet" book even though i don't own a microwave (LOL) because i always learn something from her & she is so passionate & innovative-- very underrated too in my opinion-- love her books "roasting" and "soup: a way of life" as well-- find them in your local independant book emporium!

                                                          2. Dommy RE: shazzer65 Nov 8, 2006 04:25 PM

                                                            It wasn't really a purchase as SO got it for me. :) But my favorite right now is America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook in the Binder. It has all their famous recipes and most of them we have tried have come out very good, with a few tweaks of course! :)

                                                            Right now I'm getting into the groove my current cookbook project, to cook a soup or stew out of every cookbook I have... :)


                                                            1. v
                                                              valerie RE: shazzer65 Nov 8, 2006 05:48 PM

                                                              A friend of mine bought this for me recently and while it's not necessarily gourmet, the recipes that I have made so far are tasty and easy (and as the mother of a 2 year old and a 7 week old, sometimes just putting a tasty dinner on the table is key!). It's called "The Six O'Clock Scramble" by Aviva Goldfarb.

                                                              I also just ordered "The Best Light Recipe" and "The Best 30-minute Recipe: A Best Recipe Classic" from Cooks Illustrated/ATK. They haven't arrived yet, but I bought them based on recommendations from this board.

                                                              1. Infomaniac RE: shazzer65 Nov 8, 2006 05:53 PM

                                                                I was recently in Owensboro, KY and picked up this cookbook which I'm real happy with because it has a lot of barbecue and game recipes.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  cookiecutter RE: shazzer65 Nov 8, 2006 06:01 PM

                                                                  I love "Sunday Suppers at Luques" by Susan Goin. Most of the recipes are fairly time-consuming, and probably not terribly feasible with a new baby. Even so, it's a terrific book and worth owning.

                                                                  1. doctor_mama RE: shazzer65 Nov 8, 2006 11:37 PM

                                                                    With a new baby, you probably don't have much time for cooking. In that case I recommend Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, which is a great compendium of quick, tasty and varied vegetarian dishes.

                                                                    If you like to bake, I recommend the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book. It has a very wide range of recipes using whole grains. I just made the cornmeal-maple biscuits which were wonderful.

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      jlwnc RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 01:54 AM

                                                                      Weber's Art of the Grill (the pulled pork BBQ and the beef with avocado cream and the pork with tomatillo salsa, as well as the fish in papillote are now staples for us)

                                                                      Also, The Silver Spoon is a must for Italian lovers. It has been the best selling cook book and most popular wedding gift for something like 30 years. I got it last Christmas when it was first published in English. It is a must have.

                                                                      1. j
                                                                        jcbroder RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 02:08 AM

                                                                        Peace Love and Barbecue is one of the best on the subject. There are recipes, articles on barbecue legends - both people and places.

                                                                        I just glanced at the new Barefoot Contessa book. Looks great. She offers good recipes that are doable at home. The photos show you how food should look.

                                                                        1. c
                                                                          Cuppy RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 02:09 AM

                                                                          Tamales 101. I love tamales & have always been afraid to attempt them but no more. This book is great, offers step by step instructions along with ton of recipes. I made Pork & Chicken, they came out perfect!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Cuppy
                                                                            walker RE: Cuppy Mar 18, 2007 10:20 AM

                                                                            I got this book, too. I make them with butter, only. One variation: I made a batch with fireroasted poblano chile (I did it on top of stove), tomatillo sauce, and goat cheese -- this was everybody's favorite -- so delicious served fresh and hot!!

                                                                          2. a
                                                                            Atticus Fresh RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 02:29 AM

                                                                            Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka. This book is divided in to two parts. The first part is all recipes. It is organized in to four recipe sections: Vegetables of the New World; Vegetables of the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and the Arab World; Vegetables of Asia and Africa; and, Citizens of the World. Note, although this recipe book is about vegetable it is not a vegitarian cookbook. The second part of the book is an alphabetical encyclapedia of vegetables that includes information on buying and storing, cutting, basic cooking techniques, yields and equivalences. This is a most own for any home chef.

                                                                            1. p
                                                                              PrincessBakesALot RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 02:56 AM

                                                                              I recently got Heirloom Baking With The Brass Sisters by Marilynn & Sheila Brass. It has wonderful recipes and history. It is based on old recipes passed down through generations and found in old journals, handwritten recipes tucked in old cookbooks, etc. They've all been rewritten and tested for modern kitchens. I've already made the pumpkin pie with maple pecan crunch. So good!

                                                                              1. t
                                                                                tomaneng RE: shazzer65 Nov 9, 2006 03:12 AM

                                                                                Mazel Tov on your new baby! I too am in the sleep deprived bliss of motherhood. I love all of Ina Garten's books (Barefoot Contessa). Her food is straghtforward and delicious and she understands that people have busy lives and shapes her recipes accoringly. Given your new situation, she has several dishes that freeze beautifully for those times when all you canmanage is to pop something in the microwave.

                                                                                1. r
                                                                                  RiJaAr RE: shazzer65 Nov 13, 2006 10:02 PM

                                                                                  My favorite cookbook was a wedding present last year. the betty crocker big red book wedding edition, its awesome. So far it has answered every question i ever had about cooking. i use it , not so much for the recipes,( although it does include all the staples ) but more for the tips, everything from menu planning to portion guides, information about every food under the sun and tons more. fun reading

                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                    morebubbles RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 01:32 AM

                                                                                    Just got the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook and it's great!

                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                      laonion RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 02:36 AM

                                                                                      The new Dorie Greenspan would make a great gift. It's a beautiful book and the pictures inspire you to bake! I love just leafing through it.

                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                        bacchus RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 05:18 PM

                                                                                        My favorite recent purchase is The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld. It's full of simple, but creative dishes that let the ingredients shine through. I have four kids under 13 at home, so I totally relate to having no time to read... but I still get inspired to cook each time I open this book AND I can execute most of the recipes easily for a weeknight meal.

                                                                                        I'm on a cool-weather soup kick, so I've made the Pumpkin and Shrimp Bisque and the Black Bean Soup with Apple (which was incredible, and very easy). I've also made the Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage and Cider Glaze, which sounds fancy, but only has six ingredients, not counting salt and pepper.

                                                                                        I own his new coobook, The Herbal Kitchen, but this is the one I keep going back to.

                                                                                        Congratulations on your new baby, by the way!

                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                          cheryl_h RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 05:20 PM

                                                                                          I also just got the King Arthur Whole Grain book and it looks very interesting. I'm sure I'll be baking from it over the holidays. I love the detail of the recipes and sidebar explanations.

                                                                                          My copy of Paula Wolfert's Slow Cooking of the Mediterranean arrived last weekend and I've already made one of the recipes - the leek and greens panade. It was everything I expect from her books, the recipe was laid out well, easy to follow and precise. The results were delectable. I'd recommend anything by Wolfert who is one of my favorite authors.

                                                                                          1. m
                                                                                            mcanni RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 05:36 PM

                                                                                            Favs are-

                                                                                            Sicilian Gentleman's Cookbook - good recipies and better reading

                                                                                            Rao's Cookbook - like spending an evening at the restaurant that is the most difficult to get a reservation. Another great read.

                                                                                            Pierre Franee's NY Times 60 minute Gourmet- learn basic cooking technics fast

                                                                                            Sunday Supper - home style American

                                                                                            Marcella Hazen's Basic Italian

                                                                                            any book on BBQ

                                                                                            1. w
                                                                                              Westy RE: mcanni Nov 14, 2006 08:24 PM

                                                                                              Hey!!! I love the Sicilian Gentleman's Cookbook. There is a new version out (I think it is illustrated).
                                                                                              If you like Rao's, you may also like "Patsy's" cookbook. A little mroe red sauce than Rao's, but the same feel.
                                                                                              My most recent purchase was an order to New Zealand for the Soul Bar's cookbook.

                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                ErikaK RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 06:13 PM

                                                                                                I bought the Les Halles cookbook, it is a fun read if nothing else. I followed the "method" for his Poulet Roti the other day and it was fantastic, the pan sauce was my best ever - made by roasting the chicken on top of the giblets & 1/2 an onion... I didn't even have to get the roasting rack dirty :)

                                                                                                1. honkman RE: shazzer65 Nov 14, 2006 06:32 PM

                                                                                                  I like "The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food" in the moment. Made two recipes so far which both were great. Will definitely cook more out of this book.


                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: honkman
                                                                                                    bacchus RE: honkman Nov 15, 2006 12:31 PM

                                                                                                    Oooh...I love the Splendid Table. I didn't post it earlier because it's not a recent purchase for me, but a beautiful choice.

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                                                                                                    LindyHopper RE: shazzer65 Mar 16, 2007 08:43 PM

                                                                                                    I just got Cook's Illustrated The Best Make Ahead Recipes. I haven't made anything yet, but I always have good luck with Cook's Illustrated recipes.

                                                                                                    1. greenmtnjenny RE: shazzer65 Mar 16, 2007 09:28 PM

                                                                                                      I love Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen "The Best Recipe". I have made numerous items from this: apps, soups, salads, meals, desserts... all recipes include the history of how it was tested & tweaked. (Nice how they do that so that I don't have to!). I have never made even a mediocre meal. It has become my mother's bible, too. =)

                                                                                                      1. Neuromancer RE: shazzer65 Mar 17, 2007 09:12 PM

                                                                                                        I adore The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater (October, 2006), which was one of my most recent cookbook purchases and is my "newest" cookbook in terms of publication date. It's good reading in general (with lovely photos) and though I've only tried a few of the recipes so far it contains many more I plan to make.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Neuromancer
                                                                                                          Cheflambo RE: Neuromancer Nov 29, 2007 06:23 AM

                                                                                                          For those who are both sleep and time deprived, you can't get anything better than Nigella Lawson's latest, Express. Easy meals, minimal ingredients and great flavors. The pictures alone are worth salivating over. I'm savoring my copy (autographed a few weeks ago when she was here in the states) page by page.

                                                                                                          1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                            foxy fairy RE: Cheflambo Nov 29, 2007 07:07 AM

                                                                                                            What did you think of her in person???? Was she radiant? Warm?

                                                                                                            1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                              wontonfm RE: Cheflambo Nov 29, 2007 07:11 AM

                                                                                                              I was JUST going to recommend this! I was browsing through it at the bookstore the other day and had to find a seat to go through the entire book. Not sure how the recipes turn out but they SOUND great and the book is gorgeous!


                                                                                                              1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                                pikawicca RE: Cheflambo Dec 5, 2007 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                I don't know about this one. I was going to include it as a suggested gift cookbook in my local food column. After looking at it more closely, however, I decided not to. The American edition was poorly done, IMO. There are ingredients required that we either don't have in the U.S., or they are called something different. Of course, if you live in the U.K., this is obviously not a problem. I'm pretty sure that most American cooks would find this book rather frustrating.

                                                                                                              2. re: Neuromancer
                                                                                                                chocabot RE: Neuromancer Dec 5, 2007 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                i second this! Kitchen Diaries is a wonderful read with tons of easy recipes.

                                                                                                              3. maplesugar RE: shazzer65 Nov 29, 2007 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                Congratulations on the new arrival! I know how little time you have when they're tiny and feeding is a 24/7 activity.

                                                                                                                My youngest is now 18mo. so I have a bit more time these days... I recently picked up Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food - I'm looking forward to working my way through it. The recent cold snap has put her soups at the top of the list.

                                                                                                                I'd also recommend (if you don't have it already) Better Baby Food and Better Food For Kids, both by The Hospital for Sick Children (Daina Kalnins, RD and Joanne Saab, RD) they have lots of good ideas for baby/toddler food that my kids quite like... especially the snacks(which are a nice alternative to all the processed granola bars etc). I picked them both up at Costco, but Chapters also carries them.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: maplesugar
                                                                                                                  ekammin RE: maplesugar Dec 3, 2007 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                  One cookbook I enjoy using is one of Albanian recipes that I baught at a fair in Worcester, Massachusetts, a city with a large number of people of Albanian origin. It is published by members of St. Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church there and is called, most logically, "Albanian Cookbook".

                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, I have never seen it elsewhere. But if you live in Worcester, or happen to see a copy, check it out.

                                                                                                                2. jennywinker RE: shazzer65 Dec 3, 2007 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                  My 2 favorite new-to-me cookbooks from this past summer are "The Foods of the Greek Islands" by Aglaia Kremezi (I did a cooking class with her on the Greek Island of Kea this spring), and "The Olive and the Caper" by Susanna Hoffman. Greek cooking is a fabulous way to get creative with the bounty of summer produce!

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: jennywinker
                                                                                                                    JoanN RE: jennywinker Dec 3, 2007 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                    I have "The Foods of the Greek Islands" but have never gotten into it. What would you recommend?

                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                      jennywinker RE: JoanN Dec 5, 2007 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                      Some of my potluck favorites this summer were the Eggplant and Parsley Spread (I actually converted my brother, a vehement eggplant hater, to eggplant. He had wolfed down 3 mouthfuls before I could tell him it was eggplant. He couldn't even tell. Maybe it skipped right past the tastebuds.) The Fava Skordalia, and the Peas, Potatos and Carrots in Olive-Oil Lemon Sauce.

                                                                                                                      I find that her recipes have a few extra steps compared to other versions of some of the classic Greek recipes, but the extra steps add another layer of flavor that is worth a little extra work.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jennywinker
                                                                                                                        polish_girl RE: jennywinker Dec 5, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                        I absolutely adore the newest Anne Willan book "The French country cooking of France". It's great to read and has a lot of wonderful recipes. I got it at Costco for a fraction of a price, I think about $30 (original price $50)

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