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Dec 30, 2007 09:16 AM

Was santa good this year??? cookbooks, cookbooks, cookbooks oh my!

Well certainly for me! I got the best espresso/capp maker that is so easy to use and whips up perfect espresso and cappuccinos in no time! I am sipping one now! :) I also got a huge number of cookbooks this year (im a junkie) and I was wondering if anyone else got some great cookbooks- I thought it would be fun to list what you got and then ppl. can reply with insights on those books (successes or not so successful recipes) and their own lists or whish lists! :)

Here is my list which is crazy this year because all my family (we have a big one) decided to get me just what I wanted! :)

The Italian Country Table (Lynne Rossetto Kasper)
Bistro Cooking (Patricia Wells)
Trattoria (Patricia Wells)
Small Bites (Jennifer Joyce)
Seductions of Rice (Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid)
Cook with Jamie (Jamie Oliver)
Louisiana Real & Rustic (Emeril Lagasse)
The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook The new Classics
Martha Stewarts baking handbook
The cooking of SouthWest France (Paula Wolfert)
The Zuni Cafe (Judy Rodgers)
King Arthur Flour bakers companion
King Arthur flour cookie companion
Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey (Efisio Farris)
Savory Baking from the Med (Anissa Helou)
The ultimate Soup Bible (Anne Sheasby)
and for my most treasured..... A passed down who knows how old copy of Joy of Cooking from my mother in law- I already have a new copy but this one with its tattered pages, marked recipes, notes etc. is so special-

Okay everyone lets hear what you all like and dislike about these books and a list of your own! Happy reading! :)

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  1. Well, the Zuni cookbook, in addition to the infamous chicken (which is fantastic) also has my go to recipe for gougeres. And bistro cooking has my go to recipe for fish soup with rouille.

    I got 2 copies of Nigella Express which I'm quite excited about for when I go back to work in February. Even better, one was returned to Sur LA Table and now I have a gift card!

    Also got the Lady and Sons, which I'm less excited about. And a tastebook from my aunt, who's a fabulous cook.

    1. I bought myself a number of cookbooks in December, so I was my own Santa. Don't know if you've seen my posts about Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey:

      Enjoy - looks like you'll have a busy year of cooking (or reading, at least!).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth

        Thanks! I love your pictures! I cant wait to try those recipes- I already had them bookmarked with post its! Amuse Bouche I dont have Nigella's books but I do have the Lady and Sons- The corn casarole is really great! Very easy and nothing fancy but always requested by everyone every year- Also very good Mac and Cheese (sour cream really puts it over the top).
        Im really looking forward to finally trying the famous zuni chicken!

      2. I received a copy of The Cafe Brenda cookbook (by a local restaurant owner.) I gave myself Pure Desserts, Desserts by the Yard and the Sweet Life. (Any suggestions for these appreciated. I have received a few from the list.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: karykat

          karykat, how is that Cafe Brenda cookbook? I wanted to flip through it last time I was at Spoonriver (they had a stack right near the entry way) but I felt a little weird doing so... I've been looking for more recipes for cooking with whole grains, does she have a lot in there?


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Dairy Queen (and fellow Minnesotan) -- The Cafe Brenda book has lots and lots of fish recipes. Many different croquette recipes (which I think reflects her restaurant menu, doesn't it?) Many cakes, pies and tarts. Many of those use whole wheat flour and sweetners other than refined sugar like maple syrup and honey. One I have in mind is the concord grape pie -- will have to wait quite a while for that one. The parts that look most interesting to me are the soups. I'm looking at mint-split pea and the parsnip apple. Many other good options. Also has a good bread section (yeasted and quick) and also a good section on vegetable entrees.

          2. re: karykat

            I've tried a few recipes from "The Sweet Life." The Meyer Lemon Curd Tart is the best ever. Made it last year and could barely wait for Meyer lemon season to make it again. (Her Sweet Tart Crust is a bit of a bear. I've never managed to get it into the tart shell in one piece. But I just sort of patch it up with extra pieces of dough and even it all out with my fingertips and it's well worth it. Everyone asks about it. It's like eating sweet lemons on top of a sugar cookie.) The Spice Apple and Sour Cream Cake is not to be missed and the Almond Honey Caramel Chews are addictive.


          3. Pork and Sons! It is fabulous! And My Bombay Kitchen, also wonderful.

            11 Replies
            1. re: zataar

              I have My Bombay Kitchen coming to me any day now, I am so excited.
              Also, Pure Dessert by A. Medrich, which I am really excited about too. I always seem to get at least three or four absolute winners from any one Medrich cookbook.
              Have you cooked from N.Kings book yet? I am looking forward to just reading it like a novel..

              1. re: rabaja

                I made the sesame cake from the Medrich book and I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve it. It sounds weird - ingredients include toasted black sesame seeds and a big glop of toasted sesame oil (the kind I usually use in Chinese recipes and bbq marinades). Fabulous. If the rest of the book is a good as this cake, I'm getting it soon.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Hi oakjoan! That sounds intriguing. If the recipe isn't too long to paraphrase, could you post it? Hmmm...or maybe I should just buy the book. Hey, it's a New Year, and I only promised not to buy any new cookbooks last year ; )

                  Seriously, for you CH cookbook addicts, what do you do? I filled my last bookcase, and just have no more room. And when I realized actually doesn't include every recipe from Gourmet and Bon Appetit, I'm keeping all those again too (along with every issue of Saveur and Food and Wine). Even though we just bought a new house (YAY with a real kitchen!!!) - BTW in Arizona so if any CHs are from Phoenix, I'd love to hear from you! - at 300 cookbooks, I know I have a 'problem'. Tips on organizing?

                  1. re: Rubee

                    It intrigued me as well, Rubee, and I found this online:


                    1. re: JoanN

                      Thanks so much! If I had buttermilk, I would be making that today. Looking forward to trying the recipe!

                    2. re: Rubee

                      The recipe I used comes from a blog and uses the black sesame seeds. I think this is important because of the neat look they give to the cake. If you search using the most popular search engine, the first thing that comes up when you search "medrich black sesame cake" is the one I used.

                      IMPORTANT. Don't overcook it. Take it out right when you can make yourself believe there's no goop sticking to the tester.

                      1. re: Rubee

                        As a cookbook addict, here's what I do. (Don't necessarily recommend it, but it's what I do.) I rent a small storage unit, and put most of my cookbooks in it. They are categorized by type (baking, food history, ethnic, etc.)

                        I have a small book shelf in my living room. One shelf is allocated for cookbooks. There are a couple all purpose books (Bittman, New Way to Cook) and other books go in and out of rotation from storage. Baking books predominate.

                        This keeps things at home manageable. I can find things when I want them. Obvious downside: cost.

                        I think also that I am trying not to buy so many new books and am just making better use of what I have. Partly possible because I feel like I can get at what I want when I want it. And also more things are available on line.

                        1. re: karykat

                          KaryKat, you're my sole mate! I also rent a storage unit, but I keep my other stuff in it (like furniture), so that there's more room for books in my house. Sure, it costs money, but it's worth it for my sanity.

                          Even so, after putting bookcases on my stairway landing and in all the halls, I've run out room for more books (unless I line my guest room with bookcases and turn it into a library). Thank heavens for online recipe resources!


                          1. re: karykat

                            Thanks very much for that tip! Good idea on keeping some books out and rotating them, an idea I'm going to implement.

                        2. re: oakjoan

                          I made this today, and agree -- fabulous!

                        3. re: rabaja

                          I've used My Bombay Kitchen several times. There is a wonderful chicken with apricots recipe that we really enjoyed. Any rice or biryanis are good as are salad type dishes. It's a delightful book, fun to read, fun to cook with. This may be one of those "cook from start to finish" books.

                      2. I got Rocco DiSpirito's Real Life Recipes, I think it is because my mom thinks he's as cute as I do. It's good, some simple straight-forward entrees. Nothing too fancy. Deli Roast Beef features prominently in the Beef section, interesting.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodandscience

                          My wife and I had GREAT success using a his deli roast beef soup. I had real doubts, but dang...better than I think it had any right to be. He gets treashed a lot for his personality, but the fact is: He can cook.