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March COOKBOOK of the Month Suggestions

Ladeeeeeez and Gentlemen! It’s time for Cookbook Of The Month Mania!!!

I figure we’ll have open comments, suggestions, demands, etc. from today (February 16th) until February 21st. On the 21st, I’ll cull the most popular and we’ll start the voting on February 22nd or 23rd and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, February 29th.

The only rule is that any suggestion MUST BE IN CAPS! Since I have to scan all the entries, I want to be able to make a count without having to spend hours searching for names of books within paragraphs of discussion.

So, if you don’t USE CAPS, your vote won’t count!!

Otherwise, all suggestions are welcome. I really love to read the posts on this topic.

I have a few suggestions, but you may certainly disregard them at will.

I myself have been concentrating on dessert cookbooks lately. I’ve bought ALICE MEDRICH’S PURE DESSERT (desserts made with quark, unusual flours and flavors, including sour cream ice cream) and ROSE CARRANINI’S BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA FROM THE ROSE BAKERY IN PARIS. I love them both, but don’t think we should really have dessert books at this time of year for some reason I can’t fathom. The Rose Bakery book actually has recipes for main courses as well. I mention them here only because I’ve been using them and love them...maybe later.

I’ll put forth DEAN AND DELUCCA’S COOKBOOK again. It lost out in the last couple of months and I can’t remember if it was because it was difficult to obtain or out of print.

I’m also a big JAMIE OLIVER fan and would recommend any of his books. MARIO BATALI’S MOLTO ITALIANO has also been well-used since I bought it. Burt Greene’s books (GREENE ON GREENS, GREENE ON GRAINS and KITCHEN BOUQUET) are also wonderful.

In past months we have also discussed selecting one of FUCHSIA DUNLOP’S CHINESE COOKBOOKS.

Let the games begin!!

Best, Oakjoan (Joan Mocine)

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  1. PURE DESSERT would be fine with me. Either of FUCHSIA DUNLOP'S books would be fine. It is still cold here and her REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE COOKING, recipes from Hunan would get me going on that book. I bought it in summer and the dishes seemed to be to wintery for a hot steamy Indiana summer. I have THE DEAN AND DELUCA and have cooked from it in the past. It would be a good excuse to get it out and make his lobster bisque again.

    1. REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE COOKBOOK (Hunan) by Fuschsia Dunlop

      SIMPLE CHINESE COOKING by Kylie Kwong (a celeb in Australia!)

      CRADLE OF FLAVOR by James Oseland (Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore)




        Thank you, Joan, for doing this!


        1. Hi Joan - thanks for taking this on!! I want to think about it a bit, but wanted to throw out the idea generally of doing an English book author, and one that focuses on English "cookery" (I love that word!).

          I'm not really that familiar with Jamie Oliver's cooking, other than the passing show, but I've really loved cooking from Simon Hopkinson for the last couple of months, and have been amazed at the results.

          So - I guess I'm wondering if any one else is interested in taking things in that direction?

          12 Replies
          1. re: MMRuth

            Jamie Oliver is not English cooking, although he does have several recipes in his books for stuff like veg and mash. I'd call his recipes "eclectic". Oliver on tv has never been my favorite, but I truly love his cookbooks.

            Never heard of Hopkinson, will have to look him up.

            1. re: oakjoan

              I was given the Hopkinson book as a gift, and have loved reading it but haven't cooked from it yet. I think it would be a great choice, I'm also very interested in the cooking of Provence. Anyone else?

              1. re: oakjoan

                Joan - here are some links:


                I believe that only Roast Chicken and Other Stories is currently widely available in the US, and in a US edition - I've been cooking from some of his other books as well, and posted a bunch of online links in one of the threads above.

                I'm certainly game to do other things, as always, but wanted to throw out this idea.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Nice to see that Simon Hopkinson is finding fans across the pond. I made the guinea fowl in red wine from his latest book Week In, Week Out and it was fabulous.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    That's good to know - I cooked guinea hen breasts this weekend and that recipe is next on my list - I've found a source for live guinea hens in NYC and plan to check it out tomorrow. BTW - is there a difference between guinea fowl and guinea hen, do you think?

                    If you haven't tried it - his sea trout in champagne sauce recipe is divine - I keep craving it.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Having googled guinea hen they like exactly the same thing as a guinea fowl to me!

                      To be honest, I made a regular coq au vin a couple of weeks ago and preferred it to Simon H's recipe. A lot less fiddly to make too. BUT my boyfriend (who got to eat both, the lucky boy) preferred the guinea fowl, and our dinner guests both absolutely loved it. So go figure. It may also be because I ended up with the breast, and I prefer dark meat.

              2. re: MMRuth

                Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and other stories is well-reviewed (though lots of butter, and who among will dive into the kidneys??). It's the only one of his books available at my library (and apparently is converted to American measurements). Looks good, so I reserved.

                I'd be more for taking things in a healthy direction if not in March then some month. I like:

                WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY by Lorna Sass
                VEGANOMICON by Isa Moskowitz
                FLEXITARIAN TABLE by Peter Berley
                MODERN VEGETARIAN KITCHEN by Peter Berley (won the James Beard award)
                SPICES OF LIFE by Nina Simonds
                BEANS by Aliza Green

                1. re: NYchowcook

                  I am also interested in FLEXITARIAN TABLE by Peter Berley


                2. re: MMRuth

                  MMR: I now have bought 2 copies of Roast Chicken and Other Stories (or whatever it's called - I'm too lazy to get up and look). One for me and one for my son who, with his signif other, has turned into a really good cook. I have only read a bit, but it's really fun and opinionated. I love opinionated!

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    It's a wonderful book - that's the right name! Any thoughs on April yet? (Not to rush you or anything!)

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      By now you've probably seen my post about April....great minds, etc. We must have crossed posting paths.

                    2. re: oakjoan

                      He is sooooo bitchy about the Right Way. But the cepes tart sounds great . . .

                  2. JAMIE OLIVER: I'd be happy to cook out of any or all of his books. I enjoy his casual yet informed approach to cooking. Everything I've cooked from his books has been successful.

                    ANNA THOMAS, VEGETARIAN EPICURE (books 1, 2, or new one): These oldies but goodies are great books with awesome recipes. I don't have her new, revised one yet, but I'd love an excuse to get it. http://www.vegetarianepicure.com/

                    1. Definitely interested in anything by JAMIE OLIVER.

                      And I'm loving FLEXITARIAN TABLE and would love to have an excuse to cook even more from it.

                      1. I also like Jamie O's cookbooks very much. His newest, COOK WITH JAMIE, has received the best reviews of any of his cookbooks (which is saying a lot). I think it would make a great choice.

                        1. I'm going to re-nominate WASHOKU: RECIPES FROM THE JAPANESE HOME KITCHEN, by ELIZABETH ANDOH, which we considered doing in January.

                          If not that, I'd also be interested in a FUCHSIA DUNLOP book.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DanaB

                            So many possibilities...my top two for March would be
                            FUCHSIA DUNLOP's Hunan REVOLUTIONARY COOKING
                            (looked really interesting when I took it out of the library)

                            ROSE CARRANINI’S BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA

                            also strongly interested in . . .
                            SUPER NATURAL COOKING by Heidi Swanson +101COOKBOOKS.COM

                            VEGANOMICON by Isa Moskowitz (although I dread the idea that i have to buy another cookbook)

                            MOLTO MARIO is a standby for me, and tons of it and the Babbo Cookbook are online. I'd love to do Batali sometime in the next year for COM.

                            WASHOKU by ELIZABETH ANDOH has languished on my shelf for a year, so yes pls help me get past the barriers!

                          2. Another vote for THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: nissenpa

                                I would vote either for a FUSCHIA DUNLOP book or for CRADLE OF FLAVOR anthough I prefer the latter for warm weather. I've had enough good luck cooking from both Fuschia's first book and the Oseland book to make we want to try more dishes. I could see WASHOKU too, though I dont have the book.

                            1. ROSE CARRANINI’S BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA

                              SUPER NATURAL COOKING by Heidi Swanson together with her 101COOKBOOKS.COM

                              1. FUCHSIA DUNLOP. I would prefer LAND OF PLENTY, mainly because I have it already. It is such a great book. I realize that Sichuan may not be for everyone..

                                1. SUPER NATURAL COOKING, HEIDI SWANSON

                                  MOLTO ITALIANO, MARIO BATALI

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Gio

                                    I'd be cool with MOLTO ITALIANO or any of FUSCHIA DUNLOP'S books.

                                  2. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN by NILOUFER KING

                                    I got this book last month, cooked out of it last night and it is fabulous. Some really great spice rubs/marinades and good vegetable and egg dishes.
                                    I realize it may be too late to generate many votes for March, but could it be considered for April maybe?

                                    FUCHSIA DUNLOP -sounds fun
                                    WASHOKU -would love a reason to explore more Japanese cooking

                                    Thank you Joan!

                                    1. If folks are on a dessert kick, I'd like to see DOLCE ITALIANO: DESSERTS FROM THE BABBO KITCHEN by Gina DePalma.

                                      I just bought SPICE by Ana Sortun and haven't made anything yet.

                                      1. ROSE CARRANINI’S BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA

                                        Anything by JAMIE OLIVIER. I just received JAMIE'S ITALY for Valentine's Day!


                                        1. I'd like to see us do PURE DESSERT, if not now, later.

                                          I also have SUPER NATURAL FOODS and would experiment with recipes in that one.

                                          1. I would definitely participate for PURE DESSERT. I am intrigued by SUPER NATURAL COOKING or LORNA SASS'S whole grains book.

                                            1. JAMIE OLIVER (anything)
                                              PURE DESSERT

                                              1. I'd like:

                                                FUCHSIA DUNLOP - LAND OF PLENTY (or any book)

                                                MARIO BATALI (any book)

                                                or SPICE - ANA SORTUN

                                                1. Hi! I'm a new kid on the block, but I'd vote for DEAN AND DELUCA or the FLEXITARIAN TABLE!

                                                  1. I'd love to do PURE DESSERT or FLEXITARIAN TABLE. I just got WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY from the library and it seems all right so far but I haven't tested anything yet.

                                                    1. I would vote for MOLTO ITALIANO, MARIO BATALI. I would also love to cook more from Mahdur Jaffrey's FROM CURRIES TO KEBABS

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: ErikaK

                                                        Oooo...I would LOVE an Indian book. I don't think we have done one of those yet?

                                                      2. I've made a few very good recipes from SPICE by Ana SORTUN.

                                                        1. I'd love the idea of doing ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES, by Hopkinson, but don't think there is much consensus about it - which is just fine, of course!

                                                          So, my other thoughts:

                                                          REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE COOKBOOK (Hunan) by Fuschsia Dunlop (I have it - haven't used it yet)

                                                          FLEXITARIAN TABLE by Peter Berley - I've been following posts by Beetlebug and others and it seems to be a good book.

                                                          Thanks Joan!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                            Roast Chicken and Other Stories is at the top of my list, but I'm just not ready for it yet. I have some cholesterol issues to deal with and I really want to dig into that book when I'm ready to start exploring offal. Not that that's all there is, but that book really inspired me to try recipes with ingredients I've never used before. I'm hoping it will be a Cookbook of the Month, but sometime in the near future when I'll really be able to explore it fully.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              I hope I didn't sound like I was whining!! Grin. Good luck with the cholesterol issues - I've not yet tackled the offal recipes!!

                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                Yes, cholesterol issues aside, I would love to choose ROAST CHICKEN.
                                                                The near future is fine too. Good health, JoanN!

                                                          2. MOLTO ITALIANO, MARIO BATALI please...

                                                            3 Replies
                                                              1. re: arizonagirl

                                                                pssst, arizona. I like that book too.
                                                                But here's the thing...
                                                                "The only rule is that any suggestion MUST BE IN CAPS! Since I have to scan all the entries, I want to be able to make a count without having to spend hours searching for names of books within paragraphs of discussion.

                                                                So, if you don’t USE CAPS, your vote won’t count!!"

                                                            1. I'd go for JAMIE OLIVER, and I might also consider buying ROAST CHICKEN & OTHER STORIES for March. May even head over to the shop now and see if it's in!

                                                              By the way, as to the discussion above about whether Jamie falls into the English food category, I'd say he's English/Italian. His training is definitely Italian.



                                                              1. No dessert -- it is lent.

                                                                VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE by Deborah Madison --it's been suggested numerous times before.

                                                                MARIO BATALI

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                  I'd love to do VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE by Deborah Madison sometime, but I don't think there's enough time left to even get it on the ballot this month.

                                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                    I'm with Amuse-- no dessert please. I can't do an entire month of desserts.

                                                                    VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE.
                                                                    SPICE -- Ana Sortun.

                                                                    Late in the game, but I figured I'd throw my two cents in. :)

                                                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                      Here in the upper midwest, we aren't getting any fresh, local vegetables this time of year--the ground's been frozen since November and will be until April. I'd be bummed out if we tried VCFE now, when I don't really have any fresh veggies to play with. But, starting in late May, and at full steam in June, I will have more glorious vegetables flowing from my CSA than I know what to do with. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do VCFE in June or July.


                                                                  2. 3 books that I have that I haven't cooked enough from:

                                                                    SUPER NATURAL COOKING and 101COOKBOOKS.COM by Heidi Swanson

                                                                    SIMPLE ITALIAN FOOD by Mario Batali

                                                                    A GREAT AMERICAN COOK by Jonathan Waxman

                                                                    Not for this time, but I'd love to do Tom Colicchio's Think Like a Chef or Alfred Portale's 12 Seasons Cookboth (both of which I own). Perhaps we can have one month where we can vote on a big name NY chef, including Mario Batali.

                                                                    Thanks for carrying on the torch, oakjoan!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Carb Lover

                                                                      I also really like Think Like a Chef, for another month.

                                                                    2. ELEMENTS OF COOKING by M. Ruhlman, has few recipes but loads of good information, ideas, and a 200 page glossary. I keep it close by.