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APRIL 2008 Cookbook of the Month - Suggestions Gladly Accepted

oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 12:16 PM

It's now past halfway through March and I thought we should start contemplating the next month's book.

Last month there were several books that were mentioned more than once. Some, like Batali, the Flexitarian Cookbook, Supernatural Cooking and Jamie Oliver's books got a number of votes and I am, therefore, putting up for consideration again. Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass also got some votes. A couple of votes also for Dean and DeLuca.

I'd also like to re-suggest Breakfast, Lunch and Tea from The Rose Bakery by Rose Carranini as I have made many of her recipes - all very successful.

Let's have some feedback here for April's book! I think that we'll have until the middle of next week (March 27th) until the next culling.

It seems to me that so far, Dunlop has been a great success and there has been a ton of really interesting discussion. The tips and stories about ingredient searches (and substitutions) alone have made it worthwhile!

POSSIBLY OVERDOING IT SUGGESTION: What about a Cookbook of the Month thread for dessert/baking? It could be posted along with the main COTM , but have its own separate thread. It wouldn't even have to appear every month. I would be glad to take this on as well, as the job isn't THAT onerous. Don't tell anybody that it's really a great pleasure.

Let me know what you think of this idea. It came to me because a book concentrating solely on dessert seems out of place outside of holiday season, but it's also great to see what people think about various desserts at other times of the year. I have been loving Pure Dessert's experimentation with unusual flours and sugars.

AS BEFORE....ALL VOTES FOR ANY BOOK MUST BE IN CAPS TO BE COUNTED. Just too difficult for poor old, broken-down COTM Mistress to sift through if they're not easy to see.

Best, Oakjoan

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  1. JoanN RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 12:23 PM

    For reference, here's a listing of Cookbook of the Month selections and links to the respective master threads from inception:

    Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

    Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising

    Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time

    Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours


    Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook

    Feb - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

    March - Leite's Culinaria

    April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque

    May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques

    June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking

    July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer

    August - Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

    Sept – Patricia Wells, Vegetable Harvest

    Oct – Julia Child

    Nov – Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Silver Palate Cookbook

    Dec. – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook AND Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook


    Jan – Paula Wolfert, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

    Feb – Frank Stitt’s Southern Table

    Mar - Fuchsia Dunlop, Revolutionary Cinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty

    4 Replies
    1. re: JoanN
      DanaB RE: JoanN Mar 17, 2008 12:45 PM

      I currently have the Mario Batali book MOLTO ITALIANO from the library, and I'd love to cook from it in April, so that's my nomination. We haven't done an Italian book since the very first month of COTM back in September 2006, and since others are hoping to do a vegetarian/healthy cooking book later in spring when more spring veggies come out, this might be just the month for Italian.

      1. re: JoanN
        Rubee RE: JoanN Mar 17, 2008 12:46 PM

        My vote is for Italian too - Mario Batali's MOLTO ITALIANO

        1. re: Rubee
          Rubee RE: Rubee Mar 18, 2008 11:12 AM

          I like the idea of doing Babbo also, so changing my vote to:


        2. re: JoanN
          oakjoan RE: JoanN Mar 17, 2008 01:23 PM

          Thanks JN!

        3. pikawicca RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 12:24 PM

          THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE is a very interesting book, and unique in its approach. I also have SUPERNATURAL COOKING and WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, and like them both. However, since a lot of folks want to cook from VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE once fresh produce is available, SC should probably not be considered for April, as it, too, is vegetarian.

          1. rabaja RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 12:51 PM

            I'm putting it out there again:
            MY BOMBAY KITCHEN by Niloufer King

            It would be fun!

            1. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 01:20 PM

              supernatural cooking and 101cookbooks.com [I've edited my post to demote my vote for Heidi Swanson until June or July when the markets are filled with a bounty of fresh vegetables]

              (here in the upper midwest, the ground is still frozen--personally, I'd love to do "vegetarian cooking for everyone", but not until June when we start to get fresh, local produce. If you want to postpone supernatural cooking until June, too, I'd be fine with MOLTO ITALIANO.)

              Also, since April is the month before cinco de mayo, I'd love to perfect some Mexican recipes in April to serve in early May. Since Bayless has already been done, how about a DIANA KENNEDY. ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO, perhaps? I'm not really attached to any Kennedy title in particular...

              Personally, I would be fine with a separate "dessert" COTM, though, I'm a relative newcomer to all of this, so I don't really have a feel if that would cause a lot of confusion.

              Finally, just a procedural matter, but since I'm new to all this, I'm not sure how it works, but will there be some kind of COTM round-up? A general thread to discuss at the end of the month what peoples overall impressions of that month's COTM, and how it compares to other books of the same genre, etc? Whether or not they think this book is good enough to add to their personal libraries? That sort of thing?

              Thank you, oakjoan!


              6 Replies
              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                MMRuth RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 17, 2008 02:33 PM

                My preferences out of that list would be FLEXITARIAN TABLE (based on posts by Beetlebug and others) and BATALI (love Italian food!). I'm not likely to participate in a dessert COTM generally (DH gets cranky when I make desserts that he then eats), so I won't proffer an opinion on that ;-).

                I'll put in for doing a true English book sometime in the future (not Jamie Oliver).

                1. re: MMRuth
                  The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Mar 17, 2008 02:40 PM

                  MMRuth--Do your replies need to be in all caps to be tallied?

                  Yeah, I probably wouldn't participate in a desserts cookbook, either, unless it was a specific kind of dessert cookbook, say, an ice cream one in summer and maybe a whole grains one right now while I'm on my diet. But, I'd be okay with it if others wanted to do one!

                  I like the sound of that English book you mentioned in the March "ideas" thread--for a future month.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    MMRuth RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 17, 2008 02:51 PM

                    Fixed - thanks ;-) I wouldn't want not to count!

                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                  oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 17, 2008 10:45 PM

                  This message is in regards to The Dairy Queen's suggestion that we have a review of the March cookbooks of the month on this Board before we move on to the next book.

                  I think this is a marvelous suggestion! I'll try post a thread near the end of the month with a title that will indicate that it's a place for general discussion of anything about the books, critique, plaudits, etc. regarding feelings we've had about the success or failure of the March cookbooks of the month.

                  1. re: oakjoan
                    The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 07:38 AM

                    thanks, oakjoan!


                    1. re: oakjoan
                      chef chicklet RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 08:41 AM

                      Please do!
                      Just reading what you have to say about your experience will be very interesting and the perfect ending to your project!

                  2. j
                    jsaimd RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 02:43 PM

                    I have been cooking a bit out of FLEXITARIAN TABLE and that would be fine, but I think VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE has come up many times. Another one is WORLD VEGETARIAN by M. Jaffrey.

                    We have never done an Indian book, and I would love to become better in that cuisine. I am open to any book with a INDIAN CUISINE THEME.

                    We cook a lot of Mexican and would do a D. KENNEDEY book, but that doesn't fit the light theme a lot of folks seemed interested in.

                    I would participate in a PURE DESSERT thread. I have made several recipes from there.

                    1. oakjoan RE: oakjoan Mar 17, 2008 10:49 PM

                      AS BEFORE....ALL VOTES FOR ANY BOOK MUST BE IN CAPS TO BE COUNTED. Just to difficult for poor old, broken-down COTM Mistress to sift through if they're not easy to see.

                      1. LulusMom RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 04:08 AM

                        FLEXITARIAN TABLE ... I really like this book a lot. I'd love to do Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but agree that it would probably be best to wait until there are more things available at the markets.

                        1. NYchowcook RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 05:33 AM

                          FLEXITARIAN TABLE for March
                          then in summer (July-Aug) a veggie book like Veg Cooking for Everyone. Indian -- Madhur Jaffrey -- and Lorna Sass' Whole Grains would be good in April or May (maybe combined w/ Aliza Green's "Beans" to really get us into some healthy cooking).

                          I'm shocked and pleased to see the list of (great) cookbooks we've cooked through and that it's been since 2006!

                          1. Gio RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 05:51 AM

                            THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE, PETER BERLEY
                            MOLTO ITALIANO, MARIO BATALI
                            Those are my nominatins for April.

                            My thinking is that the Flexitarian book, or Mario's would be a nice change from the stir-fry focus of the Dunlop books. Not complaining, mind you.....because I've learned so much about Chinese cooking this month. Many thanks, oakjoan!

                            1. JoanN RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 06:25 AM

                              I took “Flexitarian Table” out of the library when I thought it might be March COTM. It’s a great concept, but despite beetlebug’s glowing and excellent reviews, it just didn’t inspire me. Same with “Supernatural Cooking.” Perhaps I’m just a carnivore at heart, although I’ve really enjoyed vegetarian recipes from other cookbooks we’ve done. I also took a look at “Molto Italiano,” and though it had some really terrific recipes for everyday meals, it didn’t seem as though it would stretch my cooking knowledge or, frankly, be worth the calories. I’d much prefer, if we were to do a Batali, that it be THE BABBO COOKBOOK.

                              Other books I’d really like to explore are a bistro book, either “BISTRO COOKING AT HOME” by Gordon Hammersly or Patricia Wells’s “BISTRO COOKING,” ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES, by Simon Hopkinson, and at some point I’d really love to do an Indian cookbook. I haven’t decided which one, although I have a preference for the classics which points me toward Julie Sahni’s CLASSIC INDIAN COOKING, but that’s perhaps not the best choice for April since we’ve just done Asian.

                              26 Replies
                              1. re: JoanN
                                MMRuth RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 06:27 AM

                                ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES, by Simon Hopkinson - yes, I'd love to do that sometime as well, and am game for an Indian book and Bistro Book. I've not heard of Gordon Hammersly, so that might be fun.

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  JoanN RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 06:34 AM

                                  Fyi, re; Hammersley, and quoting directly from flap copy: "After training with Wolfgang Puck at the famed Ma Maison in Los Angeles, Gordon Hammersley lived for a year in Nice, leaning everything he could about French bistros. Ever since he and his wife Fiona opened Hamersley's Bistro in 1987, numerous puclications have regularly ranked it among Boston's top restaurants. In 1988, Food & Wine named Hamersley one of the country's best new chefs, and in 1995, he received the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast."

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    Gio RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 06:36 AM

                                    MM, Gordon Hamersley has a wonderful restaurant in Boston called Hamersley's Bistro, curiously enough. It's long been regarded as one of Boston's top restaurants. I think it would be fun to replicate some of his dishes.

                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 07:35 AM

                                      I'm definitely okay with BABBO as our Batali choice. JoanN, I'm just curious, why does it appeal to you more than the other Batali books?

                                      This line from a review I read of ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES scares me a little... "his earthy sensibility is guided by French techniques, rich English ingredients and lots and lots of butter." The same review goes on to say that it's a cookbook for an "intuitive cook," which scares me even more! Ha! Anyway, it sounds like an intriguing book.

                                      Edit: also, re: Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking--I'm not familiar with this book. Are there lots of recipes in the book that do not involve curry? Curry is not a particular favorite among everyone at my house...but, if there are lots of other kinds recipes, I could probably work with it.


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        jsaimd RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 18, 2008 07:58 AM

                                        If you are referring to the yellow curry powder - few Indian recipes rely on that - it is a British invention. But if you don't like the "curries" at an Indian restaurant (alhtough Sahni's book is home cooking) you may not like the spices used. Think Tikka Masala, Aloo Gobi, Vindaloo, Saag Paneer for unbiquitous (albeit not the most interesting) Indian curry dishes. They taste nothing like that yellow powder which always has an excess of tumeric to other spices.

                                        1. re: jsaimd
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: jsaimd Mar 18, 2008 09:37 AM

                                          That helps! Thank you!


                                          1. re: jsaimd
                                            pitu RE: jsaimd Mar 18, 2008 09:42 AM

                                            I've always wanted to get more into the Julie Sahni books . . .
                                            great idea for a COM

                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            JoanN RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 18, 2008 10:43 AM

                                            I prefer “Babbo” to “Molto Italiano” (haven’t seen “Molto Mario,” but I assume it’s similar) because the ingredients, as well as the combinations of ingredients, are more intriguing and the recipes, and dishes, are more complex. I feel it would be more of a challenge. “Italiano” recipes were much simpler, every night as opposed to special occasion cooking. The recipes looked very good; just not very different from what’s in dozens and dozens of other Italian cookbooks. I also think the Babbo book is more representative of Batali’s cooking since it contains many of his signature dishes. For COTM especially, I’d rather cook from an author’s seminal work. I do, however, realize that exactly what makes me prefer Babbo may well make others prefer one of the Moltos.

                                            As jsaimd noted, curry powder is a British invention. It contains fenugreek, mustard seeds, and turmeric, which are rarely, if ever, found in spice blends for Indian dishes. What we tend to think of as curry is mostly from southern India; since Sahni’s book is not regional, curry plays a rather small part. In fact, there are only two “curries” listed in the index of “Classic Indian Cooking.” But it depends on what it is that your family doesn’t like about it. It could be they don’t like a British curry but might well like more authentic Indian spice blends. Then again, maybe not.

                                            1. re: JoanN
                                              oakjoan RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 12:04 PM

                                              JoanN: I agree about Molto Italiano being undifferent (to coin a word). I have it and use it frequently, but there are only a few recipes that I'd never heard of or made before. I'll have to check into Babbo.

                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              DanaB RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 18, 2008 10:43 AM

                                              In addition to my vote above for Molto Italiano, I will jump on the duo bandwagon for Batali and add a vote for THE BABBO COOKBOOK. I'd also be interested in ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES.

                                            3. re: MMRuth
                                              oakjoan RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 12:00 PM

                                              In reply to MMR and JoanN's Messages Above: I now have read about half of Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and am loving it. I do think, however, that there are not really enough recipes in it to make it a candidate for COTM. Maybe I'm wrong here (although I've never been wrong before).

                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                JoanN RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 12:28 PM

                                                I just counted. The book has 146 recipes--and that's not including recipes for sauces or dressings. That certainly seems like a sufficient number of recipes to me.

                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                  MMRuth RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                  I agree - though I've not counted. There are a lot more recipes in there than might appear at first glance.

                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                    If there's a perceoption that there aren't that many recipes (haven't seen the book so can't make an assessment myself, though we all know, of course, that oakjoan's never wrong...) maybe it's the perfect book to pair with a DCOTM (D=dessert) book...


                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      JoanN RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                      Indeed! The trim size is small and the type is smaller than in many cookbooks. And there aren't pages and pages of intro material. It's simply laid out differently from many of the cookbooks we're used to, in which the recipes take up as much space on the page as possible to justify their very high prices. "All About Braising," for instance, only has 112 recipes. Certainly no one complained that that was an insufficient number for a COTM selection.

                                                  2. re: oakjoan
                                                    pitu RE: oakjoan Mar 19, 2008 07:46 PM

                                                    I'm down with the ROAST CHICKEN too btw
                                                    I made the dough for a porcini tart to bake tomorrow . . .
                                                    that was a wet dough, so weird that I wondered about the translation
                                                    It's resting in the fridge now.

                                                2. re: JoanN
                                                  DGresh RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 06:41 AM

                                                  I tend to agree with JoanN about Flexitarian table. We have an omnivourous family with a mostly vegetarian daughter, and I thought it would be a great resource, so I asked for it for Christmas. However none of the recipes actually inspired me to try them. If I recall (I don't have the book in front of me) the "vegetarian substitutes" for the "meat" seemed to repeat a lot (and my daughter is *not* a tofu fan). I'd be happy to be proven wrong if this is chosen, but I encourage people to really take a look at the book first.

                                                  1. re: DGresh
                                                    DanaB RE: DGresh Mar 18, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                    I have Flexitarian Table from the library right now, and I concur with your and JoanN's opinion.

                                                    1. re: DanaB
                                                      MMRuth RE: DanaB Mar 18, 2008 10:45 AM

                                                      Hmm ... I may have to revisit my opinion on this ...

                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Mar 18, 2008 10:55 AM

                                                        Oh dear. Well, I OWN Flex Table (not to worry--picked it up used about a month ago...) and haven't been inspired to cook from it, but that's not especially unusual for me. I often buy cookbooks and only end up daydreaming about the dishes I might cook, rather than actually cooking some. (A friend of mine who is a cookbook editor told me that this isn't that unusual, btw--he says many people buy them just to read and dream and keep a stack of them on their nightstands and such. Funny, eh? )

                                                        I wonder if we broaden it to include Berley's other book (the one that won the Beard award)--is that one more interesting to people?


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 22, 2008 11:43 AM

                                                          TDQ - please do try some things from Flex Table - I've had wonderful luck with the things I've made. Even my very meat loving and somewhat tofu-averse husband has loved the mains I've made. He even requested the beans in brown butter with tons of herbs to be put into regular rotation. And the tofu with white wine, lemon, etc. is so easy and has lots of flavor.

                                                  2. re: JoanN
                                                    beetlebug RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                    This isn't a vote for Flexitarian Table, but I do feel the need to defend it (I'm not suggesting it as a choice because I've worked through many of the recipes and if it were COTM, I would be repeating myself).

                                                    To some extent, FT isn't an inspirational book, but it is a cookbook that has easily accessible everyday recipes. I use it as a guide, especially for different takes on veggies. Also, I cook for meat eaters (me included) but I LOVE tofu. This has given me different ways to prepare tofu (other than various chinese preparations). The greatest strengths of the book, to me, are the index and the organization. If I have an ingredient I want to use, I can generally find a recipe where I have most of the ingredients. Also, the seasonal organization is truly seasonal. I started cooking from this book last summer when I had a lot of CSA veggies to go through. In one recipe, I could use three different items. I'm a household of two and every week, I manage to go through my CSA box with a lot of help from the book.

                                                    FT has also introduced me to different grains that I don't naturally gravitate towards. I'm a rice and noodle eater. But, I've learned to really like quinoa, farro and barley.

                                                    Lastly, I do think it's a healthy book. The recipes are filled healthy grains, fresh veggies and fairly minimal oils. A bit too minimal sometimes (especially in the hot soup recipes). But, I always feel really virtuous when I eat from it and they are always satisfying meals.

                                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                                      JoanN RE: beetlebug Mar 18, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                      I'm sorry you felt you needed to defend it. Your reports on the book have already done so brilliantly. It was those reports that excited me about the book, so I was genuinely surprised once I looked it over that it just didn't appeal to me. I can see that absolutely everything you say is true about it. But you and I are in very different situations. On most nights I'm cooking for one and I don't have a CSA box to deal with. And when I'm cooking for more than one, I'm probably not looking for something virtuous. For COTM I do prefer books that are inspirational rather than everyday. But I'm only one vote. Others have other needs that may be similar to yours and that's fine with me. It won't kill me to miss a month or two.

                                                      1. re: beetlebug
                                                        Karen_Schaffer RE: beetlebug Mar 18, 2008 05:27 PM

                                                        I got Flexitarian Table out of the library out of curiosity, and the recipes did look good. But am I the only one that hates, hates, hates books organized by menus?!? Maybe I'm just too brain-washed by standard cookbook organization, but I vastly prefer browsing by categories. If I have a particular ingredient I want to cook with, odds are good I can find a little cluster of recipes using it in a traditional organization, but not a prayer in a menu-organized book.

                                                        That said, I was kind of hoping that Flexitarian Table would get chosen as COTM so I could glean recipe leads from you all. (But not enough to vote for it, hence the lack of capitalization.)

                                                        1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                          JoanN RE: Karen_Schaffer Mar 18, 2008 05:41 PM

                                                          Here are some reviews that should get you started:


                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                            Karen_Schaffer RE: JoanN Mar 18, 2008 08:30 PM

                                                            Thanks, JoanN! I salivated reading all those descriptions, and I'm dying to try the Harissa Shrimp, so I'm officially voting for FLEXITARIAN TABLE. I'm still not sure about the seasonal/menu layout because I'm in CA, but hey, I'm game to give it a try.

                                                    2. pitu RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 09:38 AM

                                                      MOLTO MARIO + BABBO : I think a duo for Batali would work as well as it has with Dunlop, and lots of the recipes from both are online, on the babbonyc.com site, and FN.com

                                                      I have SEDUCTIONS OF RICE by Alford/Duguid out from the library, and it's awesome. I love the variety and intense explorations of a theme. I've been cooking from it as a break and expansion from Sichuan.

                                                      And I'm always with you for BREAKFAST LUNCH TEA, oakjoan
                                                      : )
                                                      I think having a multimonth dessert COM is a GREAT IDEA.
                                                      How about quarterly for that?
                                                      I'd start with DOLCE ITALIANO now, followed by
                                                      an all Lebowitz revue, led by ROOM FOR DESSERT later in the summer.
                                                      Both have reasonably good online resources, and crackers and preserves and things beyond cake.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: pitu
                                                        MMRuth RE: pitu Mar 18, 2008 09:39 AM

                                                        I love the Seductions of Rice - bought it for my husband years ago as he sells rice.

                                                        1. re: pitu
                                                          oakjoan RE: pitu Mar 18, 2008 12:09 PM

                                                          Pitu: Isn't it sad that not more people have heard of and gotten excited about this wonderful book (Breakfast, Lunch and Tea, Recipes from the Rose Bakery in Paris).

                                                          I'd suggest that we have a 2 month DCOTM (Dessert cookbook) time frame. I'd agree about ROOM FOR DESSERT, but I can't find it anyplace where it doesn't cost a fortune because it's out of print. Lebovitz' website, however, is great. I really love it.

                                                          1. re: pitu
                                                            pitu RE: pitu Mar 19, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                            er, just to clarify, I got the name of the Batali book wrong.
                                                            There *is* no Molto Mario book, just MOLTO ITALIANO
                                                            Following what JoanN said above about Babbo, exactly because the Babbo book gives more complicated challenges to advanced cooks (mint love letters...mmmmm) and Molto Italiano gives excellent basics, inspiration and *a way in* for all levels with a ton of variety and vegetables and fish and cocktails (and a whole lot of recipes I have not had at home yet), and both of them are very widely available, I think the pair would work well for COM Italiano

                                                            I made a perfect silky carbonara with guanciale last night, with Batali aka My Other Mother

                                                          2. k
                                                            karykat RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 12:34 PM

                                                            For me SEDUCTIONS OF RICE would be a great choice. And, if we go with a special desserts book, PURE DESSERTS.

                                                            1. soypower RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                              just wanted to say that i've enjoyed reading the posts regarding this months cookbook of the month that i think i will join in for april...

                                                              my vote is for THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE...

                                                              1. Gio RE: oakjoan Mar 18, 2008 05:37 PM

                                                                Boy am I confused. Not having seen the Flexitarian Table, I based my nomination on reports from others who have read and cooked from it thinking it would be a healthy choice, although I did a bit of investigation about the recipes within. I can see the value in not having the Molto book in favor of the Babbo, and I'm completely flummoxed over the Hopkinson book. I think I'll just back away from the table and see what the run off will bring then do a heck of a lot more research....
                                                                Thanks to all for really interesting comments.

                                                                1. m
                                                                  morebubbles RE: oakjoan Mar 19, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                                  SEDUCTIONS OF RICE by Alford/Duguid would be great.
                                                                  I'm also looking forward to working with BREAKFAST LUNCH TEA some time!
                                                                  I like the idea of a dessert book alongside as well.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    ae.bell RE: oakjoan Mar 19, 2008 07:29 PM

                                                                    FLEXITARIAN TABLE!! I just really want to take a better look at that book :-)

                                                                    1. oakjoan RE: oakjoan Mar 19, 2008 09:52 PM

                                                                      IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I don't know whether I made it clear, but you may suggest ANY BOOK you want. It doesn't necessarily have to be one of those that got votes last month.

                                                                      1. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 20, 2008 06:42 AM

                                                                        Is anyone interested in A NEW WAY TO COOK by Sally Schneider?


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          karykat RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 20, 2008 11:22 AM

                                                                          I would love A NEW WAY TO COOK. Especially since it involves cooking a little lighter (but still with style and great flavor.) Because as we head into spring and see summer ahead, a little lighter cooking to shed those winter pounds would be great.

                                                                        2. Gio RE: oakjoan Mar 20, 2008 06:53 AM

                                                                          I've just been reading about:

                                                                          SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY THE MEDITERRANEAN FLAVORS OF SARDINIA, EFISIO FARRIS. Anyone else interested?

                                                                          It's been nominated for awards in two caregories by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). The Julia Child Award and the Cordon Bleu Award.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                            MMRuth RE: Gio Mar 20, 2008 06:58 AM

                                                                            I LOVE that book and have cooked quite a bit from it:


                                                                            Edit - here's a link to the author's store:


                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                              Gio RE: MMRuth Mar 20, 2008 08:27 AM

                                                                              I thought I had read about the book here. It hasn't been a COTM, though, has it?

                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                MMRuth RE: Gio Mar 20, 2008 08:31 AM

                                                                                No - just one of my mini-MMRuth COTMs ;-).

                                                                              2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                NYchowcook RE: MMRuth Mar 22, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                                                I bought SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY and would love to cook from it!
                                                                                (here we go again with finding ingredients . . . Sardinian ingredients, the author admits, are hard to locate . . . so he set up his own web store!)

                                                                                1. re: NYchowcook
                                                                                  MMRuth RE: NYchowcook Mar 22, 2008 08:44 AM

                                                                                  Although a lot of the Sardinian ingredients are hard to find, I also think there are lots of recipes that don't call for them - I'll take another look through the book. There are lots of recipes for bottarga, which I love and can find readily here in NYC, but I'm pretty sure it's also available on line - expensive, but a little goes a long way.

                                                                                  1. re: NYchowcook
                                                                                    LulusMom RE: NYchowcook Mar 22, 2008 11:46 AM

                                                                                    I'd love to cook from it too, but fear that the ingredients will be impossible to find (unless I use the guys online store, I guess). I've never seen bottarga here (heck, bottled anchovies are almost impossible to find) in the almost 4 years we've lived here. But I am definitely intrigued by cooking from that area.

                                                                              3. Carb Lover RE: oakjoan Mar 20, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                                                What about THINK LIKE A CHEF by Tom Colicchio?

                                                                                It focuses on simple preparations and seasonal ingredients while highlighting some fundamental cooking techniques. I know it can be basic and not that interesting for some, but I'm in the mood for easy but thoughtful. Plus, it is Top Chef season so wouldn't it be fun to critique the head critic??!! :-)

                                                                                About the separate dessert thread, I think it's a great idea! I've wanted to do Lebovitz's Room for Dessert for forever, but I don't think it will ever get chosen if it's the primary book. Since the book is no longer in print, we could combine it w/ his website. I just made his coconut layer cake w/ rum syrup and it was divine! I just checked out Pure Desserts from the library and can't wait to look through it! Unfortunately, my library doesn't carry the Rose Bakery book.

                                                                                Thanks for all your coordination efforts, oakjoan! You are doing a marvelous job.

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Carb Lover
                                                                                  MMRuth RE: Carb Lover Mar 20, 2008 07:13 AM

                                                                                  THINK LIKE A CHEF is a favorite of mine as well - I think I've suggested it in the past for COTM.

                                                                                  Edit - old thread about it:


                                                                                  1. re: Carb Lover
                                                                                    oakjoan RE: Carb Lover Mar 20, 2008 02:24 PM

                                                                                    Thanks, CL.

                                                                                    Yeah, I've never seen Breakfast Lunch and Tea in a bookstore. I got it from Amazon, I think. I was first attracted to it for the low flour content cakes. You know me....Nigella/Claudia's orange almond cake fan no. 1. She also has a few recipes that are less sweet than usual, e.g., a gingerbread.

                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 20, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                                      Ooh, now you've piqued my interested. Low flour content? Less sweet than usual? Is the focus of this book lower carb? I don't have an issue with carbs in the "South Beach" or "Atkins" kind of way, but I do have some issues metabolizing refined sugars and starches, which is why I tend to avoid "typical" desserts. Is this an atypical dessert cookbook?


                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                        oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 20, 2008 10:01 PM

                                                                                        Well, Breakfast, Lunch and Tea is an unusual cookbook. Her dessert recipes mainly cannot be called low fat, as many have butter, but she likes less sweet cakes and cookies and even has a broccoli cake! She uses rice flour, polenta, and nut flours in many cakes. She writes that she experimented with using only the ground nuts, but the cakes fell and she ended up using a small amount of flour.

                                                                                        I think I love the book because it made me dream of opening my own bakery/tea room in Paris as Rose Caranini did. It's also a great book.

                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                          The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 21, 2008 05:00 AM

                                                                                          Sounds intriguing. I'm worried, though, about its limited availability. I just tried to find it on Amazon and couldn't, and you mention you've never seen it in a bookstore. Are enough people going to be able to get their hands on it?


                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                            greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 21, 2008 05:27 AM

                                                                                            I like the sound of this too, but there's very limited availability here too, and it's expensive as a result.

                                                                                          2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                            pitu RE: oakjoan Mar 21, 2008 06:42 AM

                                                                                            Yeah, Phaidon is an art book publisher, with a growing line of luscious (beautifully designed with excellent content) cookbooks.
                                                                                            They have Breakfast, Lunch Tea at The Strand.
                                                                                            god help me, I think Anthropologie had stacks of it when it came out....

                                                                                            whoops - strandbooks lists it as out of stock, but ecookbooks/Jessica's Biscuit has it for $17.97 . . .

                                                                                            1. re: pitu
                                                                                              oakjoan RE: pitu Mar 21, 2008 04:55 PM

                                                                                              Actually, I was not touting Breakfast, Lunch and Tea for COTM, just discussing it with the person who posted about their love for it.

                                                                                              Sorry if this got misconstrued. OTOH, if folks can find it and want to make it COTM, go for it! I think I actually bought it on Amazon, but that was more than a year ago.

                                                                                      2. re: Carb Lover
                                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: Carb Lover Mar 21, 2008 05:00 AM

                                                                                        I too would be interested in THINK LIKE A CHEF.

                                                                                      3. greedygirl RE: oakjoan Mar 20, 2008 03:07 PM

                                                                                        Hello! I'm new to this thread, and as a Brit I'm going to vote for ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES. I've had it for a while, but haven't cooked from it much yet (due to a cookbook addiction). Plus I don't think a lot of the other books mentioned are available in the UK.

                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                          MMRuth RE: greedygirl Mar 20, 2008 03:20 PM

                                                                                          ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES - I would really love to do this book if not in April, in the next several months - maybe we could get Harters on board!! There is something nice about doing a book available in two countries like this, and I've had great success with the recipes. I also posted a thread with a bunch of links for his recipes, from this and other books, awhile back.

                                                                                          THINK LIKE A CHEF - again - a book I'd like to see sometime

                                                                                          BATALI BOOKS - game to do Italian again

                                                                                          FLEXITARIAN TABLE/other "healthier" options - I think it's nice to do these every once and awhile, even though it's of a little less interest to me personally (though I'm sure it should be!)

                                                                                          SPANISH - we've not done Spanish food yet - the only book I've used is DELICIOSO by CASAS

                                                                                          INDIAN - also agree with others that we've not done Indian - I love MANGOES & CURRY LEAVES, but have cooked from it a lot and would be up for one of the other authors suggested SAHADI/JAFFREY (forgive any spelling errors).

                                                                                          Oakjoan - thanks so much for herding us so well!!

                                                                                          Edit - I almost said that this is the last from me, but one more thought.

                                                                                          FRENCH BISTRO - I liked that idea too, particularly Hammersley, and am also a big fan (cooking from it tonight) of the BALTHAZAR cookbook.

                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                            pikawicca RE: greedygirl Mar 20, 2008 05:28 PM

                                                                                            I picked this up in a bookstore today and leafed through it. At random, I came upon recipes for Grouse Soup and Fried Calves Brains. Doesn't really appeal.

                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                              JoanN RE: pikawicca Mar 20, 2008 05:48 PM

                                                                                              And that's just what I *do* find appealing. I have very little experience cooking offal and would love to pursue it. But you mention only two of 160+ recipes. I've only tried one so far, a salmon in pastry that was simply outstanding. If offal and game don't appeal, there's much more there that might--at least if my one sampling was any indication.

                                                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                MMRuth RE: JoanN Mar 20, 2008 05:50 PM

                                                                                                And the olive oil mashed potatoes were out of this world. Yes, there are a lot of offal and some game recipes, but everything I have made of his - from this and other books - has really amazed me. Even the recipes that don't "sound" exciting have proven to be memorable.

                                                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                  pikawicca RE: JoanN Mar 20, 2008 06:41 PM

                                                                                                  Even if I wanted to cook this stuff, the ingredients aren't available where I live.

                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                    MMRuth RE: pikawicca Mar 20, 2008 06:47 PM

                                                                                                    I think that JoanN's point was that a lot of the recipes aren't for offal and game. Based on my cooking so far (which as not involved offal or game), all the ingredients were very very basic, fwiw.


                                                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/465381 - further down on this thread are a number of things that I've cooked from it.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                      pitu RE: MMRuth Mar 20, 2008 07:07 PM

                                                                                                      wait, are you talking about Roast Chicken?
                                                                                                      I skipped over the brain chapter, and you can too...
                                                                                                      (for those that have not seen it: many short chapters, with 2-3 recipes each)
                                                                                                      bloody easy puff pastry mushroom tart for dinner tonight out of that book
                                                                                                      in the end, too buttery for me, even served with arugula salad.
                                                                                                      I'm too Italian for all that butter. Let's do VEGANOMICON!

                                                                                                      1. re: pitu
                                                                                                        MMRuth RE: pitu Mar 22, 2008 12:44 PM

                                                                                                        Is that the cepe tarts? I haven't tried that. There are also recipes kind of hidden in the text too.

                                                                                                        For others - the chapters include:

                                                                                                        Anchovy, Asparagus, Brain, Cepes, Chicken, Chocolate, Cilantro, Cod, Crab, Cream, Custard, Eggplant, Eggs, Endive, Garlic, Grouse (2 recipes)Hake, Kidneys, Lamb, Leeks, Liver, Olive Oil, Onions, Parmesan, Parsley, Peppers, Pork Pieces & Bacon Bits, Potatoes, Rabbit, Saffron, Salmon, Scallops, Smoked Haddock, Spinach, Squab, Steak, Sweatbreads, Tomatoes, Tripe, and Veal.

                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                          karykat RE: MMRuth Mar 22, 2008 01:45 PM

                                                                                                          Now this is sounding appealing.

                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                            pitu RE: MMRuth Mar 22, 2008 04:17 PM

                                                                                                            yes, cepe tarts
                                                                                                            I used dried porcini (a.k.a. cepes) w/fresh white buttons.
                                                                                                            I think the rich pastry crust would be better cut by anchovy/onions...

                                                                                                            maybe we should have a thread on that book, and see if it evolves into future COM . . .
                                                                                                            I'm really going to make an effort to do the less rich dishes in all of these books...

                                                                                                            1. re: pitu
                                                                                                              MMRuth RE: pitu Mar 22, 2008 04:19 PM

                                                                                                              I did start my own little thread on Hopkinson a while back - you're welcome to join in :-). I loved a green bean salad I made of his - but don't remember which of his books it was from. And, I posted a salad dressing recipe of his that I think was pretty low on oil.


                                                                                              2. greedygirl RE: oakjoan Mar 21, 2008 04:50 AM

                                                                                                Some other ideas for books available in the UK and the US:

                                                                                                BISTRO COOKING by Patricia Wells. I love this book and have had some success with the recipes. The rabbit and hazlenut terrine is particularly good, and not difficult to make.

                                                                                                THE MORO COOKBOOK or CASA MORO. A nice combination of Spanish with some North African/Moorish influences. I've made an outstanding paella with monkfish from the Moro Cookbook, and a fidueas from Casa Moro (like paella, but using broken bits of spaghetti rather than rice).

                                                                                                PLEASURES OF THE VIETNAMESE TABLE by Mae Pham. Just got this after a memorable trip to Vietnam earlier this month. Am dying to try out some of the recipes, and as there are lots more Vietnamese people living in the States than over here, would really loves some advice on ingredients etc.

                                                                                                For homestyle Indian, I really like COOKING LIKE MUMMYJI by Vicky Bhogal. Not sure if that's widely available in the US though. Again, I'd like to cook more widely from this book.

                                                                                                My favourite Italian cookbook after Hazan is PASSIONE by Gennaro Cotaldo (he trained Jamie Oliver). I also like the River Cafe cookbooks.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Mar 21, 2008 05:10 AM

                                                                                                  I'm all for cooking from books that are available in the UK and the US--so that the UK hounds can participate, too. I know JoanN wanted to do a bistro book, so, I'm on board with BISTRO COOKING BY PATRICIA WELLS and MMRuth wanted to do a Spanish book, so I'm okay with THE MORO COOKBOOK or CASA MORO. I just looked up Cooking Like Mummyji on Amazon and it's available in the U.S. , from Amazon.com, anyway, but they are out of stock and they only have one copy of her other book, a year of cooking like Mummyji, so, I'm disinclined to vote for that. I would love to do Mae Pham, but, maybe in a couple of months, after we've all worked Dunlop out of our systems, although, I would be curious about Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nyugen, too.


                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                    pitu RE: greedygirl Mar 21, 2008 06:38 AM

                                                                                                    PLEASURES OF THE VIETNAMESE TABLE by Mai Pham
                                                                                                    greedygirl, I love this book, and a couple of the dishes are standards for me. Hanoi shrimp cakes (which work great either with shrimp/sweetpotato or sweet potato alone), the ginger steamed fish, and the spicey grilled shrimp (I forget what they call both of those in the book.) I haven't made anything from this book that didn't work!
                                                                                                    You do need to find fish sauce, but that's pretty mainstream now, no? And fresh cilantro . . .

                                                                                                    1. re: pitu
                                                                                                      greedygirl RE: pitu Mar 21, 2008 06:57 AM

                                                                                                      There's an Asian supermarket five minutes from my house so sourcing the ingredients isn't really a problem. A lot of the herbs aren't readily available here though, and I'm not sure about morning glory (water spinach). I did find proper Vietnamese fish sauce though, to add to the Thai one I already have (I think the Vietnamese one is more delicate, no?). And the green papaya set me back three quid!

                                                                                                  2. foxy fairy RE: oakjoan Mar 21, 2008 07:28 AM

                                                                                                    YAMUNA'S TABLE: HEALTHY VEGETARIAN CUISINE INSPIRED BY THE FLAVORS OF INDIA: Yamuna Devi
                                                                                                    This book looks awesome -- combining the healthy theme with Indian cuisine. Winner of the International Cookbook of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation. "Drawing on the vibrant flavors of India, Yamuna Devi has given us a cookbook that reflects her commitment to high-flavor, low-fat, easy-but-elegant vegetarian dishes such as Smoky Eggplant Caviar, Black Bean Chili with Orange-Pepper Sauce, Fresh Figs with Mint Cream, and Melon Sorbet with Sweet Jalapeno Sauce.'

                                                                                                    I cook from THE VEGETARIAN TABLE: INDIA also written by Yamna Devi, and the results and techniques are remarkable. I'd like to try the abovementioned book also by her. I've learned everything from fast/easy new-to-me preparations of potatoes to elaborate spice blends. We're talking waaaaaay beyond and different from icky prepackaged curry blends. I have just gotten really into grinding my own spices for Indian cooking and I would LOVE to do an Indian book next month. I'd be open to any other authors suggested, but Devi is the only one I know from personal experience cooking with her recipes. :) I checked my local library: multiple copies of YAMUNA'S TABLE available.

                                                                                                    A dessert cookbook would be cool, but I like the idea of stretching it over two months. In an effort to be relatively aware of healthy eating, we try not to go too crazy with the desserts, and I wouldn't want to cram too many sweets into a one-month period. I would request that it be a book available from the library. I cannot afford to participate in COTM if I have to purchase books. Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea may be an outstanding book, but there is not a single copy available in my state library system, and I would think that would exclude a number of avid COTM-ers from participating. Please keep the library availability factor in mind so that COTM can be available to all of us.

                                                                                                    Thank you, oakjoan, for coordinating this. *

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy
                                                                                                      onefineleo RE: foxy fairy Mar 21, 2008 03:08 PM

                                                                                                      I am very interested in learning about the cooking of Provence and am currently cooking from PATRICIA WELLS, AT HOME IN PROVENCE. Don't worry, MMRuth, it's nothing like Vegetable Harvest......I think I disliked that book even more than your husband. As part of this coming Sunday dinner, I'm making from this book Curried Cauliflower Soup, Carrots Provencal (EVOO, garlic and black olives), and Fresh Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. (Main dish: Coq Au Vin from All About Braising, for those who might like to know). There's also a chapter on breads, which could be fun. I hope that we might, some time in the future, explore this wonderful cuisine.

                                                                                                      1. re: onefineleo
                                                                                                        MMRuth RE: onefineleo Mar 21, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks! I've cooked from another Wells book borrowed from a friend a couple of years ago and really liked it - Vegetable Harvest was an anomaly (sp?) - but I appreciate your comments!

                                                                                                        1. re: onefineleo
                                                                                                          Karen_Schaffer RE: onefineleo Mar 21, 2008 10:47 PM

                                                                                                          I adore both BISTRO COOKING and AT HOME IN PROVENCE (not to mention THE PARIS COOKBOOK) by Patricia Wells, and would be happy to cook from any of them.

                                                                                                        2. re: foxy fairy
                                                                                                          karykat RE: foxy fairy Mar 21, 2008 04:55 PM

                                                                                                          A two month span for a dessert book sounds like a good idea to me too. I think I mentioned PURE DESSERTS as my first choice for that option, but other ones that would be great would be THE SWEET LIFE by Kate Zuckerman and DESSERTS BY THE YARD by Sherry Yard. Also THE SWEET SPOT by Pichet Ong which has an Asian spin (but melding western ingredients and ideas too). I would say The Last Course too, by Claudia Fleming, but someone said a while ago that it's out of print and hard to get.

                                                                                                          (Oakjoan, is it a hassle for you if we mention more than one book at this stage, or is that ok? Don't want to make things harder.)

                                                                                                          1. re: karykat
                                                                                                            JoanN RE: karykat Mar 21, 2008 05:23 PM

                                                                                                            If we're nominating dessert books, I'd like to second THE SWEET LIFE. I've only made two recipes from it so far, a Meyer lemon curd tart and a spiced apple and sour cream cake, and both were outstanding. And I love the way she explains the chemistry behind the ingredients and the techniques. There are also quite a lot of copies available at amazon.com at very good prices.

                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                              Carb Lover RE: JoanN Mar 21, 2008 07:48 PM

                                                                                                              Adding another dessert nomination: Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson. I've never seen it but have heard good things about it AND my library system has two copies!!

                                                                                                            2. re: karykat
                                                                                                              oakjoan RE: karykat Mar 21, 2008 09:58 PM


                                                                                                              Nah, it's not harder. I just use the search function to find the books, e.g., "Batali", etc.

                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                karykat RE: oakjoan Mar 22, 2008 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                Very good! And thanks for what you are doing.

                                                                                                          2. MMRuth RE: oakjoan Mar 21, 2008 05:44 PM

                                                                                                            oakjoan - I have a suggestion, with which you can do what you will, of course. What about voting for April and May using this suggestion thread? Seems to me there are lots of great ideas, and this way people would also have a lot of advance notice for May in terms of trying to obtain library copies, cheap copies on line, and/or putting together on line recipes.

                                                                                                            Thanks, as always, for herding the cats (um, hounds)!


                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                              pitu RE: MMRuth Mar 21, 2008 06:46 PM

                                                                                                              lordy lou,
                                                                                                              if I may speak frankly . . .
                                                                                                              I think you may be asking for a sh*t storm with that suggestion MM

                                                                                                              1. re: pitu
                                                                                                                oakjoan RE: pitu Mar 21, 2008 10:04 PM


                                                                                                                I agree with pitu here and think that'd just be too difficult. I'd not only have to ascertain the name of the voted-on book, but the month for which it was put forth. With sometimes more than 100 voting messages....well, you get the picture.

                                                                                                                I DO think, however, that I could easily post the May COTM thread as soon as the April one has been decided so that there would be plenty of time for people to arrange for library reservations. I know I just lucked out by having BOTH of Dunlop's books available at my library.

                                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                  MMRuth RE: oakjoan Mar 22, 2008 04:50 AM

                                                                                                                  No problem! I thought some how it might be easier for you - ha ha! I do like the idea of starting the May discussion thread when the April choice goes up, but maybe culling some of the ideas from this thread, since a lot of people have mentioned different ideas of books/themes they'd like to see in the future.

                                                                                                                  Thanks oakjoan - not trying to stir up any sh*t!!

                                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                    JoanN RE: oakjoan Mar 22, 2008 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                    "I could easily post the May COTM thread as soon as the April one has been decided so that there would be plenty of time for people to arrange for library reservations"

                                                                                                                    Yes, please. Even if the book is in my library system and not otherwise on loan or hold, it can take a minimum of two weeks, sometimes three, for me to get my hands on it. This would be a big help for me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                      Gio RE: oakjoan Mar 24, 2008 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                      Then I guess I better wait before nominating yet another author for COTM. Jessica B. Harris has been popping into my head for a few days now. She's a very well respected educator and culinary historian. Sara Moulton had her as a guest many times during that wonderful first program Sara had on TFN in 1997...Cooking LIve.

                                                                                                                      To quote from Dr. Harris's bio:
                                                                                                                      " {Although} an associate professor in the English department {of Queens College}, Harris has also devoted her career to cuisine, writing on foods from around the world,{ often } with a focus on African and Caribbean flavors. She has written several books, including The Welcome Table: African-American Heritage Cooking and Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons: Africa's Gifts to New World Cooking. She has also contributed to numerous other books as well as written articles for Food & Wine and The New Yorker among others."


                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                        MMRuth RE: Gio Mar 24, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                        Is she the very tall woman who used to be on Moulton's show?

                                                                                                                        Edit - yes - just looked at her photo - she's the woman of whom I was thinking.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                          Gio RE: MMRuth Mar 24, 2008 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                          Yes, tall, happy, and hugely informative. She was written cookbooks about African cuisine, as well as Caribbean, Brazil, Creole Fusion....
                                                                                                                          eight books in all.

                                                                                                                2. NYchowcook RE: oakjoan Mar 22, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                  I recently bought this amazing fun book that's french and recently came out in English -- PORK & SONS published by Phaedon. Beautiful artsy offbeat.
                                                                                                                  (goes against my plea for a healthy cooking book, but still . . .)
                                                                                                                  More fun than Bruce Aidell's pork cookbook which I gave to a swine-loving friend of mine.

                                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                                    gremly girl RE: oakjoan Mar 22, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                    I'm new to the thread and would love to do a Batali cookbook, particularly MOLTO ITALIANO. We've been using it regularly and have lots of recipes we love, and have now decided to cook our way through all the recipes over the remainder of the year.

                                                                                                                    1. d
                                                                                                                      DGresh RE: oakjoan Mar 24, 2008 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                      So I'm just asking how this is working; this is still just a suggestion thread, to be followed by a voting thread (and just four days for voting?) Just wondering..... It doesn't leave much time for people to order from the library...

                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                        Gio RE: DGresh Mar 24, 2008 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                        That's the way it's been happening, DGresh. This month I got one Fuchsia Dunlop immediately but the other two weeks later. Also, many already have the cookbooks in their home library. I've lucked out several times in the past.

                                                                                                                        1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                          MMRuth RE: DGresh Mar 24, 2008 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                          Oakjoan has posted that she'll post the May suggestions thread as soon as we're done with this one, I think, which should help that issue.


                                                                                                                          Also, FWIW, I and other hounds try to come up with a list of links to online recipes for the COTM as soon as the threads go up at the beginning of the month, for those that don't yet have the book(s).

                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                            Rubee RE: MMRuth Mar 24, 2008 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                            Dgresh and Gio - I think we're behind a little bit this month. In the past the COM suggestions are asked earlier, and the voting ended on the 15th of the month so people have time to reserve the book at their library. JoanN mentioned she'll get back to doing that next month.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                              Gio RE: Rubee Mar 24, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                              Thanks Rubee. This really is the first month I've made more than a few recipes from the preferred book and the first time I took the books from the library. But - I'm throughly enthralled, and avidly hooked.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                Rubee RE: Gio Mar 24, 2008 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                Addictive, isn't it? I just went through my Batali books (just in case!) last night and now they're full of post-its.

                                                                                                                                If the Flexitarian wins (my husband is a like a kid and won't eat all his vegetables), I'm going to cook out of one my past favorites - Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Sometimes I wish we had two months to cook from a book, I never have time to try all the recipes I want to!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                  Gio RE: Rubee Mar 24, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                  I do that too, only I cut them to about 1/4 size strips... I can bookmark more pages that way. I Love This Bar!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                    MMRuth RE: Gio Mar 24, 2008 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                    Ah - what you need are the reusable tabs - http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/sto... -

                                                                                                                                    This are littered all over my cookbooks, and I move them as needed to mark what I'm cooking - on the side of the page for recipes that I'm cooking from on a given day, on the top for ones I want to try.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                      Gio RE: MMRuth Mar 24, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                      Must have had my blinders on at Staples... I've been shopping there for years. I'll have to get some for ease of use.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                        JoanN RE: MMRuth Mar 24, 2008 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                        What a riot! I do exactly the same, but use these even smaller reusable page tags, also Staples. My problem is that I often use them to mark library books, have to remove them all when the book is due, and then find them stuck to some rather unlikely surfaces--including me.


                                                                                                                                2. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                  JoanN RE: Rubee Mar 24, 2008 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                  I know it's confusing, Rubee, one Joan right after the other. But oakjoan took over this month. I'm just a lowly participant these days.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                    Rubee RE: JoanN Mar 24, 2008 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                    Oops. Well thanks to both of you for the great job! ; )

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                      oakjoan RE: Rubee Mar 24, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      So would folks like this thread to end tomorrow instead of the 27th?
                                                                                                                                      That would give folks a couple of extra days to order the book from the library. Not much, but every little bit helps.

                                                                                                                                      I'll start culling sooner next month. Suggestions as to dates are gladly solicited. Should it be reallllly early? Like the 10th? Then the final vote would be tallied by the 15th.

                                                                                                                                      Lemme know.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                        Rubee RE: oakjoan Mar 24, 2008 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                        Hi oakjoan! Yes, I think we should start the voting thread tomorrow (and selfishly because I'm away this weekend and won't be able to vote if we don't!).

                                                                                                                                        I know this same topic of voting earlier was addressed in the very beginning, so Redwood2Bay and Katie Nell had the voting done by the 15th (but I don't remember when suggestions were started) to allow people enough time to reserve from libraries. I also liked having enough time to mail-order hard-to-find ingredients.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                          pitu RE: oakjoan Mar 25, 2008 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                          I agree with *early is better*
                                                                                                                                          and yes do start the voting!
                                                                                                                                          thx oakjoan!

                                                                                                                                          p.s. I think the next-month suggestion thread could start the first week of the month, so there's plenty of chat time before ending the 15th. I'd rather see the thread open for a couple weeks, so people who don't look every day can participate. Are there any negatives to having the thread open a long time, or having it start close to the decision for the month before?
                                                                                                                                          I think this would give nice wiggle room for the coordinator's availability and schedule too.

                                                                                                                              2. pitu RE: oakjoan Mar 26, 2008 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                the voting is on!

                                                                                                                                1. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Mar 28, 2008 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                  This is a reply to greedygirl's question about Roast Chicken in the run-off thread. I'm posting my reply here because oakjoan says it makes it too hard to tally the votes if we do anything other than vote in that thread...

                                                                                                                                  Yes, greedygirl, the cod with lentils recipe in Roast Chicken looked great (well, ALL the recipes looked great, but that looked great AND like it could be adapted to fit my diet), also, the peppers, salmon, and scallops sections all looked like they have recipes that could be adapted, I think, though, I don't get the impression Mr. Hopkinson would be in favor of substitutions or adjustments to his recipes...


                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                    MMRuth RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 28, 2008 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                    Actually - not that I have any direct insight into Hopkinson's brain - but, I think he loves food and cooking and I don't see why he'd object. The recipes obviously won't turn out the same way, but I don't think that matters!

                                                                                                                                    The Crab Vinaigrette looks like another recipe that would work - and the Grand Aioli - if you were careful w/ the aioli! But you are right - the recipes are by no means low fat!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Mar 28, 2008 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                      I can't claim to have any particular insight into his brain, either, but he does seem adamently particular on a few matters... But, I know you've been following his recipes and writing for awhile now, so, I'm sure you have a better sense for him than I do. Either way, adapt I shall if adapt I must!

                                                                                                                                      I saw that crab vinaigrette--it looked good! I think I shall start by making a little index of all the recipes I think could be adapted to fit my diet and go from there...

                                                                                                                                      The "green sauce" recipe in the cilantro section already seems like a must-do. One or two of the egglplant recipes seemed okay... And leeks seem to grow well in the upper midwest, at least on the farm my CSA comes from, so I'm always looking for more things to do with leeks!

                                                                                                                                      Also, maybe when the time comes, I'll post a new thread asking for strategies for lightening recipes that call for butter or heavy cream, as several of his most delicious sounding ones do. I don't know if just reducing the amount of butter would work (for the recipes that call for a lot of butter) or substituting evaporated milk or something like quark would work (for the recipes that call for a lot of heavy cream) or what... I also have been substituing Canadian bacon for bacon--it's not the same, but at least you do get some pork flavor in there without fat. When the time comes (if that's the book that wins), I could use some more help figuring that stuff out if people know of some strategies...

                                                                                                                                      EDIT: actually, I just went ahead and posted a query about lightening recipes here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/503599

                                                                                                                                      Thank you!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                        greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 28, 2008 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                        I've had the crab vinaigrette at a friend's house - yummy, yummy, yummy!

                                                                                                                                        Do you get half-fat creme fraiche over in the States? I find that's a good way of lightening cream recipes without sacrificing too much flavour. President (French brand) does one which is exceptionally low in calories, but my favourite is Marks and Spencer, but I guess that doesn't help much!

                                                                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                                                                    kiimy RE: oakjoan Mar 11, 2009 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                    PASSIONE by Gennaro Cotaldo and if you ever start a strand for men cooks THE BLOKES GUIDE TO COOKING THE ULTIMATE BLUFFERS GUIDE a new book but will get the men in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: kiimy
                                                                                                                                      yamalam RE: kiimy Mar 11, 2009 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                      You're a year late dear. Here's the '09 suggestion link:

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