HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


November 2009 COTM Nomination Time!

It is nomination time for November's COTM selection. We'll gather ideas here until SATURDAY OCTOBER 10th (midnight EST), then hold a vote and have next month's book chosen by the 15th or so.

Feel free to make suggestions even if you have not previously participated in Cookbook of the Month, as we're always excited to welcome new cooks to our community! For more information on what the heck COTM stands for and how to participate, plus a list of past books we've covered, check out our archive at:



In order to make it easier for participants to scan others’ suggestions and for me to tabulate the results, please make your recommendations in the following format:

TITLE (in all caps), Author: Description of the book or reason you are recommending it (optional but preferred).

If you want to second or third a title that someone else has already mentioned, please repeat the title, typing it in capital letters. Just saying “I agree with Gio” may well get lost and your choice might not get counted. The more often a particular title is mentioned, the greater the chance it will be among the finalists.

Also, feel free to nominate and discuss multiple books, you can wait for the voting thread to make your final decision.

Thanks for participating!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm really enjoying cooking from Jose Andres' TAPAS, A TASTE OF SPAIN IN AMERICA. I made the Pan-Fried Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp the other day and absolutely loved it. I think tapas may be the next big thing here in the U.S. There's something for everyone: carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian. And it's fun, cooking these small plates.

    8 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      I love his show, and bought two of his books, but for some reason, they sit there unused. There is nothing wrong with the books. The pictures are lovely, the dishes all sound lovely and yet.... nothing.

      I think sometimes it feels like a lot to make 5 small plates for one meal. Yet, I just spent 3 hrs making a korma and two vegetables, so I need to just get over it, eh?

      1. re: smtucker

        I think you just have to be in the mood.

        1. re: pikawicca

          I have his MADE IN SPAIN book and dvd and really like them, but I also haven't really cooked much from them. But I want to! I'm headed to DC in November, maybe I need to eat at one of JA's restos to get excited.

          1. re: yamalam

            Oh, what a treat that would be. I admit, that if/when I eat in one of his restaurants, I want it to be tomato season. This guy seems to love tomatoes, and does the most creative things I have ever seen to these fruits.

            1. re: smtucker

              I'm from DC and just love his places, especially Jaleo, his tapas place. That said, I have to agree that the idea of making 4-5 small plates each night sort of exhausts me. Possibly it wouldn't be any bigger deal than the kind of thing we normally do, but just the thought of it. Still ... I DO love Jaleo, and the food there is great, and to be able to cook something like that is appealling. Feeling conflicted.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Also we've done tapas before, haven't we, with Penelope Casas?

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Yeah, 2 Penelope Casas: Tapas and Mother's cooking.

      2. This might be a little "out there" but I'd like to propose for the November COTM a Native American cookbook. I've had "SPIRIT OF THE HARVEST: NORTH AMERICAN COOKING" for a long time now and find it to be not only a beautiful book to look at and read, but a pretty good compilation of researched and tested Native American recipes. There may be others of the same ilk somewhere, if so I'd like to know about them... and perhaps they would be better. But there it is. Something I think would be an interesting for November given that it is the month when we focus on giving thanks for the harvest.

        Here's a link to the Amazon blurb, but my copy is older than this:

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gio

          Interesting, I'll have to check that out. I've had great Native American food at Kai in Phoenix, and fun NA food in DC at the Smithsonian museum, so I'm definitely a fan

        2. I'm still interested in DIANA KENNEDY's books.

          1. Diana Kennedy's ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO

            1. I'm going to throw out what might be an off the wall suggestion. Last year, for December and January, we "revisted" two books that we had done before and that were very popular. At the time, the thinking was that, with the holidays, participants were less likely to be able to really delve into the books. I'm wondering if that might be the case for this November, given that the responses are rather minimal. So, I'm wondering, maybe we might make Nov/Dec. of this year some sort of repeat period? And then do a new book in January?

              8 Replies
              1. re: MMRuth

                MMRuth, I'd like a do-over for all of 2009. I've just never been able to get it together.

                Seriously, do you remember the window of cookbooks we looked at "re-doing" last so we could see which "window" we'd be considering this time, assuming people still wanted to do it that way?


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  My recollection is that we chose from the first 12 months. I believe that we ended up doing both Lucques/Zuni because they were v. close in our voting to decide which one to do. I'd have to go back to the voting thread to look though to be sure.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I liked doing 2 books over 2 months. Gave a lot of freedom of choice during a time when we probably wouldn't have really been able to get that much out of a new book.

                2. re: MMRuth

                  I'm *totally* up for another redo for a couple of months around the holidays. I kind of liked doing Dec/Jan myself, but could be swayed to do Nov/Dec. instead. But think of all those people who have January resolutions. Shouldn't we give them at least until Feb. to give up on them?

                  And yes, TDQ, I think it would help to know what our cut off was for last year, so we could know where to start with the voting if we do this again.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I was going to wait till next month to suggest this very thing for Dec/Jan but if folks want to make it Nov/Dec I'm agreeable to that. The difficulty will be deciding which 2 books. There are several I would like to revisit.

                    OTOH, the Kennedy book is beckoning. I could get it and be prepared for future consideration......I think it's time is just around the bend. So too Thai and Japanese cuisines.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      If we revisit past books, I'll suggest the first two COTMs, and still two of my favorite cookbooks - Stevens' ALL ABOUT BRAISING and Hazan's ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING.

                      1. re: Rubee

                        ooooh! Two of my favorite books. But the Kennedy books are mighty tempting as well.

                        1. re: Rubee

                          I second REVISITING FORMER COTMS. ALL ABOUT BRAISING is perfect for winter. Also, I thought Penelope Casas COCINA DE MAMA had a ton of wonderful fall/winter friendly dishes. I'd love to revisit ARABESQUE, too.


                      2. I'm all for revisiting past COTM's since it seems to have been a whirlwind 2009 and I feel like I haven't been able to keep up with a new COTM each month. Either all of 2009 or particular COTM books from 2009 would be my nomination, at least for November, and see where we are later for December.
                        Where's that archive link again?

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: NYchowcook

                          Yamalam put the link to the archive in her OP. :)


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            For a future COTM, I'd like to resuggest my favorite cookbook author, PAULA WOLFERT. I was not that thrilled with the book we did do of hers since it was limited to slow cooking and, in my op., is not one of her best. I suggest her books on the cooking of SOUTHWEST FRANCE or MEDITERRANEAN GREENS AND GRAINS or COOKING OF THE EASTERN MED.

                            I'd also be happy with a combo month of Wolfert and Roden. The both have books called (approx) Mediterranean Cooking and both books are great.

                            I'm not that thrilled about the Braising book because I don't like the limitations of a single method of cooking. I know it's a great book, but too narrow IMNSHO.

                            I wouldn't mind doing another month of the CASAS books either.

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              I really loved the Casas books but barely scratched the surface of the four books (I think I was cooking from 3 during the month). I have heard such great things about Wolfert's books (probably from you, oakjoan!), but just can't seem to get into them. I picked one up used and ended up getting rid of it because it just didn't call to me. Do you have any advice, oakjoan, for how to approach them?


                          2. re: NYchowcook

                            I'm in favour of COTM revisited. What period did we cover when we did it last year?

                            1. re: greedygirl

                              We chose two books from the first twelves months of COTM, so, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5726... from Sept 2006 - August 2007. The winners were Zuni and Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

                              So, I suppose, theoretically, if we wanted to stay consistent with our approach last year, this time we would want to consider choosing two books from the second 12 months of COTM, so, September 2007 - August 2008.

                              Hmmm... from those I'd choose Hopkinson and Casas.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                We used the books during December and January. So this year, for Nov & Dec I would choose Elizabeth David Classics and Ottolenghi. I think they both have recipes which could be used for celebrations as well as everyday meals.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  But, Gio, you're suggesting a re-do of books we did THIS year. Last year, during Dec & Jan, we chose to re-do books from much earlier in COTM... Not that we have to do it the same as last time, but to be equivalent to what we did last year (even though we used Dec & Jan as our "repeat" months), we'd chose books from September 2007 - August 2008, which would be:

                                  August 2008 The Glorious Foods of Greece Diane Kochilas Greek

                                  July 2008 Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone Deborah Madison Vegetables

                                  June 2008 La Cocina De Mama, Tapas, The Foods and Wines of Spain, Delicioso Penelope Casas Spanish

                                  May 2008 The Flexitarian Table Peter Berley General

                                  April 2008 Roast Chicken and Other Stories Simon Hopkinson General

                                  March 2008 Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty Fuchsia Dunlop Asian- Chinese

                                  February 2008 Frank Stitt's Southern Table Frank Stitt American- Southern

                                  January 2008 The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen Paula Wolfert Mediterranean

                                  December 2007 Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook & Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook Martha Stewart Baking, Hors D' Oevres

                                  November 2007 The Silver Palate Cookbook Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins General

                                  October 2007 All Julia Child Recipes Julia Child French

                                  September 2007 Vegetable Harvest Patricia Wells Vegetables


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    One of the reasons I like revisiting books we haven't done for a while is for CHs who joined recently in the COTMs, so hadn't had a chance to participate when we started. I'm not a big fan of limiting ourselves into a time period though - I'd rather concentrate on the books themselves, but I can understand trying to keep it organized in some way. Another reason I suggested books like Braising and Hazan is because they're popular books and I think a lot of people have them (especially Hazan).

                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      No no no...I think you misunderstand me. I am not suggesting we cook from all of the books from that time period. I'm suggesting we might consider doing what we did last year, which is choose two books to cook from, from a specific time period.

                                      Last year, we chose Zuni and Lucques from the first twelve months of COTM, which were Sept 2006 - August 2007.

                                      To be analogous, this time, for Nov and Dec 2009, we'd chose two books from the second 12 months of COTM, which would be September 2007 - August 2008. This would enable "newbies" try try out some books they may have missed and "oldbies" to revisit some old favorites. Because it's only two books, there would still be some focus.

                                      Are you suggesting we still pick a couple of books, but don't put any restrictions on the period from which we choose them? (I don't have an objection to that, per se, I just want to make sure I understand your point.)


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        <Are you suggesting we still pick a couple of books, but don't put any restrictions on the period from which we choose them?>

                                        Yes, that's exactly what I meant, sorry for the confusion!

                                        But of course, you know me, however we do it or whatever we vote is always fine with me. : )

                                        1. re: Rubee

                                          Ah, so I misunderstood you! It wasn't until I typed all that out that I realized what you meant. Silly me. Anyway, yes, however yamalam wants to do this is okay with me, too. I have so many of these old books that I'd love to revisit, including the two you mentioned, actually, that whatever we end up with, it will be great. Or, something new would be great, too, like Kennedy or that American Indian cookbook Gio suggested. I learn something from every book that gets chosen.


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Ooh, I like Gio's idea of a Native American cookbook too, especially because there's some great sources for ingredients out here in Phoenix since there's such a move towards local. For another suggestion in this genre, a local award-winning restaurant has a new cookbook out: The New Native American Cuisine: Five-Star Recipes from the Chefs of Arizona's Kai Restaurant.


                                            And a great source called Native Seeds:

                                            1. re: Rubee

                                              I have to say that in terms of ingredients, Native American would be a disaster for this non-native, non-American.

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                Oh yah, didn't think about that! Sorry GreedyGirl! ; )

                            2. Thought this was a nice list by author (and 9/2008 COTM) Andrea Nguyen posted yesterday of her favorite cookbooks - a few past COTMs on it (and good ideas for future ones!).

                              Favorite Cookbooks: Andrea Nguyen

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Rubee

                                Rubee: I find the link verrry confusing. The title of the article is "Andrea Nguyen: Favorite Cookbooks" yet the cookbooks seem to be the favorite cookbooks of the webmistress. Please fill me in on this.

                                1. re: oakjoan

                                  Hi Oakjoan - You have to read the introduction. I'll cut and paste from the second and third paragraph to clarify:

                                  "....When I asked Andrea to share some of her favorite cookbooks, she replied with the following...

                                  A woman I know lost her entire cookbook collection in one of the recent Santa Barbara fires. I winced when I heard about it as I've often wondered what I'd grab or miss the most should disaster strike. My collection of cookbooks fills several seven-foot-tall bookshelves in my dining room and office. It is comprised of my mother's notebook of handwritten recipes that she carried from Vietnam when we fled, works that I perused during my youth, gems discovered overseas or hunted down at used bookstores, and many acquired online during late night shopping forays. I'd be heartbroken if I no longer had certain ones as they are special, irreplaceable artifacts of time and place. However, if my entire library of cookbooks were to vanish, I would find my bearing and seed a new collection with these works" and she then lists the books........

                                  Buttertart, I've only cooked from one of the Alford/Duguid books - Hot Sour Salty Sweet - but I really enjoyed it when it was Cookbook of the Month.

                                  1. re: Rubee

                                    I really like all of the Alford/Duguid books - I use Mangoes & Curry Leaves all the time - and it's the only "Indian" book I had until Sahni.

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      Rubee and MMR: Another few books for me to revisit with an open mind, obviously. I also helped my sister-in-law replace cookbooks lost in their house fire last Christmas - thought about what would be best and most useful - and sent the Kuo, the Jaffrey Indian Cooking and World of the East Vegetarian, Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Baking Book and Supper Book, and Marcella Hazan's From Marcella's Italian Kitchen. My de facto core collection.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Nice list. I really have to get Kuo's book. I think that will be my next cookbook purchase.

                                2. re: Rubee

                                  Interesting list, and I agree with just about everything on it - not totally taken with the Alford/Duguid books. The Irene Kuo is by far the best intro to Chinese techniques and recipes I've ever seen, I'm always happy to see it mentioned.