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Christmas cookbooks--what'd Santa get you? what [if anything] will you buy yourself tomorrow?

  • j

Now that the goose is in the oven and everyone is having a bit of a pre-dinner nap, I can look at my presents! Honestly, Santa--well, my husband and kids--were really good to me this year. Many many cookbooks. More specifically, I got
"I know how to cook"---Ginette Mathiot---I know someone said that this book duplicates other French cookbooks but after checking it out from the library, I still like it. I like what it presumes I know--reminds me of my recipe for cookies from my grandmother that she got from her mother which lacks all measurements because why would one need actual measurements? Can't wait to try the pumpkin jam recipe this weekend.
"Pork and Sons"---Stephane Reynaud---food porn. hungry just looking at it. Captivated by the photos drawings and little stories.
"French Feasts" ---Stephane Reynaud---More Food Porn.....An afternoon of that book and I'm halfway out the door to catch a plane to France. Still pondering what the first recipe will be--but the pumpkin soup sounds good and easy.
"Eat Me, the philosophy of Kenny Shopsin" -----dark horse, never heard of it but hey, intro by Calvin Trillin. Nice photos, still perusing.

So, how about you?

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  1. B/c I gushed over the movie J & J AND the book 'My Life in France', I got 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'. Beef Bourgounion will be my bext cooking challange :)

    1. Ugh - a friend sent me one of Guy Fieri's DDD books - I looked at the recipes and tried very hard not to look at his picture or read any other content. Nothing of interest in the recipes - I'm actually glad. First I was going to toss it into the recycling bag, but since I dislike gratuitous waste I'll leave it behind next time I'm in a cafe or waiting room.

      7 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        If it makes you feel better...I had to look up who Guy Fieri was...

        1. re: pitu

          ...although as soon as I saw his picture I knew what "DDD" meant.

          1. re: pitu

            Sorry. Should have been a direct answer to the O.P.

            I gave a copy of "The Daily Soup Cookbook" to a neighbor. Since I was ordering one, I figured I may as well order two. So the second copy is a, sort of, self gift. After only a quick look, I don't think it's as good as the New England da-da-da cookbook. Maybe someone will have a more informed opinion on Daily Soup to share.

            On the plus side, I got THREE bookstore gift cards. THREE!!! I don't have anything in mind, right now.

          2. re: greygarious

            Donate it to your library. They LOVE cookbooks.

            1. re: c oliver

              Maybe I can sneak it into the book return slot when no one is looking - I really don't want to be seen with it! ;-D

              1. re: greygarious

                one man's trash is another's treasure. I'd LOVE to have gotten that book

                1. re: laliz

                  I'm with Liz- I'll trade you these fuzzy slippers and Marcona Almonds..

          3. Father Christmas left "River Cottage Everyday" (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest).

            In fact, he left two copies due to what was obviously a misunderstanding over my letter to him at his Lapland HQ. No doubt a cockup in the postal system during the recent dispute - I blame management not the workers. Couldnt organise a piss-up in a brewery. However, it now means I'll have to buy a copy of Nigel Slater's "Tender".

            I'd hoped he might

            37 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              My son gave me Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc - which I had also bought for him - he spent the day deep in my copy because he didn't want to take the plastic wrapping off of his copy :-)

              Enjoy Julia shaebones - my copy is wonderfully tattered and splattered from years of use.

              Harters - would you recommend the HF-W?

              1. re: Athena

                Athena

                I've not gone through the book yet - but I have the the River Cottage Cookbook and his neat one and use both of them regularly, so I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this one. Just flicking through now, it looks like it's very straighforward but tasty recipes - "scotch broth salad", broad beans on toast, beetroot & walnut hummus, pot roast pheasant with chorizo. Can't wait to get cooking.

                1. re: Harters

                  Sounds great Harters, though a bit like my other English cookbooks which I enjoy reading but can't get a lot of the ingredients here in Bermuda - homemade chorizo yes; pheasant no.:-)

              2. re: Harters

                I got River Cottage Everyday before Xmas as a present to myself (only a tenner with free postage) and I really like it. I made the purple slaw yesterday to have with our Boxing Day ham and it was good. Have you got Ottolenghi yet, Harters? That's definitely my cookbook of the year (and I've bought a lot of books this year - may have to ban myself until the new Ottolenghi comes out in May).

                1. re: greedygirl

                  I pre-ordered Ottolenghi's new cookbook last month. I think I need an intervention..... I

                  1. re: Gio

                    Do you have any familiarity with The Daily Soup Cookbook?

                    1. re: yayadave

                      No I don't, Dave...but I do have the New England Soup Company book from which I cook regularly. What don't you like about The Daily Soup?

                      1. re: Gio

                        Oh, yeah. The neighbor to whom I gave a copy of this book is a beginning cook. Ooops.

                        1. re: Gio

                          I don't know what happened. My answering post got abbreviated to two lines. What I didn't like about the book is the number of ingredients, the number of unusual or hard to find ingredients, and the detailed instructions.

                          A reviewer on Amazon said much the same thing. But she also said that if you followed the recipe, you ended up with a perfect soup. I'll give it a try. See below.

                        2. re: yayadave

                          I love Daily Soup. They use a lot of ingredients but the results are worth it in our house. Its one of the few books I write in so I can tell you which recipes work well if you want.

                          1. re: waver

                            That's a very generous offer. Thank you. I took a slower look and found a few that I'll make, once holidays run down. The bean with chorizo on pg. 104 and the chicken, ginger, and coconut on pg. 160 look a little detailed, but do-able. That chicken recipe has a few ingredients that I may have to search out. I see that there is a butternut squash recipe on pg. 168. Maybe I'll make a good squash soup, yet.

                            I still think this may not have been a good choice for a beginning cook.

                            1. re: yayadave

                              Dave, that NE Soup Co. book has a delicious butternut squash recipe. I don't have the book in front of me for the page number... but look it over. It's the first recipe I made when I got the book and we loved it.

                              1. re: Gio

                                So I'm guessing from this discussion that I should buy the NESoup Co or the Daily Soup Book. My sister (not a cook) got me a soup book; while it looks ok, it is not very inspiring. Most of the recipes are pretty standard; and almost all I have in other cookbooks. I've seen many raves about the NE Soup book on these boards, and my question is: are these mainly NE style soups, w/NE ingredients or is it broader in scope? I have some books by NE chefs w/terrific soup recipes (Jasper White, Stonewall Kitchens, Sarah Leah Chase). I've never seen the NESoup Co book so I know nothing about it except that Hounds seem to love it.

                                And I'm assuming Daily Soup book is from the NY restaurant chain; I do know their soups.

                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  The NESC cookbook has recipes that relate to all cuisines and uses ingredients readily available in any supermarket, I find. The usual serving size is between 8 - 12 so I halve the recipe since we're only two here and still we have leftovers...good for lunch.

                                  Here's the recipe I first made:
                                  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe...
                                  (I omitted the flaked cooconut and the extract

                                  )

                                  Here's a Google page with other recipes:
                                  http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                  Here's the book at Jessica's Biscuit:
                                  http://www.ecookbooks.com/p-20771-new...

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Thanks, Gio. I put it--and a couple others (shame on me!)--in my cart at JB this a.m. Now I need to push the 'buy" button. Shouldn't be too difficult.

                                2. re: Gio

                                  COTM should be making SOUP for January or February.

                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    I think we have a book selected for January, but soups for February sounds like a great idea.

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      Not that this negates the possibility of having a soup book for February, but I thought there were a lot of interesting soup recipes in Trattoria when I flipped through it this morning. I didn't notice them as much in Bistro, but I haven't really gone through it page by page yet, either.

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Good idea! My favorite/most used soup cookbook is Barbara Kafka's Soup: A Way Of Life. Does anyone else own that one? Mine is battered from use.

                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                          Yes, I love that book. Also her "Roasting"

                                  2. re: Gio

                                    Would this be the Butternut Squash Recipe you mention?

                                    http://www.recipezaar.com/New-England...

                                    1. re: waver

                                      Good move on starting a thread. The more I look at this book and the recipes, the more interested I become.

                              2. re: Gio

                                From where did you order it, Gio? Amazon?

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  You know what? It isn't Ottolenghi's new book, I ordered Simon Hopknson's new book, The Vegetarian Option. (delivery early April)

                                  I confused the two. Mea Culpa.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    After reading your post above, I pre-ordered the new Ottolenghi book (doesn't come out until June) from Amazon UK.

                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                      It's out in May - not that I'm counting the days or anything....

                            2. re: Harters

                              Bummer. This isn't available in the U.S. till next July. Pooh.

                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                River Cottage Everyday, that is....this thread is so fractured my post landed WELL down-thread from where I originated.

                                1. re: Beckyleach

                                  You might be able to get it through Kitchen Arts & Letters in NYC (at a price). They bring in quite a few UK cookbooks.

                                  1. re: Beckyleach

                                    I've ordered things I "had" to have from Amazon.uk - books are discounted, the shipping charge isn't that bad, and it's quicker than you'd expect.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Amazon UK is really a savior for books not (yet) available in the US. Even including shipping and handling (usually £6.99), the total is usually no more than the cover price in US$, and it only takes a week or two to arrive.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Caitlin, did you mean books not available in the U.S.? Sorry, don't know why I'm so nitpicky today. I have a head-cold and my brain seems to be functioning only on instinct or something.

                                          I was surprised at how smooth the shipping was when I bought my copy of Ottolenghi. Like you said, even with shipping costs, it was about $34 or so...

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Ha, yes, thank you for catching my typo; I have edited my post above so as to make it intelligible! I don't even have a head cold to blame for lack of sense. But yes, it is very straightforward and fairly cost effective to buy from Amazon UK if one is in the US.

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              And that's definitely cheaper than it was at Kitchen Arts ....

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of UK shops.

                                  2. Momofuku (David Chang) mmmmmm, Pork and Sons (Stephane Reynaud) and a big book with Dumpling in the title that defines dumpling in the broadest possible way. We're part of a pork CSA this winter....
                                    Also David Lebovitz Sweet Life In Paris.
                                    I've already made the pork-white bean-sage stew from P&Sons - had the book from the library - it was crazy good when made with fresh cranberry beans, less good with dried cannellini beans. I don't cook beans that often, easy to get mush!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: pitu

                                      Just finished Sweet Life in Paris. If you like it, you should also read Molly Wizenberg's "A Homemade life," which is just wonderful and has wonderful recipes too.

                                      1. re: pitu

                                        p.s. The Dumpling (ha) is my new dumpling book. Authors Wai Hon Chu and Connie Lovatt.
                                        It has a pretty awesome website.
                                        http://www.thedumpling.com/About%20Th...
                                        : )

                                      2. Son gave me a Thai cookbook, not an author anyone would know but that's okay (LOL, guess who LOVES Pad Thai and rice noodle in general??? well, we both do, truth be told) and he astutely pointed out that I have no Thai cookbooks. Also have a Borders gift card and Amazon gift card from other sons...might look into Flexitarian Table to see if I can find a steal on it at either place.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Val

                                          I really like Flexitarian Table, and think you might, too, Val. It's very in keeping with the way you seem to like to eat and cook.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            CM, if I didn't have a carnivorous son living with me, I *believe* I would be a vegetarian...but if I make ribs or something very red-meat for him, then I end up wanting some too! (very small portions of course LOL!) Yeah, Flex Table it is...so many great reviews of it in the COTM threads.

                                          2. re: Val

                                            Your Thai book wasn't by Robert Carmack and Sompon Nabnian, by any chance?

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              No, it's a paperback with no pictures (not a big deal to me) by Jennifer Kotylo...here it is...http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Thai...

                                              Now I can try the Green Papaya Salad that so many 'hounds rave over...none of our local Thai restaurants serve it...argh!!!...but in this one, I see she doesn't include the small dried shrimp or salted crab that I've seen as an ingredient on some good websites (the salted crab might be hard to find here anyway)...but I would love to try the salad. I 'd really like to TRY it somewhere to see if I love it before I go and make the entire dish but what the hey, I'm game!

                                              1. re: Val

                                                I just looked at the papaya salad recipe on Amazon and it's definitely different than the the way I learned to make it. I'm most surprised by the lack of sugar (traditionally, palm sugar), but, perhaps the tamarind concentrate has sugar in it? Also, I like it with peanuts. But, there's no reason you can't add more things in if you decide you want to, once you have the basic recipe down.

                                                But, I think there are many "authentic" recipes for papaya salad and, perhaps, there may not be one, universal right way. Kind of like chili in the U.S.--everyone makes it a little differently, and while most people would probably say chili has to include beans...beyond that, just about anything goes... You might say beans+ground meat+tomato base of some sort is the minimum combo, but then someone would jump in and say, not ground meat, cubed meat. Not tomato base because what about white chili? And what about vegetarian chili? And so on. Many variations are possible.

                                                Nevertheless, I hope you end up enjoying your book. As you say, having some Thai recipes is better than having none Thai recipes!

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Ha, TDQ, I hope no Texans see your post and jump on your chili example. (Chili doesn't have beans! Chili doesn't have tomato, the red comes from the chile powder! etc.) Of course, if one doesn't fall into that camp (and lord knows, I don't), yours is a quite valid comparison with regard to variation.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Ah, yes, I see according to this post in the vegetarian chili thread that a proper chili has no beans. That's going to make the vegetarian version problematic! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6765...

                                                    And speaking of recipes with a ton of variation, I think pad thai falls into that category as well, so, I think Val will be just fine with her new cookbook!

                                                    ~TDQ