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What were your last three cookbook purchases? - [Old]

John Folse's Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine- B&N had a great price and I have been considering it for awhile. His website had lots of recipes but....

A box of cookbooks all with "Lutheran" in the title at an auction for $2

Julia's Cooking with Master Chefs I was watching the series and she had a young, thinner Emeril-no Bam or his own brand of seasoning---also, Alice Waters,Lidia,Nancy Silverton and Jaques Pepin among others.

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  1. Andrews "Country Cooking of Ireland"
    Peterson's "Baking"
    Cora's "Classics with a Twist"

    ~TDQ

    21 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I think picawicca on this board had some concerns with errors in the Irish book. Have you found it so? Also, I have been looking at Peterson's Baking forever and I wonder how you like it.

      1. re: roxlet

        Ugh. I hope not. It hasn't arrived yet. :(

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Did you order from thegoodcook.com? Check the review of the Irish book on Amazon with picawicca's comments.

          1. re: roxlet

            Oh God, this conjured up the battle of the battered sausages. It was ugly, one of the worst cooking experiences ever.

            1. re: pikawicca

              Heh. Well, I'll avoid those sausages. I do now vaguely recall you mentioning this elsewhere on chowhound, too. Don't know how I missed your review on Amazon, though, I would have thought that would have jogged my memory before I clicked
              "purchase". Nevertheless, I kind of wanted to read the book as much as I wanted to cook from it. Have you tried anything else from the book?

              EDIT: PS, I'm always annoyed by people who post cookbook reviews on Amazon before they've actually cooked from it. Why do people think that's helpful to anyone?

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                And I hate when they give something one star because Amazon screwed something up, which, in my experience, is extremely rare!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Worse is when the buyer gives 1 star because he/she misread the description.

          2. re: roxlet

            I had Baking out of the library and wasn't impressed. You have The Art and Soul of Baking, you really don't need this. I wasn't crazy about Cooking either.

            1. re: buttertart

              Thanks buttertart. I have a couple of other of Peterson's book and find them fairly comprehensive, but again, I don't need to cover the same well-trodden ground!

              1. re: roxlet

                I read "Cooking" and Martha Stewart's "Cooking School" in tandem and found Martha's much better. As much as it pains me to admit that.

                1. re: buttertart

                  I have Martha's cooking school, which I got at Costco when it came out. Haven't really read it yet though...

            2. re: roxlet

              So...due to a fortuitous glitch, I've been able to swap out Country Cooking of Ireland and instead pick up Forgotten Skills of Cooking (which I previously checked out from the library and have read a fair amount of, but haven't cooked from yet).

              Of course, based on the discussion above, I'm a little worried about having chosen Peterson's "Baking." Nearly all of the "baking" books I have are dessert-focused and I picked up Peterson's because it was at a good price, was well-regarded by reviewers, and it seems broader than just desserts. I hope I haven't made a mistake on that one, too!

              We'll see what happens when I finally get my hands on all of these books and get to start cooking from them.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                It's not a bad book, it's rather basic and the ground has been covered as well or better elsewhere (The Art and Soul of Baking, MS Baking Handbook, etc.). It was one of ther books I left behind at the old address (snapped up by a neighbor in the blink of an eye, as was that stinker so-called "Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking" - I was around to warn said neighbor about its failings).

                1. re: buttertart

                  I don't have either of those two books, but will keep an eye out...

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: buttertart

                    What's wrong with MtAoCC? Candy just got it and I was looking at it at her house yesterday. I was about to order it.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Until buttertart can return to reply to you, here are her impressions of MtAoCC as she read through it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6624...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Thanks, TDQ. It's the only Chinese book I've let fall by the wayside ever I think. NOT impressed.

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I just looked at thegoodcook.com web site again, and I have decided not to join up for now. I really couldn't come up with 4-5 cookbooks I really, really wanted, and I didn't want to order just to order. I want the new Dorrie Greenspan, the new NY TImes compilation, and the Gourmet cookie book. They didn't have the NY TImes, and there weren't really three others I would want. I feel very mature.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Roxlet, that's pretty much how my experience with TGC goes, too. I often end up getting one book I don't really want/need to get a great price on a couple I do. (Of course, I also get a great price on the book I don't want. )

                      You can always give away the books you don't want, if you have the discipline (which I don't.)

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Yes, I thought about getting doubles and giving them for Christmas gifts. I've already begun buying little odds and bits that I see. I love giving lots of gifts, but I don't love paying a lot, so this could be a solution! Around My French Table for some, and the Gourmet Cookie book for others. It's a possibility!

              2. Authentic Mexican- Rick Bayless
                Plenty - Yotam Ottlogenghi
                Crust & Crumb - Peter Reinhart

                1 Reply
                1. re: smtucker

                  What have you made from Authentic Mexican? I have made a few of Rick Bayless's salsas, and I loved them!

                2. Noma, Modernist Cuisine and The Food and Cooking of Scandinavia.

                  Unfortunately they're all pre-orders so I'm still waiting for delivery.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wattacetti

                    Modernist Cuisine is now delayed to March next year

                  2. Arthur Schwartz's "Jewish Home Cooking..."
                    Bittman's "Food Matters"
                    Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food"

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Gio

                      If you haven't yet tried Schwartz's recipe for Split Pea Soup, put it on your "must-do" list. I use boneless short ribs for the meat, and I add frozen peas for texture just before serving.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        How did you know? I have a half bag of green spilt peas and a full bag of yellow peas sitting in my pantry waiting to be made into something delicious, and have been searching for the Perfect recipe. Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction and the ingredient suggestion!

                    2. Grace Young's Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge, Mary Laird Hamady's Lebanese Mountain Cookery Mary Laird Hamady, and Marilyn Tausend, Susanna Palazuelos's Mexico the Beautiful.

                      I thought Young's Breath of A Wok was much better. IMO, you only need BOAW. Mexico the Beautiful is fantastic. I have two Bayless books and their great, but I think I like MTB better by just a hair. Still waiting on my Amazon order the Mountain Cookery. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Joanne Chang's Flour Cookbook. That's definitely my next buy.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: jindomommy

                        I'm really eager for it too! I was at Flour recently and tried their homemade Oreo cookies, and they're incredible - I'm hoping their in the book because I really want to try making them at home.

                        1. re: onecaketwocake

                          Her pastries are just so satisfying. Not too rich or sweet. Textures spot on. I cannot wait. I thought her original release date was first week of September.

                        2. re: jindomommy

                          Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge and Breath of a Wok are my two most recent purchases. I read Breath of a Wok a year ago and have had it on my wish list for a while. It is a fantastic book, I agree, but I found Stir Frying to be more accessible. I never cooked anything from Breath of a Wok, but I immediately starting cooking from Stir Frying. I have two small children so I only have so much time and energy (physical and mental) to plan and make dinner, and Stir Frying has so many simple dishes that include both meat and veg, that it is really easy to cook from. And all the pictures help in deciding what to make for dinner too.

                          1. re: sarahcooks

                            It's a beautiful book - what have you made and liked?

                            1. re: buttertart

                              We liked both the Hoisin Explosion Chicken and the Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli. Not the most innovative or exciting dishes in there, but just simple every day food. The beef and broccoli was really good mixed with thin chinese noodles. Both recipes made me realize I could use my wok to cook quick meals (sometimes there is so much prep work and steps it doesn't seem so quick). It is also really elementary, but her specific instructions for cutting the flank steak were so helpful and with an afternoon spent in the marinade it was so tender and juicy. I used to fear beef in stir fries because so often it is tough, but not anymore!

                              I also made the kung pao chicken but it turned out pretty bland because at the last minute I couldn't find my dried peppers anywhere, and the szechuan peppercorns were numbing but not hot, so I intend to try again with the necessary ingredients. The Macanese stir fry with coconut milk and chorizo was very strange. I usually like interesting and strong flavors, but all I could taste was the chorizo. I suppose a lot depends on what brand of chorizo you get, but it isn't one I'd try again.

                              Just the fact I've actually cooked four recipes from it so far is a huge thumbs up from me, I tend to read cookbooks more than actually cook from them :)

                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                You and me both. Her recipe writing and instructions are very good, I've noticed. Maybe I'll do something from it tonight.

                            2. re: sarahcooks

                              I liked Breath of a Wok because it really broke down Chinese cooking technique. Also my grandfather was a Chinese chef and he died when I was very little. When he died, we lost many of the recipes. I was shocked to see the oyster sauce chicken (where they fry it first) because that is truly a "peasant" dish and I think very regional. I have bought so many Chinese cookbooks. I'm a pretty good cook and people used to assume I could cook Chinese and I would sheepishly say that I couldn't because no one really taught me and it is difficult. After Young's book, my Chinese food greatly improved. I liked the oyster chicken dish, the lo mein, ginger beef. My problem with Sky's edge is that a lot of it is fusion and that's not what I'm looking for. I want to replicate a lot of my family's lost dishes. BOAW was a revelation.

                            3. re: jindomommy

                              "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge" is one of my recent purchases, too, and I'm really enjoying it. I've also got "Breath of a Wok" and I'd be hard pressed to give the edge to one over the other because I think they're so different. What I love about "Breath..." is that it's a book to curl up with. I like the stir fry book because it's got so many Cantonese dishes that remind me of my childhood in Brooklyn.