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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.

                            4. Ad Hoc at Home (very recent, not used yet)
                              Vefa's Kitchen (the bible of Greek cooking with thoughtful fabric bookmarks attached)

                              I went a while without purchasing any; two is all I have!

                              1. Bread Baker's Apprentice, Ratio, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking, (I immediately regretted that last one-- it totally deserved that unhealthiest cookbook award it won.) I just bought a scale and am starting to play with Ratio. 2:3 egg:flour came out a little wet for pasta, but hopefully some of the others will work out.

                                19 Replies
                                1. re: jvanderh

                                  Slightly OT but I'm curious as to what exactly you were expecting from a cookbook that details French technique and recipes which were current in the 1950s. Besides, I wouldn't knock it until you cook a couple of things from it.

                                  1. re: jvanderh

                                    1. Nobody thought fat was bad then so why wouldn't you use a little!
                                    2. Ideas about what is healthy is in a state of flux depending on what study you want to read and you have to consider what your body is like.
                                    3. Julia Child lived to be 91 and a(died 2 days before her 92nd birthday) and most key was active until the end.

                                    1. re: wekick

                                      i actually saw an interview she did for a small boston tv station, when asked what her diet consisted of her answer was... " red meat and gin". god love her.

                                      1. re: hyde

                                        Apparently she said her favorite wine was gin too.

                                    2. re: jvanderh

                                      Jvanderh, I am curious also as to why Mastering the Art of French cooking seemed more unhealthy than other books on French cuisine. are you thinking of a particular recipe?

                                      1. re: cassoulady

                                        I haven't read any other books on French cuisine. I bought it without doing any research, which was stupid. I spent a couple of hours reading it, and couldn't find anything I wanted to make. I don't follow any sort of strict eating plan, but I don't think anyone considers that much butter to be healthy. And while she may have lived to 91, she sure as heck couldn't have pulled off skinny jeans. I agree with her stance on red meat, but I could take or leave gin. . . .

                                        1. re: jvanderh

                                          Why would anyone over the age of 25 want to wear skinny jeans anyway? Being thin enough to really look good in them is unhealthy. :-O

                                          If you don't care for her style of recipe writing, or her recipes, that's another story, but MTA is a classic cookbook, with lots of great reference material. It is not,, however, a "cozy read."

                                      2. re: jvanderh

                                        The Bread Baker's Apprentice will turn you into a bread snob. We made all but 5 breads in the book (I am not a fan of bread with dried fruit - ACK! - and now we go out to eat and barely if ever touch the bread. SO I guess that is good in a way... ;-)

                                        1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                          I haven't quite figured out a bread routine. I really prefer sourdough to yeast bread, but I can't bring myself to feed and discard a starter, and don't always bake every week. I don't feel comfortable doing anything I don't understand, and the starters seem to require a lot of voodoo (add two grapes and an apricot, wait three days, twelve hours, and five minutes, and then spin it around your head four times while saying the pledge of allegiance backward, etc). I've done the flour and water and leave it out for a few days, which makes a nice sourdough, but doesn't seem to be able to survive weeks of not being fed. I'm sort of stuck with the whole thing. What's your starter situation?

                                          1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                            I'm so intimidated when it comes to bread baking. I've got a Zojirushi bread maker that I bought used about two years ago, and I bought The Bread Bakers Apprentice at the same time. Both have been untouched. Okay -- now that we're just days away from autumn, I WILL dive in!

                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              Maybe we can be bread buddies? :-)

                                              1. re: jvanderh

                                                You too, eh? I think one of the things that's kept me away is the precision -- and the intuition -- that seems to be a requirement for success.

                                              2. re: CindyJ

                                                Try the no-knead 2.0 bread from Cook's Illustrated...unless you have hairtrigger smoke alarms like I do, you will be rewarded with the best possible bread for virtually no effort. It's as good as any of the fancy recipes I've tried (and better than most).

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  I actually just tried the no-knead thing for the first time a few weeks ago. I made the original Lahey one and the whole wheat version of the CI one. (I have an extremely sensitive smoke alarm, and took the battery out years ago. Terrible, I know). They both seemed very promising, although I'd still like to do a sourdough instead of a yeast bread. I think some people have done that with success, but I'm still pretty starter-clueless.

                                                  1. re: jvanderh

                                                    These go off even without the battery. They are evil!

                                                    1. re: jvanderh

                                                      King Arthur sells a reliable starter (I am a total novice) that I've kept alive for six months, now, and made decent bread with every couple of weeks since getting...there are lots of modifications to "No Knead" using sourdough, out there on the internet.

                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                      Is that the same as the Bittman/Sullivan St. Bakery no-knead recipe? I've set a boomark for his video on that technique. I even bought a small LC pot that I thought I'd use for making no-knead bread; so far, it hasn't been used for that purpose.

                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        Basically, with the addition of a tb of vinegar and 1/4 of beer (which last I didn't use).

                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                        Yeast and starters can be intimidating. It's completely different from baking desserts, but I love it. I love the Fresh Loaf website. There are a lot of websites out there that will help guide you. Lots of no knead stuff. Personally, I love kneading the dough and feeling how "alive" it is.

                                                2. Momofuku, Reichlen's "Ribs, Ribs, Ribs" and the "How to Cook Everything" iphone app.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: sweetpotater

                                                    I'm lovin' this post; I haven't even gotten through it and I've already got three books on hold at my local library. (That's what I usually do -- borrow it from the library, and if I like it, and use it, I'll buy it.)

                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                      I would do that more often if our library system carried more cookbooks. They're on a small budget and just don't get a lot of them. I could ask for an ILL - inter-library loan - but the book has to be at least 6 months old to be lent - so - I read reviews and try to make as good a decision as I can about a new cookbook; right now I do have a couple of duds. Still waiting to hear if we can have the book-swap thing on here, from the mods....

                                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                                        My library doesn't get EVERY cookbook, but I'd say they've got (or have ordered) 90% of what I've requested.

                                                  2. I already own so many cookbooks, and get sent new ones by publishers, so the ones I buy tend to be older ones I find in second hand stores or bargain bins. So my last three I bought are:
                                                    Things Cooks Love by Marie Simmons / Sur La Table
                                                    Butter sugar flour eggs by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Julia Moskin
                                                    Robert Carrier's Great Dishes of the World - I'm not sure I will ever cook from this but it was one of the few I didn't own in the recently published The Observer's Top 10 Cookbooks of All Time list.

                                                    1. Schact, Farmers' Market Desserts
                                                      Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
                                                      Keller, Ad Hoc at Home

                                                      1. Ready For Dessert, Modern Baker and Perfect Cakes. I can't resist those baking books! Or any others, for that matter!

                                                        1. Classic Italian Cookbook - Hazan
                                                          Catalan Cuisine - Andrews
                                                          Jamie Does... - Oliver

                                                          1. A Cook's Journey to Japan
                                                            The Food Matters Cookbook
                                                            Around My French Table

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                              Uh Oh... "The Food Matters Cookbook"? I missed that when I ordered "Food Matters."
                                                              Must have. Love FM!

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Yes, I've read FM, last summer I think, but I didn't know there was a companion cookbook. Must. Investigate. Have you cooked from it yet, pika? (Any sausage-like disasters lurking therein?).

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  It's just been published, and I haven't really had much of a chance to look through it.

                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                    Just ordered it. Can't wait to get it. Thanks Pika... I think.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      The Food Matters Cookbook arrived yesterday! That's amazing for Amazon.. 3 days for regular ground shipping. I really haven't had much of a chance to read it but after scanning it briefly I really think I'm going to like this cookbook. It's dedicated to using more vegetables and whole grains than meat... meat is used as a seasoning, rather than the focus ingredient. This is what we've tried to do all Summer long...

                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    Made the Chickpea and Mango Salad with Cashew Chutney for lunch on Tuesday -- excellent and different.

                                                              2. I picked up 6 yesterday at a fundraising rummage sale including Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book which looks promising.

                                                                Paula Wolfert's World of Food (yet to arrive)

                                                                Fiesta At Rick's - Bayless (which looks fabulous and makes me hungry every time I see it!!)

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                  A word of warning about Fiesta at Rick's: Chowhound poster DiningDiva, who has cooked extensively from Bayless's other books, has posted that she has had less success with this new one, suggesting there was lack of testing and errors.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    "...lack of testing and errors." Boy, doesn't that make you wanna scream in somebody's face!? Though I am happy with "Mexico One Plate at a Time".

                                                                    I just ordered "The Barefoot Contessa", hoping it might become Cookbook of the Month here @ Chowhound Home Cooking. Recently acquired one of the old TIME-LIFE books "The Cooking of Spain and Portugal."

                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                      Thanks for the heads up w/r/t FIesta Caitlin, I completely agree w blue room, very frustrating if recipes are error prone. What a shame if that's the case. I too have cooked extensively from Rick's prior books and I just love his food. It always amazes me how such big flavours can come out of so few ingredients. I'll definitely post reviews of recipes I try from Fiesta.

                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        Here's a link to a thread in which most of the dishes in Fiesta's at Rick have been prepared and discussed, complete with photos.

                                                                        http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...

                                                                        It's a nice book with great tips for planning a party, especially for bigger volume production, and even provides music selections and time tables. It is not, howver, one of his better books. Plus he's in every picture on every page.

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          Thanks so much DD, that's amazing! I really appreciate the link.

                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      I have both Bayless books MOPAAT and Authentic Mexican. I looked through Fiesta at Ricks and didn't really care for it. Not at all like the his other two books. Didn't feel that my knowledge of Mexican cooking really required owning Fiesta. The other two books were must haves.

                                                                  2. The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg - Not EXACTLY a cook book - but...
                                                                    Momofuku by David Chang
                                                                    Live to Cook by Michael Symon

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                                                      Have you cooked from the Symon book yet? I'm very curious about it.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        Yes only a few recipes. We love that is has entire chapters dedicated to the finer things we take for granted like pickles and charcuterie. The sweet corn wild mushroom soup was AWESOME and OMG the power of the pierogi! Being Polish I am all about then I don't care who makes them! I would say it was well worth it.

                                                                        1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                                                          Oh, wow! It does sound like I need to get my hands on that book.

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                                                            Oooh, pirogi! One of my favorite restaurants in the universe is Cafe Gletchek (sp) in Brighton Beach, NY....their specialty is pirogi and borscht. All different kinds. Slobber slobber.

                                                                            1. re: BodaciousGirl

                                                                              Was the pierogi the beef cheeks one? I had it at Lola a couple of weeks ago and it was out of this world. Easily one of the best things I've eaten in quite a while.

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                According to EYB, the piorogi recipe in LTC is Beef cheek pierogies with wild mushrooms and horseradish. I'm glad it was as delicious as it sounds at the restaurant!

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                        2. River Road Recipes II
                                                                          Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine (same as OP)
                                                                          The Flavor Bible

                                                                          The first two were recommended to me by a colleague on my last trip to New Orleans. Good grief, is that Folse book a monster. HIGHLY recommended, if you have any interest in that type of cooking.

                                                                          I've got two (Batali's Italian Grill and ATK Cook's Country) in the mail, so they don't count.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: BigE

                                                                            My sister and I always make the banana bread on pg 58 of RRR II. Nothing really different about it but it is really good. Thanks Mrs Barth!

                                                                          2. Looking through my Amazon orders:
                                                                            "My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages and Frozen Treats"
                                                                            "Turkish Bakery Delight" (might be going back)
                                                                            "Lost Desserts: Deiicious Indulgences of the Past Recipes from Legendary and Famous Chefs"

                                                                            Oh, I also ordered Canal House Cooking No. 4.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: emily

                                                                              Oh, thanks for reminding me I need to get CHC #4. This topic is a bad influence.

                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                I bought the first one this summer - just love it.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  I regret not buying it at Kitchen Arts and Letters last year. Pretty hard to get hold of over here.

                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                    Email me if you want me to send any of them to you.

                                                                                  2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                    I got a subscription of the first three for my husband for Christmas, but have not seen the fourth. Glad to hear it is good as well!

                                                                              2. "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon
                                                                                "The Veselka Cookbook" (I don't get to NYC often enough to satisfy my borscht craving!)
                                                                                "Well Aged: Dining With Dignity" by Ginny Gordon Walters

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                  I just bought PLENTY by Y. Ottolenghi, a book I've been longing for after wearing his first book out. I also bought Rose Prince's NEW ENGLISH KITCHEN on the basis of seeking a video of ONE of her recipes. It was a white bean soup with a sort of butter salad with tomatoes and lettuce on top..fabuloso.

                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                    I also recently got "Nourishing Traditions"....excellent and a revelation.

                                                                                    Also, Jessica Prentice's "Full Moon Feast" (Still have not cooked from it though).

                                                                                  2. I *just* bought Ad Hoc At Home, Peterson's Baking, and How to Cook a Lamb.

                                                                                    1. "The Sushi Experience" by Hiroko Shimbo
                                                                                      "The Complete Asian Cookbook" by Charmaine Solomon
                                                                                      Chef Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen"

                                                                                      And I must add that all were solely because of Chowhound recommendations.

                                                                                      1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
                                                                                        Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
                                                                                        the new Rick Bayless - Fiesta at Rick's, I think -

                                                                                        1. Seasonal Spanish Cooking - Jose Pisarro
                                                                                          The Big Book of Noodles - Vatcharin Bhumichitr
                                                                                          Keep it Simple by Alistair Little
                                                                                          Far Eastern Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

                                                                                          These last two were picked up second hand at the same time, which is why there are four in my list!

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                            That Far Eastern Cooking is very nice, I got a UK-published one here cheap (at the Strand).

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              Mine was an ancient BBC edition for a couple of quid. I'm not sure it's even in print any more to be honest. The only thing is it does need updating because a lot of the ingredients she says are hard to get hold of aren't any more.

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                White cover? probably same one. She has a new book coming out in the US in Oct. by the way...http://www.amazon.com/Home-Madhur-Jaf... maybe you have it there already?

                                                                                          2. Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen. Read about it in the NY Times and just HAD to have it, but haven't cooked anything from it yet.

                                                                                            And, I'll assume that requesting something as a present counts, so....

                                                                                            Molly Steven's All About Braising
                                                                                            Elizabeth David's Classics

                                                                                            1. Cooking with Exotic Fruits and Vegetables by Jane Grigson, my favorite cookery writer ever...Lenotre's Desserts and Pastries by Gaston Lenotre (at souschef's suggestion)...the Time-Life Picture Cookbook, seemingly a large-format compendium of their Foods of the World series recipes, mentioned here by a poster. Each around $7.00 incl shipping from ABEbooks.
                                                                                              The Grigson is charming, there's a long note from the original owner (or her husband) on the first page about it having been bought on the street in NYC when they were at an anesthesiologists' convention in 1987 - the tenor makes me think it was written by the husband after the wife died. Very sweet.
                                                                                              And the two I ordered from Good Cooks Club that it's freaking killing me are in bookstores but not shipping from them yet, the Malgieri "Bake!" and the Greenspan "Around my French Table". I emailed them and was gently chided in return, being reminded I ordered them pre-pub and they would ship asap...not asap enough!)

                                                                                              38 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                Buttertart, I have the same frustration about those same books that I preordered on TGC. I got a great deal on them, but it irritates me they aren't shipping them right away!

                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                  I was whining about it on another thread and nomadchowwoman told me to knock it off...;-)

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Not I, BT--I'm in complete agreement w/you on that issue, afflicted as I am by both cookbook addiction and impatience!

                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    TGC emailed to sat Malgieri shipped (but not Greenspan, sigh).

                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      Nope, Greenspan will not ship until Oct 8 per TGC. :(.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        The first print run must have been snatched up -- I got my copy a couple of weeks ago.

                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                          Through TGC? Because I preordered mine from them yonks ago.

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            They also have the new Medrich cookie book as well as the upcoming Madher Joffery. That plus the NY TImes, the Gourmet cookie book and the Greenspan makes 4 I think I want. Still haven't pressed the button yet. Has anyone heard anything about the new Joffrey?

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              That's a great ensemble! (Or, I imagine it to be since I haven't actually seen any of those books yet...)

                                                                                                              The new Jaffrey book per PW: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by...

                                                                                                              Sneak peek http://cooking.knopfdoubleday.com/201...

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                Maybe I'll get the Medrich to over and out the membership. I'm awaiting the Jaffrey through TGC too.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Get the Medrich so we can cook from it together! :).

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I may have to do the same WRT the Medrich.

                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                    I'm exhausted from my baking fiesta this weekend!

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      Fair enough! Well, let us know how it reads.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        Turning off computer to have a shuftie.

                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                  My copy of Greenspan arrived while I was in Guatemala. Not sure when it shipped, but it was in my package room waiting for me yesterday. Barely had a chance to look at it yet.

                                                                                                                  Also new: Pig by James Villas and Lobster at Home by Jasper White (thanks, Rubee).

                                                                                                                  Still pretty new: Ad Hoc at Home and, because I finally found it at a good price and I wanted the book, not just the dozen or so recipes I'd culled from various sources, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    I love RCC even more than Land of Plenty. Hunan food is wonderful.

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      I know many do, hard as that is for me to believe. Really looking forward to deciding for myself.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        buttertart and joann: I truly love the 2 Dunlop books. They are among my top 5 favorite cookbooks we've chosen...also near the top of the list for fave cookbooks anywhere, anytime. Thanks for reminding me!

                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                          I just rec'd LoP and LOVE it, I ran out of sticky notes flagging recipes! Sounds like RCC is going to be a "must order" now!

                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                            What amazes me about them is how simple the recipes are and how spot-on authentic the results are. There's a term in Chinese: zhen wei - the real taste - and her recipes deliver just that. It's as close to China as you're liable to get in your own kitchen.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Since I've started cooking from these books, I groan whenever someone says they want to go out for Chinese food. Unless we're going to Flushing or a small handful of restaurants in Chinatown, fuggedaboutit. I'd rather stay home and cook, thank you very much.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                I'm with you on that one. People sometimes want to order in at my office and I always beg off. It's a crying shame people think the stuff served in most Chinese restaurants is Chinese food.
                                                                                                                                Did you read her memoir? Very enjoyable. I hope the interest she shows in the last part means there might be a book on Huaiyang cuisine in the works - that would be heaven.

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  Yes, I did read her memoir. But I got the impression, don't recall where, her Web site, maybe? that she was pretty burned out and that we shouldn't be looking for a new book any time soon if at all.

                                                                                                                                  I was out of the country most of the month, ordered The New Book of Middle Eastern Food from the library as soon as I got back, and went to pick it up today. But I've been totally sidetracked by The Breath of a Wok, which I'd never seen before but was reminded of by this thread. I've just begun reading it but am charmed already. Haven't even looked at the recipes yet.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                    The new one is very good too (Stirfrying to the Sky's Edge). Am particularly taken by the vegetable recipes.

                                                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                  Regarding JOANN's lament about lack of Chinese food in Manhattan proper - this is probably too late for an answer, but what about Joe's Shanghai? We have a friend who lives on lower Broadway and first had food from there when he ordered it. It was great. Of course that was about 4 years ago.

                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I ordered the new Malgieri from B&N and received it a week ago!

                                                                                                                    1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                      Malgieri's books are great. The books that really taught me about baking were Malgieri's and Maida Heatter. Dessert classics.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jindomommy

                                                                                                                        Maida Heatter doesn't seem to get the attention she richly deserves any more. It's a shame. GREAT!!! baking books!!! BRILLIANT recipes!!! DELICIOUS results.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            The thing about the new pastry books is that they assume that you are at an intermediate level. Maida took me through the basics. Her stuff doesn't have the fanciest presentation (some do), but the flavor is phenomenal. I'm a pretty good baker now and I tell everyone that everything I needed to know, I learned from her. I'm in Florida and she lives somewhere around me. I want to find her and give her a hug.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jindomommy

                                                                                                                              If you do, give her one for me, too. I love those books.
                                                                                                                              Maida Heatter strikes me as being very precise and accurate without being fussy or pedantic. Nicely done.
                                                                                                                              I find the cheffy pastry books assume quite a bit but (here we go again) Nick Malgieri's books are as easy to learn from as Maida Heatter's because he is very methodical as well. The new one, "Bake!", is a gem.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jindomommy

                                                                                                                                Please give her one for me, too! It wouldn't be Purim without her Hamantaschen!

                                                                                                                                My latest purchases:
                                                                                                                                "Spoon Fed" by Kim Severson (some great recipes in there, even tho it's not strictly a cookbook
                                                                                                                                "Food, Sake, Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto
                                                                                                                                "My New Orleans" by John Besh

                                                                                                                                Definitely will be picking up Nick Malgieri's new one.

                                                                                                                      2. I recently found a pristine copy of the "Tam-Tov Cookbook" from the Temple of Aaron (my family congregation in St. Paul, MN.) online, and paid 40 bucks for it. I think my orignal ran me around 3.50, but that one's totally worth it to me just to have all Grandma's recipes together and bound, and all the great baking recipes. I also replaced my copy of "River Road Recipes", and bought a used copy of The Taste of Country Cooking (Edna Lewis) because mine was abused and battered and hurting.

                                                                                                                        1. Most recently was the America's Test Kitchen current 2010 cookbook, mostly because it includes all ten years of the recipes they've covered on their show. I've been shedding cookbooks wildly the past few years in an attempt to declutter, so I usually only invest in books that I know will be winners.

                                                                                                                          I bought The New Making of a Cook by Madeleine Kamman, which I highly recommend. The techniques are all very well explained.

                                                                                                                          And "The Silver Spoon", basically the Italian Joy of Cooking. I'm disappointed in this one. There are a million recipes, they're all very light on detail, and there aren't enough photos. I just don't find it inspirational.

                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: electricfish

                                                                                                                            I'm with you on the Silver Spoon, I was so excited to add this to my collection and it was so uncharacteristic of me to stash it away on the bookshelf after only 2 days because it just didn't hold my interest. I can read a cookbook like a novel if the author just throw's me a small bone of info...background on the origin of the recipe, where or when they first tried the dish...heck, just tell me its good w wine and you've hooked me!!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: electricfish

                                                                                                                              I have the silver spoon cookbook too, and have to agree that it seems extremely dull.

                                                                                                                              1. re: electricfish

                                                                                                                                I received the Silver Spoon as an incentive during a NPR pledge drive. I really just can't fall in love with it, and I have tried.

                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                  The only one of those Phaidon encyclopedic ones I like is Vefa's Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                2. re: electricfish

                                                                                                                                  Madeliene Kamman is another one of the lesser-sung greats.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
                                                                                                                                    Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution
                                                                                                                                    Rick Bayless Fiesta

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      I have her big The Making of a Cook, I think it's called, and I have never used it. I remember her show on PBS quite a few years ago, that I really enjoyed, and that is why I got the book. But I'm beginning to think that these huge books are, in general, a waste of space. It's so hard to really get to know them and to use them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        That Kamman PBS show (80's?) was fantastic. Would be great to have on DVD.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                          I have her first version of The Making of a Cook which is held together with a rubber band. I can't get into the second either.

                                                                                                                                    2. If we buy more books, do we repost? ::such an addict::

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                        Ha. I know. I just bought Copeland Marks' "The Exotic Kitchens of Peru".

                                                                                                                                      2. Barbara Lynch's STIR, from which I've made a couple of things, her Bolognese with chicken livers, which I liked, but I wouldn't make it with chicken livers again; also, reading about cannellini as a bed for a beautifully seared piece of white fish made me want to cook beans, which has been a lot of fun.

                                                                                                                                        AD HOC AT HOME, by Thomas Keller, which I borrowed from the library, liked, and ordered. I haven't broken the plastic on it yet, so I don't know if it's going to be a book I'll cook from. I know how to make enough different things that I don't _need_ to read cookbooks, but I enjoy reading them, even if I don't make anything from them.

                                                                                                                                        And Mark Bittman's FISH, which is okay, but not really necessary if you have HTCE. I've been baking a lot of fish, not really following recipes, though I got the idea from one of Marcella's more recent books (MARCELLA SAYS, I think) to roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic in a baking pan, then adding fish filet(s) for the last 7-10 minutes of cooking. So, so good.

                                                                                                                                        But actually, I've been roasting fish without the potatoes, and serving it with cannellini, EVOO, garlic, p-r, and basil. Such a good dinner.

                                                                                                                                        Marcella always comes through for me. From her, I got the idea years ago to decide what I want to make when I get to the store, as opposed to shopping with a list, some ingredients on which may not be in the store.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                          the squash with cream and sage from Stir is fantastic

                                                                                                                                        2. Desserts by the Yard,
                                                                                                                                          Bread Bakers Apprentice, and
                                                                                                                                          on a whim and because it was $5 and covered restaurants all over Canada and the US:
                                                                                                                                          Killer Pies: Delicious Recipes from North America’s Favorite Restaurants

                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                            maplesugar: I'd love to hear your review of Desserts by the Yard. I found the book fascinating reading, but many of the recipes were just too complicated, e.g., a dessert she made for the official dinner after/before/ the Oscar telecast.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                              Truth be told, Desserts by the Yard is lovely, and being I haven't spend much time in NYC I find her recipes and instructions a treasure trove...but like you said a lot of the recipes are complicated. Until I get a free couple of hours in the kitchen (sans my three chowpups) it's just a pretty addition to the bookshelf.

                                                                                                                                              I promise, if, no, make that when I get to baking from it (starting with the less complicated goodies) I'll start a thread. The weather has turned cool rather quickly here (and it's been raining for what seems like a week) so the Gingersnap Toaster Oven Tarts with Peach filling are first on the list.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                Wow, I just peeked at Killer Pies on Amazon and I see there's a sour cream raisin pie from Lange's in Pipestone, MN, which is a tiny town in the Southeastern corner of MN. They really got to some out of the way places for this book. Funnily enough, it's not the only Sour Cream Raisin pie in the book. Are the two recipes very different?

                                                                                                                                                Have you tried any pies out of it yet?

                                                                                                                                                The Gingersnap Toaster Oven Tarts sound delicious! I can't wait to hear how they turn out.

                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                  No unfortunately I haven't baked from Killer Pies yet. Heh it's starting to sound like I've done zero baking lately but I've been sticking to back to school type goodies like Morning Glory Muffin Bars, Blueberry Muffins and the like.

                                                                                                                                                  As to the Sour Cream Raisin Pie recipes - yes they're very different. The version from Lynden Dutch Bakery(Washington) belongs on the "Dirty recipes" thread - the filling involves vanilla pudding mix(?!), sour cream and cream cheese mixed with the raisins, and spices and the topping is heavy cream/canned whipped cream. The Lange's version(Minnesota) is straight from scratch - the fillings consists of raisins, cornstarch egg yolks, brown sugar and sour cream, then topped with meringue. I didn't grow up with Sour Cream Raisin Pie but I expect the later is the more authentic :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                    Raisin pie - straight raisins - was my great-uncle's (1895-1978) favourite. It was fairly common in SW Ont in the olden days.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      Wait, what do you mean straight raisins? Meaning, a filling primarily of raisins? I've never heard of such a thing.

                                                                                                                                                      EDIT--huh, raisin pie http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1832,...

                                                                                                                                                      Maplesugar, thank you for looking htat up. That does belong in the dirty recipes thread! Funny that that is a restaurant recipe. Funnily enough, as I was reading the ingredients of the Washington version off to my husband, he said, "Sour Cream Raisin Pie is supposed to have meringue on top." I guess he's really from Minnesota. ;-). Actually, I'd never heard of s.c.r.p. until I'd moved to MN, but my husband tells me it's a good pie to make "when nothing is in season."

                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                        Yup, just raisins. He loved it. Dried fruit was big back when.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                  Desserts by the Yard is good. Not all recipes are difficult, just her versions of some classics. Some have become staples in my house (cornbread, pancakes, cheesecake flan, pumpkin torte, choc chip cookies, brownies, Siam parfaits, et al). I've pretty much stayed away from the tougher "Oscar" night-type recipes in the last chapter and her many ice cream/sorbets (as I don't have an ice cream maker). There's been a couple misses, like Mango upside-down cake, mini-cheesecakes, etc, but overall most are hits.

                                                                                                                                            2. I had a very lucky "cookbook shopping" weekend!

                                                                                                                                              My local bookshop had Rick Tramonto's FANTASTICO! on sale for $12.99 I read through the first 3 chapters last night and just love this book already. Lots of back stories, wine suggestions, lovely photographs and interesting recipes. I can't wait to try the "sauteed drunken wild mushrooms"!

                                                                                                                                              Then at a rummage sale, I scored these two books:

                                                                                                                                              THE MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK a little beaten up but for 50 cents, I can live with that! This has been on my wish list for a while as its not a book that tends to go on sale. I've already tabbed 6 recipes for my "to try" list.

                                                                                                                                              Then, for the bargain basement price of $1 I got THE BIG BOOK OF OUTDOOR COOKING AND ENTERTAINING by Cheryl and Bill Jamison in like-new condition. A quick skim through was promising, it looks like there are some great recipes in this one.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                Ah that MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK must be among the FIRST three cookbooks I ever bought. Since you like shrooms, I highly recommend the Hungarian Mushroom Soup.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                  mmmm, I just looked it up clamscasino and it sounds terrific! I wouldn't have thought of adding the dill so really look forward to trying it. We've been so fortunate to have a mushroom farmer join our local farmer's market this year so I've been in mushroom heaven!! I'm trying to convince him to grow porcinis.

                                                                                                                                                  As for this book, as I look through the recipes, I'm really surprised I didn't own it sooner. It makes me want to go to Ithaca and dine there. I'll have to check out their website. Thanks for the tip on the soup, I'll definitely make it.

                                                                                                                                              2. I just want to put a word in for the David Lebovitz "Ready for Dessert" I got a few weeks ago - this is a great book. I read through the cake chapter and there are only 2 recipes that I wouldn't make immediately - and that only because himself doesn't like coconut or bananas.

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  Himself here doesn't like bananas either. Doesn't like would be mild. Thinks are nauseating would be more like it. Loves coconut, though.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    I'll second on "Ready for Dessert". It has wonderful desserts, beautiful photos. For people who have come recently to his books, this is a good one to get as it's a "best of" his dessert recipes and his early books are now out of print.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                      I hadn't bought anything of his until The Sweet Life which is quite fun (and I love the absinthe cake with pistachios from it) so this is a nice item to have.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Another super thing about it is that measurements are given in all 3 systems - cups etc, metric, and US. All baking books should be like this.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                        and for people who worship Room For Dessert, and have The Perfect Scoop and The Sweet Life...? I paged through it and figured there was a lot of duplication. I don't bake that often...but I love Lebovitz.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                          I think I read that there are a dozen or so new recipes, and the rest are taken from his previous books - but, of course, Room for Dessert and Ready for Dessert are out of print. I have Ripe for Dessert and The Perfect Scoop, and figure Ready for Dessert is some time in my future, but right now isn't on the highest priority list.

                                                                                                                                                          For anyone interested, the second review down on the Amazon page for Ready for Desserts lists all the recipes in the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580...

                                                                                                                                                    2. Oh, god, is this dangerous. I buy cookbooks the way Imelda Marcos bought shoes. Here goes, I have recently purchased...

                                                                                                                                                      Ad Hoc - have cooked from it and like it
                                                                                                                                                      Dulce: Desserts in the Latin American Tradition - Joseluis Flores - have cooked from it, like it
                                                                                                                                                      Fiestas at Rick's - have cooked from it, not impressed, not his best effort
                                                                                                                                                      Oaxaca al Gusto, English edition - Diana Kennedy, pending delivery
                                                                                                                                                      Around my French Table - Dorie Greenspan - pending delivery
                                                                                                                                                      My Sweet Mexico - Fany Gerson - pending delivery

                                                                                                                                                      And I just downloaded "In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite" by Melissa Clark onto my Kindle yesterday. First cookbook download. No, I do not have an addiction to cookbooks...

                                                                                                                                                      66 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, wow! I'm anxiously awaiting your opinion of the new Diana Kennedy. I haven't ordered mine yet, but I most certainly will. (No, I don't have a cookbook addiction, either... Although, based on that thread which books have you bought and shouldn't, I have decided to dump 5 of my books...)

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                          I have Oaxaca al Gusto in Spanish and it is a pretty amazing book, especially when you stop to consider she also provided many of the photographs as well and they are darn good. My reading in Spanish is so-so, some days I'm better at it than others so I am anxious to see how the English version stacks up. I've heard it's pretty close, that the editing is a little tighter. This is probably her last book and it is really a tour de force of the cooking of Oaxaca. I have no hesitation at all recommending this book to anyone. No, you won't be able to cook some of the recipes from it because the ingredients are simply not available in the U.S. But, as an anthoropological study of what people eat, why and how they cook it, Diana hits a home run with this one.

                                                                                                                                                          We did a whole house remodel last year (summer 2009) at which time I dumped about 300 cookbooks on our local library and the Goodwill. I probably have somewhere between 200-250 remaining, the vast majority of which are related to Mexican cooking and cuisine in both English and Spanish. My non-Mexican purchases have been limited to books like Ad Hoc and Around my French Table. I'm hoping more first releases become available in Kindle format. It'll make my life so much easier.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                            Oh, that is fantastic. I am hoping to hear her speak when she comes into town, and I cannot wait. I, of course, will be buying the book. As you say, it will likely be her last. She's been working on it for more than a decade...

                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                              My copy was waiting for me when I got home. If I thought it was good in Spanish, all I can say about the English version is run...do NOT walk...to the nearest source and get this book. It is even more amazing in English ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              By all means hear her speak, she is quite entertaining and loves to tell stories about her life.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                DD you are a very, very bad influence!!! My cookbook addiction is out of control and you are NOT helping!!! I love Mexican food/cooking/culture and have, to-date, primarily relied on Rick's B's books for my recipes. You've now convinced me beyond a doubt that I must have Oaxaca al Gusto....I'm definitely afraid to ask this but....anything else?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  You're right, you probably shouldn't ask ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  The Art of Mexican Cooking - Diana Kennedy
                                                                                                                                                                  The Cuisines of Mexico - Diana Kennedy
                                                                                                                                                                  The Tortilla Book - Diana Kennedy (may be out of print)
                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Cooking - Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz
                                                                                                                                                                  Veracruz - Zarela Martinez
                                                                                                                                                                  Mexico the Beautiful - Marilyn Tausend (coffeetable book, recipes are solid)
                                                                                                                                                                  Feast of the Water Gods - Patricia Quintana
                                                                                                                                                                  1001 Mexican Recipes - Marge Poore (bad title, good book)
                                                                                                                                                                  Seasons of My Heart - Susana Trilling

                                                                                                                                                                  Most of these are probably all still in print and available via Amazon. The recipes in these books are good; they work and will give you good to very good results...of in the case of the DK books, outstanding results. If you speak or read Spanish this list expands dramatically. If you don't own RBs "Salsas that Cook" it's worth the investment and is small so it doesn't take up much shelf space ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  This interview with DK is right on - http://www.austin360.com/food-drink/a...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh no!! I'm going to have to join a self-help group or something!! What a great list of books. I looked them all up yesterday and added them to my "to buy" list.

                                                                                                                                                                    I was able to look inside Mexico the Beautiful book on Amazon and it's stunning, I love those types of books, they provide a true culinary and cultural journey. I'll check out the interview on the weekend DD.

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much....I think! ; - 0

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so lucky my mother was a Good Cook, too. I inherited nearly every Diana Kennedy (I already had one) from her, and all of Rick Bayless' up through 2004. And, of course, all 12 of her personal recipe notebooks.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                                                                                                        How wonderful Becky, and 12 personal recipe books! It sounds as though your Mom was a remarkable cook, she must have been very passionate.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          She lived to cook. Really. People came by hoping for invites to dinner. She took food to new people in the neighborhood, and they became lifelong fans.

                                                                                                                                                                          I only wish she'd had more money, and less Depression-era frugality. She tended to skimp on super quality ingredients (those we take for granted, like real parmesan from a wedge, for instance) because we were such Poor Church Mice, and because she grew up even poorer, in rural Texas. She still managed to triumph over her ingredients, for the most part (okay...didn't like her stretching the guacamole with mayo. Yuck) but it makes me a bit sad to imagine just how wonderful her food would have been with truly top notch condiments and cheeses, etc. She grew a lot of her produce, though, so that always was of excellent quality.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                                                                                                            Your Mom sounds wonderful Becky, and what better tribute than to have passion live on in you.

                                                                                                                                                                            Your Mom's lack of top notch ingredients is likely what inspired her to do even more with what she had on hand and, it's obvious she was remarkable at doing so.

                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps you can put a cookbook together some day. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                              My father DID do a "family anecdote" cook book as a gift for us all one Christmas, but it has only their "original" recipes and not the ones she also cooked from those thousands of carefully cut and glued (she loved rubber cement!) into her notebooks, nor those handed to her by friends, nor "church lady" favorites (deep south Episcopalian cooks were mighty fine!), etc.

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for giving me the notion....I should consider doing that!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                                                                                                                Well if you do Becky, put me on your customer list please!! I'd love a copy and I bet a lot of other folks would as well.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                        I have 1001 Mexican Recipes and really like it too. A lot more accessible than DK. The recipe for sopa de lima is to die for.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                  I wish I were as excited as you! I am sorry I got the book (in English) because I am sure I won't cook from it, and really don't have the intellectual curiosity to delve that deeply into Oaxaca. I DO love DK and have her other books, and cook from them. When that huge thing arrived, I was just awed at its size and weight! It sits on my coffee table now, in hopes someone will express enough interest that I can ask whether they want to buy it! ( I live in Sinaloa, and travel around the country quite a bit. I have spent a couple of weeks in Oaxaca and took a cooiking class there. I have a decent knowledge of regional Mexican food. I recognize what an important book this is to the food culture of México. Just not for me!)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MazDee

                                                                                                                                                                    Have you tried offering it for sale on MexConnect? I bet someone on there might be interested in it. I agree, it might not be for everyone. I think it's value probably lies more in how well researched it was more than as a useable cookbook. I have cooked from it, but I have chosen the easier recipes where I have a better chance of finding the ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                  me too - wasn't crazy about My Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                    I think that one is better for reading than for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                4. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm curious about the Melissa Clark book. Have you had a chance to look at it yet?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                    No, not yet.

                                                                                                                                                                    Remember, Idownloaded this cookbook onto my Kindle in Kindle format, so it's probably not exactly going to be like flipping through a cookbook ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                    THX! Didn't know about Oaxaca al Gusto.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                      My Sweet Mexico arrived yesterday and I looked through it last night. Oh, my god am I going to have to start baking. There are so many good looking recipes, PLUS some great information on ingredients, substitutions, methods. Mexican desserts are different and often include savory components. This collection is no exception :-). But with Dia de los Muertos coming up soon, I think it's about time to perfect my Pan de Muertos with Fany's easy and approachable recipe :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                        That book looks great, what a wonderful addition to the run of the usual baking books. Gotta get!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I think this one's going to keep me busy for a while. There's even a recipe for making your own Mexican chocolate, the discs, not the beverage.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                            Hooray! My library despite cutbacks has it. Can't wait to get my mitts on it!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              Excellent! If you end up baking from it please post your thoughts. On the surface it looks very good but you never know for sure until you've done a few recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                              I've got family in this weekend so I won't really be able to start cooking from it until next weekend and I'm really anxious to get started

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                Also it's available fromn The Good Cook so would be a good selection if people are interested in their deal...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                  So the Good Cook just made Bake! a "Members Only" book!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmm...they have the weirdest policies. It's a featured selection so maybe they didn't buy enough? Maybe it'll be back on the list after? I saw it was #1 on their site when I checked on the Mexico book (and the Medrich, that's available too).

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ticked me off since I was finally going to join with that as one of my 4 books. Which Mexico book? Did you see the Calabria book?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        "My Sweet Mexico" - Mexican baking. Whose is the Calabria?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Rosetta Constantino. Don't know her, but she has a blog apparently. That's so funny -- I searched specifically on thegoodcook for my sweet mexico and it didn't come up. Will try that again. Yup. It doesn't turn up.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                            They must have things visible only to logged-in members.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                              I find that very interesting, and poor marketing. I should be able to see the things that I can't get now, which would make me excited to join.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                            I once made pan de muertos for a Halloween party. I had just come back from a business trip and was really crunched for time, but I decided to make it anyway. It wasn't until I was cutting it for the party that I realized that the middle was really undercooked. So I cut a circle around the middle and just sliced pieces along the perimeter. So, during the party, I noticed that one of my friends was eating a piece cut from the center. Apparently she thought that it was the special part of the bread that we were saving for later. I still laugh when I think about it -- she thought it was some sort of ricotta filling!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                              David Lebovitz blogged about baking Impossible Cake from My Sweet Mexico. Wow.
                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/09/...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                Holy cow! Now I really gotta get the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                  Wait, WHOLE candied pumpkin? Is that what it sounds like?

                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Wait, WHOLE candied pumpkin? Is that what it sounds like?"

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, exactly what it sounds like. A whole pumpkin. The picture in the book is great too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In Mexico they use a variety called Castillo which can grow to enormous proportions. Sometimes they candy them whole too. Fany Gerson recommends a much smaller American style pumpkin,

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that sounds amazing. How do you serve and eat it?

                                                                                                                                                                                      EDIT: wild http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/21...
                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                        You cut it into chunks and serve it with the syrup. Whipped cream or ice cream make a pretty nice accompaniment.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pitu

                                                                                                                                                                                    ChocoFlan. This is a fairly modern Mexican creation. It is a huge amount of fun, not hard to make and always a crowd pleaser. Rick Bayless has a version of it in his new book Fiesta at Rick's that I've made a couple of times. I think the one in My Sweet Mexico looks nicer and will try it soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Essentially you make a caramel, or just use jarred caramel sauce or cajeta, spread it in the bottom of a pan, pour in the chocolate cake batter and then pour a flan mixture over the top. The caramel stays in the bottom but the flan and cake change places during baking so that when you flip the the cake out of the pan, it looks like a chooclate cake layer with flan as "icing".

                                                                                                                                                                                    The "science" behind this cake is that the flan mixture is heavier than the cake batter so as the flan sinks the cake batter rises to the top. This is an impressive dessert that looks way harder than it really is.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are a couple of photos of the Chocoflan I made using the Rick Bayless recipe. I did not use cajeta for the caramel layer, I used a regular flan caramel

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                          It looks awfully tempting - don't I remember there were issues with the recipe (timing?) - how did you adjust it to compensate?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, there were timing issues. The first time I made the recipe I set my oven for conventional baking and ended up baking it for 20 extra minutes. The next time I made it I used the convection setting on my oven and it only needed 10 extra mintues baking time. The chocoflan bakes in a water bath, so the second time I made the water bath a little deeper. I don't know if that contributed the shortened baking time the 2nd time around or if it was all due to using the convection setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The cake is fairly moist, even with the extra baking time it wasn't dired out. Also, since I used a regular caramel for flan it was a lot looser than the cajeta or caramel ice cream sauce that Rick's recipe recommended. Since my caramel was much thinner, when I cut the cake it seeped each cake slice and added some moisture back.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The one thing that surprised me about the recipe was how well the cake kept. It took 4 days to eat the whole thing and even by the 4th day the crumb was still pretty tender and moist. I'm guessing that may be due to the caramel I used and the fact it has a high liquid content than cajeta or caramel ice cream sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                    I just saw Oaxaca al Gusto at Kitchen Arts & Letters yesterday. What a stunning book.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                      I saw it yesterday as well. It's a beautiful book but HUGE. So pretty that I would be scared to have it in my kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                        Is is beautiful, for sure, and huge. Though I have been a complainer about too huge Keller and Alford and Duguid books, I can forgive it in this instance. I think Kennedy considers this book as a documentation project.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Of the photos she says, "many taken by me in situ ... are included to show the multiple ingredients and local cooking methods, respecting the components of each of the indigenous cuisines, many of which are unknown outside their areas."

                                                                                                                                                                                        She also says, that, after a couple of starts and stops, she was working on a version of this book with another publisher, but "when it was apparent that the style and content of the book were being severely compromised, I broke off negotiations and retrieved my material." She goes on to say that she waited until she could "find a publisher that was willing to include the text and recipes from the indigenous areas and not just the more familiar material illustrated with the usual predictably glamorous photographs."

                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, this doesn't make it any easier to cook from, but it doesn't feel at all like any kind of vanity project.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The recipes are appealing, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so glad you posted this, TDQ. I haven't had a chance yet to look at the book, but I kept wondering why in the world it was published by The University of Texas Press--not exactly one of the top names in cookbook publishing. Not always, but far too often in situations like this, where there's a well-known author determined to have things done his/her way (see also: Marcella Hazan), the hands on the tiller (editing, copyediting, indexing) are not as strong as they are at a house that specializes in such books. Hope that's not true in this instance.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                            I hope that, too, Joan. I haven't started "using it" yet. Really, I've only read through the intro and started flipping through recipes, (some of which I can't wait to dig into. Even my husband was intrigued by a couple as I was calling out, "Oooh, look at this one...")

                                                                                                                                                                                            So, I can't really comment on some of those other things yet, except to say, since the book is organized by region, rather than by course, the reicpes are oddly juxtaposed. You'll find a rice pudding recipe on the same page as a recipe for a sauce for some kind of tamale, that sort of thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                            So, a good index is going to be crucial if this book is going to be at all useful/reliable as a cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hopefully she had strong editorial support/guidance, even though she was fierce about adhering to her vision.

                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                              I would think a university press would be at least as much of a stickler as a commercial press on text. Perhaps not recipes. But commercial presses aren't doing too well on that lately either (cf the mistakes in the new Bayless and omissions in the new Malgieri). I almost never read a new cookbook w/o seeing something problematic in the recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I can shed some light on this for you. First of all know that books in Mexico are very, very expensive to publish and ususally have very small publication runs. Oaxaca al Gusto was originally a Mexican project, and the book was originally published in Mexico about 3 years ago. It had a very limited run of about 3,000 copies and the entire run was funded by a Mexican industrialist (not Carlos Slim). IIRC, she had actually completed the book several years before it was published but had a hard time getting it published in Mexico, until the publication was privately funded. When I read the comments that you quoted above TDQ, I thought they might be more related to the Mexcian publication difficulties than American ones, though I'm not 100% sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think a lot of people were surprised that the English version was published by the U of T Press. One thing to consider there is that U of T Press *is* one of the premier publishers of books related to almost all aspects of Latin America. The University has one of the largest Latin American Studies program . It is very highly regarded and is well supported and augmented by the U of T Press. If you take a look through their catelog of offerings, you'll see it covers an extremely wide range of topics related to Latin America. So while it may seem odd to us in the cooking world that a University press would publish the book, it actually dovetails quite nicely with their Latin American publishing program. And, you've seen the book, it's a very large, visually stunning book with a lot of photos. It's not a cheap book to publish. Many mainstream publishers are going to view it as a very expensive book to produce with probably limited appeal, and one on which they'd be lucky to break even. So economics probably played into the American publishing choice as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Diana is a true purist. I wouldn't view Oaxaca al Gusto as a vanity work as much as I would view it as the culmination of 50+ years of systematic research, documentation, experiementation and discovery that has been captured, cull, distilled and turned into the book. It is as much an academic work (and in some cases a recorded oral history) as it is a cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I have a (signed) copy of the Spanish version of the book from the original run of 3,000. The English version is a pretty faithful reproduction. I've also been incredibly lucky to have spent some time cooking with Diana in Mexico. I think that helps in understanding the orientation of the book, or at least it helped me understand :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am going to start cooking from the book this weekend. I have cooked hundreds of DK recipes and if there is one thing I know about them, it's that they are structurally very sound. I'm hoping the ones in this book are too. Maybe we should start a "Cooking from Oaxaca al Gusto" thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you for all of that additional info, DD. Very helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, I just want to clarify that I specifically said it didn't feel like a vanity project to me, that I think she almost views it a documentation project, which I think is very consistent with your point that it is almost a scholarly work.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I would love a Cooking from OaG thread. Since it sounds like you'll be the first to cook from it, perhaps you wouldn't mind getting the ball rolling on that?

                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Oops, sorry if I implied you thought it was a vanity work, cuz I didn't take your comments that way. I think that once someone gets the book and actually sits down and starts going through ti, they'll pretty quickly realize it isn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I will start the Oaxaca al Gusto thread. I'm starting with something simple, probably a salsa and I was looking at the Arroz con Pollo recipe since I know I have all the ingredients. I'm also cooking from "My Sweet Mexico" this weekend as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my gosh! It's like a mini-Mexican COTM! Weeeeee! I can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think you and I are completely on the same page re: OAG. I am so grateful for all of your insight and perspective on this. I'm jealous you've actually taken cooking classes from her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kennedy is in town next week! I hope to see her speak, if it works out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This very cool You Tube video turned up on my Facebook page this afternoon. Diana talking about her book

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9niOB...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                Really interesting, DD. And I certainly didn't mean to disparage U of T Press; I'm well aware of their list and their reputation. I just hope they hired top-drawer people with experience in editing cookbooks to work on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                @Buttertart: What you say about the Bayless surprises me. Norton books are usually quite good in that regard. I'm less surprised about the Maglieri; his book was published here by a not very well known US imprint of a UK company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hearsay on the RB (one of my favorites under whatever circumstances) - I have the book but haven't looked through it - I think it was DD who pointed out problems with the Flan Impossible recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                    U of T did a pretty good job of editing the cookbook, it's pretty tight. Having had the opportunity to look at them side-by-side there doesn't appear to be a tremendous difference. My reading in Spanish is slow, but passable. I think the Mexican version was pretty well edited to start with. But, let's face it, this is not going to be a cookbook from which a majority of people are going to attempt to cook. Some errors may go undetected simply because we don't know it is an error.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is quite an extensive thread about RB's new book "Fiesta's at Rick" here - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/... - the flan appears to be the worst offender in terms of being poorly edited. I've cooked from all of Rick's previous books with great success. I've cooked from his new book and have not been particularly impressed. Some of the recipes seem really dumbed down, some of the flavor profiles really miss the mark and overall it just seems that the book was thrown together rather quickly and not a lot of attention was paid to it. I own everyone of his books and without a doubt the lastest one is my least favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks to this discussion, I've put the Kennedy and Gerson on my wish list.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                              DiningDiva, since you are such an expert on Mexican cooking I was wondering if you could recommend a few Mexican cookbooks. Over the last years I tend to buy more and more cookbooks which focus on specific regions of the country. Recently I have focused on different regions of Italy. I was wondering if there are good cookbooks which really focus on specific regions of Mexico. (preferably in written in English)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not an expert I just sound like one :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, Honkman, I know your German's good, but how's your Spanish :-). Most of my cookbooks on regional Mexican cuisine are in Spanish. Conaculta (Mexican Cultural Ministery) has done 2 outstanding series on Mexican regional cooking. Both are only in Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mexican cuisine is actually more technique than recipe driven and the basic technique doesn't deviate substantially from region to region. An example would be traditional Mexican sauces, none of which are roux based as most European and North American sauces are. Learn to make a proper Mexican sauce - be is a simple salsa or a complex mole - and your possibilities become endless. Plus most moles all begin the same way, with dried chiles. In some respects it's more important to learn what the ingredients are, how to use them and what techniques to apply in order to master the cuisine. Mexican recipes are not particularly difficult, they are, however, very much technique driven, not to mention laborious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                For anyone just beginning an exploration of Mexican cuisine, I usually recommend 2 books, both of which are easily accessible and readily found.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Salsas That Cook "by Rick Bayless is a small book with recipes for 8 or 9 of what he calls "essential" sauces. The recipes are scaled for different yields and he offers a variety of chile substitutions or variations. The remainder of the book is 50 recipes each using 1 of the salsas. It's a genuis little book. You will learn how to handle and work with chiles and get an idea of the different flavor profiles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "The Art of Mexican Cooking" by Diana Kennedy. There are lenghty essays on ingredients, cooking methods and techniques. Diana does present some regional information in this book, mostly by the way of anecdote. She does, however, very clearly identify where each recipe is from and if there are regional differences. A good example is Sopa Tarasca from Michoacan. This is a fairly modern soup and there are 2 versions of it, one with beans, one without. She presents both, and addresses the differences. This is probably the best all purpose Mexican cookbook out there. Tho' not arranged by region as is Oaxaca al Gusto, it does contain a good deal of regional info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Two solid regional books do come to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Season's of my Heart" by Susana Trilling which is a very approachable, easy to use Oaxacan cookbook. (I gave Josh & Kare Raisu a mole making lesson using one of the mole recipes in this book. If you want to learn to make mole, I'll teach you)

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Veracruz" by Zarela Martinez. I've cooked quite a bit from this book and had great success with it. I've only been to Veracruz once but my impression is that the recipes are reasonably "authentic" in terms of flavor, though I suspect some concessions were made for the availability of products NOB. Nearly the first 100 pages of the book is information about Veracruz food and cooking. Zarela also has a Oaxaca book that many people like. I never warmed to it and gave the book away when we renovated last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Regional Meixcan Cuisine" by Diana Kennedy. This book may be out of print as it's old and I'm not sure it's exactly what you're looking for. It's kind of a compilation of great recipes from regional cooks with commentary from Diana. But...any time you get commentary from Diana it is germaine to the subject. I know many people (myself included) who have kept her books on the nightstand next to the bed and have read them almost like a novel. Her text is very readable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                If you've got any facility for Spanish, searching out a copy of "Alquimias y Atmosferas" by Carmen Titita is absolutely worth it. This is without a doubt one of the great food porn books in the world...and the recipes aren't bad either. Dona Carmen grew up in Veracruz and this cookbook is dedicated to Veracruz. Lots of seafood in this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                You also might find some benefit in "Cuisine of the Water Gods" by Patricia Quintana, and it's in English. Very good information in this one as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I do think that one needs to have a reasonably good foundation in the basics of Mexican cuisine before moving into the regional variations. It would certainly help put some context on the content.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Oh, god, is this dangerous. I buy cookbooks the way Imelda Marcos bought shoes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                ahahahahahaaa - I think there's a lot of us here on CH who could say the same thing....

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. I just bought Rick Moonen's Fish Without a Doubt. Afer reading about it when it was COTM I wanted to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I was given Kitchen by Nigella L. as a gift, have just made the Guinness Ginger Cake. Hoping to make the chocolate orange cake today as well, taking them to a friend's tmw for dinner. Will report back on the results!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kookiegoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Better Homes and Gardens this month features a dinner from Kitchen - even flat on my back with a stomach bug it seemed somewhat appealing. (BH&G has a very good food section with excellent recipes. Another thread idea? Magazines you wouldn't expect to have as good food sections as they do?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nigella is amazing. It'd be sooooo easy to dismiss her as a celebrity-type chef who made it on her looks. Very far from the truth. She is one of my inspirations and her recipes are great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never thought such a thing, I quite like her. Must be nice to have more money than God and an amazing collection of modern art to boot, no? Talk about lifestyle envy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just for fun:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: kookiegoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love nigella (the day I finished my degree, I chose not to go out for champagne but got on a train so I could get my book signed by her and to hear her speak!) but must say that this book is not as exciting as I might have hoped. The 2 cake recipes I've tried have been nice but not outstanding. I feel like she is still in the "nigella express" mindset and I guess this reflects her life, having 2 teenage kids etc. but I kind miss her more thoughtful approach from How to be and How to eat. One the things I love most about how to eat is her menus, her suggestions for getting together with people and giving the menu a mood; so few writers bother with this kind of thing. I need to go thru Kitchen again and flag some more recipes to try, but I am a bit sad that it's not more inspiring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kookiegoddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have Kitchen and the fact that she gives tips on what to do with leftovers, rather than just 'reheat', is a really excellent feature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. "Flour" - Joanne Chang (on order)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Tartine Bread" - Chad Robertson (ordered with "Flour" so I have to wait for it)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "The Book of Tapas" - Simone and Ines Ortega

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK, I admit it. I've bought TONS of new books recently. It's a sickness. Here's three more:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Bake!" - Malgieri

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Cake Pops" - Angie Dudley (I'm not sure if I'm ever going to use this - but I got it for a great price on Amazon & it's just fun to look through)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Thai Street Food" -David Thompson

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last order:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Winter in the Alps: Food by the Fireside (surprisingly enjoyable book)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stir: Mixing it Up in the Italian Traditional
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thai Street Food
                                                                                                                                                                                                        La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
                                                                                                                                                                                                        A World of Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Essential NY Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century (by Amanda Hesser) (pre-order)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. These just arrived a couple of days ago. The last two are gifts. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Around My French Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lidia's Italy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a great thread. Thanks to ya'll, I just joined thegoodcook.com club so I could take advantage of their 4 books for $4.00 deal. I ordered:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tyler Florence: Family Meal
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Around My French Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Pure Joy of Monastery Cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fat Witch Brownies

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prior to this binge I had my last "fix" a week ago when I bought Falling off the Bone. Luckily for me, I don't have an addiction problem like the rest of you!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My wish list for future purchases:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz (I just ordered this one today!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            97 Orchard (thanks, Chocolatechipkt)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stir
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oaxaca al Gusto by my namesake, Diana Kennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Really eager for a report on Falling Off the Bone. I think if I categorized my books by author instead of subject, Jean Anderson would take up an entire shelf. Do I need one more?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Thanks to the COTM baking thread (and especially thanks to souschef) I convinced myself I needed more baking books, which considering I already have an entire bookshelf full of baking & desserts books, seemed excessive. But they are classic books that I'm sure I will bake from a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            At least 2 of them were bargain second-hand purchases from Abe and the other two were reduced price from amazon dealers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maida Heatter's Brand New Book of Great Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nancy Baggett's International Cookie Book
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nancy Baggett's International Chocolate Book
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Flo Braker's Baking For All Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Maida Heatter should get a lot of use in Nov & Dec for the COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. After borrowing both of these from the library 4+ times:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tartine by Pruitt
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Arabesque by Roden

                                                                                                                                                                                                              and finding this for $3 on the friends of the library shelves:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Marcella's Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've been trying very very hard to pare down my cookbook shelf, so adding these three will mean that others have to go. I think I'll purge that slow cooker cookbook, and maybe Cooking with Claudine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: redwood2bay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That Marcella book is my favorite and apparently hers. I love that book, everything I've made from it has been killer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, buttertart, that's great to know. Were you the hound who posted about the pasta rosettes? Sounds intimidating but good. Are there any favorites of yours that come to mind?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've found her recipes to be reliable and tasty, for three dollars, just couldn't pass this up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Really? I didn't know that. Haven't cooked from it very much. It's getting pulled off the shelf the minute I stop typing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously. The cabbage rolls with beef and prosciutto, the pasta with veal, saffron, and cream, the scallops with mushrooms, ditto with lemon and rosemary, the baked eggplant risotto, the pork scallopine with raisins and balsamic vinegar, many more, you can pick the book up and randomly open it and find a blockbuster recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yum, can I come to you house for dinner :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I just got the last of my Good Cook club books - "At Home with Madhur Jaffrey". It looks fantastic. Opened it to the Pakistani quail recipe and wanted to make it immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What's the premise of this book, buttertart? Is it supposed to be her personal favorites or easier recipes or what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Personal favorites and relatively simple recipes, from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thinking about the new Sunset mag book to close out the membership.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm looking for one more, too! I didn't realize that new Sunset mag book is in the club. I will have to peek at it now. I kind of want Bobby Flay's new "Throwdown" Cookbook, but I don't see it in the club (it's a "search plus book" which doesn't count.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Buttertart, I think that Sunset book is only a "search plus" book, which means it doesn't count towards your membership. Or, am I mistaken?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where do you see the "book search plus" explanation? I hadn't been paying attention to that but I see the notation. Maybe the new Medrich then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I already bought the new Medrich! Waiting, waiting, waiting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The rules are under Help/How Book Search Plus works

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Book Search Plus is a valuable club benefit designed to enhance your shopping experience. It enables you to shop for books that interest you but are not currently available in the club.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Book Search Plus product purchases do not count toward your Membership Commitment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do you read it the same way I do?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes I do. I've had the frustrating experience of ordering books from them and their not counting, not realizing it until too late, thanks for pointing that out. Amazon Prime beats them into a cocked hat on this book (and others, the intro package is the only real deal).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Phooey, I hoped you would say I was reading it wrong. And, yes, I've been burned too. I bought a book that didn't qualify because it didn't meet the minimum price (which is something like $14 or something), even though it met all of the other requirements. It think the book I bought that didn't qualify was $13.49 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The thing is, I sent it to a friend randomly as a gift because I thought it would wrap up my membership and because I could take advantage of the buy 2 get one for $1.99 hing, etc. Argh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grr. The buy x get x don't normally count either, I don't think. Min price is 13.98 or something? In the "Your Commitment" part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did a buy 2 get 1 for 1.99 and they counted the one that exceeded the min price that wasn't a book search book, so, I think it worked... But, I can't be certain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The one I'm most anxious to get my mitts on (food book, not so much cookbook) is the Koenemann Culinaria China volume. The others in the series are very interesting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Right now trying to get time to get through the ones I have from the library, the ones I got in the past couple of months, and the ones that got shelved and not so far cracked...trying to abstain from buying another until at least most of that is done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have not stopped binging since I last posted. My last, last purchases now include:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ad Hoc at 60% off from The Good Cook, plus an extra copy for holiday gift giving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Herbfarm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        La Tante Claire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Boy! A lot of us have been binging lately, haven't we?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ASIAN DUMPLINGS by Andrea Nguyen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE COOKING OF THE SOUTHWEST OF FRANCE by Paula Wolfert (not sure how much I'll cook from it, but decided after reading the COTM posts that I definitely wanted it as a reference)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE COOKBOOK by Fuchsia Dunlop (because it was long overdue)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE INTERNATIONAL COOKIE COOKBOOK by Nancy Baggett
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MAIDA HEATTER'S BOOK OF GREAT COOKIES (because how could I not)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hurray, the (even) better Dunlop!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. <sigh> I was hoping I had this obsession (I refuse to call it an addiction) under control, apparently not. I've recently purchased more than 3 cookbooks, here they are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Flying Pans: Two Chef's, One World
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bernard Guillas & Ron Oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I mostly purchased this because it's by 2 local chefs. They just happen to be chefs at one of San Diego's more iconic restaurants, The Marine Room, at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. The restaruant literally sits right on the beach. Bernard is the Exec and is from France, Ron is his exec. sous. Together they realized they've traveled all over the world and it helped shape their cooking sensibilities and menus over the years. I have to say I really like this cookbook and there are quite a few recipes I'd like to try. The book is set up rather like a world tour, with ingredients from various countries focused through the chefs interpretation of them. It's a little bit like the original French Laundry cookbook in that some of the recipe seem a bit intimidating but, on closer inspection, have components that are easily produced and work with a variety of items. Some recipes are clearly restaurant style, but almost all of them are doable by a competent home cook. The production values and photography on this book are very, very good. It's a clean book, easy to use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marissa Guggiana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting, and somewhat amazing book. Marissa, who owns Sonoma Direct, went in search of the best butchers in America, those working with whole animals and using sustainable and eco-friendly practices. She spotlights each butcher/chef, then each butcher/chef talks about his or her philosophy about meat, why (and sometimes how) they came to do what they do and be involved in the meat industry. Each butcher/chef then provided 1 or 2 of their favorite recipes. The recipes cover every primal cut on every animal from headcheese to hotdogs and prime rib to venison stew. I have not cooked from this one yet but I did find myself fascinated reading the stories each butcher/chef provided.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At one point I thought perhaps it might be more prudent to download cookbooks onto my Kindle. It's easy, but......not so useful. I've downloaded these 2 in the last 6 weeks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Throwdown with Bobby Flay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never thought I'd own a Bobby Flay cookbook, but I've seen enough episodes of Throwdown to want this cookbook. It doesn't disappoint. The book is arranged by Throwdown seasons and almost everyone is featured. This cookbook is fairly easy to use on Kindle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Melissa Clark
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not as easy to use in Kindle format. I've downloaded it but haven't been able to get a sense of the book too much, which I think is more due to the Kindle than to the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Holidays are coming up, must not purchase any more cookbooks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you cooked from Throwdown yet? This book is on my wish list, too. I don't care about Bobby's recipes as much as I'm interested in the recipes of the people he's challenged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not yet, but I expect to over the course of the next few months. I think BF has mellowed with age and marriage, I actually find him tolerable now and I didn't a few years ago. I think some of his recipes look as good as the ones from the challenge folks. What I do like about this book - at least from what I've seen - is that almsot all the recipes look pretty doable with not a lot of weird ingredients or difficult methods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I don't have a problem with Bobby's recipes or cooking. It's my style, actually, in terms of bold flavors. Many of them are reasonably healthful, too. I have been waiting forever for his Mesa cookbook to come down below $10 used on Amazon, but his books seem to hold their price. So, I'll probably just go ahead and throwdown full price for this new one. :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Please do post about your exploits with this book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cookbooks on Kindle do not work at all. Don't waste your money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, not so much. The Bobbly Flay book isn't hard to use, but Into the Kitchen with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good Appetite is not suited to Kindle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Update on my last three:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Plenty", Diana Henry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Similar premise to Bittman's "The Food Matter Cookbook". One recipe so far. She's a food editor at the Telegraph UK. Is the title going to confuse people?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "World of Food", Paula Wolfert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only one recipe cooked so far. I just can't seem to get started with this one. Should have bought TCoSWF instead, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "James Beard's American Cookery"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Intriguing on many levels, plus I don't have any of his books. Made his Blue Cheese dip last night...not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I just received Alice Medrich's new book, "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your -Mouth Cookies." Now, I need more cookie recipes like I need the proverbial extra hole in my head, but the book looks fabulous. It has all the wisdom and specificity combined with a sense of freedom and fun that I've come to expect from Medrich, and of the dozens of recipes, there are only a few I didn't personally find very appealing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She has multiple recipes for biscotti and brownies with different textures and flavors, and good discussions of how ingredients and techniques affect the outcomes. She has interesting flavor combinations, and even several each made with whole grains and wheat-free recipes (these are technically all gluten free, if you have an acceptable source of oats or oat flour, and she understands the ingredients and techniques). None of the recipes look difficult or fussy. She includes storage recommendations, how long things keep (and how textures will change with time, etc.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As overwhelmed with cookie recipes as I am already, I'm really looking forward to baking from this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Caitlin: The mention of biscotti recipes got my attention. I've tried several times to make them and they NEVER come out with that almost hard to bite, yet crunchy and great to dip texture. Maybe Alice M. can teach me the right way. I adore her Pure Dessert book. Let us know what happens when you start baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My last 3 purchases were: Plenty by Ottolenghi (a GREAT cookbook); The New English Kitchen by Rose Prince; and ....oops the 3rd one was bought some time ago. I think it was The Flexitarian Table, a book I was down on before I even saw it and have now come to love. It has no dessert section, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know about the biscotti recipes, I had set her book aside as a no purchase, the whole grain and wheat free aspect scared me off a bit, but now I'll reconsider.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just got Zuni Cafe, The Victory Garden Cookbook, great for the gardener in me and I wonder why I didn't buy it before, Elizabeth David's Mediterrean Cooking, that's three, and am waiting for Baking with Julia to arrive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't be scared by the whole-grain and wheat-free inclusions, bushwickgirl! They make up a handful of the dozens of included recipes. The wheat-free recipes are, I think, all alternative versions of other recipes, as in, she has a recipe for cookie X, and then the wheat-free version. I think there are around 8 biscotti recipes, so not a ton, but they look good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh wow! My copy of the book just arrived and I'm already in love with it. "brownies dusted with hand-grated nutmeg, peanut butter cookies spiked with Thai curry paste, and carrot macaroons with Indian spice"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AND about 2 dozen cookies that are Weight Watchers friendly. I was so certain I would have to put the book away for a couple of months, but I don't think I am going to have to. I can't wait to bake from this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They do sound great. Dreadful title for the book though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It strikes me as very American. I think it's kind of cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Out of curiousity, how are they diet friendly? The flavors are really intriguing. I love savory mixed in with my sweets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            GG, yes, the title is awful, but it reflects the organization of the book. The cookies are organized by texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beetlebug, most of the cookies that are WW friendly are meringues or biscotti (not too surprising because those cookies don't have fat in them), but also her ginger cookies, one of the lemon bars (they are on a cornmeal base instead of a shortbread base), and the overnight brownies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a link to a couple of the weight watcher friendly recipes. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7458...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had all but decided to pass on the Medrich book (i have way too many baking books as it is) but than I read what you wrote about peanut butter cookies spiked with Thai Curry Paste and that was it for me - I got a 50% off Borders coupon in my e-mail today and I ran right down and bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            These threads are really dangerous for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, sorry, I'm a real Medrich fan. I haven't cooked from this book, but I love the concept of it. She basically says she tried to challenge all of her preconceived ideas about cookies, for instance, that bleached flour yields the most tender cookies. She wanted to produce a book that appealed to our modern sensibilities, she says.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                P.S. And yes, this thread and other similar threads are a bad influence on me. My husband would like to have words with each and every one of you. :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There would seem to be several husbands of a similar mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Alice Medrich, "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your -Mouth Cookies"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer, "Canal House," vol.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Melissa Clark, "In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Noma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Momofuku
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alinea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (the books!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Update:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Essential NY Times Cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One Big Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Zuni Cafe Cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                New Medrich cookie book

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Had a chance to look through the Zuni yet? If so, what'd ya think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another chef book I'm not overly taken with. As I wait patiently for the tar and feathers...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You don't like the results, or you don't like how the recipes are written, or ... ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love!!! the restaurant (it was a favorite when we lived there and we go every time we go back to the Bay Area), but I found the recipes over-detailed. I haven't cooked from it, I'm sorry to say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HA! I would have said the exact same thing, but I'm glad you said it first. There is an art to giving directions that are sufficiently precise, without being exhaustively over-detailed and I don't think Ms. Rodgers has mastered it, alas. Have you heard about the 17-page recipe in Tartine Bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's funny! A special bread? Nothing I can think of merits that many pages, not even cassoulet. I didn't care for RL Beranbaum's books for the same reason for a long time but the things you make from them are so good I've been converted into an admirer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, I was in error. It's a 28 page recipe with a 10-page addendum! And it's not for the bread. It's just for the starter! I love Tartine, but oh my, I will never ever attempt that starter. (Famous last words--be sure to read the last page, 8 I think, of the review where the author describes her attempt.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (and check out the recipe for Avocado Fries from the Sunset cookbook while you're there. Don't those sound amazing?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Holy cow! The David Tanis recipe confirms my prejudice about chef's books, too too fussy for the likes of me. You should post that link to best new Bay Area cookbooks, it's quite interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know! Read page 8 of the review where the author describes her attempt at the recipe. Basically, for serious bread baking enthusiasts only, she says.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I read your comments about the Zuni book, buttertart, I thought of your experience with RLB. I don't have Zuni, but I have read some of the recipes, and have heard opinions of cooks who are partisans of it (experienced, accomplished cooks). Essentially, my understanding is that a) like RLB's recipes, Rodgers's are so detailed because there is a ton of technique, and reasons for said technique, explained therein - albeit in paragraphs, not charts and sidebars and all that jazz RLB is into; and b) the results are absolutely terrific, and (even as experienced/accomplished as they are) they've learned a lot from her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We all have certain styles in cookbook writing that we enjoy or don't, certainly, often unrelated to how good we'd otherwise find the recipes, but they will often determine whether we even approach the recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <the results are absolutely terrific, and (even as experienced/accomplished as they are) they've learned a lot from her.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's exactly why Zuni is one of my top 10 favorite books. Recipes are excellent and I felt like I learned so much from her details and methods. It's one of those books that literally changed the way I cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's the way the recipes are written, I think, TDQ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you loved the restaurant, I can't imagine you won't love the book once you start cooking from it. I guess I see how the style can be a turnoff. But so many of the recipes in this book are now standards for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I first made Carol's Pickled Onions for the New Year's Eve Gougères (which I've made at least a half dozen times, always to rave reviews), but I'm now never without them in the fridge. I don't need to tell you about the chicken. The pandades are delightful. The oxtails are heavenly. The Standing Rib Roast of Pork has graced two (maybe three?) dinner party tables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try it. You'll like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hope I didn't purge it in the last move...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought her instructions were a bit much at first. Until I started cooking with it and they are helpful. Like the first time I made those gougeres, I could visualize what the dough should look and feel like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Her techniques are descriptive but once you know her technique you can skip a lot of the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Zuni is one of my favorite cookbooks and I use her recipes often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I may have to agree with Buttertart. To be fair, I have only looked through it once briefly, but there were not a lot of recipes that instantly screamed, "Make me! Make me!" Maybe it is the large amount of detail and until you really sit down with a recipe, it may be hard to tell. Truthfully, I wish I had looked through it first. I'm not sure that I would have purchased, but I do get captured by all the awards it won. So we'll have to see I guess...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have recently come to the conclusion that I really, really need to get my hands on a cookbook before I buy it sight unseen, no matter how much I've read about it, no matter how many excerpts I read on Amazon, no matter how many of my dear, trusted 'hound friends love it. I am coming to realize that there is just too much that is personal about what attracts me to a cookbook that I just can't assess without holding it in my hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I went to Barnes and Noble the other day to look at a couple of books to decide if I wanted them. The two I had been seriously considering did not even end up on my list. There were two others I wanted instead. And, oy, I'm totally against David Thompson's Street Food now that I've seen it. I'm not even sure I would want it as a gift or at a garage sale. I think I'd take it into the nearest Kinkos, copy all of the recipes, have them bound into something that is normal-sized, and dump the book. I'm not kidding. There is no place in my home for something like that unless it's a huge dictionary that sits on a stand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess if I were you I might wander through the Zuni COTM threads and see if any of the results reported and descriptions therein grab you, then take a look at those recipes, as a way of approaching it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. Also, I love looking through the individual recipes and ingredients using Eat Your Books. It really helps you get a sense of what to expect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Try Zuni's buttermilk mashed potatoes, it is a great intro into the magic of this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Personally, as a home cook, I appreciate the attention to detail about product selection, techniques, etc. Really, you just read the details the first time, then thereafter go straight to the recipes. The "Zuni Roast Chicken" recipe is the real deal. By far the easiest & best of the many whole chicken "techniques" I've tried (butterflied, rotisserie, grilled, smoked, etc). Other recipes I've tried have been solid (scones, braised short ribs, soups, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Bistro Cooking at Home - Hamersley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Cooking of Southwest France - Wolfert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Hertzberg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Meat: A Kitchen Education - Peterson (One of the best cookbook authors in general)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Simply French - Wells

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooooh. I adore Simply French, agree with you about Peterson, and hope you report back on the Hamersley. Someone gave it to me as a gift a few years back and I've hardly used it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really like the Hamersley book, which I bought hoping it would contain a recipe for a dish I'd eaten there years ago and never forgotten. It didn't, but I've found many recipes in the book I do love--an easy recipe for beer-braised shortribs, a custardy lemon souffle, several really good soups. I have never tried his roast chicken recipe (which is in the book), but if it results in anything like the chicken in the restaurant, which is divine, it would be a winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much for that. Good to hear. Taking notes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Just ordered the Medrich (you temptresses) and it finishes my commitment so hoping they'll have their big year-end sale they usually do between Christmas and New Year's to pick up some other good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Flour by Joanne Chang (one of the few I've ever bought, sight unseen, but she's local and seems like a lovely person)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Momofuku by David Chang

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The New Book of Middle Eastern Cuisine by Claudia Roden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A Maida Heatter cookie book (the one that's the compilation of all three)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And, I'm really intrigued by Alice Medrich's new cookie book, the gooey something or other. I love her Pure Dessert book. But, no more baking books. I don't even know where I'm going to put the above books yet. Time to purge some or to rearrange something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I keep looking at Momofuku, but have managed to resist so far. If you do cook more than just a recipe or two, please, please start a thread. And if it's as wonderful as I suspect it might be, maybe we could execute a coup and get it selected as a COTM?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's not a ton on it, but here's a thread with some comments about how people found certain recipes (mostly pickles and condiments, I think), and about the book as a whole: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/663285

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally missed that. Thanks for pointing it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: Just read through that thread. Oy. Hoping beetlebug does better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Fat, by Jennifer McLagan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The Craft of Baking, Karen DeMasco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Ad Hoc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was one of those irrational purchases. I've coveted the book since it came out, not necessarily for the recipes, but for, I don't know quite what. The format was appealing, as was the text. Coupled with a great memory of eating at Ssam in my food tour of NYC (not a single major museum visited!) I just wanted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And, when I found out that David Chang was coming here to speak, I knew I just had to break down and buy it on the off chance that I can get close enough for a signature. But, I've always viewed this book, as a book and not a cookbook. In the past, I've made the pork belly buns (somewhere on the boards) and they turned out great. I'm going to give it a more critical look, post holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. A 1945 US Navy Cookbook. For the times you need to serve 100s.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chez piggy (from kingston Canada)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An old Crisco book from the 30's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually I went to a book show a few weeks ago and picked up about 15 books.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love looking at old books to see how people cooked in the past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Whitewater cooks at home. The desserts are amazing, the recipe always turn out fantastic and they aren't intimidating.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cafe Paridiso Seasons. The best vegetarian cookbook I own. The recipes are so interesting. At no point do I ever think...Where's the meat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Donna Hays New Fast Food. Fast easy and tasty. what more can a person ask for mon to fri.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tofu Cookery- Louise Hagler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Viva Vegan- Terry Hope Romero
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Appetite for Reduction- Isa Chandra Moskowitz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love all of Isa Moskowitz's cookbooks, but especially this one, which calls for lots of whole foods and has fewer dessert recipes to tempt me. ;) I've been looking for a good Mexican/Latin vegan cookbook, and this was exactly what I was looking for. And I'm also glad to have found recipes for tofu other than the usual scramble and stir-fry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. In 2010 I bought and received 47 culinary books from Amazon. The last 12 I received as Christmas gifts but the last 3 I ordered myself were:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes" by Mark Bitterman - this will be in my Top 10 culinary books (out of nearly 500) - utterly life changing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Tender I" by Nigel Slater - really like his novel-like reading books - also want "Tender II"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe" National Geographic - incredibly interesting facts and information. Fun to see many spots I have been to and even more fun to plan others I want to visit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That book, "Food Journeys of a Lifetime" looks really interesting. I just ordered it, thanks to your post & the bargain price of $16.00 it's selling for right now on Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How cool! You are sure to love the book. It has tons of excellent photography, Top 10 lists, and so on. It is truly a pleasure to read and salivate over. I can see it being valuable for upcoming trips as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I received the book today and it really is gorgeous and looks like it's going to be a total blast to read. Thanks for bringing this to my attention - i don't know if I would have ever found this gem otherwise. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great news! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. As well as from appealing to passionate food-type people, anyone who has an interest in travel would love it, too. Let us know how you like it after you've had a chance to immerse yourself in it for a bit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for this suggestion - I just requested it from the library and can't wait to get it! We just got back from a foodie trip to New Orleans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Salted" is in my shopping cart, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet, cah. It's too soon after the holidays for me not to feel guilty. But that will pass ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know exactly what you mean! I still have 142 books in my shopping cart. Let us know when you pull the trigger - am curious to see what you think of it! I love, love, love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for the rec. of "Food Journeys" - a beautiful treasure - fun to browse - something that might be nice for a coffee table for conversation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. My last three cookbooks were:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stir-frying To The Sky's Edge Grace Young
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies Alice Medrich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Amanda Hesser- this I ordered through my Barnes & Noble membership for $7.37!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That NYT book is great, would make an excellent COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My last three cookbooks (gifts!) were:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Williams-Sonoma Cooking at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies