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[old] Cookbooks you covet - which cookbooks are on your holiday wish-list this year? Which books are just too expensive to buy for yourself without feeling guilty?

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Between Chowhound recommendations and the growing number of cookbooks being indexed on Eat Your Books, I'm finding my "wish-list" is growing at an unprecedented rate!

I'd love to know which books are on your list...I may need to add to mine!!

Below is my list (so far!):

Sunday Suppers at Lucques - Goin/Gelber

Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey - Faris/Eber

The Classic Italian Cookbook: The Art of Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan

Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America - Andres

Bluegrass Winners - Garden Club of Lexington

The American Diner Cookbook - Elizabeth McKeon
American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza - Reinhart

Bistro Cooking at Home - Hammersley

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking - Barbara Tropp
Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking - Eileen Yin-Fei-Lo
The Breadth of a Wok - Grace Young

Thai Food - David Thompson

The Art of Mexican Cooking - Diana Kennedy
The Cuisines of Mexico - Diana Kennedy
The Tortilla Book - Diana Kennedy
Mexican Cooking - Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz
Veracruz - Zarela Martinez
Mexico the Beautiful - Marilyn Tausend
Feast of the Water Gods - Patricia Quintana

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  1. My next cook book buy is going to be Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. It looks to have some awesome recipes and it's the go to book for one of my favorite foodie friends

    3 Replies
    1. re: jenspeed

      I have Jaffrey's World Veg. book and it's great. She also has another vegetarian book called Eastern Vegetarian Cooking (or Cookbook). It's a great one, with recipes for things like mung bean pancakes. Obviously, the World Veg. Cooking book is much more comprehensive and diverse, and I don't even know if Jaffrey's Eastern Cooking is still in print.

      I also LOVE the late Barbara Tropp's Chinese cookbook. You have to prepare some flavored oils and other things before cooking some of her recipes, but they're not difficult and the recipes are great. Be sure you don't get it mixed up with the other book - "Mastering"instead of "Modern".

      Lucques is a major treasure as is The Classic Italian book by Hazan.

      HOWEVER, if I could only have books by ONE author, it'd be Fuchsia Dunlop. Either Hunan or Szechuan are great....I think she may even have a new one.

      1. re: oakjoan

        From your lips to God's ears, I would be beyond thrilled to have a new book by FD, especially if it were the one I thought she was hinting at in the memoir, on Huaiyang (a southeastern Chinese) cuisine...

      2. re: jenspeed

        I love the World Vegitarian. My wish list for this year is her newest book, "At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka" and Andrea Nugan's "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors". Also, I would like finally to buy "Vefa's kitchen" next year!

      3. You might read buttertart's post about her disappointment with Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6624...

        I not only want Thompson's Thai Food, but also his latest Thai Street Food (in fact, I almost prefer the latter since I'm guessing most of what I know of Thai food is really street food)! But, yeah, feeling too guilty about price AND space to buy them for myself.

        American Pie has been on my list for awhile...as has The Breath of a Wok.

        I also will admit I want Bobby Flay's Throwdown cookbook, though I suppose I should really look at the book at the library before I say that.

        Is there a reason why you want the separate volumes of Kennedy's "Cuisines of Mexico" and "The Tortilla Book"? They, along with her Mexican Regional Cooking, were combined into "The Essential Cuisines of Mexico."

        Speaking of Mexican, I would love "My Sweet Mexico."

        I recently picked up David Tanis' Heart of the Artichoke and I actually kind of like the tone and philosophy of it. I haven't cooked from it yet, though. It's divided into three parts "small" (1-2 people), "medium" (4-6 people) and "large" cooking (groups). The "small" cooking section is less about recipes and more just food writing in general.

        ~TDQ

        25 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Wow DQ, you've made my day!! I had no idea that the 3 Kennedy books had been combined. Even better, I'd just ordered "The Essential Cuisines of Mexico" from AbeBooks on Monday because I found it an amazing price!!

          Thanks to you, I now get to add 3 more books to my list!! ; - )

          I haven't heard of "Heart of the Artichoke" but I'll definitely take a look, it sounds like a good read.

          FYI, I just picked up Bobby Flay's Throwdown at Costco and while I'm imagining a number of these recipes may be available online, what really attracted me to the book were the back stories with lots of extra info about the episodes and the wonderfully appetizing photos of the dishes. Of course it didn't hurt that I was hungry when I flipped through it in the store!! In many cases (perhaps most, I haven't gotten through the whole book yet), both Bobby's and the competitor's recipes are included. The Chicken Cacciatore and Fried Chicken photos looked especially delicious!

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Oh, I'm glad you think the Throwdown book seems to be worth it. Like you, I'm less interested in Bobby's recipes and more interested in the competitors recipes and stories.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              i was actually just wondering about the Throwdown book when i saw it at Bed Bath & Beyond today. have you ever checked online to see if the ones in the book are also available on the FN site?

            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              I don't like the Tropp book either, I'm an Irene Kuo girl all the way.

              1. re: buttertart

                buttertart, is it "The Key to Chinese Cooking" that you like by Kuo?

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Yes, it's still the best general Chinese cookbook out there.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Thanks buttertart, I just ordered it from Abebooks.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      You won't be sorry.

                    2. re: buttertart

                      Do you have Breath of a Wok? Curious where you think it lies on this general-subject Chinese spectrum. I took it out of the library a month or so ago and was charmed by it. The list of recipes I wanted to try got too long to photocopy or scan, so I bought it. Problem is, I've bought too many new cookbooks lately. I'm feeling a little schizo trying to sample them all. But after Thanksgiving I hope to settle down with this an try to give it a good test run.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I read it (from the BPL) and enjoyed it very much but it didn't captivate me. The new one is gorgeous but I didn't see any recipes I just HAD to try (nor did I in "Breath").

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Gee. I just kept slapping Post-Its on one page after another. We'll see. But probably not until after Thanksgiving. I've got to get to Chinatown to restock the pantry.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Was in Flushing yday doing that, the Great Wall markets are super. Who knows, maybe I was in a crabby mood when I read it.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Hmm, that's funny because crab season has been postponed as of today!

                              Sorry, couldn't resist.

                              1. re: oakjoan

                                That wouldn't be Dungeness crab, in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, available at Monterey Market and the BOWL, would it now??????????

                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I am confused here. Buttertart says she doesn't like Tropp, but the book TDQ seems to be pointing to is Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking which is not by Tropp. Hers is the Modern Art of Chinese Cooking...... plz clarify.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    I think buttertart is saying she doesn't like Tropp either. In the post DQ points to, buttertart is expressing her disappointment w MACC, by Yi-Fei-Lo. So I concluded that, in buttertart's estimation, the only consistently reliable, truly authentic author of Chinese cooking she's come across so far is Kuo. Gee, I hope I got this right!!

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Correct, I think buttertart doesn't like either the Troop MACC or the Yin Fei Lo MACC. Of the Chinese books you've got listed in your OP, buttertart recommends only Kuo's.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Thanks DQ...(bc taking deep sigh of relief!!).

                        On Tropp, the only experience I have w her is via the China Moon cookbook and I really like the book for what it is... Cali-Chinese recipes. I find her conversational style of writing quite appealing and the recipes are accessible and have always been no-fail for me both in terms of execution and, being a hit w guests.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Love, loved loved China Moon Cafe. I have the cookbook, too, but have never gotten around to cooking from it. Do you have any particular favs from it?

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I've tried about 25% of the recipes and haven't been disappointed in any of them. I did start out, as she suggests by making 4 key items in advance for my pantry:
                            salt and szechuan peppercorns, pickled ginger, hot chilli oil and a flavoured oil. I love these ingredients and use them regularly, whether or not I'm cooking from that book. Some dishes that stand out off the top of my head are: Hot & Sour Chx w Black Beans, Strange Flavour Eggplant, Summer Meatball Soup, Pork Wonton in Garlic broth, Sweet & Spicy Chx, the spicy orange scallops are delicious, there's a Spicy Pork w Cabbage and Peanuts that's really yummy and the Dim Sum recipes are sooo good. I haven't tried any desserts though. The ingredient lists look daunting but once you've done them a couple of times, its a no-brainer and easy to execute. As is usually the case, its all about the mis-en-place.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              This is fantastic, thank you! It makes me want to pull it off of my shelf and cook from it immediately!

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                I have the Tropp book; would not ever part with it even tho I've only made 2 recipes from it. Don't laugh: the one on how to cook rice, and have the page marked for pear ice cream...have even bought a substitute (tiny bottle) for the poire William. (One of the Silver Palate books has a great recipe for Blackberry Ice Cream.)

                                Could anyone paraphrase for me the apple studel recipe in One Big Book?

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Yes, do not like the new "Mastering..." by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo at all, and did not like the Tropp when it came out and I was just back from Taiwan. Haven't owned it in quite a while so MAYBE I should reconsider. For the basics, Kuo.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            buttertart: I really loved China Moon and cooked from it a lot. It is a slight pain to make the flavored oils, etc.she calls for, but once they're done it's not that bad.

                            The first time I actually used the book I didn't notice the prep that must be done before one starts cooking from the book. I went into a frenzy of making the required oils, etc., and then it wasn't that big a deal.

                            I haven't cooked from it for years now. I should dust if off and try some of the recipes. Of course I'll have to start over with the oils since I made them in the early 90s!

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              Hmm. Reconsidering.

                    2. The Art of Mexican Cooking - Diana Kennedy
                      Skip this - any of hers and Rick Bayless' books if you are familiar with real Mexican food. Sorry, but they cooked in Mexico. That's it. Waste of $$ . If you want real Mexican food get "A Gringo's Guide to Mexican Food."

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah

                        Wow, ok, you've got my interest. I love authentic Mexican food.

                        I'm a big fan of Rick Bayless - have enjoyed dining at his restaurants and, cooking from his books...though the jury is still out on his recent book "Fiesta....".

                        Kennedy was suggested as another great resource so please do tell....who wrote "Gringo's" (I get 2 possibilities Geraldine Duncan and Mad Coyote Joe) and what is it that drives your passion for it? What recipes do you recommend?

                        1. re: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah

                          Skip this - any of hers and Rick Bayless' books if you are familiar with real Mexican food. Sorry, but they cooked in Mexico.
                          **************************************
                          And this means what? That because they cooked in Mexico their dishes aren't "real" Mexican food?!?!??? What do you consider real Mexican food.

                          I think whatever Mexican books the OP chooses to get depend upon what s/he wants out of it and what kind of cooking experience s/he wants. If Breadcrumbs wants to try and replicate authentic Mexican, Bayless or Kennedy are her best options. If Breadcrumbs wants to replicate gringo versions of Mexican dishes, then your book recommendation is perfectly fine.

                          To make a blanket statment completely dismissing Kennedy and Bayless as valueless with regard to Mexican cooking doesn't exactly demonstrate an a very strong understanding of the cuisine.

                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            +1.

                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                              And then some.

                            2. re: DiningDiva

                              I agree, of course, with DiningDiva.

                              Also, Breadcrumbs, both authors have had COTMs, which might be helpful to you. I should add that I cook a lot of Mexican (my husband is Mexican), have three Bayless books (favorite is Mexican Kitchen) and two Diana Kennedy, and I'm very happy to have them in my library.

                              Bayless' "Mexico, One Plate at a Time"
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/339027

                              Kennedy's "Essential Cuisines of Mexico":
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691346

                              1. re: Rubee

                                Thanks Rubee, that's great to know . . . on both counts! I actually just purchased the Essential Cuisines of Mexico from AbeBooks and I'm really looking forward to cooking from it and, delighted to know it was a COTM. Oddly, Mexico One Plate at a Time is the only Bayless book I don't own. I don't know how that happened but I've just added it to my ever-growing Christmas list. I just love his food - at his restaurants and made at home. I'm hoping to get back to Frontera Grill later this month. Not sure if you're aware he has a newsletter but I always enjoy reading it and, he always has some great recipes each month as well.

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  Before you add One Plate at a Time to your Christmas list, take a look and see what COTMers thought of it. Not much, on the whole. There seemed to be general agreement that Mexican Kitchen (and of course Authentic Mexican) is a much better book.

                                  I have a theory long-time posters have heard before that there are certain cookbook authors who tend to put on a lot of weight while developing, and testing, a new cookbook. There comes a point in their careers where they tell their editor that the only new book they're going to write is a diet book. Well, fine. But don't impose it on us. A Fork in the Road was Paul Prudhomme's contribution. It wasn't a very good book. Remember Patricia Wells's Vegetable Harvest? A lot of COTMers wish they didn't. IMHO, One Plate at a Time fits perfectly into that category. If you want Mexican diet food, fine. If that's not what you had in mind, you might want to look elsewhere.

                                  Rather opinionated here. As if you couldn't tell. Happy to have others jump in and tell Breadcrumbs I don't know what I'm talking about.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    I don't think Mexico, One Plate at a Time is a diet book, but it is , for sure,.not as good as his first 3 books. And you can TOTALLY skip Fiesta at Rick's his latest. Think long and hard about this idea...how busy was Rick winning Top Chef Master's, opening a new restaurant, new menus for the existing ones, taping the PBS series, doing all the PR commitments, his commitments to the CIA and cooking tours he supports, plus any and all of his charity work. When does he have time to write a cookbook. Connect the dots, read between the lines....

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      Did I get "One Plate at a Time" mixed up with "Mexican Everyday "? I took them both out of the library at about the same time and didn't much care for either one. One of them was definitely a diet book. Anyway, all the publicity for the book, whichever one it was, had photos of Rick doing yoga headstands and telling us how he'd lost a squazillion pounds and gotten his life in balance. That's great for a yoga class, but it's not what I buy cookbooks for.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        I don't think that's Mexican Everyday you're describing--Mex E.D. is the one that has all of the crock pot recipes in it, which I actually have had some good luck with.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          Joan, I think you are probably thinking of Mexican Everyday, it has a number of "lighter" recipes. IIRC, the first chapter has a bunch of salads and salad dressings. I don't know that I'd call it a diet book per se, but it definitely has lighter fare in it. I actually like Mexican Everyday, it's got some nice recipes, including "Roadside Chicken" which is a really easy and tasty way to grill or broil chicken. He also adapted a lot of the recipes for the crock pot in order to make them more accessible. My experience with the crock pot methods has been that sometimes the cooking times are too long, but the results are pretty good. Mexican cooking is laborious and time consuming, I think his attempts at adapting for the crock pot were pretty decent.

                                          One Plate at a Time is kind of his riff on traditional vs. contemporary. I've not been especially enamored of this book, although the recipes generally do work and generally do produce good results. I use it mostly as a starting point and reference when I'm looking to ideas on updated versions of traditional recipes.

                                        2. re: DiningDiva

                                          DD, thanks for this thoughtful and helpful post - i just removed Fiesta from my wish list :)

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            In the forward of Fiesta, Rick says he envisioned it as being a companion book to Mexican Everday. That with the 2 books a cook would have a complete compendium for cooking Mexican. And in looking at the 2 books together I can certainly see his point. The value of Mexican Everday is that he's managed to simplify time intensive dishes while maintaining much of the traditional flavor profile.

                                            Fiesta provides ideas and recipes for parties. What I liked about the book were the timelines and party planning tips, even down to music playlists. What I didn't like about the book was that it did not appear to have been edited very well and there were structure errors with some of the recipes, something that almost never happened in his other books. My personal take, and I'd like to stress this is just my personal opinion, is that Fiesta is the weakest of Rick's book and, for me, seems to lack some of the detail and precision of his earlier cookbooks.

                                            But as a set the 2 books do give the cook the ability to create Mexican themed meals with a reasonable degree of ease and a reasonably good chance for a tasty outcome. For the bulk of Americans looking to cook Mexican they are just fine because they are approachable and fairly simple. However, for a Mexiphile or serious Mexican cook they are probably not going to be particularly valuable.

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Just my two cents, but I think Bayless's first two books (Authentic Mexican and Mexican Kitchen) are his best.

                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          I have to agree, nmcw.

                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                            Agree 100%. I really like Mexican Kitchen a lot.

                                            I would also add a little book he did that's not very well know called "Salsas That Cook". This is a thin little book that begins with 8 basic salsas. He provides 3 different recipe yields for each salsa as well as viable chile (and in some cases herb) substitutions, which gives the cook tremendous flexibility and variety. The reste of the book is 50 recipes each (except the desserts) using one or more the othe salsas. I think this is one of the best cookbooks for the novice Mexican cook. It's easy, approachable, and not particularly dumbed down.

                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                              Own 'em all, have cooked from 'em all, and could not agree more. Also, his new restaurant, XOCO's a bit of a dud in my book. Dude needs to do less, better.

                                    2. I have a cookbook addiction - so I must check out a cookbook from the library before I buy. Latest purchase is Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn.....I am becoming a HUGE fan of hers. All of her recipes are winners and I love the way she writes.

                                      1. I've wanted Splendid Table How to Eat Supper for awhile. I've also had some fellow CH's suggest Twist of the Wrist and Better Than Store Bought. Both look appealing. My problem is that I so rarely use the books I have. I go to them interwebs first. The cookbooks I do have (including some cool "vintage" ones I inherited) have been pretty neglected.

                                        23 Replies
                                        1. re: CapreseStacy

                                          I have Splendid Table How to Eat Supper and I have to say I am very disappointed with it. I am a huge fan of the original Splendid Table cookbook, in fact it is on my top 5 list, so I was very excited when this other book came out. I'd say pass on it.

                                          Here's my list:

                                          Ad Hoc
                                          Mexico the Beautiful
                                          Ottolonghi

                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                            I was disappointed in How to Eat Supper, too. Practically everything that wasn't dessert had raw onions in it, and they literally make me sick. I'm glad I only took it out of the library.

                                            Does anyone know if Sunday Suppers at Lucques has those smelly printing chemical pages like Ad Hoc or French Table? Also, is "Lucques" pronounced like the man's name "Luke"?

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              Hi Jay, I looked through Sunday Suppers at Lucques at my local book store and it appealed to me for the photos and content. Lots of tempting recipes and I think it was a past COTM.

                                              FYI, like Ad Hoc at Home, it was printed in Singapore so you may have issues w the print. I do find that the type of paper used plays a huge role in how strong the odour is though. I have books printed in China and Singapore that don't carry any odour at all. In this case, I didn't notice an odour from SS@L.

                                              As for pronouncing Lucques, the traditional pronunciation is [lu-k] ( n) What I don't know is whether they have elected a non-traditional pronunciation.

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                Thanks, Breadcrumbs. I had to get rid of Ad Hoc and the Dorie Greenspan cookbooks. I would never be able to use them. And I really liked Ad Hoc. Actually, I love those big cookbooks with pictures of each recipe, even if I never make anything from it.

                                                I think I'll get Lucques out of the library (though library books can have their own set of smells) before I buy a copy.

                                                Thanks for the pronunciation, too.

                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                  I love Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan!

                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  Breadcrumbs: After seeing Goin on tv several times, I can say that, at least on TV, she calls it "LOO - K....the French pronunciation is sort of like a combo of luke and leek. In any case, the S is not pronounced.

                                                  Sunday Suppers at Lucques has a recipe for short ribs that is so great it's worth the price of the book for that and the accompanying horseradish mashed potatoes alone.

                                                3. re: Jay F

                                                  With the French u, closer to a German umlauted u.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    buttertart - like "euuuh"?

                                                    Thanks, btw.

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      Curl your tongue a bit.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        Say "e" as in "tree," but round your lips as you would for "oooh" as in "true."

                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                          If you go to this link and click the arrow you can listen to it:

                                                          http://www.forvo.com/word/lucques/

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            Thanks to all of you for the pronunciation help. You should have seen some of my facial expressions.

                                                      2. re: Jay F

                                                        I've never noticed any particular smell to my Lucques book, but then I don't have Ad Hoc or French Table, so I can't compare, But I can say that Lucques is a wonderful (if labor-intensive) book.

                                                      3. re: dkennedy

                                                        I had exactly the same feeling about ST HtES--and I am another huge fan of original ST.

                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                          It was not very good, sort of Silver Palate for the early years of the 21st C.

                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                            Huh. ST HtES has been on my "list" for awhile. You know, that running list of books you keep an eye out for at used book stores and garage sales, etc? Maybe I should remove it from my list!

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              It's a bit fluffy. In my humble opinion.

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Well, if you ran across it somewhere for a dollar or so, you might see if you can find something worthwhile in it. I was really disappointed in it, but partly, I'm sure, b/c I had such high expectations.

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  If I had paid for "How to Eat Supper," I would've returned it for another book. I took it out of the library, so it wasn't an issue (I buy about 1/4 of the books I take out of the library--recently Ad Hoc, Judith Jones' book on cooking for one, All about Braising). Too many raw onions. In fact, I had a dream about raw red onions while I was reading it.

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    Have you read through it yet? You're more than welcome to borrow mine.

                                                                    1. re: clepro

                                                                      Hey! Good to see you. Are you a fan of the book, Clepro? If so, any particular favorites to recommend off the top of your head? Funnily enough, I got a peek at LRK's How to Eat Supper as well as her (as yet unreleased) How to Eat Weekends at the MPR booth at the State Fair. I think I'm going to check the former out of library and give it a try. "Quick" weeknight meals is kind of my speed right now... THe format didn't bother me.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        No, I'm not, sorry to say. I liked her earlier ones, but this one just never grabbed me.
                                                                        BTW, congratulations!!!! Big news; made me smile.

                                                                        1. re: clepro

                                                                          That seems to be consistent sentiment among people who loved her first two books. A lot of people are hoping for one of her earlier books for October, though I can't remember which one. Anyway, stick around for that. I did scan the HTES recipes on EYB and realized that I have all of those recipes in one form or another already. Nothing really earth shattering. Again, might be a good library book, but perhaps not one to add to my collection.

                                                                          As for my news, thank you. It's rather small news, in a way. :). We're thrilled of course.

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                            2. Bump Ottolenghi up to number 1 - it really is great (as witnessed by the posting frenzy on this board!). A cookbook I just got along the same lines as Ottolenghi which I am loving is Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe - like Ottolenghi a lot of sumac & pomegranate but Turkish rather than Israeli/Palestinian.

                                                              Got to say I rec'd Plenty (new Ottolenghi) the same time I got Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume and I've barely looked at Plenty. Maybe it's because I saw many of the recipes in the Guardian before the book came out. Don't know but it's nowhere near as inspiring as the original.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: themags

                                                                Completely agree (except that I am unfamiliar with Silvena Rowe--must investigate!)

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  There was an article on her in the New York Times a couple of months back, you might want to look it up - the books do sound interesting.

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    WOW! Talk about differing opinions. I have not stopped cooking from Plenty since the day it arrived. So many fabulous recipes. The Very Full Tart, the ratatouille, and the fried leeks alone are worth the price of the book, including shipping.

                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                      Oh, I don't mean to say Plenty is not a good book, it's just not nearly as inspiring (to me) as Ottolenghi was. The original Ottolenghi is high, high on my all-time favs.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                2. I love Marc Vetri's Il Viaggio di Vetri....don worry, its all in english. I love his restaurant Vetri, but I find all of his dishes to be pretty easy to make. He also has a lot of things I dont see in other italian cookbooks - like combining berries and mushrooms - doesnt sound great, but it is and apparently it is common in Italy. Without a doubt my go to book - nothing that is too hard, but everything is amazing.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dcole

                                                                    I just bought this book and it has some great looking pasta dishes in it.

                                                                    1. re: dcole

                                                                      dcole, you've really got my interest here. I see that Jeff Benjamin has contributed to the book and wondered whether each recipe has a wine recommendation?

                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        Breadcrumbs, sorry for my slow response to this, just rechecked this thread.
                                                                        He does provide a rec for every dish - both varietals and specific labels - often cases more than one. He also wrote a piece a few pages long about how he learned about wine, which is a great story. Marc Vetri also wrote about becoming a chef, and the specific people he met/learned from in Bergamo, Italy...I love the book - cant say enough good things about it. If you're hesitating, don't - it has become my go to. On top of that, some good stories to read.
                                                                        Another not on Jeff Benjamin - I've had the pleasure having the tasting menu at Vetri with the wine parings, and the wine knocked my socks off...one course was a Muller-Thurgau (a hybrid grape that crosses Riesling and Sylvaner) with the Sweet Onion Crepe - maybe the best thing I've ever ate with one of the best wines I've ever had. I live in NYC but have thought many times about taking a trip to Philly again just to go.

                                                                        1. re: dcole

                                                                          dcole, thanks so much for this info, I'll definitely add the book to my Christmas list and, move it to the top. It sounds wonderful, we love Italian food and wine and definitely appreciate thoughtful wine recommendations.

                                                                          Your tasting menu meal sounds amazing. I wasn't familiar w the Muller-Thurgau grape and love tasting menus for that specific reason, its wonderful to discover a new wine and have a remarkable, memorable experience.

                                                                          On Jeff Benjamin, I've been keeping an eye on him since I read an article about him earlier this year. Barbara Lynch (JB award-winning chef/author of Stir) was in Philly for a fundraising event that was held at Osteria, owned by Vetri and Benjamin. That night they cooked recipes from her book and she RAVED about Benjamin's wine-matching skills. I've since learned this is not an uncommon reaction when folks taste his pairings. I'd love to experience a tasting with him will likely plan a trip around it ...I'm in Toronto so its a quick weekend get-away if we fly.

                                                                          Thanks again for your insights on the book!

                                                                          1. re: dcole

                                                                            I wondered if that book was going to have do-able recipes. Now, I'm adding it to my wish list.

                                                                            Vetri may be my all-time favorite restaurant experience, ever. I've been only three times (each time was perfect) as I live far away, but I love the place so much that it was DH's 20th anniversary gift to me. He still shakes his head at the thought that we would make a special trip to Philly to eat at a restaurant. He kept saying, "you sure you wouldn't rather go to NYC?" Love NY, but Vetri's not there.

                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                              I live in NYC and there are a plethora of great Italian spots, but I am with you...I'll take Vetri over them all. Philly, especially for its size, has an incredible amount of top notch restaurants in my mind.
                                                                              Breadcrumbs - had no idea that Benjamin was so well known, or at least lauded by Barbara Lynch. That being said, it makes sense, because the wines were well paired, but more than that, a few of them were way better than what I was expecting - and I was expecting very, very good wines. Thanks for pointing it out.
                                                                              Let me know how you guys like the book when you get it! I have no doubt you'll love it.

                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                Me too ... I didn't think I needed another italian cookbook, but dcole is doing a GREAT sales job.

                                                                        2. I think this book is flying under the radar because it was just released a few weeks ago, but oh my, is it interesting.

                                                                          Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers
                                                                          by Maria Guggiana

                                                                          The book features 50 of the nations best butchers/meat cutters and their recipes and tips for getting the most out of your meat purchases. I picked this book up a couple weeks ago and havent' had time to go through it in-depth yet. But, from what I've read so far, this book appears to be a great resource. Each featured butcher has a section and it highlights the focus and passion these butcher have for their craft

                                                                          It's a beautifully put together cookbook and a worthy holiday gift for the meat lover or avid cook.

                                                                          1. I had a rootle around in Foyles earlier today, and the book that really caught my eye was "At Elizabeth David's Table: Her Very Best Everyday Recipes". Just gorgeous. If I didn't already own quite a few of her original books, I'd buy it like a shot. A great introduction to ED if you don't already own her books.

                                                                            http://www.amazon.co.uk/At-Elizabeth-...

                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              This sounds lovely greedygirl. I just recently discovered David's work here on Chowhound and only have acquired one book since then, her "Italian Food". This sounds like it would make a perfect addition to my collection, and a great Christmas gift for a friend of mine. Thanks for mentioning it.

                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                I love the cover photo. Nothing says "everyday cooking" like an untrussed roasted chicken.

                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                  I still use Elizabeth David's Mediterranean and French Country Food book regularly. In addition to the recipes, she has a listing of conversions from "Gas Mark ___" to Fahrenheit oven temps.

                                                                                  On Amazon, it says that At Elizabeth's Table won't be published until Feb. 2011. I guess we'll get it next year. I don't know why I care. I already have at least 5 David books.

                                                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                                                    The photos are gorgeous. I think it's a duck rather than a chicken on the front.

                                                                                    I really want this book!

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      GG you made me laugh out loud - there's that Marx Bros sketch that goes something like "Viaduct? Why a duck and not a chicken?"

                                                                                      New ED just went on my amazon wish list - it's £15 there not RRP £25. I like the idea of seeing photos for the first time and Loftus is a great food photographer

                                                                                      1. re: themags

                                                                                        themags: just found the Elizabeth David book for £7.99 at The Book People. A serious bargain!

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          Who/where are these Book People of which you speak????

                                                                                          edit: http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp...

                                                                                          1. re: themags

                                                                                            They normally come to the Beeb once a month as well.....

                                                                                      2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                        A duck! What do you know?

                                                                                        I'll probably get it, too.

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          You are a very naughty little temptress, gg. Must...get...
                                                                                          Now please have a word with Ms. Dunlop and get her going on the Huaiyang book of my dreams...

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            You're a fine one to talk, missy. I am now obsessing about the Kuo, and I want the Canal House Cooking books as well. Which are all hard to get hold of in the UK, of course.

                                                                                            If anyone's coming to London soon, let me know - I need a book courier! (Plus I make a great travel guide.)

                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                              Would that I were, can always make space for the Kuo.

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                Try me again summer of 2012 ...

                                                                                      3. Don't know that they meet the "too expensive" criteria, but because I've been jonesing for them for a few months and it's that time of year, I'll probably let it be known through back channels that I might not mind the River Cottage Meat book and some Fuchsia Dunlop.

                                                                                        1. Canal House volumes are on my wish list.

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                            I saw those at W-S when I was checking out the new LC. Nice books. I'd like some, too.

                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                              I had to refrain from buying them when I was in there this weekend. I wish I'd pounced when I saw them bundled (at a savings) a month or so ago.

                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                Some are super-OOP. Volume 1 is due to be reprinted next year, and is $125 new on Amazon Marketplace.

                                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Canal-House-Coo...

                                                                                                Here's their website: http://www.thecanalhouse.com/buythebo...

                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                  Whoa! I gave my DH a subscription for Xmas last year, and they've barely been cracked. At those prices, maybe I should sell the set!

                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    I would see no problem with your selling your set. At least vol. 1.

                                                                                                  2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                    I saw it, but I'm not sure what's up with that $125 price tag. I ran into the local Williams-Sonoma again yesterday, and ended up caving and buying vol.1 ($22.95)out of fear it would disappear or the price would go up. But that store, at least, had five copies of Vol.1.

                                                                                              2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                You know, the problem with those Canal House books is that they come out every quarter, if I understand it correctly. So, it's almost like collecting magazines, which I try not to do. Do they have a "best of" yet? I think I'd like to wait for that...

                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                  They're definitely not for anybody trying to de-clutter. Although they are actually books in physical terms (the latest volumes have cloth hardcovers), the eds. say they plan to put out three a year. And what a clever marketing scheme, that whole subscription thing.

                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    I quite like them, I have to say, though I have yet to cook from them. The production values are fabulous, and they are really more of a book than a magazine, as nomadchowwoman says. It will be interesting to see how different they are from year-to-year, and whether a continuing subscription feels redundant or not. It's like the food magazines' November issues -- how different can you make a turkey look -- or taste!

                                                                                                2. How is Modernist Cuisine not on everyone's "too-expensive" list?

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Indirect Heat

                                                                                                    It's too expensive, for sure, but who the heck wants it? Bah. Certainly not me.

                                                                                                    Do you? (Honest question.)

                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      Yes, because I like "On Food and Cooking" and the "Modernist Cuisine" will go far, far beyond it and will have a significant impact on the understanding of cooking (for chefs but aslo homecookings) and many questions related to cooking. It will be a book which will help to bring the knowledge of cooking to the next level. It's a matter if somebody is interested on "just" cooking something or also interested in understanding in depth what and why something is happening in the cooking process.

                                                                                                      1. re: honkman

                                                                                                        Makes sense. I'm afraid I don't have the patience for it. But, I can see how it could appeal to you!

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                  2. I was just in Costco and they had Molly O'Neill's One Big Table for $29.99 (list $50). Guess who bought it?

                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      The lady in front of you in line of course.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        Oh, oh, oh! I'm so curious! Please (have the lady in line in front of you) report back to us!

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          Well, I've just begun looking through it, but so far I LOVE it. Each recipe has a story about the person/place where it originates, so it feels like much more than a cookbook. Of course, it is enormous, and it will take a good long while to go through it. There are recipes that cover every ethnic/immigrant group as well as every region of the country. Some recipes are ones I have in other books, like Commander's Palace's bread pudding, but that seems to be when a recipe is sui generis. Plus there are tons of pictures, side bars, historical notes. In short, I think that this is kind of a masterwork on American Cooking, but totally not fusty or preachy. It feels real and accessible. The proof with be in the bread pudding, so to speak, since you would have to cook from it extensively to see how the recipes work for you. But Molly O'Neill is no novice at the cookbook game, and I am certain that the recipes have been tested extensively. Whether or not they appeal to your taste will certainly be an individual matter, but I am so happy to have seen it today and to put it in my collection. I will now have to decide who will get banished upstairs to make room for Molly in the kitchen...

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            Oh, gosh that just sounds fantastic. Did you read the WaPo article on the book? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                                                                                            It really reinforces what you just wrote. I was hoping it would be as you describe. It might even outshine the Amanda Hessers ENYTC.

                                                                                                            I think that's my next purchase. Just waiting for a good deal...

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              Ask that lady in front of you if I can borrow it. Me want, big time. This has been a great year for cookbooks, guess all the ones held back by the downturn are coming out in a lump.

                                                                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              This truly is a very dangerous place for a cookbook addict!! I swear Mr bc is going to try to have me banned from this site!! Its pretty bad when the postman starts complaining. Last week I happened to be outside when he was schlepping yet another cookbook delivery down the driveway. I met him half way and he looked at me and said, ..."I don't know where you're putting all these books!" I'm so glad Mr. bc wasn't in an earshot!!

                                                                                                              On One Big Table, I just happened to be in DC when the Washington Post review of this book came out and I clipped it from the paper (of course). I just checked and its now online so in case anyone is interested:

                                                                                                              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                Ha! We must have the same postman...

                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                It sounds very much like her "New York Cookbook" with the personal stories and photos and sidebars. I loved reading that book, but didn't end up cooking from it very much--even though some of the recipes were quite appealing. Maybe while you all cook from the new one, I'll go back and have a look at the old one.

                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                  When you do go back and have a look, check out a couple of recipes that have become standbys for us: an excellent crunchy coleslaw and the Moroccan Carrots.

                                                                                                                  Can't remember the exact name of the coleslaw recipe, and I'm not at home so can't check the book. But it was contributed by a woman who worked at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens...or maybe she was a winner in a cooking contest to benefit the Gardens. Something like that! Anyway, it's an oil-vinegar slaw, with carrots, red onions, and green peppers in addition to the cabbage. Easy as can be to make, holds well, and delicious.

                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Roxlet--completely concur---*love* "One Big Table"....picked mine up at Costco also for $29.99. Cannot put it down. What a jewel!! This should be a staple for everyone. Not only is it a cookbook, but the historical/documentary aspect of it is unrivaled. I have long loved her "New York Cookbook"....and this one is fantastic. Would love to blog my way through this book...would be great fun! Great addition to anyone's collection.

                                                                                                                  1. re: apple342

                                                                                                                    I got it from Costco and I'm returning it...it's SO HEAVY and I thought I would love it but I don't. (God knows, I do not need another cookbook!)

                                                                                                              3. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                I've been eying it there, but I'm trying very, very hard to be good! Looking forward to hearing about any recipes you try!

                                                                                                              4. A couple months ago I downloaded Into the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark onto my Kindle. I very quickly found out that cookbooks and Kindle are not exactly a match made in heaven and kind of dropped my interest in Into the Kitchen.

                                                                                                                There was NOTHING on TV last night, so being bored I picked up my Kindle and decided to give Into the Kitchen a second shot. Oh my, am I glad I did! Not only is Melissa Clark's writing style easy to read and fun, her stories are quite charming and the accompanying recipes are easy and quite enticing. I've already earmaked 5 or 6 of them for future reference and I've only made it through the egg and salad sections. I am so glad I decided to try again to get into this cookbook, although I strongly suspect I'm probably going to have to break down and get a hard copy of the book.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                  i added Melissa Clark's book to my wish list as soon as i heard about the release - i love her column in the NY Times. i'm so glad it's getting a CH thumbs-up!

                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                    I just finished reading this Melissa's cookbook cover to cover. It was quite an enjoyable read. I am ashamed to say I didn't know who she was until I picked up this book, (which seems impossible since I read practically everything out there food related). Since I finished the book I notice her name being dropped everywhere and not just in the NYT.

                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                      I agree--also really enjoyed reading Clark's book. She's written or co-written cookbooks for a slew of chefs/restaurants/food personalities, but (I think) this one is the first in which she is the star. The book really does seem to have been written for the home cook, and I've bookmarked several recipes that look promising.

                                                                                                                2. I'm glad you posted that update DD, I want to check that book out now. A friend of mine found a recipe for a Honey Chipotle roast chicken from that book online and has been making it ever since. Her family LOVES it. I'm now thinking I should get the book for Christmas.

                                                                                                                  Also, I have a confession and an update on my OP. I decided not to wait for Santa and bought The Breath Of A Wok for myself (these things can't be helped!!). I'm really enjoying reading it and loved the (first) recipe I tried last night. So now I've added "Stir-Frying To the Sky's Edge" to my list in its place of course!

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs, some things just simply can be helped!

                                                                                                                    I, too, broke down an ordered over $100 worth of cookbooks this weekend. Mostly the Canal House series, but also Radically Simple and a specialty cookbook for my sister by the chef/owner of a local restuarant she and her family really like. I like it too and am afraid that once I see her book, I'm going to have to have one too!

                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                      I'll be very curious to find out what you think of the Rozanne Gold book. Please do report back!

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                        DD I'm glad I'm not alone here!! I too have been eyeing those Canal House books but haven't broken down. . . yet!

                                                                                                                        I mean who am I kidding, undoubtedly its only a matter of time I'm sure!

                                                                                                                    2. Well I broke down and ordered One Big Table and the Essential NYT for myself--because The Good Cook's "bundle" special last weekend meant they were $11 apiece (with free shipping) and therefore not too expensive!.
                                                                                                                      As roxlet and others have noted, OBT is phenomenal--even if one never cooked from it, the food history/anthropology, photos and illustrations, and the great stories of this great melting pot make it an excellent (albeit large) addition to a collection of food books. (And I've seen several recipes I would try.) I also really like what I've seen so far of the Essential NYT Cookbook.

                                                                                                                      For anyone interested, The Good Cook is running the same special this weekend: buy two or more books and they're $11 ea. Free shipping. For these hefty tomes, a good deal. I'm going to order a few OBT and NYT to give as gifts.

                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        I know -- it's an incredible deal. I think I'm going for Bake! the new Nick Malgieri, A World of Cakes, and Falling Off the Bone. $11 makes them irresistibly cheap!

                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                          Sounds like a wonderful deal! I am not a member but understand that there is a Canadian version and I'm now considering signing up. A question about the books though, do they ever send you "book club versions" or are the books the same quality and appearance as the one's in the bookstores? I was a member of a book club here years ago and very much regretted not reading the fine print because all the books were printed on horrible, newsprint type paper with uneven edges. I donated them all to Goodwill in frustration.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                            They're not book club versions. They are the same as the books that you would buy in the store. Another good thing is that you can do the whole thing on line -- they send you emails about that month's selection, and you can instantaneous respond and reject the book if you don't want it. I was once a book club member, and I remember excavating my handbag and finding un-mailed book club notices, answering the question as to why I was getting things in the mail like The Better Homes and Gardens Guide to whatever.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Wow, that's great, thanks roxlet - I'm going to check out the Canadian site today. I too remember those return cards, what a pain! I wonder how many people actually mailed back unwanted books. Probably the minority. I love the email option. Thanks for getting back to me on this.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                Gee, so much for that idea!! I just went to their website and the Canadian Good Cook has filed for bankruptcy. Part of a larger filing by DB Media.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  Oops! I wonder if ours will be next?

                                                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            Roxlet, If you haven't already purchased it yet, I happen to have an extra copy of Bake! (ever buy a book that you already have?!). Send me an email if you are interested.

                                                                                                                          3. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            Ha! Nomadchowwoman--I did the same thing in mid Dec...got them both for myself...hands down my two fav cookbooks from 2010. Both Phenomenal!!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: apple342

                                                                                                                              i agree--those are two wonderful books, best deals I made in 2010. NYT will be COTM in Feb., thus presenting a great opportunity for in-depth exploration. I hope to see you there!

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                ohhh--Fantastic about FEB COTM...well deserved, although I suspect we could easily go 6 months on that one! Looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                          4. Ooops I did it again! I bought another cookbook. This time it was "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"

                                                                                                                            I didn't mean to of course. Its just that I found a great discount coupon in the paper today and ok, it didn't say it HAD to be used for cookbooks but I swear, when I walk in the bookstore, all the other kinds of books just slink away. I mean, I'd actually gone with the intention of picking up a book for mr bc. Would have been a great Christmas gift for him. But you know how it goes, the super-strong magnetic force pulled me right over to the cookbook area and then, against all odds, this book just jumped out at me. Someone had actually left it at the very front of the bookshelf and well, it was the only copy they had. I couldn't just let it go to some ingrate that would later cast it aside without regret so, I saved it from a life of isolation. . . right?

                                                                                                                            Anyway, I absolutely love it! There's no way mr bc could have loved the book I intended to get him as much as I'm enjoying this one. I've been reading it ever since I got home and I'm now on pg 80 and have yet to see one single recipe that I "wouldn't make" I mean everything just looks and sounds wonderful. Great stories, mouth-watering photos, accessible recipes with readily available ingredients. Really I just can't say enough good things about it.

                                                                                                                            Actually, I did take a bit of a detour because Young mentions a website in the book. If you like Chinese cooking and haven't looked at redcook.net yet, give it a try. Don't go on an empty stomach though!!

                                                                                                                            24 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                              This isn't good. We encourage each other in a way I'm not sure is at all healthy. Saw your post. Googled. Amazon had it for $14. And all you have to do is click. I haven't even started on Breath of a Wok. Maybe it's just the season. Please. Tell me it's just the season.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                Is $14 not the usual price on Amazon?

                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                  Last time I looked it was $23 something. $14 for a $35 dollar book sounded like a special deal to me. Perhaps I'm wrong.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a good deal to me, too, if it's down from $23! I notice Amazon calls it a "bargain priced" book. I guess they also think it's a good deal.

                                                                                                                                    EDIT: Funny, in my browsing history Amazon shows the price of the book as $23.10, but it shows $14 when you click on the book.

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      Buy, buy, buy! That's a bargain!!

                                                                                                                                      The book is $45.99 here - regular price. 37% off that thanks to Amazon coming to Canada so our local bookseller has to at least match that price. I got an extra 25% off that today.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        Not to worry. I snapped it up.

                                                                                                                                        Also, Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food: 350 Recipes Ready-to-Eat in 30 Minutes is on sale for $7.18--paperback.

                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          Wonderful, what a bargain! I have that Slater book and love it. A good shopping trip DQ!!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                            DQ: I also think that's a good price for Real Fast Food. I love the book. Really great for quick dinner ideas.

                                                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                  Ok Joan, it's just the season. Did you order it?!!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                    Is that a rhetorical question?

                                                                                                                                    Of course I did!

                                                                                                                                    I don't know what's gotten into me. I think I've bought more than a dozen (maybe way more than a dozen; I'm afraid to count) cookbooks in the past couple of months. And any day now I'm going to have to start some serious dieting and will be living on steamed vegetables and grilled fish. Do you think maybe that has something to do with it?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                      Heh! Yes, but Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge has been described as "diet-friendly". Lots of vegs, with meat just as a flavoring. That's why I jumped on it!

                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure if you're thinking about doing WW, but they've got a new plan. It was rolled out 2 weeks ago. All the old points are out the window and an entirely new, recalibrated points scale is in its place. Fresh and frozen fruits are free (as are, of course, non-starchy veg.) Super emphasis on whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, and, of course, fresh produce.

                                                                                                                                      Gone is the old points-finder slider thing. There are now four components to determining points and it was too complicated to put it on a slider, apparently. Now you have to buy a calculator. The calculator and all plan materials (Complete Dining Out Guide, Complete Food Companion, etc.) are on sale for month of Dec only. I understand centers are supposed to sell to you if you walk in and tell them you're an Online Member. They didn't even ask for proof when I did that. All centers are different, of course, because many are franchises, but that's the deal.

                                                                                                                                      I wanted to get their exclusive "Ready, Set, Go!" Cookbook that comes in the "Deluxe Kit", but my center was out of it. They're selling on EBay for $15-$20, which I refuse to pay.

                                                                                                                                      So far, I'm doing quite well on the new plan. (I'm counting points this time, instead of core/simply filling technique.) I'm eating about 2 oz of walnuts a day and have gone back to lowfat Fage (instead of the lousy 0% that I tolerated before) just to get my daily minimum points in.

                                                                                                                                      The only thing I don't like about the new plan is that I have enough daily points that I don't feel pressured to exercise just so I could have enough points. I kind of need that extra nudge to exercise.

                                                                                                                                      Anyway, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge was my gift to myself for sticking with the plan.

                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                        Thånks for this post, DQ. I am planning to start WW for the first time and am intimidated by the whole system, especially the points. I am sure it will become more clear once I start going to the meetings in January (i'll be joining a friend at the groups she goes to).

                                                                                                                                        1. re: poptart

                                                                                                                                          It really takes a few weeks to get the whole system down at first, trying to figure out what will and will not fit into your daily plan. But, if you stick with it, you'll catch on in due course! Good luck!

                                                                                                                                          Lately I've been having 2% Fage, a piece of fruit, and about an ounce of walnuts for breakfast. (Or eggs and potatoes.)

                                                                                                                                          About 2 oz of lean protein, a 1/4 cup wild rice, and a cup of roasted veg for lunch

                                                                                                                                          Frozen grapes for snack

                                                                                                                                          And then whatever else for dinner. Grilled piece of lean meat, poultry, and fish, plus some veggies, and a whole grain is super easy for weeknight.

                                                                                                                                          Pasta seems really not worth the points, even whole wheat pasta.

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                            Thanks. It helps to see what works for others!
                                                                                                                                            While browsing through new cookbooks Jessica's Biscuit, I saw that WW has a new one out on 12/21' "WW New Complete Cookbook" (another possibility for my wish list). I've read on other threads that some WW cookbooks are rated better by chow folks than others. Do you know anything about this one? Sounds as though it incorporates the new changes, which hopefully means less calling for fake foods?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: poptart

                                                                                                                                              I have an older version of that book that I received in a book swap. Haven't cooked from it yet, but I've compared the TOC from my book with the TOC of the new book and there appear to have been many recipes added and deleted.

                                                                                                                                              My issue with WW Cookbooks in general is that they tend to be under-spiced for my tastes (I almost always just add 1.5 times the spice) and their ethnic foods tend to be more ethnic-esque, than what most Chowhounds would consider "authentic." They seldom call for ingredients you can't find at your typical grocery store. They are more "weeknight" kinds of recipes than anything. They don't require a lot of technique or skill or anything like that. You're not going to "learn" anything from these books, except portion control and how to assemble a meal that will fit in on plan, some ideas about the kinds of recipes that will work on plan, and some concrete ways to cut a favorite recipe down in points.

                                                                                                                                              You can use the "search this book" feature on Amazon if you want to look at some of the recipes in that "New Complete Cookbook" (make sure you're looking at the latest version of the book) and get a sense of them yourself. They let you see a couple of recipes in each section.

                                                                                                                                              As far as "fake" foods, WW cookbooks don't really rely on a lot of fake foods in my experience, except for fat free dairy. I don't mind "low-fat" dairy, but I object to the fat free, both on the grounds of deliciousness and healthfulness . Occasionally WW recipes will call for nonfat sour cream, nonfat yogurt, fat-free cheese, or egg substitute. I will usually sub in the low-fat version and just count the extra points. I'm creeped out by egg substitute and won't use it. Oh, and they will often have you use "oil spray" on vegetables, which, again, I don't do. I might use my own oil mister, but, more often than not, I just measure oil out and count points.

                                                                                                                                              I don't know if you have to be logged in to the WW website to see these recipe collections. Can you see them? These are pretty typical of WW recipes.

                                                                                                                                              http://www.weightwatchers.com/images/...

                                                                                                                                              http://aka.weightwatchers.com/images/...

                                                                                                                                              I think the WW snacks/ice cream novelties/dinners that you can buy at centers or in grocery stores rely more on fake foods, but the cookbooks not so much. I know of someone who lost 40 pounds on WW by eating WW frozen dinners for every lunch or dinner. That makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                              A lot of the "fake foods" recipes come from the members themselves. I don't know where they get them, (maybe from that dreadful HungryGirl website? WW used to link to her site and I think she even did a weekly column for them, but no more, thank goodness.) I can't stand those desserts that call for a box of sugar free, fat free pudding plus whatever. Or a can of diet coke and cake mix, and so on. But, again, those recipes seem to be coming from and circulating among members and not WW. I know leaders sometimes hand those recipes out, too. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                              I find a lot of WW-friendly recipes by searching Epicurious for "healthy" then sorting by user rating. Also, I've done well some of the highest rated recipes on Cooking Light and Eating Well sites, too. If you join WW Online (the non-meetings option) or get the ETools/Monthly Pass to augment your "meetings" membership, you will have access to their recipe database, which is pretty extensive. A few chowhounds have recommended skinnytaste.com for recipes. I haven't tried any yet.

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                Thanks, this is very helpful. I think I may start off by looking to books I already own that would lend themselves nicely (I think) to WW, such as Peter Berley, many Moosewood and other vegetarian, Chinese and Japanese cookbooks, etc.
                                                                                                                                                Good excuse to revisit these!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: poptart

                                                                                                                                                  Personally, this is one of the best approaches of all. Afterall, you have to live with this diet for the duration of your weight loss. And, you might even need to incorporate some changes into your life for the long-term if you want to keep the weight off. So, if you can figure out how to make your favorites work for you on plan, I think you'll have better long-term success.

                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                        Oh, and several recipes in Medrich's new book are WW points-friendly. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7458... Of course, she calc'd the points using the "old" points system, but I've recalc'd a couple under PointsPlus and they are still just 1-2 points. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7458...

                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                      I'm with JoanN. This isn't good for the weak willed. And, I've been very, very weak recently. In the last few months, I've bought 10 (!!!) cookbooks, including Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge and Alice Medrich's ooey gooey cookie book (bought on amazon today because of this thread). And, many of these I didn't even test cook from a library edition. I just couldn't resist that Costco price on three cookbooks (NYTimes, Dorie Greenspan and One Big Table) or the $14 Grace Young book.

                                                                                                                                      But, because of my impulse buys, I went on a cleaning/throwing away tear. I am happy to report that I have more shelf space to hold my purchases.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                        That throw-away tear is next on my to-do list. I even have on my computer desktop links to a number of different articles on why, how to, encouraging you to, throw out old books. I know I'm going to need the hand-holding, kick-in-the-pants, therapeutic assistance.

                                                                                                                                        Just curious, bb, but were any of those throw-aways cookbooks? I'm actually thinking of ditching a few of those as well. But I start to get an anxiety attack just thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                          No cookbooks were harmed in my tear. But, I did move all the Bon Appetites that were in my kitchen into the spare room shelf. And, while I was at it, I organized them chronologically.

                                                                                                                                          The throwaways were old school books and other miscellaneous items. The BAs went on that shelf, clearing up much needed kitchen space.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                            Also, the organizing tear was out of desperation. I had no more room for anymore books. Plus, the library was clearing out some underused cookbooks and gave them to me (all huge books, 3 James Petersons, and some others). My mom also picked up some Chinese cookbooks when she was in Asia (the Pei Mei and Wei Chuan series) so I needed to make space.

                                                                                                                                            I did such a great job, C hadn't even noticed my Costco purchases until I pointed them out. He still hasn't noticed the re-org of books which is fine because I can fill the shelves at my leisure.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                          You know, if it was just one of us this was happening to, you could say "Ahhh, that poor weak soul, no self-control, buying all those cookbooks"

                                                                                                                                          But you see what's been going on, its happening in numbers, so many of us being drawn, against our will and better judgement, to purchase 2, 4, 10 or more cookbooks day in and day out!! We clearly can't explain it.

                                                                                                                                          Obviously we're victims of evil mind tricks that someone is playing on us. Don't you think?

                                                                                                                                          That's my story and I'm sticking to it!! LOL

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                            Evil mind tricks. Yup. That's it. The cookbook fairies are somehow brainwashing us and making HC Hounds extra spendy. We are the ones helping out the publishing industry.

                                                                                                                                    3. Right now I want the NOma Cookbook really bad.
                                                                                                                                      http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                      1. okay, i don't know if it counts as an actual "cookbook," but Harold McGee's latest -
                                                                                                                                        Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes - is #1 on my wish list right now.

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          Someone just gave me that as a hostess gift. (Nice hostess gift, eh?)

                                                                                                                                          I'm happy to have it, and in the short time I have had it I've referred to it quite a few times. An experienced cook will certainly learn things from this book, but it strikes me as being more for the beginning cook or for those who don’t have his first book or for whom that book is too scientific. This is sort of “On Cooking” light, or “On Cooking for Dummies.” It has the information, but in shortened form without the detail or the science behind it. Even the style is for those with short attention spans: if it’s a key subject, it’s in bold type; if it’s an important instruction, it’s italicized and blue.

                                                                                                                                          And you do know there are no recipes in it? Someone had asked that on another thread.

                                                                                                                                          I'd definitely recommend it for those who don't have "On Cooking." For those who do, you might want to take a good look at it before committing to it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                            thanks for the feedback. i did know there are no recipes, which is why i wasn't sure it counted as a "cookbook" for this thread. i have (and love!) OF&C, so if this doesn't really cover anything new you just saved me at least $20 that i can now use on another book :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              I looked at the McGee (was excited to see it had come out) and definitely agree w JoanN, it's McGee light.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                thanks much to both of you. i'm so glad i can knock that one off my ever-growing list, because i have waaaay too many books already and i'm going to need to start getting very creative with my shelf space!

                                                                                                                                        2. Barnes & Noble had all their best cookbooks on sale 50% off Black Friday Weekend! Pioneer Woman, Alton Brown, Tony Bordain, etc... It took so much restraint not to buy!!! Let's just hope my hubby picked up on the MAJOR hints I dropped....

                                                                                                                                          1. Last night at a bookstore I thumbed through "Forgotten Skills of Cooking" and SO want to buy this! I bought "Just Bento", though, as well as "The Italian Slow Cooker".
                                                                                                                                            Like all of you, I've also been on a cookbook buying binge for the past few months. I so enjoy reading them, and cannot bear to throw any away. Plus I check tons out of the library, too. It's an addiction! :-)

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: poptart

                                                                                                                                              Forgotten Skills is a great book. Rachel Allen (on Food Network) is the writer's daughter, by the way.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Consider my arm twisted! :-)
                                                                                                                                                That's interesting! I think I've seen her show on PBS "Create" channel and really like what she cooks. Good to know her show is on Food Network, too.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: poptart

                                                                                                                                                  It's a whole dynasty, started with Myrtle Allen (Rachel's grandma) who started a hotel/restaurant/cooking school at Ballymaloe House (was popularized by James Beard in the States), then Darina, and now Rachel.

                                                                                                                                            2. Heston Blumenthal's Fantastical Feasts. It looks like a book I could read for hours on a cold rainy day. Though the recipes are probably beyond my skill level I could see using the book as an inspiration for themed feasts at my house. Even if they are just imagined ones.

                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                I love this book as well as his "The Fat Duck" cookbook - both make me salivate and are truly inspirational and a pleasure to curl up and read with. Blumenthal's writing style really appeals to me. Grant Achatz's "Alinea" is interesting, too.

                                                                                                                                                It may sound strange but in my mind there is no such thing as a book that is too expensive - it is my passion and I indulge. Could not care less about clothes shopping, etc. - books are where I choose to spend money. Cooking and reading about cooking are my entertainment. Having said that, thankfully I got my "Larousse Gastronomique" several years ago, regular $120 on sale. As I am nowhere near bookstores or a Costco I order from Amazon. So far in 2010 I have spent over $2,000 on culinary books. Sounds like a lot but one can never have too many books nor learn enough! Reference/encyclopedic books are what I tend towards and they just happen to be the most expensive usually. I have a health issue which often prevents me from doing things - one thing I can do is lie down and read.

                                                                                                                                                Just checked my Amazon wishlist and have 144 books on it so will not list them here! One of my favourite books of 2010 is "Salted" by Mark Bitterman. Absolutely fascinating.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                  I feel the same way about books (not just cookbooks.) It's where I choose to spend my money and I don't feel guilty about it.

                                                                                                                                                  All right all right, I'm actually feeling a little guilty right now. I've bought so many cookbooks and non-cookbooks this past year that I have stacks of unread/unused books everywhere and I really need to take a break from buying anymore. Plus, I'm having a serious storage issue & I really don't know what I'm going to do. I have to start thinning out the herd, but I long ago got rid of most of the stinkers, so it's going to be REALLY hard.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                    I have the same attitude about books. Growing up, books were valued in my house. So, buying a book isn't like buying any other possession, it's buying knowledge. Plus, I think, wow, if I buy a cookbook and make a few meals out of it instead of going out to eat, the book has paid for itself.

                                                                                                                                                    But, the real problem is, yes, I've been buying cookbooks I haven't been using. I really need to start using them more. Fortunately, EYB helps with that some. :).

                                                                                                                                                    My copy of Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge just arrived yesterday. LOVE IT! I havent' cooked from it yet, but what's neat is that meets with Chinese home chefs from all over the world and learns how they've adapted stir-frying to their new environment. Like, Jamaican Jerk Stir-Fry.

                                                                                                                                                    Also, I like that, for the most part, she says the recipes can be made in a 12-inch skillet, so, once again, I might postpone buying a wok. There are a few recipes where she insists only a wok will do, but she specifically tells you which ones those are.

                                                                                                                                                    Many of the recipes call for only 2 TBSP of oil, which isn't bad (remembering that the dishes serve 2 people as main dishes.)

                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                      I was raised the exact same way. My parents didn't indulge us much, but they never said no to books. I remember we used to go on these outings a few times a year to a great bookstore that was about an hour away from us where my dad would let us each get a huge pile of books. It was just like heaven.

                                                                                                                                                      And we don't go out to eat very often, so it's the same for me, if I've used the book a few times to make some great meals, it was totally worth it. (I'm very fortunate that I have a husband and son that share my love of great food. I guess that's why I don't hear any complaints from my husband about the piles of books everywhere.)

                                                                                                                                                      EYB has been a big help - I am absolutely using my books more effectively because of this. The lifetime membership was worth every penny.

                                                                                                                                                      And I have Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge and I haven't used it yet!!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                        Well, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge is one of two cookbooks being voted on for January COTM right now. If it wins, you'll have lots of reasons to cook from it. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7530...

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                          It's also priced 60% off at Amazon right now for anyone who is interested (bargain price).

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                      My stacks of books are littered around the house - we really need more shelves. I could not bear to part with any of them, though. And like you, in general books are my passion - mainly cooking and travel but many others as well. My other passions are cooking and travel - they all tie in! I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. The odd time I feel a slight twinge of guilt because I order them so frequently BUT my husband recognizes when I need to make another order and makes me feel great about it. Then I track the Amazon parcels online. I think he is almost as happy as I am when they arrive - we lie there for hours talking spices or food science or ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                        We are one happy band of book and cookbook aficionados on this board...long may they not be e-booked out of existence.
                                                                                                                                                        http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/1320828...
                                                                                                                                                        The iPad user ever hear of plastic wrap or bags as a way of keeping the smoked paprika off?

                                                                                                                                                2. I only have one on my wish list right now.. Molly Stevens "All About Braising".
                                                                                                                                                  Hobbybaker keeps talking about it, and it has good reviews.. I really want to pick this one up and look it over.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grnidkjun

                                                                                                                                                    One of my favorites. It was actually one of the first COTMs back in 2006, and revisited last year. Lots of recs and reports:

                                                                                                                                                    All About Braising
                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/330177

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                  2. Anything on the James Beard Foundation's "Cook Book Hall of Fame" list....

                                                                                                                                                    1. This is somewhere in between a cookbook and a magazine - but Canal House Cooking is a quarterly publication that I just have to stop myself from subscribing to (but I haven't yet)
                                                                                                                                                      http://www.thecanalhouse.com/

                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                        I asked Santa for a subscription for Christmas. I hope he thinks I've been nice this year!

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                          I just picked up 2 Canal House books at WS today, paid $29 CAD per book but I can honestly say there wasn't a recipe in either of them I wouldn't make! How pricy are the books in the US?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            Depends upon where you purchase them. Amazon has some for $75+ each (not worth it at that price) and others for $19.99. Canal House itself had a box set of 3 for $75 last week. I picked it up and agree, there are many, many recipes I'll probably make. I'm especially loving their little cocktail section in each book :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                              I know I'm late, but my wishlist is:
                                                                                                                                                              The Main by Anthony Sedlak
                                                                                                                                                              Any cookbook by Tyler Florence
                                                                                                                                                              Escoffier by...Escoffier :)
                                                                                                                                                              Anthony's book inspires you to want to cook, even on a delivery or take-out day. His recipes are the best versions of a Canadian take on many classics that I have ever seen! Tyler's books are all food porn and a nice look into where his recipes come from. Escoffier is still (yes dated, but) the best way to learn to build layers of flavours and classic French sauces to add to your repertoire. I think it's great to know how we arrived where we are in the world of food.
                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I'd also like "The French Laundry" by Thomas Keller. Thanks Santa- Lefty

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leftychefty

                                                                                                                                                                Lefty, having all on your list except "The Main" I have to say I enjoy them all. Florence's informal style and wit is fun plus he has some truly great recipes. "Escoffier" is incredible - a delightful read, even if you can't get your hands on cockscombs. So worth it. "The French Laundry" is in my Top 20 (out of a list of 500+) and I really enjoy it. It's great for those who love exquisite ingredients and who like to learn techniques. If you like that one you may like Grant Achatz "Alinea" with incredible photography and Heston Blumenthal's "The Fat Duck" which is about as wonderful as it gets. "El Bulli", whilst interesting, is not a book to cook from - I was actually somewhat disappointed with that one. The quality of the book is also poor.

                                                                                                                                                                Let us know how "The Main" is.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Leftychefty

                                                                                                                                                                  Love The Main, was worth getting.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Uh, whoops. Thai Street Food just made its way into my collection. A sale. A weak moment. I really need to take a time-out from new cookbooks and use the ones I have. I think that's going to be my 2010 resolution.

                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                            Really? I saw it this weekend (boy is it big) and wondered if it was any good. Being a Thai novice I had no idea. Worth the shelf space(or lack thereof) do you think?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                              I don't really know if I can say until I've cooked from it, to be honest. I hope to have some free time next week and will maybe try a couple of recipes. It is a monster. I don't think it needed to be as big as it is. It feels like a bit of a vanity project to me, to be honest, but he is supposed to be the expert on Thai cooking, at least in English.

                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                Ahem Thai Street Food just became a gift for DH. Bought it as a sort of reminder of our trip to Las Vegas for our 10th anniversary in October -had one of our best meals ever at Lotus of Siam.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, that's very sweet! What a wonderful way to spend an anniversary! If you or your husband end up cooking from the book (rather than just looking at the book!) I'd love to hear your picks and pans.

                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                              That's a great resolution for the next 11 days. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                HA! Funny. I'm not even sure I can keep to it for the next 11 days, let alone 2011!

                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                I have this book too, and it's a beautiful book but I agree that it seems to be bigger than it really needed to be. Haven't cooked from it yet, I'm just swamped with books I haven't cooked from yet, I think that needs to be my new years' resolution as well.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd say me too but it'd be like showing up at an AA meeting drunk.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Big ditto for me too :-D

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Ha, ha! But we can only hope that the flood of great new cookbooks abates after the holidays!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                    I got it for the DH as one of his cookbook gifts. I wouldn't classify it as a coffee table book; I'd classify it as a coffee table!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed!

                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                  3. Thought you all might be interested in seeing Publishers Weekly's top 10 reviewed cookbooks of 2010 from their cookbook newsletter!

                                                                                                                                                                    http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d...

                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                                                                                                                      Very interesting list. Sheryl Crow AND Gwyneth Paltrow in that number. Hmmm . . .

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                        Claudia Roden on Spain. Great! None of the others grab me particularly (since Ms Paltrow appears to live on air and the morning dew, I can't see that her cookbook would be particularly interesting...and I hope Ms Crow was in better shape while writing hers than she was the time we saw her).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                          I was rolling my eyes at those. I've had enough of those two, I don't need them in my cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ursalita

                                                                                                                                                                            PW reviews what they expect to sell, not what's particularly good, as I understand it.
                                                                                                                                                                            The Emily Lucchetti might be interesting too. There's a very good book by the wonderful but undersung Elinor Klivans with a similar title - "Fearless Baking" - that should be available for very little these days, it was a couple of bucks at the Strand when I got it a few years back.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: 3catsnh

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks so much for posting that link. Roden's The Food of Spain sounds very exciting. I'd be interested, too, in the Herráiz book, but am suspicious of the Phaidon imprint. I do not, DO NOT, need another oversized, over-photograhed, overly glossy, overpriced, single subject tome.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                            No no no...those Phaidon books, except for the Greek one (which I've read but not cooked from, so this is a surface impression), are useless.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                              I have the Paella book by Herraiz as I am unable to resist any cookbook on Spanish cooking. I too have been leary of the Phaidon books. I have The Silver Spoon and 1080 recipes, but have not been lured into cooking from them yet.Paella is not a tome like these two.

                                                                                                                                                                              I have not tried a specific recipe from Paella, but one tip I got from the book has changed how I make paella for the better. He provides a chart on how to make a moister textured paella or extra-fine texture (with a lovely soccarat). I tried this ratio ( 16" paella- much bigger than I'd typically use- and 1c of bomba) for arroz a banda from the Seductions of Rice COTM. This was the best textured paella dish I have ever made. Although, because of the size of the paella, we had to cook it outdoors, but it added to the experience. In the winter, I'll be able to cook it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                              As for the book, it is not over-sized or glossy. It does have some pictures and 108 recipes (72 are paellas of some sort). The first chapter starts with basic recipes for alioli, salmoretta, sofrito, fumets, stocks and flavored oils. The other chapters are paellas on the stove (these are recipes for 2 which I love, because mostly I am cooking for two), paellas on the barbecue (recipes that serve 4), paellas without rice and sweet paellas. Both traditional Spanish recipes and those with influences from around the wo

                                                                                                                                                                          2. My fantasy bookshelf has some kind of valuable, early-edition Le Guide Culinaire in it and an autographed first-edition Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynamar

                                                                                                                                                                              FRIED CHICKEN AND CHAMPAGNE by Lisa Dupar just came under my radar. Hard to resist.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Thought you may enjoy this most recent "Cooking the Books" from PW:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d...

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                                                                                                                                Bi-Rite has a cookbook coming out? http://biritemarket.com/book/

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                              2. BC - think you should start a part 2 for this? an update for all the great new cookbooks coming up? love this thread!

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that is a great idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                                                                                                                                    There's this with lots of things to dream about already...
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/799435

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                    You've got it bayoucook! New thread started here:

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8029...

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've asked Chowhound to add an "OLD" to this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                    NEW THREAD ALERT - PLEASE POST IN THE NEW THREAD USING THE LINK ABOVE

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks so much! the Fall cookbook one is great as an additional one, but this one is The One