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Dec 16, 2011 05:05 PM

What were your last cookbook purchases? Holiday edition! [old]

The old thread is getting loong...figured this was a good time to get going on a new one. So, after my TGC spree, I'm now lusting after the Canadian Living International Collection, Lisa Yockelson's "Baking Style", and the new "The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook". How 'bout you? What are you hoping to receive as a gift or present yourself with?

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  1. I just received 3 cookbooks today (Christmas present for myself) and here I am talking about what I'd get next! Haha. The cover of David Joachim's Rustic Italian Food keeps drawing me in and I really don't have any Italian cookbooks on my shelf. I'm also thinking about Essential Pepin and Ruhlman's Twenty. I keep eyeing Falling Off the Bone - Jean Anderson but can't make up my mind.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Boudleaux

      The Jean Anderson is well worth it. Made the best veal stew I've ever made from it.

      1. re: buttertart

        Oh good! Thank you for the input! I'll bump it up on my wish list!

        1. re: buttertart

          My copy of Falling Off the Bone arrived yesterday and there's so much in it that looks so tempting I don't know where to start. The great thing about Jean Anderson is that because her recipes always work, you can feel confident starting anywhere.

        2. re: Boudleaux

          I have Essential Pepin and Falling Off The Bone; have not cooked from either one yet but had a good look at Falling and like it very much. Pepin might become January COTM - I will definitely cook from it then.

          1. re: herby

            Re Pepin and the January COTM, yes! And I'd certainly like to cook along. I haven't participated in that in a while now. Thanks also for the comment on Falling Off the Bone. That's two positive votes!

            1. re: Boudleaux

              Go onto the voting thread and vote asap - it closes at noon EST on Sunday. Otherwise, Nigella might win:)

          2. re: Boudleaux

            I heartily agree, Falling... is worth owning.

            1. re: Boudleaux

              Falling Off The Bone is one of my most used cookbooks. It is great!

              1. re: bayoucook

                Thanks bayoucook and bushwickgirl! I'm ordering Essential Pepin and Falling Off the Bone right now! ...and probably Ruhlman too while I'm at it.

                1. re: Boudleaux

                  Boudleaux, I made mexican meatballs from Falling Off the Bone (p. 181) yesterday and they were delicious. I did not use pork as I do not eat it, ground coriander and cumin seed instead of using powders and used fresh tomatos that had to be used instead of tomato sauce but otherwise followed the recipe. Will definitely make again and double the spice since it was not coming through loud enough for me. Nice spice blend, though and the sauce was yummy. I also buzzed the sauce in the blender after the cooking was done because I wanted a smooth sauce and mine was chunky mainly because of the tomatoes.

                  1. re: herby

                    Sounds delicious, herby! Now I can't wait to get the book since so many people have talked about it so favorably!

                    1. re: herby

                      I ordered Essential Pepin so I can play in the COTM threads as well as Falling Off the Bone and, Baking with Julia. Now I should stop buying cookbooks and cook more from them!

              2. Thank you for starting a new thread, buttertart!

                I bought three book during the last month:
                The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones - had it out of the library and had to have it on my shelf
                150 Best American Recipes - it is this month's COTM and I've made several dishes from the book - great recipes!
                Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia
                by James Oseland - bought as a present but very tempted to keep for myself; call me greedy!

                2 Replies
                1. re: herby

                  Cradle of Flavor was the COTM here a few years ago - did you see that? Excellent book.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    No, I did not see it - thanks for pointing this out to me, buttertart! Guess, the book will quietly stay on my shelf and the intended recipient will be no wiser:)

                2. I just received Baking Style, by Yockelson, which I bought to give as a gift. It was awfully tempting to keep for myself, but my better nature prevailed. I definitely have this one on my Christmas wish list!

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    How does it stand out from the bazillion other baking books we have?

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Since I was in a flurry of wrapping paper and ribbon, I only allowed myself a quick look, so I am not able to answer your question with any authority. You know how some books are an instant disappointment, and some just look really good? This one looked really good.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      Speaking of gifts, I just bought the Alice Medrich "Chewy Gooey etc," saw that it has lots of wheat-free cookies in it, and am debating whether or not to give it to a friend who has celiac disease and loves to bake. I've got Heatter, Berenbaum, Baggett, and Walter. Do I really need a fifth dedicated cookie book?

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I have it but haven't done much from it.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            When I made her ginger cookies, my husband pronounced it "the best cookie" I've ever made! Maybe copy that one out before you gift it.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Uh-oh. Chances are that if one cookie was that good, others are as well. I may have to rethink the gifting idea.

                            2. re: JoanN


                              I scooped Chewy Gooey up at the library the other day and the next morning I was busily mixing up a batch of sticky pecan bites (page 239). Oh --- wow! Made them for family, and everyone went crazy. These are basically mini versions of sticky buns made in mini muffin tins. But they're quick -- this is not a yeast dough, so they come together very quickly! I modified just one little detail -- rather than pecan halves, I chopped up my pecans because I thought the pecan half might be cumbersome in such a petite treat.

                              I will make these again -- and again. I bake frequently and I am really delighted with these, and they are definitely going into the rotation. Great if guests stop by for breakfast, brunch, or coffee, too!

                              So I am really quite excited to try more goodies from this book.

                              Today I am probably going to make Maya's Lemon Thins (page 72).

                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                Those sound smashing! I love sticky buns, but they're so time consuming. Making note of these immediately (and beginning to be very happy I didn't gift the book; sounds as though it's full of winners).

                                1. re: peppermint_sky

                                  I've eyed that recipe before, but now I MUST make it! Resolutions? What resolutions?

                            3. I had been on cookbook moratorium for a few months and finally permitted myself to break it with Michael Ruhlman's Twenty. It arrived yesterday and I am very pleased with it--I really was looking for a focus on technique and reference information. The photography serves as an excellent corollary to the text.

                              I'm exchanging gifts tonight with my boyfriend and I believe I'll be receiving another cookbook (I'm hoping!). And HE is getting The Joy of Homebrewing as part of his holiday bounty!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                Funny! I received Essential Pepin from my man, he received Joy of Homebrewing from me!

                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                  I grabbed 20 today while I was at barnes and nobles. Its an excellent book to really learn how to cook with. Its not just a bunch of recipes, it actually attempts to teach you the foundations and basic techniques of cooking, and it does a remarkable job of it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to be a really good, creative cook.

                                2. As someone who barely has time to eat these days let alone cook, I really have no business thinking about adding more cookbooks to my already over-stuffed bookshelves!

                                  That said, never being one to let common sense get in the way of my love of cookbooks, yes Virginia, I did make up a wish-list this year and here it is:

                                  Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley

                                  Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali

                                  The Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman

                                  The Divertimenti Cookbook: From the Famous Divertimenti Cookery Schools and Café

                                  Food & Wine Reinventing the Classics by Dana Cowin

                                  The New Boston Globe Cookbook: More than 200 Classic New England Recipes, From Clam Chowder to Pumpkin Pie by The Boston Globe

                                  The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook: A Collection of Our Favorite Recipes for the Home Chef by The Culinary Institute of America

                                  Mediterranean Feast A by Clifford Wright

                                  Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin

                                  The Best One-Dish Suppers by Editors Of Cooks Illustrated Magazine

                                  Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid

                                  Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen by Kelly Geary, Jessie Knadler

                                  The Cook's Country Cookbook: Rediscovering American Home Cooking with 500 Classic, Regional, and Heirloom Recipes by Editors Of Cook's Country Magazine

                                  Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery by Patricia Helding

                                  The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook by Rose Gray

                                  Vijs At Home: Relax, Honey: The Warmth and Ease of Indian Cooking by Meeru Dhalwala, Vikram Vij

                                  Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

                                  My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh

                                  Recent additions to my bookshelf (compliments of Santa breadcrumbs!!) are:

                                  Essential Pepin

                                  Made in Italy by David Rocco

                                  Cook this Now by Melissa Clark

                                  Then the following “new-to-me” books that I just couldn’t resist when I stopped at the thrift shop to donate some Christmas decorations and was inexplicably drawn into the store and swept over to the cookbook section (go figure!!):

                                  Pat Chapman’s Thai Restaurant Cookbook

                                  Williams-Sonoma Muffins

                                  The Little Italy Cookbook by Maria Pace & Louise Scaini-Jojic

                                  Pizza by Rosario Buonassisi

                                  Luigi Carnacina’s Great Italian Cooking La Grande Cucina Internazionale (this looks like a real gem)

                                  All I really should be wanting for Christmas is some willpower!!

                                  Happy Holidays everyone!!

                                  16 Replies
                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    I've had the Carnacina book for decades. Never cooked a thing from it, at least, not that I recall. Yet it's survived numerous cookbook cullings. If you do dip into it, please report. Should I take it down off the top shelf and give it some love?

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      We use it occasionally. Great for the classic take on classic recipes. Mr. QN, and lots of happy guests, swear by the Baba Au Rhum made from the recipe in this book.

                                      1. re: qianning

                                        Oooh. I love Baba. Haven't made it in years. Gonna check that out right away. Thanks.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          I'll definitely do so Joan, I've put a sticky note inside it reminding me to post in this thread. What immediately appealed to me about the book though was the use of Italian names for ingredients. One that stood out was Palombo. We recently picked some up at our Italian Market - such a great spot, he brings in fresh fish from the Adriatic. I liked the look of it and thought it would be great for grilling but, when I searched my cookbooks I came up empty handed. This book has several recipes, a section of them in fact. I'd pull it off the shelf and move it to the coffee table Joan, maybe have a flip through when you have time. I'll keep you posted. (sorry for the delay btw, somehow I lost track of this thread)

                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          You're incorrigible, Breadcrumbs! What a list -- your shelves must be groaning.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            Totally out of control, but for a very good reason.

                                            Btw, Breadcrumbs, Fat Witch, meh.

                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                              Roxlet & bwg, you gave me a good laugh!! Sorry for the delay in posting, I lost track of this thread!

                                              Well let me start out by saying that Santa didn't get me "all" the books on my wishlist there!! ; - )

                                              but, I might have bought some new books myself....(it's not my fault, it's a sickness!!) I'll post down thread and you can laugh at me!!

                                              Thanks for the tip on Fat Witch bwg, I've taken it off my list.

                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Hamersly's book is excellent. The roast chicken recipes alone are worth the price of the book.

                                            Had no luck with River cafe.


                                            1. re: Westy

                                              Thanks Matt, that's great to know about Hamersly's book. I didn't end up getting it so I've moved it to the top of my wishlist...much appreciated! I love Bistro food so this book really appeals.

                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Love the Hamersley's Bistro Cooking at Home's recipe for beet soup with ginger.

                                              1. re: prima

                                                I'm going to have to try that one, prima; I've never made beet soup although I love beets AND ginger.

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  It's like a pureed borscht with a twist, using tarragon, fresh ginger, fresh OJ. I've also made beets as a side dish, using the same combination of herbs, spices & flavourings.

                                                  For Chowhounds who don't have a copy of Bistro Cooking at Home:

                                                  1. re: prima

                                                    Now see, this is precisely why I'm afflicted with this addiction!!! Prima & ncw your feedback pushed me over the top and I've now gone & ordrered this book . . . Alongw another one by Clifford Wright that honkman recommends down thread I might add! ; - )