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December 2012 Nominations for Cookbook of the Month

It's time again to gather thoughts and titles, we need a workable book for what is often a busy month. Sweets for celebrations, or solid simple meals to set down, sixish?
I can't imagine which way it will go for December. Re-visit an old book? Something almost freshly published?
Everything called "bistro" or "diner" always appeals to me ("pub food" or "taverna" too!)
The holiday cookie/cake books (those pictures!) are enticing.
I fear not everyone will like this suggestion, but a month without a book, an online month, is an idea. Pick an online blog or chef or TV show and cook from that for December. Alton Brown, Smitten Kitchen, etc. are very famous, but there are SO many worthy compilations of recipes out there that are not in print. Maybe you know one and could persuade the rest of us?

Here is a link to the process and past books http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Everybody is welcome to participate -- just put your nomination in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, in this thread. This is also the place to discuss these nominations, enthusiastically I hope!
Nominations will be open until Thursday, November 15, at 9 pm, EST.

Warm thanks to you all.

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  1. Well, since it's the last time it'll be relevant for the next 12 months, I'm gonna re-nominate what I put up last month w/ HOLIDAY DINNERS WITH BRADLEY OGDEN - 150 FESTIVE RECIPES TO BRING FAMILY & FRIENDS TOGETHER.

    It's such an underrated book, it really deserves its time in the sun.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Quintious

      I could go for this one. I'm cooking from it for Thanksgiving.

      His earlier cookbook is also quite good.

      1. re: Quintious

        I second HOLIDAY DINNERS WITH BRADLEY OGDEN - 150 FESTIVE RECIPES TO BRING FAMILY & FRIENDS TOGETHER. Just bought it and I love it already. Made the Banana Sour Ceam Coffee Cake this weekend. Fabulous. Great menus for the the December gatherings and holidays.

         
        1. re: Rubee

          You're brilliant, Rubee -- I would never have thought to include an (appetizin') picture from the book I want as COTM -- devious. I will remember that when I'm back to nominating and voting..

          1. re: Rubee

            Wow, that photo looks absolutely wonderful....

          2. re: Quintious

            Quintious, based on your recommendation & other comments here I've just ordered this book -- my first ever purchase of a holiday cookbook! I look forward to trying it out; I think I'll start with that banana cake pictured above...

            1. re: geekmom

              Ditto for me geekmom! In my case, it was Rubee's delicious-looking cake that threw me over the edge!

              Unlike you though, I have quite a collection of holiday-themed books. I'm a sucker for their enticing photos of beautifully adorned tables and festive sounding recipes. Every year after Halloween, I pull them all off the shelf (along with my similarly-themed magazines) and bring them all downstairs. One by one I flip through their pages and select dishes to make for our holiday entertaining meals. It's a tradition I look forward to each year. Inside each book or magazines is a piece of paper that has notes like "Nothing for '98" meaning I didn't find anything in it to make that year or, when I do, I'll list the dishes on that sticky note along w any "notes to my future self" who will return here and need to know something like "these are perfect w "x" dish in "y" book"

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                I love the sound of this ritual, Breadcrumbs!

          3. Thanks, blue room!
            No nominations yet, just ideas...... I don't know how many people would be keen on anything unusual during the busiest holiday month, but would anyone be on board with an Asian cuisine of some kind? Thai, Chinese, Asian Dumplings?

            Or....are there any good appetizer books out there that could be recommended? Since there's always so much entertaining to be had at this time, something along those lines would be a welcome addition.
            http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Stewarts... Has anyone cooked out of Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres book? I am mostly unfamiliar with her stuff, but this book has decent reviews on amazon, better than most.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Allegra_K

              Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvre Handbook was a COTM in December 2007, along with the MS Baking Handbook: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/465358

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Wow, thanks for pointing that out, Caitlin! I have the cotm archives as my browser's homepage and somehow have managed never to notice that book in the list. Yikes.

              2. re: Allegra_K

                Even though the Martha book has already been used as COTM, I think an appetizer book is a good idea. It applies at the holidays but is also useful to have year-round, for potlucks and dinner parties and such. If anyone knows of another good one, please speak up!

                1. re: Allegra_K

                  This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I've cooked many recipes from it for entertaining friends. It always gives me inspiration when planning a party.

                2. Well, I'm really keen on the Cookbook aspect of this monthly adventure. So I'd prefer to keep it that way, for now anyway. There are a tiny few blogs that I trust to have decent recipes that we've cooked and quite liked but to me it's an entirely different realm. My opinion only.

                  As for December's possibilities the month Used to be busy for me but no more, everyone having gone their different ways, as it were. I have the Bradley Holiday Dinners book and perhaps have cooked one recipe but on the whole the book doesn't thrill me. I guess I need convincing on that one. I recently added The Elephant Walk Cookbook to my collection... it's Cambodian cuisine, and would be interested in that one. On the other hand, Hamersley's Bistro might be considered as one to take us through to the New Year. (Just thinking out loud here)...

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    I would be on board with the Elephant Walk cookbook, Gio. That is, if my copy ever arrives...

                    1. re: Allegra_K

                      I have it in my collection of SE Asian cookbooks

                      1. re: jpr54_1

                        Have you cooked anything from it , jpr? I haven't even had the time to thumb through it yet...

                        1. re: Gio

                          i haven't cooked from it-
                          interesting read-i will this month

                    2. re: Gio

                      I'll bite that bullet, Gio and go ahead and nominate Hamersley's BISTRO COOKING AT HOME. I may be talked into another nomination, I'm sure, but I'll go with that as my first one.

                      Favor to ask: Yet again we will be traveling during the voting process. We leave on Friday, so I may have a chance to vote that day, but is anyone willing to email me with the nominees if I don't get a chance and be my proxy?

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I'd be happy to do that for you LLM , if someone hasn't already spoken up.. No trouble at all.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Thank you so much Gio! I'll try to get online on Friday before leaving, but it is Lulu and I flying solo, so things could get a little busy that morning. You're a peach.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Whoa, for a second there .. to me, "flying solo" means in the cockpit, foot on gas and steering! Like, your instructor is with you during lessons, then you "solo".

                            1. re: blue room

                              That would be ... exciting. But no, we'll be flying with a bunch of other people, just no dad along to help this time around.

                      2. re: Gio

                        Thinking out loud is the best part of these threads.

                        1. re: Gio

                          I bought the Ogden on Quintious's recommendation and marked a few recipes I might try for Thanksgiving. Just not prepared yet to second a nomination; want to check out the results first. That said, I be happy to get behind a Hamersley nomination even though I've had that book for ages and have yet to try anything from it. Consistency is the hobgoblin, etc., etc.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            But I never thought you to be foolish...

                            1. re: Gio

                              *^_^*

                        2. I'd like to nominate Diana Henry's FOOD FROM PLENTY, published in 2010. It's a lovely book with an emphasis on seasonality, frugality and pleasure. It has lots of recipes ideal for cold, dark winter months and some really wonderful ideas for leftovers (particularly chicken, which could easily apply to turkey as well) which are fresh and original

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: limoen

                            Diana Henry's book has been on one of my shelves since it was published... simply with the title: Plenty, just a little while after Ottolenghi's book of the same name was published. I wondered how long it would take for someone to realize the duplication. I may have cooked a couple of recipes... I'll have to haul it out and take another gander. Another of the same ilk is A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gyngell.

                            1. re: Gio

                              I have Skye Gyngell's How I cook and My favourite Ingredients, but I returned A Year in My Kitchen. To me it was too fussy and out of reach. The recipes and pictures were beautiful but I knew that while I would aspire to do so, I would never actually cook from it.

                              1. re: Gio

                                Gio, when I look on Amazon, it looks like D. Henry's "Food from Plenty" and her book "Plenty" are two different books... Is Amazon confused or am I..?

                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845...

                                http://www.amazon.com/Food-Plenty-Dia...

                                1. re: blue room

                                  I think it's a difference between UK edition (Food from Plenty) and US edition (Plenty). I have the former, but haven't cooked from it (I buy too many cookbooks). I heard Diana Henry interviewed on The Splendid Table yesterday, and it really made me curious to explore her work. Looking through this book, it does look very inviting.

                                  1. re: MelMM

                                    Ok, and thanks! Same book.

                              2. re: limoen

                                Just when I thought I would take a break from buying any more cook books, I made the mistake of looking at the recipes from Food of Plenty (or Plenty in the US) in EYB, next stop Amazon and now it is mine.

                                1. re: limoen

                                  My Daughter's copy of DIANA HENRY's Roast Figs Sugar Snow: Winter Food to Warm the Soul has been sitting on my kitchen table for months without being used. Its a bit too precious looking like many of the British books (Gyngell), but we could get behind a DIANA HENRY month just to get going on this one.

                                  Otherwise, I mainly do cookies and party food in December, Dont really see the point to trying to take up an exploration of an ethnic cuisine like Cambodian then, which is mostly light and herbaceous and noodly.

                                  In addition to the above specific suggestion, id support a HOLIDAY FOOD theme with multiple threads on different types of food, cookies, holiday desserts, party fare, roast and meats, etc.which would offer the most chances for cross pollination, because I think most of us pull all our traditional books off the shelf at this season.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    I really like Diana Henry and have made quite a few things from her COOK SIMPLE book (subtitled Effortless Cooking Every Day - it may be called something else in the States). There's a terrific Gascon sausage and bean stew in there. I also have FOOD FROM PLENTY and could get behind that as I've used it less.

                                2. Already? wow....

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: qianning

                                    My thought exactly. I am making my first recipe from the November book today.

                                    1. re: MelMM

                                      An entire 2/3 of the month is still left for the cooking from the current book, but I know what you mean! The nomination period is offset from the actual cooking by 20 days, that's why it seems so crowded and hurried. I felt pushed as a poster, but now that I'm setting up the threads I can keep the two (choosing book and cooking food) apart a *little* better than before.
                                      I feel worse about giving each book such little attention. I try to do at least 10 recipes from the chosen cookbook -- that's one every 3 days, just doable when I cook for two. But the books often contain 150 recipes, and that's not much of a trial run.

                                  2. My Union Cookbook hasn't even come in yet, and here we are nominating again! The months are just getting shorter and shorter.

                                    The book on my shelf that I would love to cook with in a group is Stir by Barbara Lynch. I suspect it is too soon to do another Italian book even though My Calabria is a totally different kind of book. Any interest?

                                    82 Replies
                                    1. re: smtucker

                                      I can get behind it - recently bought Stir but have not cooked one dish from it yet. I would also like a soup book, either The Best Soups or CI's Soups, Stews and Chilis.

                                      Going to nominate FALLING OFF THE BONE by Jean Anderson. This is meat focused book - beef, veal, lamb and pork - using tougher and less pricy cuts to create full flavour dishes. I would love to cook from this book and need company to do so and this time of the year is perfect for it, imho.

                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        I would love to cook from Stir. The recipes look great.

                                        P.S. I stumbled upon one of your notes in EYB referencing your personal war on store-cupboard ingredients and had to laugh. I would also like to see *all* of the ingredients listed in EYB.

                                        1. re: BigSal

                                          Funny! Such a small thing isn't it? But your store-cupboard pantry items might not be mine. Happy to give you a moment of laughter.

                                        2. re: smtucker

                                          I'd love to cook from Stir as well smtucker but selfishly, not in December where I fear I won't be able to give it my full attention due to competing priorities/engagements. I'd love to do it in January though.

                                          For all the same reasons I'd likely favour a re-visit in December or, perhaps a holiday-focussed book. I keep my holiday books in a separate bookcase upstairs and Nigella's Christmas book caught my eye last night as I passed by. I don't recall ever using it but I see it has rec'd very favourable reviews.

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            I don't usually care for multiple books as COTM so I hesitate to mention this, but instead of just one holiday book, how about all of them? Ogden, Nigella, Anthony Dias Blue's "Thanksgiving Dinner" (which has many recipes that would be equally appropriate for Christmas), "John Clancy's Christmas Cookbook," "Rose's Christmas Cookies"? Maybe it could become a December COTM tradition.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              Joan I really like that idea. This is actually what I do to plan my holiday meals. I have a bookmark in EYB for my holiday books then search by ingredient or dish or dish type to find something that appeals. Of course there are some T&T faves as well and what I especially like about your suggestion is that folks who have these T&T faves could post about them as well and we'd all have this new info about great dishes that we know will work. I'd be completely on side for this and will kick things off w a nomination for:

                                              HOLIDAY-THEMED COOKBOOKS

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                Joan that sounds like a nightmare of organizational skills for Blue Room. LOL Some folks who don't celebrate either holiday comes to mind.

                                                On the other hand... Food is food and one needn't think Holiday when deciding what good food to cook and serve. I just might consider this idea.

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  I just did a quick EYB filter search of My Library/books/COTM /Occasion/Holidays/Thanksgiving and got 109 recipe results. For Christmas w the same filters I got 154 recipe results. So,,, my thinking is: if we use holiday recipes from those books that were COTMs that does narrow the field quite a bit... Yes?

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Gio, my brain is frozen here in MN. Can you give me an example of a holiday recipe from a former COTM? I'm not really getting it.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Sure thing, TDQ...

                                                      Honey-roasted butternut squash salad with arugula and almonds from Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make by Melissa Clark

                                                      Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Side dish; Fall / autumn; Thanksgiving; Vegetarian
                                                      Ingredients: honey; sliced almonds; arugula; butternut squash

                                                      BTW: You don't Have to Get it. EYB filters do it for you.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Oh! Interesting. So EYB tagged this recipe as "Thanksgiving" perhaps because Melissa Clark mentioned in the head notes that it would be good for Thankgiving or something?

                                                        I was visualizing a bunch of recipes with "Thanksgiving" in the title or from a special "holidays" chapter and nothing was coming to mind.

                                                        That recipe sounds really good, by the way!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Just for the heck of it here' s one of my pages from my list...

                                                          http://www.eatyourbooks.com/bookshelf...

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Oh, that works beautifully! THere sure are a lot of delicious recipes in the the books I already own! HA!

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                      Gio, I once suggested doing certain types of recipes from past COTMs and L.Nightshade pointed out that those reports already have a place in the existing threads for those books. You'd need to double post if you wanted to do it right. Also, does "holiday themed cookbooks" mean the same to everyone? (Thanksgiving will be over.)
                                                      If it gets crazy wide-ranging I'll draw a few lines and we can post within them.

                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Right BR... i just used Thanksgiving as a test... Wouldn't you need to "double post" only if you already made a certain recipe? I know we'd be posting on the original report pages,

                                                        I'm probably throwing a spanner in the works so I'll quit now...

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          No no don't quit, I'm probably not understanding.
                                                          Here's what I think you mean -- Say CookbookGGG has a recipe called Santa Cake. CookbookGGG was once a COTM. So if I make Santa Cake, I should review it both in the old COTM thread
                                                          *and* the new Dec 2012 holiday thread
                                                          right?

                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                            I meant I was quitting that moment, not permanently, Blue Room... anyway, yes, that's basically what I meant. Although... I don't think one would have to double post on the old COTM threads since we'd be concentrating on Holiday food.

                                                            Personally and to be perfectly honest, I prefer to cook from cuisines I've not cooked before, or those I have no hope to ever eat at a restaurant. So it doesn't matter to me how we go about cooking in December, I can find celebratory recipes anywhere, as we all can I'm sure.

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              "...not permanently.." I understood!

                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                    That could be thousands of choices... to overwhelming, I'd think. And how would you organize the threads? I don't mind the idea of doing some holiday books, but any and all seems too much to me.

                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                      Actually, I was thinking of it as list of five or six specific titles such as those mentioned above. They could be organized either by title or by course. I don't think organization would be that much of a problem.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        Hmmmm...I wonder if we should limit it to 5 books because that's the number of books you can have on your shelf if you are NOT a member of EYB...

                                                        Just thinking aloud. Or typing loudly. Or something like that.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Thank you for remembering not everybody subscribes to Eat Your Books!

                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                          P.S. I've always been curious about Nigella Christmas. I don't think that's a former COTM. Anyone have anything good to say about it?

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            Me! I've made a couple of the cakes, some of the other dishes, and one of the cocktails is my Xmas party staple.

                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Well, now I'm intrigued. Is truly seasonally focused or can you use it for entertaining year-round?

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Some of the recipes you could use year-round. I made a lovely lamb tagine for a party last Christmas, and there's lots of ideas for pre- and post-holiday entertaining, as well as several options for The Big Day. A lot of people here have at least a week off remember - this year it will be nearer to two weeks because of the way Christmas falls.

                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I make her perfect roast potatoes once a year. Crispy goodness!

                                                              I took a quick peek at EYB to see what else was in the book and saw some curious recipes like Boston baked beans and tortilla soup. I'll have to take a closer look at the book to understand their inclusion.

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                The reviews on Nigella Christmas indicate that it's merely a compilation of recipes in her other books, and poorly laid out at that. Only Nigella Lawson book on Amazon that I've found with mediocre reviews.

                                                                1. re: Quintious

                                                                  Interesting. I have only Nigella's Kitchen, which came out after Nigella Christmas, and Nigella Summer, which presumably has little overlap with Nigella Christmas.

                                                                  However, I was kicking myself when I even mentioned this book (well, at least I didn't nominate it!) because I really want to nominate Nigella's "How to Eat" for January because it has a little something for everyone, including cooking for one or two, "low fat" cooking (perfect for all of those new years resolutioners), cooking for young children, weekend lunches, etc.

                                                                  Here's a nice round-up: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8762...

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    It's hilarious how many cookbooks have the phrase "how to eat" in the title!
                                                                    As if...

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      I really love 'How to Eat' and would certainly join you for that...!

                                                                      1. re: limoen

                                                                        me too on How to Eat.

                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I actually think How to Eat would make a good December book. Lots of variety, including loads of desserts and some holiday/fancy recipes, balanced out with some quick and healthy selections, lots of traditional foods. Would anyone be up for this book this month?

                                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                                          Just looked at this book.... Not sure I can stand having Nigella's come hither look, complete with apple for a full month! :-)

                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                            I would try, my dear, but you know what a flake I am. Why wait until January?

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                              I'd be up for it.

                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                "HOW TO EAT: THE PLEASURES AND PRINCIPLES OF GOOD FOOD" by Nigella Lawson.

                                                                                Despite smtucker's worry that Nigella's Come Hither look might get old for an entire month (I can't say I disagree...), I'm going to go ahead and nominate this book. (For the record, I think "How to Eat" isn't as photo heavy as some other of her books... so there might be less come hithering than you think...)

                                                                                A good overview of the book appears here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8762...

                                                                                It has sections on "dinner party menus" (including a Christmas Goose and a Christmas Queen of Puddings) and "cooking in advance" which might come in handy for the holidays. I'm personally drawn to it for the "low fat" and the "feeding babies and small children" sections. Also, it has a section on cooking for one or two, which comes up often on these boards as a topic. And to round it out, "Weekend Lunches" (if you were going to invite a couple of girlfriends for lunch) and "Fast Food" (for weeknight dinners, which, again, could come in handy for crazy, busy December).

                                                                                Both the US and UK versions are indexed on EYB (remember, you don't have to be a member of EYB to scroll down the listing of recipes in a book...)

                                                                                http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                P.S. there are zillions of used copies available on Amazon... many just for a couple of bucks.

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  I will second HOW TO EAT by Nigella. I can assure you that having the book sitting out on the counter for a full month would greatly please the other members of my family. Lulu has gotten over her Giada stage and moved onto Nigella (have to say, a step in the right direction in my view, although Giada was kind enough to send a reply postcard to her).

                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                    That's my girl. Athough I have to say I especially like How to Eat because it is devoid of pictures of the beauteous Nigella.

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      For the anti-come-hitherers, buy a copy of the hard cover book and "lose" the dust-jacket?

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        No Nigella at all on my copy - it's the British edition and delighfully minimalist.

                                                                                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Eat-Pleas...

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          The USA version:

                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/How-Eat-Pleasur...

                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                            If one buys a used copy, it might end up being the earlier US edition pictured here, with no Nigella: http://books.google.com/books?id=WYsg...

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              That is so much more attractive.

                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                Ah yes, much better.

                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            I'm definitely an anti-come-hitherer and there's a dust jacket free copy of the book available from one of the Amazon resellers. I don't know though. Do I really Need this book?

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              Perhaps your library has it?

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        :-)

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          HOW TO EAT

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            Depends on which edition of How To Eat you got, you might be spared her "Come Hither" entirely. I've got a very old edition (probably original), and the cover is a lettuce, egg, grater and a stack of cups (http://assets.nigella.com/uploads/60c...). I don't recall any picture of Nigella inside the book either.

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              I'll second the normination for Nigella's HOW TO EAT for the exact reason TDQ has summerised. It is a very large book with a lot of dinner party and entertaining menus. It also has fast food and cooking for one or two for the quiet nights. It just seems to have something for everyone!

                                                                                        2. re: Quintious

                                                                                          Not sure where you're reading that, but there are more than a hundred 5-star reviews on Amazon UK, and only a handful of bad ones.

                                                                                          I am by no means a slavish Nigella fan, btw - have passed on her two latest books, but I have had good use out of the Christmas book.

                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                            I am a quite slavish Nigella fan...for what it's worth, 'Kitchen' has been one of my most useful cookbooks!

                                                                                            1. re: limoen

                                                                                              Interesting - I may take another look then. Did you succumb to the Italian book?

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                I did! I got it for £9.99 and free shipping from The Book People so I figured it wasn't TOO bad. To be honest, I can see reasons to be critical of it, but the recipes look tasty, easy and fast, and honestly, I am too busy and home too late too often to criticise that.

                                                                                                1. re: limoen

                                                                                                  I just realised it's my only Italian-only cookbook!

                                                                                                  1. re: limoen

                                                                                                    I'm a big Nigella fan and I have bought every one of her books since How to Eat. It's probably the most practical of her books and there are no pics at all in my book (UK hardcover) or at least not of her or recipes, just of equipment and ingredients. It's one of my most cooked from books so I'd be happy for HOW TO EAT. to be a December or January COTM.

                                                                                                    The Nigella Christmas book does repeat recipes from her other books though there are a lot of originals but I like it as it has all my standard Christmas recipes in one place. Most of the recipes are good for general winter cooking.

                                                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                      Sound very encouraging!

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                        Since I'm the one who brought it up initially, I will also throw my hat in the ring for HOW TO EAT

                                                                                      3. re: MelMM

                                                                                        Like I suggested above, Id prefer HOLIDAY RECIPES or HOLIDAY FOOD or FESTIVE FOOD to holiday themed cookbooks, . Then we could go all over the place on appropriate food type threads.
                                                                                        Out of all my hundreds of books, I only have 1 book (Leith's English Christmas) that is a specifically holiday book, but many many books with recipes that work for the holidays, and Id like to hear about other people's similar resources.

                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                          jen kalb, I agree that "...many many books...work for the holidays..."
                                                                                          No way you could say that a curry isn't festive, or a cookie (any cookie) isn't "Christmasy" -- if the "Holiday Themed Cookbooks" designation is chosen, the title of the book won't actually have to reflect that.
                                                                                          This will be an interesting and maybe different month.

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            If the title of a "holiday themed" book need not reflect that it's a book for the holidays and if any food can be considered holiday food, that begins to stray pretty far from COTM and starts to nudge up against the "What's for Dinner" threads. Kinda sounds like it would be a month in which everyone cooks whatever the hell they want from whatever book they want and we all come here and talk about it. Maybe not such a bad idea. LOL

                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                              Yes, JoanN, this might be a different December. I think I get your 2 points -- this is not COTM, but that's OK.
                                                                                              I don't know how I can say "Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres" isn't a holiday book if somebody else says it is! They'd have a point.
                                                                                              And "holiday" can easily mean Hanukkah in Hollywood 1975 or Christmas in Austria 1875. The foods will be diverse!
                                                                                              So, either a specific book or a freestyle month could happen.
                                                                                              I hope I get more feedback on what the majority wants!

                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                Let me not fall into tears over this... hahaha.

                                                                                                That defeats the purpose of The Cookbook of the Month, Joan. I say we keep to the original idea.

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  I agree totally, Gio. Irony is hard to convey on the Interwebs and I was trying to avoid sarcasm. Love the tombstone, but I don't think we're ready for it just yet.

                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                    Oh good...because I'm not ready for the grave yet either.

                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                  Maybe I lost track somewhere along the way, but I thought we were thinking about choosing five or six (I like 5) SPECIFIC holiday books to cook from as COTM for the month of December. So, if we collectively decide (and maybe everyone gets to vote for three books or something like that) that "Petite Sweets" is a "holiday" cookbook, it gets to stay in. I suppose it's possible that a book that isn't a "holiday" book is going to make it, but it's unlikely that something like Seven Fires or something completely irrelevant will. Famous last words, I'm sure.

                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    Dairy Queen, I can't see anyone buying or borrowing five or even three new books for one month.

                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                      Excellent point.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      I think discussions of "holiday desserts", "holiday Cookies" "holiday main dishes" "holiday appetizers" or such under a generic header would generate a lot more participation and discussion than a choice of 3-5 random holiday books

                                                                                                      A holiday book is not the type of book I am likely to buy or want. Last year we did the 150 recipes book in December, an it was exactly the type of book that suited the month (without being a holiday book),

                                                                                                      Lacking a single (max 2 books) to focus on, it seems like some holiday theme group cook would be preferable. At least on an adjunct thread, if a book is chosen. I think this would be potentially a lot more focussed than the Dinner threads.

                                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                        So you're advocating "all of them"? I scroll back to JoanN's suggestion and I see that, indeed, "all of them" is what she said. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8770...

                                                                                                        I must have gotten confused somewhere along the way about the 5-6 specific "holiday books" idea. Sorry everyone...

                                                                                                        So, then it would be sort of like our "Cooking from Slow COoker Books" thread where it's up to the individual user to decide what constitutes a "slow cooker" book and/or a "slow cooker recipe" from a regular cookbook?

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          My interpretation of what Jen said is that she would prefer any holiday specific cooking to be in separate, non-COTM threads. And I agree. I really don't like the idea of going this vague for COTM. Even 5 or 6 different books, if they are from different authors, I think would be to unfocused.

                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                            what I had suggested was a theme "COTM" or COTM sub that did not focus on a particular book or group of books but in which we planned cooked and shared results on our holiday recipes in logical categories. for example "HOLIDAY DESSERTS". It could be threaded the same as COTM with a sticky at the top and constituent threads, and could be a lot of fun.

                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                              Ah, okay.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                Yeah, I get it, but I don't like it. Part of the appeal of COTM for many, if not most, participants, is the idea of cooking through a book together. It needs to be relatively focused in order to achieve that feeling. I think the "My Calabria" threads are a great example of a successful COTM, where you see lots of discussion even on an individual recipe, because many of us have tried it. I don't think we are going to achieve a COTM feel of of a more broad-themed thread like holiday baking. Of course you may disagree with me, and nominate and vote as you see fit.

                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                  I agree with you Mel, but I see jen's idea as not a substitute for Dec.'s COTM but as a cooking thread along with the vote winning book thread. Or am I wrong?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    Id be happy doing it whether or not we ever get an actual COTM selected, because I think it would be nice to discuss holiday eating in a centralized way in addition to whatever random threads emerge.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Well, Gio, I thought at first she meant a cooking thread, and NOT a COTM. But from her response to me I feel I misinterpreted. I would support the non-COTM cooking thread - heck, I think you can make any kind of cooking thread you want - but not a big hodgepodge of books as COTM.

                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                When I said "all of them" in the post you linked to above, DQ, I meant all the books mentioned in that post, which was why I subsequently used the numbers five and six as an example.

                                                                                                                I'm now going to shut up and go home because I don't cook for Christmas and for New Year's I cook from "Lobster at Home." I will tell you, though, now that my Thanksgiving menu is finally set, I'll be cooking from "John Clancy's Christmas Cookbook," "Thanksgiving Dinner," "Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden," "Sunday Suppers at Lucques," "Around My French Table," something from Epicurious, and some pieces of yellowed tearsheet from The New York Times.

                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                  that sounds about right!

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    erp, okay, that's what I initially thought you meant! This is a challenging month!

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      Color me challenged.

                                                                                              2. I will go ahead and nominate FOOD52, which offers great versatility for a complicated and busy month. There are quick weeknight meals, long slow braises, holiday recipes, cocktail and party foods, desserts and breakfast foods, etc etc etc. it is both a book and a website which means everyone can access it in their preferred format.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                  I really like the idea of going with a website!

                                                                                                  1. re: betterbeheaven

                                                                                                    Especially one that plays nicely with my latest obsession, pepperplate, as Food52 does!

                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                2. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                                                                  1. HOLIDAY THEMED COOKBOOK

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                      I just went onto amazon and typed in thanksgiving cookbooks-
                                                                                                      there were mny many titles including diabetic-historic-vegetarian, etc.
                                                                                                      Holidays include
                                                                                                      Thanksgiving
                                                                                                      Chanukah
                                                                                                      Kwansa
                                                                                                      Christmas-Christmas Eve
                                                                                                      lots too choose
                                                                                                      New Yearrs-Chinese,Korrean ,etc

                                                                                                    2. HOLIDAY THEMED COOKBOOKS

                                                                                                      1. I like this HOLIDAY THEMED COOKBOOKS idea. Since most of us are going to be doing a lot of this anyway this would make (hopefully) for a lively month. Despite voting for Union Square Cafe Cookbooks I have not managed to cook a single recipe from the books yet (blaming a very heavy cold) so a theme that fits with what I'm cooking would be good.

                                                                                                        We also would discover some new holiday books that we hadn't come across before.

                                                                                                        1. As is often the case, I am a bit baffled. I cook Christmas food on one day of the year, and to be honest, not sure what the difference is from any other meal except I make a bit more and have a few more people around my table. Oh and that tree in the corner. :-)

                                                                                                          I must be a curmudgeon since I own not even one holiday book. It just feels quite limiting to me.

                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                            You don't have any special books on entertaining? These are just very specialized books on entertaining... I don't have that many of this kind of book, either, but I have a few.

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              No. Is that really odd? When I need appetizers I pull out the ottolenghi or New York Times Cookbook, or something. Now that I have EYB, I do searches for some ingredient that I know I crave or is in season, and pick something.

                                                                                                              Of course, my idea of fun might be to do a holiday meal from every great food culture over the month. Sadly, I would keel over from exhaustion if I even tried.

                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                I don't find it odd; I don't own any holiday cookbooks either. I'm planning to do an Indian dinner for Christmas this year. We had our traditional turkey with all the same old side dishes for Thanksgiving, so I want to do something different at Christmas.

                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                  I would love to hear your Indian Xmas Menu when you have time.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                    Yes, I will share as soon as I've worked it out -- a friend is going to cook with me, and we sat down with 660 Curries the other day and started plotting. We'll talk again in a week or two and pick the recipes. It's going to be fun!

                                                                                                                2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                  I don't know. I guess my first cookbooks were all on entertaining... And the holidays do tend to be when I entertain the most. But, I only have a few such books. How many does a person need?

                                                                                                                  I like your around the world around the table concept, but I can't imagine all the little bottles of this and that you'd have to buy. At least when you cook from a cuisine for a month you are selecting from the same flavor "palette" over and over. If you ever do one, I'd love an invite. ;-)

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                    I'm agnostic about the holiday themed books as a cotm, and I often like the multi-book months, but as one who doesn't own a single such holiday focused book, it would seem more manageable to me if there were one or two "central" books and then a catchall thread for any other books people wanted to explore. Sort of along the lines of the Food of Spain/Moro + companion books, or Washuko/Art of Japanese Cooking + companions.

                                                                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                      Does such a glorious book exist? Cooking around the world would be my idea of fun as well, though that is my preference for any day of the year regardless.
                                                                                                                      Also not a big owner/user of holiday books.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                        Allegra, I don't think so. Perhaps that can be my retirement project.

                                                                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                        Yeah, I have to say, I don't have any special books on entertaining either. I was feeling like I must be odd until you answered this way smt.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                          I am among the odd :)

                                                                                                                        2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                          I Know I'm odd.. ha ha. But I do admit to having 2 specifically holiday cookbooks. One is by The Frugal Gourmet (before his downfall). Bought when first published. A perfectly beautiful book, decorative in a rustic way with lovely black and white woodcut illustrations, I bring it out each year to enjoy but have never cooked anything from it.
                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/The-Frugal-Gour...

                                                                                                                          The other is the Ogden book mentioned upthread... Yet to cook from that one also. My holiday cooking tends to be what anyone really wants to eat with a few nods to some traditional favorites. But not always.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                            I also fall into the group of people with large cookbook collections but no holiday cookbooks and no entertaining books. I have never felt the need to buy any because many of my books offer a special Xmas or Thxgiving menu within their pages.

                                                                                                                            I do have The Jewish Holiday Cookbook and a Passover Cookbook but I wouldn't characterize these as holiday cookbooks because they are more about what Sephardic Jews serve vs. what Ashkenazi Jews or how to make a contemporary Seder, so I think they are a far cry from what we are talking about here.

                                                                                                                      3. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                        therer many differnt ethnic specialties

                                                                                                                      4. I'd love to see CRADLE OF FLAVOR or THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                          Cradle of Flavor was the COTM in May 2009. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was the COTM in October 2010.

                                                                                                                          Good taste!

                                                                                                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                            boogiebaby, you can see all of the past books here --
                                                                                                                            http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                                                                                          2. "Best of the Best of Mississippi" from Quail Ridge Press has a bit of everything including something of Faulkner's. Sometimes I just enjoy reading it. Certainly Mississippians are good with dangerously rich desserts and this has some good ones. I don't have the courage to do former governor William Winter's flambe cherries jubilee but I enjoy reading about it.

                                                                                                                            1. FOOD 52

                                                                                                                              I think the idea of Holiday Themed Cookbook might not be a good idea
                                                                                                                              One book I is sufficient

                                                                                                                              Month of Holiday Dish might be a better idea.

                                                                                                                              1. I'm going to go against the grains of tradition here and officially nominate the book from the esteemed Cambodian restaurant in Boston, THE ELEPHANT WALK COOKBOOK by Longteine de Monteiro/Katherine Neustadt. I just received this one in the post and have yet to find a recipe that I don't want to make.

                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                  It looks to me like it's out of print.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                    Yes, and the price has gone up dramatically since my copy arrived a few days ago. I'm dying to cook from it however.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                      On a trip to Laos, Thailand and Cambodia a couple of years ago, Cambodian was my least favourite food. Still good though!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                        this might be a good book to combo with Duguid's Burma book - covers old and new

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        I bought it last year from British bookstore at a reasonable price
                                                                                                                                        also Traditional Recipes of Laos by Phia Sing.-an older edition

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                          I have it too. Would love to cook more out of it. I had a girlfriend over a couple of months ago for a Cambodian dinner and the shrimp toasts (nom pang chien b'kong) from the Elephant Walk book were a hit.

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                            Those look so lovely!

                                                                                                                                            I for one would love to cook and report on this book, and if it's out of print it's unlikely to ever be a cotm, I suppose. The prospect of writing a recipe review always makes me more motivated to cook from a particular book, though, so perhaps a separate cooking thread for The Elephant Walk Cookbook would be better?

                                                                                                                                    2. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME. by Gordon Hamersley
                                                                                                                                      PLENTY and FOOD FROM PLENTY by Diana Henry

                                                                                                                                      I really like jen kalb"s thought about a "sub" COTM holiday theme thread. That covers all the bases. Perhaps the Cambodia book can be for later. The appetizers alone in the book have me swooning.

                                                                                                                                      1. Looking online through the recipes of Diana Henry's books, I see many, many recipes that sound just perfect for winter, holidy or otherwise. I love that there are Asian-style recipes in her books, too, which would make me one very happy kitchen explorer. It doesn't hurt that my library has copies of most of her books. DIANA HENRY/FOOD FROM PLENTY. I'm having a hard time picking just one of her books. How does the Crazy Water, Pickles Lemons compare, or the Roast Figs, Sugar Snow (loving these titles) to Food from Plenty?

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          I agree it seems great for the season.
                                                                                                                                          DIANA HENRY/FOOD FROM PLENTY

                                                                                                                                          I have them all except for the Crazy Water one, although I haven't cooked much from them. Looking through them, they all look good, but Food from Plenty is the most appealing. I think if it gets selected as COTM, we should do an adjunct thread for her other books, like we did with Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                            DIANA HENRY, mainly for the Adjunct thread so I can use her ROAST FIGS book that we have

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                              Actually, ROAST FIGS looks like a good choice, given that it's a winter-focused cookbook. I may well succumb to it myself. I really like Diana Henry's books.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                              This is kind of embarrassing, but I just realized that I have the Crazy Water one too. It was just stored in a different section of my collection (with the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern books) than the others. It's an interesting book. The chapters are arranged by flavor or ingredient rather than course. So you have chapters like "Fragrance of the Earth: Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano".

                                                                                                                                          2. Diana Henry's recipes in The Telegraph UK
                                                                                                                                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalist...

                                                                                                                                            An interview with DH
                                                                                                                                            http://www.renbehan.com/2012/03/words...

                                                                                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                              Now that was a lovely article. I do sympathize with the washing dishes part. Never had considered that side of being a cookbook author who actually tests their recipes.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                Yet another...
                                                                                                                                                http://uktv.co.uk/food/item/aid/597669

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Because The Telegraph now requires payment to read, here's another 103 of Diana Henry's recipes...
                                                                                                                                                http://uktv.co.uk/food/chef/aid/586455

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                  Really? Maybe that's a non-UK thing, because it's free here.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                    I've been reading it free for years but for the past few days I can't get past page 1. If I click on an article title, or recipe, I get the ad to sign up that I can't click out of ... There's now a limit of 20 free articles a month, though.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      I'm pretty sure there's no pay wall for The Telegraph. I work in the media, and think I would know if there was.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                    Do you think it's one of those things where you are allowed to look at X number of articles free each month, and once you've hit that limit you get the paywall? I didn't have any trouble opening a link on the Telegraph site.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                      Looks like you're right - limited pay wall for non-UK based readers.

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                        Yes... as I said above.."There's now a limit of 20 free articles a month, though.".

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                          The New York Times does the same thing

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                    That interview and the two quince recipes I just printed from the Telegraph have sold me on Diana Henry so I will second the nomination for DIANA HENRY / FOOD FROM PLENTY. How could I not have ever picked up one of her books before? I'm off to correct that.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                      Figs are not in season here either, geekmom. They usually are in the farm stands during late July and August. Are fresh figs available in supermarkets now? If not I wonder if hydrated dry figs would work.

                                                                                                                                                      ETA: So sorry, geekmom. I meant to reply to angelsmom

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      Saw her fig cake there to be made for Xmad. What type of figs would those be? Fresh figscare notin season here.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: angelsmom

                                                                                                                                                        For Xmas cake, they'd almost certainly be dried figs.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                          It says to cut the stems from the figs, so I do not know.......
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: angelsmom

                                                                                                                                                            Definitely fresh figs in this recipe - one of my produce stores had fresh figs last time I was there, maybe a week or so ago.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: angelsmom

                                                                                                                                                          Angelsmom, pls see my reply above @ geekmom. That was meant for you.

                                                                                                                                                          Now, can someone please point me to the coffee urn?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks so much.

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                          Diana Henry was also featured on The Splendid Table last week. Transcript here:
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.splendidtable.org/story/va...

                                                                                                                                                        4. I don't know where my head has been, but I almost missed nominating altogether this month. Just finished reading over the entire thread to this point (152 replies) and I am somewhat at a loss as which way to go.

                                                                                                                                                          My family will be traveling to Israel during the school winter break so I really do not plan on doing any holiday cooking this year, though I am sure I would enjoy reading about it. I love the idea of Elephant Walk or Bistro Cooking at Home, as I have both and both are new to my collection, but selfishly I would like them to become COTMs when I will be around more.

                                                                                                                                                          I think I am going to leave this in all your capable hands. Will vote when we get to that stage.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                            I can see waiting too. There is so much holiday stuff going on, and so much to keep one busy that cooking often ends up being less important than usual (weird, as there are a couple of huge meals to cook in the month) for me.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I'll throw in a nomination for BISTRO COOKING AT HOME. Like some others here, I don't think I own a single holiday-specific cookbook. BCAH does, however, contain lots of holiday-esque recipes and lots of winter-y recipes, but also not so many recipes that one would feel one couldn't scratch the surface in a busy month.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                              I took Bistro Cooking out of the library when it first came up in a nomination thread, renewed once and it is due back to the library on Friday. I've looked at it and again and again but have not cooked one recipe out of it. This book and the Union Square one left me completely uninspired. Very curious to see what comes out of these nominations :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                I know what you mean. I doubt I'd have found these books inspiring on their own if I hadn't had fabulous meals at the restaurants. (In fact I find the black-and-white photos of stylish restaurant scenes in SH annoying.) But I've had pretty good success with recipes, esp. in BCAH.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I've nominated the holiday books but I can see that's an option that many can't get behind so I'm coming back here w 2 ideas to toss out. I know some folks don't like to re-visit but...what about:

                                                                                                                                                              Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan - It's been over 6 years since this book was a COTM and it's never been re-visited. I know Marcella has her devotees and as much as I love Italian cooking, I didn't grow up w Marcella so I've never come to know her. This book seems to have a huge variety of recipes that could suit holiday plans and harried plans alike.

                                                                                                                                                              The other book I found w an EYB search for "popular" books. It's a book that many of us likely have on our shelves and it has tons of recipes w a good mix of savoury and sweet dishes. Another classic that I didn't grow up w but would like to get to know. Any thoughts on The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham?

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                My mother won't give me the Fannie Farmer yet. It is covered in dust, but there is a sentimental attachment.

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  I never need encouragement to cook from
                                                                                                                                                                  Marcella's essentials! That's my desert island cookbook for sure. That said, there are many recipes I've yet to try. I could get behind this one!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Everyone please note

                                                                                                                                                                  today is Thursday, November 15, so nominations will close tonight at 9 p.m. EDT (less than 12 hours away as I write this.)

                                                                                                                                                                  To be counted, put your choice(s) in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I quite like the idea of a blog for December, given how busy many of us will be. There's always the problem of getting a new cookbook and not finding much time to cook with it. If we are to do a blog, I'd to nominate SMITTEN KITCHEN. I don't think much of her savory choice, but she's very very good with desserts and cakes. This would work very well with the holiday season.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm going to throw my hat in for FOOD52 BOOK AND WEBSITE. There's sure to be something there for everyone, savory and sweet, and if you can't lay your hands on the book, there's the site to cook from.

                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                        Can someone who is familiar with the Food 52 website alk about it a little? I know I can just go there and look at it myself, http://food52.com/ but I don't find it that easy to navigate.

                                                                                                                                                                        I see a list of "features" but when I click on it, there seem to be even more features. How many layers are there? It's unnerving, like the web equivalent of Russian nesting dolls.

                                                                                                                                                                        What's worthwhile and what isn't? How do you use this site? Do you read it every day? Just check in on certain "features" periodically? Use it as a recipe database similar to how you might use Epicurious? I already find scrolling down the "list view" of recipes fiddly and annoying--can I avoid this by using the search function (how good is the search function?) How reliable are the recipes? It seems a lot of different people are posting them...

                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                          I have a similar feeling about Food 52. I have gone to the website a few times, but never spent much time there, in part because it seemed hard to navigate to me. Would love to hear from someone who loves it about how they use it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with you, TDQ: the website drives me nuts; that said, it contains a wealth of terrific recipes, information, tips--a Wonderland, really, if one doesn't mind going down a few rabbit holes.

                                                                                                                                                                            I generally don't have the patience (it is helpful that it's indexed on EYB, though) and mostly use the book, which has lots of recipes that would be great for the holidays--a wonderful eggnog, a horseradish dressing that I like to use on salads with citrus (which is in season here at this time of year) and sprinkle w/pomegranate seeds recipes, porchetta, individual sweet potato gratins, cranberry sauce (w/pear, walnuts, and brandy). The leek and feta tart (made w/puff pastry) is lovely; and Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart was a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                              It's definitely an annoying website! I occasionally search for recipes there, but don't find them unless I know exactly what I am looking for. Otherwise you enter your search terms and get so many results, many of which are irrelevant.
                                                                                                                                                                              That said, there are recipes there that I return to. The 'Genius Recipes' tab is good--some great stuff. Also, when I get search results I tend to filter them by 'contest winner/finalist/community pick' so I know they are tested and that they work because anyone can submit recipes.
                                                                                                                                                                              TDQ: I don't find it necessary to check in every day. Once a week is plenty for me. I am a member so I can save recipes on the site which works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                                                                                                I've never looked at Food52 until today, and didn't try to navigate, just poked around a little. The heading "Genius Recipes" got my attention, and I have to say I'm impressed and interested, at least with that group.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, that's a great reminder, that Food52 is indexed on EYB. Also, that it's one of the participating sites for pepperplate (ie., super easy to import recipes).

                                                                                                                                                                                I really want to like Food52, because I've (grudgingly) liked most of what Amanda Hesser has done professionally, even though I'm insanely jealous of her.

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                  Many thanks for sharing your favourites from Food52, NCW! I started a list on a sticky in front of the book and will definitely make the cranberry sauce and the lemon tart for this T-Giving. Sounds beyond yummy :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the site a lot, though I have to admit, I preferred it before the redesign that took place a year or so ago. You can use it as a recipe database, like epicurious. The search function is pretty robust. It used to be that the site would run a contest every week or so (your best holiday roast, your best asparagus, etc.), and home cooks would submit their recipes. The contests would produce a winner, a runner up, and a handful of "editors picks," now called community picks. I've found the recipes to be very reliable if you stick to the winners and community picks. Alternatively, some of the regular posters are very skilled, and if you like one of their recipes, there's a good chance you'll like others. You can search recipes in the usual way (by ingredient, course, special diet, etc.) but can also see all recipes submitted for a particular contest or by a particular cook. There are also some regular features - of these I like the genius recipes, which highlights great recipes by well known cooks, and some of the columns devoted to weeknight/family friendly cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Some of my favorites in the weeknight meal category are:
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.food52.com/recipes/2434_on...
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.food52.com/recipes/9275_ro...
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.food52.com/recipes/6211_la...
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://food52.com/recipes/16255_sardi...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you to everyone for the tips on Food52. I'm going to try to focus on some of the areas you're all recommending, then go from there. Maybe the book and website can be a contender for a future month. I personally amsorry I didn't focus on it sooner.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                              3. I haven't yet been inspired to cook for this month's COTM, but am hoping I'll like December's more. I don't cook 'holiday' food either, but I do bake a lot. So:

                                                                                                                                                                                SMITTEN KITCHEN
                                                                                                                                                                                FOOD 52
                                                                                                                                                                                JOE BEEF

                                                                                                                                                                                1. HOW TO EAT.....please.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Nominations for December's Cookbook of the Month have closed.
                                                                                                                                                                                    A link to the voting thread will be posted here shortly.

                                                                                                                                                                                    You can now vote here:
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877862