Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 10, 2012 04:26 PM

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

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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.
   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:

              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...

                        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..?



                                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.

                              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.

                                  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.