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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? December 2012 edition [OLD]

This promises to be a banner holiday season for us devoté(e)s of the genre...the NYT lists feature several that I want (and quite a few I have already, some of the more interesting ones in the supplementary list).



In addition, the Nancy Baggett "Simply Sensational Cookies" is well worth the baker's attention.

I live in fear of the best British books lists coming out.

What's on your list???

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  1. That "Dirt Candy" looks interesting. I might want to investigate that a little further or hear from a few more folks who know about it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: yayadave

      Michael Symon's "Carnivore," Julia's "Kitchen Wisdom" and the NY Times' Julia Moskin's "Cookfight" are all on my list for SantaSpouse to pick from. I am especially looking forward to Cookfight, because the original challenge this book is based on was detailed in the Times a couple of years ago, and was such a great read.

      Oh, and "How to Eat." which somehow never gets purchased for poor, pitiful moi. Maybe this year. :)

      1. re: nikkihwood

        How come I don't remember Cookfight in the Times? When was that?

          1. re: nikkihwood

            Oh yeah, I remember that. I don't like Kim Severson at all, so probably blocked it out of my memory :)

      2. re: yayadave

        Yeah, I'm interested in that one too. The format seems like it might make it a bit hard to cook from, but still ... intriguing.

      3. VINTAGE CAKES has just gone in my Amazon shopping cart. Even though I've given up sweets for the most part, cakes have always been the thing I've most liked to make.

        And then there's TART IT UP! (tarts being the thing I've liked to make most after cakes).

        Thank you, buttertart (maybe you like making tarts, too).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jay F

          Not as much as my mom did, the cognomen is an hommage to her and to my Canadian roots.

          1. re: buttertart

            What Canadian doesn`t like buttertarts? My Mom made them often.

          2. re: Jay F

            I have Vintage Cakes and I like it. There's a good deal of retro/whimsy in it, but the recipes appear to be pretty solid. Haven't had the opportunity to bake from it yet, but probably will tackle it after the first of the year.

          3. I think I'm going to add Vietnamese at Home to my Santa list.

            1. I had pro ordered The Kimchi Cookbook by Lauryn Chun
              It arrived this past week
              The pictures are nice
              The book is divided
              cooking with kimchee
              some recipes seemed interesting
              kimchee risotto, winter greeens with kimchee,oven baked backed ribs

              1. Interesting link buttertart. I guess the NYT is really just listing the new-ish books of the season vs reviewing them. I do have Jamie Oliver's Great Britain but haven't even taken a good look at it yet. Ditto for Burma.

                Susan Feniger’s Street Food is definitely a book I want to check out. I so enjoy her cooking and I love street food so this seems like a great combo.

                1 Reply
                1. Smitten Kitchen
                  Keys to the Kitchen
                  Cooking with Love
                  Bouchon Bakery
                  Simply Ming

                  1. The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farms is awaiting me at WS. My list would include Bouchon Bakery, but I have realized that no one thinks that I need more cookbooks, therefore, I never receive them as gifts--so thus must purchase them myself!

                    1. Toqué just arrived but I haven't had a chance to crack it open. Astrance is on order but delayed for some reason.

                      1. The pecan shortbread I just made from the Baggett book -- irresistible and very easy. Nice technique in it, too, brown the butter and then toast the pecans in it briefly.

                        11 Replies
                          1. re: buttertart

                            OMG, these look so buttery and melt in your mouth good. Added book to wish list!
                            ETA...went to amazon to look at this book and this and 2 other recipes were free there.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Ms. Buttertart,

                              Those look splendid. I love brown butter and pecans, so this recipe is calling to me.

                              I have NB's All American Cookie Book. In that book, she advises you to use the dip and sweep method to measure flour. Is that what she recommends in this new book of hers? If so, I'll note that the wt per cup of flour for this recipe is 5 oz.


                              1. re: soccermom13

                                Yep, dip and sweep. Explains why I had to add a little more, since I poured it out of the bag into the cup. (Skipped the first part of the book).

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Thanks, Buttertart. I will once again lament the fact that ckbk authors don't give weights. That's one reason I LOVE Joanne Chang. She gives volume plus wts in grams.

                              2. re: buttertart

                                So is this like a pecan sandy? I've been looking for a pecan sandy recipe...

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  I feel like there was one in one of the Best American Recipe books ... if you need me to look I can try tomorrow.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Thanks! I would love that. Have you tried it?

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      You may have already seen this, but angelsmom posted a link to the Nancy Baggett pecan shortbread recipe in her second post yesterday in this thread.

                                  2. re: roxlet

                                    I would say yes, like a pecan sandy. You would definitely like them a lot.

                                2. Still collecting my birthday bounty, today, thanks to my sis, I added THE ELEPHANT WALK COOKBOOK to my ever growing collection. So, so excited! The recipes look relatively straight forward and very delicious. I will try to break it in this week and report back.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    Just came across a recipe for Elephant Walk's Chilled Avocado and Citrus Soup. It sounds amazing, I am wondering if any of you have tried it? It is not in the book...only online. Here is a link:


                                    My supper club will be cooking out of this book later this month and I will report back with our results.

                                  2. Geez, it's kind of scary how many of the books on those two NY Times lists I already own. I've really been indulging myself a lot lately with the book buying sprees, I need to focus on using what I have a for a while now. No more book buying for me for the forseeable future.

                                    I mean it.


                                    1. Not a cookbook per se, but a friend gave me a gift this weekend titled “Handwritten Recipes” and subtitled “A Bookseller’s Collection of Curious and Wonderful Recipes Forgotten Between the Pages.” Each page or spread shows a handwritten recipe (on 3X5 cards, scraps of paper, the front of a guest check); the same recipe in type, with clarifications if needed; and a photo of the cover of the book the recipe was found in with a caption giving title, author, publisher, and date of publication. Although the author did have a small handful of the recipes tested (some worked very well, some didn’t), as he says in the intro, he’s a bookseller not a cook. The recipes were chosen because they looked interesting for one reason or another: perhaps it sounded delicious or it may just have invoked morbid curiousity. Of particular interest to me is the information on the books in which these notes were found. Many of them are quite old and titles I’d never heard of before such as “Salads, Sandwiches, and Chafing Dish Dainties” by Janet M. Hill published in 1914. Quite charming.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        That sounds like a fascinating book. I buy a lot of old cookbooks, and often find newspaper clippings or notecards with recipes stuck in between the pages. It always fascinates me because it gives a glimpse into the previous owner's life, and I always leave them in place.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          There is a website for Handwritten Recipes: http://www.handwrittenrecipes.com/

                                          I am pouring through it now.

                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            That looks like fun. I love it when I find recipes in old cookbooks too.

                                          2. Just saw my first Alex mcKay book over at a local bookshop. looks great;

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Westy

                                              There's a discussion on this book a while back

                                              Let me know if you found something worth cooking from it. It's currently sitting unloved on my bookcase.

                                              1. re: lilham

                                                Mine too. Funnily enough, I'm just about to post a thread about which COTM's I should dump because I'm planning on doing a major purge of cookbooks. Too many books. Too little time. The McKay book has never been a COTM, of course, but it was the book that made me decide I should do a purge. I'm very sorry what I wrote about the book tempted you to buy it, lilham. Maybe someone else would prove me wrong...


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Don't worry TDQ. I think a lot of us here have a shopping problem with cookbooks. It's like some women with shoes. (Luckily I don't have a shoe problem or I will have even less space in my tiny house)!

                                            2. I have one of Nancy Baggett's earlier cookie books and it is a delight. Her recipes are easy to follow and usually turn out really well. The recipe for Supreme Brownies from the book I have are really, really good.

                                              1. Salt, Sugar, Smoke is already on my Christmas wish list, along with Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries II, but I really do have to rein it in I think! No space and not enough time to cook...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                  Kitchen diaries II is available on the kindle too, by the way. I'm seriously tempted but it costs £3 more than the hardcover version! How ridiculous is that? I'm also running out of space on my Billy.

                                                  Diana Henry's cook simple, the e-book version, is already on my lust after list.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    I got Salt, Sugar, Smoke last month and it looks great. I also got KD II a while back, but I haven't had time to delve into it. Slater's books take some time to digest.

                                                  2. I was afraid to read but am feeling better! With the exception of the old-fashioned Cake book (VINTAGE CAKES) in the first list, nothing here jumps out at me as a must have (I already have BURMA. Maybe cookbook craze is petering out? None of these books are saying anything new to me, at all..

                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      It is nice to be content and not tempted, isn't it?

                                                      I still have a list and would love to hear people's comments. Here it is:

                                                      Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan

                                                      Thai Street Food by David Thompson

                                                      Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid

                                                      The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson

                                                      Rustic Fruit Dessers: Crumbles, Buckles, Coblers, Pandowdiesand More by Cary Schreiber

                                                      The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from Around the World by Linda Lau

                                                      1. re: herby

                                                        We have Thai Street Food, which I bought for my husband a couple of Christmases ago, and which has sat unused on a desk in the living room ever since. It is an enormous book -- too large for practical use, and sort of difficult to read because of its unwieldy size.

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          The Soul of a New Cuisine is wonderful. I reviewed it on the weekly cookbook challenge a while back. I am not good about posting links but I'll try later on.

                                                          I am also enjoying Vietnamese Home Cooking. So fare have only made one thing out of it but I have earmarked about 30 others.

                                                          Thai Street Food has been on my wish list for some time.

                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                            Thank you, roxlet and dkennedy! I had a feeling the Street Food would not be too kitchen friendly but maybe a good referrence. I will move The Soul and Vietnamese books to the top of the list and pass these along to my daughter who is asking for my wish list :)

                                                            Thanks again!

                                                            1. re: herby

                                                              Herby - I really, really strongly recommend that you get David Thompson's earlier 'Thai Food' over 'Thai Street Food', if you're after a reference for Thai cuisine.

                                                              I own both books - 'Thai Food' is amazingly good, with extremely detailed information about ingredients and technique. 'Thai Street Food' has fewer recipes, is much bigger in size, and has more photos (mostly of Thai food markets/produce stalls). That being said, everything I have cooked from either book has been astoundingly good - I have a better success rate from David Thompson's work than any other cookbook I own.

                                                              1. re: LiamF

                                                                Many thanks for your suggestion, LiamF! I considered Thai Food awhile back and than thought that Street Food would be more approachable and easier to cook from while still serve as a referrence to a cuisine I am not familiar cooking. Both books are expensive - I will give it more thought and borrow for a trial run if my library has one or both books.

                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                  Street Food is slightly less intimidating, but in some ways, it's not as approachable. The reason I say this is that Thai Food is exhaustive - where Thai Street Food might recommend that you fry curry paste in cracked coconut cream, Thai Food will explain what cracking is and how to do it, then explain which tinned coconut creams are easiest to crack, and finally explain how to make coconut cream from whole coconuts.

                                                                  EDIT : My first cookbook was (and in fact, the first cooking I ever really did was from) Thai Food, so I'm a bit biased here ;)

                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                    I personally find Thai food to be more approachable than Street Food, both for it's size and the breadth of recipes. Both would be an excellent addition to one's library, but I would give the edge to Thai Food. There is currently a pretty lengthy thread going about cooking from Thai Food and Thai Street Food which still gets added to often, if you haven't already seen it....it's full of excellent information on Thai cooking, with plenty of excellent reviews.

                                                              2. re: dkennedy

                                                                The Soul of a New Cuisine is indeed wonderful. It is a very user friendly book, as well as beautiful and informative. Love it.

                                                                Thai Street Food has been on my wishlist for ages as well.

                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                  Thank you, Chef! I moved The Soul and Vietnases books to the top of my wish list :)

                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                    My wish has been granted :) Today I received The Soul of a New Cuisine as a holiday present from my daughter and her little family! And so I promissed that when I come back for my next visit I will cook a few African dishes. Now can't wait to get home and start reading this and several other wonderful cookbooks that I acquired while in NYC and about. I will look for dkennedy posting on weekely challenge thread for recipes from The Soul to start with. If any of you have suggestions, please post either here or on a weekly challenge thread below DK post - many thanks!

                                                            2. re: herby

                                                              I have Rustic Fruit Desserts. I have only made a couple of things from it, but they turned out very well and there are lots of terrific-looking recipes. There's a little thread on it from a couple of years ago, and posters were very enthusiastic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687951

                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                Thank you for the link, Caitlin! I read through and then looked at my recipes on EYB and I have recipes for 1 pandowdy, 2 buckles, 14 claufouti, 23 crumbles and 25 coblers! I should be cooking these and not lusting after yet another cookbook - and maybe I will do just that!

                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                  That is an example we should all probably be following, herby!

                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                  I also have that cookbook and really love it. My mother read it while she was visiting me a few years ago, and liked it so much she immediately went online and bought it for herself!

                                                                3. re: herby

                                                                  The Hakka Cookbook is great. More than just a collection of lovely and many fascinating recipes, I enjoyed the voices of the Hakka around the world.

                                                              2. I wonder if anyone has cooked from "Roger Vergé's Cooking with Fruit" -- ?
                                                                It's heavy on desserts, but they're somewhat intimidating.

                                                                1. Just thought I'd mention that I've started a new thread for sharing "Best Cookbooks of 2012" lists that appear in newspapers, websites, bookstores etc. I came across the NPR list this week along one from our national newspaper. Here's a link to that thread in case you're tempted:

                                                                  Warning: click at your own peril...you may just want to buy something!!! ; - )


                                                                  1. I just received "Burma" for my birthday. Hadn't even dropped any hints. I guess I have at least one friend who knows me all too well.

                                                                    I see a number of us have it but haven't found any indication that anyone has begun to cook from it. Anyone?

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                      Allegra_K's been going gangbusters on "Burma", she started this thread, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875497, that's got a pretty impressive amount of the book covered.

                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                        Missed it entirely! Thanks, qianning, for the link.

                                                                    2. Just received "How to Eat" by Nigella Lawson which I bought used in "good" condition. Happy to report that it is an original '98 UK published book. It has shelf wear but was not used at all.The only photo in the book is of young, innocent-looking Nigella on the inside of back cover. The book is a paperback but still heavy because of the paper that was used - absence of a dust jacket kind of compensates :) The title continue to irk me and I bought it solely because of the current COTM. Ever since I discovered COTM I have been a sucker for its books. Some have been amazing and I need to bite the bullet and start getting rid of the "meh" ones. This will make nice NY resolution and I might just go for it.

                                                                      1. Went a little crazy buying iPad cookbooks the other day:

                                                                        Roots, by Diane Morgan - I have a couple books by her, and she seems to be a good recipe writer. Hearing some raving reviews of this book, I couldn't resist.

                                                                        Foolproof, by Ina Garten - I have none of her previous books and have never seen her show (I don't watch much TV). But I did try one recipe from this book, which was a winner, and after reading the interview posted on the media board, I decided I should give this one a chance.

                                                                        Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays, by Jeanne Sauvage - a great selection of recipes. I have been baking gluten free just as long as this author (which is a lot longer than most people writing gluten-free cookbooks these days), and I do disagree with her on some points (I would never include xanthan gum in an all-purpose baking mix, as many recipes don't need it, and are even better off without it). But in general, her recipes look solid, and I really like the selection of recipes she chose for this book. Things like springerle and panettone. Looking forward to working with this book over the next few weeks.

                                                                        Hiroko's American Kitchen - not sure what I expect here, and I haven't looked through the book yet.

                                                                        Susan Feniger's Street Food - Haven't looked through this one yet either, but it just sounds appealing.

                                                                        Smitten Kitchen - Honestly, I have not followed this blog, and when I heard an interview with the author on The Splendid Table I was not impressed. So why on earth buy this book? I don't know... I have heard positive things from people I trust. I have looked through it, and there do seem to be some recipes I would like to try. I would not have bought it in print, but since there was an iPad version that wouldn't take up any shelf space, I went for it.

                                                                        Not sure if I mentioned these before, but also got...

                                                                        Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan - I've been reading through this one and it is a very good read. I also like the way they have adapted this for the iPad with embedded video, slideshows, recipe formats, etc.

                                                                        The Mexican Slow Cooker, by Deborah Schneider - I've been browsing through this one, and it looks very promising. I've been impressed with the recipes she chose to include and the way they have been adapted to the slow cooker. Haven't cooked anything yet, but am really looking forward to it.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: eperdu

                                                                          I do have a problem with xanthan gum, as do many others. It is, after all, a laxative. I find it mind-boggling that a group of people with a digestive disorder (celiacs) so cavalierly add a laxative to their baked goods. So I will not be trying her all purpose mix as written.

                                                                          I have tested many gluten-free recipes (as I said, I've been at it for a long time now, compared to most), and I've often made side-by-side batches of cookies and other baked goods with and without the xanthan gum, only to find no difference between them. I find in certain applications (cookies, crackers, pie crust, pancakes...) the xanthan gum adds nothing and even detracts from the texture. You do have to adjust the liquid in the recipe, however, if you leave it out. Yeast breads are another another story, but even then, I find most recipes use much more than is really necessary.

                                                                        2. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook arrived last week, and it's pretty enough to put on the coffee table.

                                                                          There is an excellent cross section of recipes, and luscious photos for each.

                                                                          I'm a big fan of the SK website, in large part because the recipes come out consistently well.
                                                                          Also, Deb really understands that visual appeal is a huge part of cooking.
                                                                          When we see these drool inducing photos, we can't wait to get in the kitchen and cook!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: kpsd

                                                                            Has anyone actually cooked from this book yet? I wasn't interested but since it seems to be on everyone's best of lists, my curiosity is piqued. I have cooked from her blog from time to time, but it's not a go-to for me.

                                                                          2. Having ordered Modernist Cuisine last Spring, when Amazon had it for $461, (regular price $625) and taking six months to slowly read all six volumes and 2400 pages, and learning so much, my holiday present to myself is Modernist Cuisine for Home. Regular price $140, but it's $105 right now and I am checking every day because within the next two weeks I expect it to drop for a few days to around $85-90.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                              Thanks for mentioning this. I also sprang for Modernist Cuisine, and have been debating whether to get the "at home" book. Just wondering if there will be enough new material there to justify it. Considering what I spend already on cookbooks, most of which are far less informative, I suspect it would be worthwhile.

                                                                              I would appreciate it if you post up if you see the price drop. I would surely take advantage of it if I could get it for < 100.

                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                If you haven't read it, this thread is fantastic and all about what is being cooked from the MC:AH book:


                                                                                1. re: eperdu

                                                                                  That's a great thread.. Made it halfway through and I'll have to go back to catch up. But it made me decide to hold off on getting MA@H because as soon as I get it I'll have to get a sous vide set up and a pressure cooker, and... a bunch of other toys for the kitchen. I figure before I get it I better set aside around $1000.

                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                  MCAH is now available at Amazon for $97.93

                                                                                3. The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco: has anyone cooked from this book? Recipes don't look nearly as good as Dunlop's, which doesn't surprise me, but the background story is interesting.

                                                                                  Baked Elements

                                                                                  Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. Has excellent reviews on Amazon, but I'm wondering whether I should have picked up From a Polish Country House Kitchen instead.

                                                                                  Everybody Eats Well in Belgium. Has been on my list for a while and a $20 "new" version showed up on Amazon, which clearly turned out to have been lightly used.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: emily

                                                                                    The Cecilia Chang book is more interesting as a memoir than. A cookbook. Her restaurant in SF was quite wonderful. Sorry for egregious punctuation, evil phone won't let me edit.

                                                                                  2. I bough the Jerusalem cookbook last month, and have already cooked a number of the recipes. So far my favorite was a simple roasted cauliflower, hazelnut and pomegranate salad. Very simple to make, but tasted great.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: nyclibrarian

                                                                                      nyclibrarian, it would be great to hear your thoughts about the recipes in Jerusalem if you feel like adding to this thread dedicated to the book: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869192

                                                                                    2. If you live in an area with an Ollie's Bargain Outlet they have some good cookbooks now! The green cover Gourmet is $6.99. I also noticed the silver Garde Manger by the CIA and Cured by Lindy Wildsmith. Don't recall the prices but they were similarly inexpensive!

                                                                                      I picked up Classic Preserves by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew. Much wider array of chutney and marmalade recipes than you find in US books!

                                                                                      Last month I found a few good ones at Garden Ridge:
                                                                                      In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
                                                                                      Simple Food, Big Flavor by Aarón Sanchez

                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Westy

                                                                                          Westy, thanks for the thumbs up on the Aaron Sanchez book. I totally forgot it came out but wondered at the time it did if it would be worth buying. I have his mother's Veracruz cookbook and it's truly wonderful, an under-appreciated and hidden gem.

                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                            $5.99 at Garden Ridge!

                                                                                            I like how accessible the book is to a wide level of cooking skills. There are some current and sophisticated recipes. There are also a number of tips regarding ingredients, usage and storage which are included with recipes for "basics" such as seasoning blends, sauces, chorizo, etc. Layout is quite good, lots of nice photo's of the finished dishes, basics are easy to find on green pages.

                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                              I have both those books and I agree that they're both very very good. (I love Mexican food and I have a fairly extensive library based on that cuisine.)

                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                Mexican cuisine is my specialty :-). I've got 200+ Mexican cookbooks in English and Spanish. They're kind of like Jell-O for me...always room for one more :-D

                                                                                                I love the Veracruz book and have good fairly extensively from it with very, very good success.

                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                  Interesting. I don't watch much TV, and don't have cable, so I don't get these cooking shows and had not heard of Aaron Sanchez. I have Zarela's Veracruz book, and her Oaxaca book, both of which are among my favorites for Mexican cuisine. But I have the impression that this Sanchez book will be much less traditional. Is that right?

                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                    I don't know, I haven't seen either Sanchez book. Flourgirl will probably have to answer that question :-).

                                                                                                    I love the Veracruz book.

                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      "But I have the impression that this Sanchez book will be much less traditional. Is that right?"

                                                                                                      Yes, I would say that's true.

                                                                                                      And DiningDiva, I don't have anywhere near 200 books on Mexican cuisine! I probably have somewhere around 50, give or take. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                        V interesting, thanks for these tips. You know how I feel about Rick <3

                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                          Thank you! I don't have any of those books, I'm adding them all to my wish list.

                                                                                            2. For those who are fans of the Food 52 Cookbook, I thought I'd mention that Volume 2 is now out:


                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                Did you change your avatar? It is wonderful!

                                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                  I did meatn3, thank-you! I took some photos at a market and thought it was time for a change so went w one of those pics.

                                                                                              2. I was in IKEA last night & noticed their "Homemade is Best" Swedish baking cookbook. Anyone here got that? It looks amazing (very unique food photography) but my son physically stopped me from even taking it off the shelf. Hahaha.

                                                                                                1. This week Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese by Ken Albala arrived in the mail.

                                                                                                  I've only had a chance to thumb through it but an eagerly anticipating being able to spend a lot more time reading through it next week. The premise of the book is that these three master cuisines share a lot of commonality not only in ingredients, but in cultural traditions, cooking techniques, methods, history, consumption and cookware/utensils/etc.

                                                                                                  Each chapter starts with a discussion/essay about the chapter topic and presents historical, cultural, anthropological - in short ethnographic - detail about the topic. At the end of the chapter are study questions based on the material (this is, after all, a course text book) followed by recipes that illustrate the chapter topic as well. The recipes are fairly easy and are written completely in text format, which is the style in which Gourmet Magazine used to write all their recipes.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                    Interesting title. My very first cookbook was "The Frugal Gourmet cooks Three Ancinet cuisines: Greek, Roman, Chinese."
                                                                                                    I still use the chinese take-out chicken recipe (heavily tweaked) and can recommenda few other recipes. Ole Jeff was sort of a hack, BUT got many a 'hound started.

                                                                                                    1. re: Westy

                                                                                                      I learned a lot from him back in the day! I still use his method (Chinese?) of poaching a whole chicken. Incredibly succulent results.

                                                                                                  2. I've been waiting for quite a long time for this book & it finally arrived while I was on vacation. "My Basque Cuisine" by Ash Mair. Ash was the winner of the UK's "Masterchef: The Professionals" last year (my favourite TV show, though I have to jump through major hoops to be able to watch it here in Vancouver). I have never really cooked Spanish food before, never mind Basque-inspired Spanish food so this is a totally new area for me. The book is gorgeous, with full colour photos of the food & various beautiful scenes of the Basque region. It's already stuffed full of bookmarks and I'm only halfway through reading it... I sense a tapas/pintxos night in my future.


                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                      We were recently in Spain, and found a little Basque pintxos place that we absolutely fell in love with. Some of the best food I've had in Spain with a heavy emphasis on seafood (which was helpful to me). I can't wait to hear your reports.

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        Ooh, that sounds heavenly! I will certainly post once I've had a chance to try out some of these dishes. I am eager to get better at cooking seafood at home, and this seems like a great way to approach that.

                                                                                                      2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                        Thanks for pointing this one out, it sounds right my alley. I;ll also be looking forward to your reports.

                                                                                                      3. I thought that the cookbook fanatics and Ottolenghi fans here might enjoy this Q&A with him: http://diannej.com/blog/2012/12/qa-wi...

                                                                                                        1. Happy here, or do we need a part 2 for Dec?

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            I think we are good BT; expect lots of book news after Christmas presents are revealed :) It would be nice to have 2012 summary - the best books that we acquired through the year. I am frightened to even think how many new (to me) books I added to my library during this year and how few I actually cooked from.

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              I agree with Herby, I think we're good here up until Dec. 26th :-)

                                                                                                              I also like her idea of doing a 2012 Cookbook summary thread. I think we've all got some cookbooks that were better purchases than others. I'd like to hear how people feel about some of their purchases this year.

                                                                                                              And thanks for marshalling these threads along. While they've been like Kryptonite to me, I've also enjoyed them immensely!

                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                The summary is an excellent idea. Volunteers? ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  I thought it would be a natural extention of your thread, Buttertart. But if you do not want to do it and I suggested, I will volunteer. Are you sure?

                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                    Sure, feel free! I'm so crazy busy at work that I don't have very much time :(

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      OK. I am not crazy busy with work at the moment - crazy busy with other life things but they do not count as much as work does :)

                                                                                                                      I will post the link here - makes it easier to find.

                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                          Herby, if you get stuck, I'm off work for the next two weeks. I can help you out if necessary

                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                            Thank you DD! Let's brainstorm a bit via email (mine is in profile) how to best organize responses, OK? Don't want to clog this thread unnecessary.

                                                                                                              2. Santa (er.. my best friend.. who is actually an Orthodox Jew) brought me Baked Elements, the latest from the Baked boys. Organized by flavour, including one of my favourites.. malted milk! Can hardly wait to break into this...

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                  Malteasers...nooo! One of the few candies I can definitely live without.

                                                                                                                2. I'm wondering if anyone here has "Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World" by Gil Marks and has cooked from it.

                                                                                                                  My mother mentioned that she'd like "a really good Jewish vegetarian cookbook," and Olive Trees and Honey gets extremely high reviews on Amazon: 38 five-star reviews and 4 three-star reviews (and the three-star reviews ding it for lack of photos and not being vegan-friendly enough). Very interesting-looking mix of recipes, with majority Sephardic, it seems.

                                                                                                                  I'm also interested in any other recommendations. She is interested in a vegetarian-oriented book rather than one with meat but lots of veg options.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    I took this book out of the library, and noted many recipes ot cook later. I think it is beautiful and interesting and I love the sephardic emphasis.

                                                                                                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                      I did end up buying it for my mother. It's very international in scope, with recipes from Jewish communities all over. No sweets, and also doesn't cover many of the Ashkenazic standards. But no matter, my mother doesn't need a recipe for latkes.

                                                                                                                  2. I saw this Prashad Cookbook : Indian Vegetarian Cooking on Amazon
                                                                                                                    and am now seriously lusting after it. The authors run a very popular indian vegetarian resturant in Bradford. There are also recipes from the book on the Guardian


                                                                                                                    Does anyone have this book and cooked from it?

                                                                                                                    1. I bought a couple of books for my husband for Christmas during the last TGC sale, and I threw in the Dahlia Bakery one for myself. On first perusal, it looks to be a good addition to the collection. The two that are wrapped for my husband are Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, and Jamie Oliver's Great Britain. I didn't really look at either of these two, just chucked some wrapping paper around them ASAP.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        I also bought Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking at the TGC sale and have not even looked inside :( Too many books....

                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                          I quickly flipped through it, and it seemed very well-illustrated.

                                                                                                                      2. My copy of Jerusalem just came in. Yay! I had it out from the library and am excited to delve in further.

                                                                                                                        Other recent acquisitions: chez panisse fruit (I've wanted this for a while and only $3 on amazon) and Diana Henrys Plenty (I was suckered in by the COTM nomination thread, I think it was $10 used).

                                                                                                                        1. I've been doing my best to exercise restraint in the hopes that Santa may have a book or two from my Wishlist under the tree this year. That said, I did order a few books from Abes...mostly used except for:

                                                                                                                          Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals

                                                                                                                          Rec'd as a gift:

                                                                                                                          The Mini Minimalist: Simple Recipes for Satisfying Meals - Bittman

                                                                                                                          From Abes:

                                                                                                                          Antonio Carluccio's Italia

                                                                                                                          Nightly Specials - Michael Lomonaco

                                                                                                                          Nigella Bites - Nigella Lawson

                                                                                                                          1. My brother gave me "Hazan Family Favorites". I had it on my Amazon wishlist based on some recommendations I read here on Chowhound. I haven't had much of a chance to look at it yet, but I flipped through it very quickly and the random pages I saw look great. I'm excited to go through it with my sticky tags :)

                                                                                                                            1. I've just picked up Jerusalem and a copy of Japanese Farm Food :) I'm about to buy Canal House Cooks Every Day, and Burma - I'm waiting to see whether any Christmas/post-Christmas cookbook sales come up (if they're any good, I'll grab Ratio, The Flavor Bible, and Gran Cocina Latina as well, I think, and maybe Modernist Cuisine at Home).

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: LiamF

                                                                                                                                Adding Pushpesh Pant's 'India Cookbook' to the list today...still waiting for book sales though :(

                                                                                                                              2. Seasons Greetings Everyone!

                                                                                                                                Here are the books I found under my tree this morning:

                                                                                                                                Eleven Madison Park - Humm & Guidara

                                                                                                                                Three Sisters Around the Greek Table - Bakopoulos sisters

                                                                                                                                Modern Flavors of Arabia - S. Husseini

                                                                                                                                Maggie's Harvest - Maggie Beer

                                                                                                                                The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook - Gray & Rogers

                                                                                                                                Once our dinner clean-up is complete I'm looking forward to settling in on the couch with a glass of eggnog and Maggie's Harvest. Though all these books were on my Amazon wishlist (that Santa, such a clever shopper!), I'm most excited about this one.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  Sounds like a great haul!

                                                                                                                                  Do let us know how you make out with Maggie's Harvest; I'm excited for you that you got a Maggie Beer cookbook! I love her & it's on my bucket list to eat at her little cafe whenever I finally do my Barossa Valley wine holiday. I've had good luck with the recipes I've tried in Maggie's Verjuice Cookbook & have acquired Maggie's Kitchen too though I haven't cooked anything yet.

                                                                                                                                2. Under the tree from my husband was the Buchon Bakery book (I love that the recipes are given in grams because I feel that it is the best way to replicate the results), Tacos, Tortas and Tamales, and Canal House Cooks Everyday and SPQR (both actually given to my husband by the publisher, but still mine!). I gave my Husband Jamie's Great Britain and Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking. All in all, lots of good cooking/reading ahead!

                                                                                                                                  1. Waiting under the tree for me were Smitten Kitchen and Vintage Cakes.. can hardly wait to break into them...

                                                                                                                                    1. For my birthday back in early November, I received a few cookbooks that were on my list. I highly recommend them:

                                                                                                                                      Bean By Bean (Crescent Dragonwagon): I'd have wanted this just for her name...but the recipes are wonderful and varied. Plus she has recipes for everything from Greek green beans to Socca. I've made a few of the recipes and they were all delicious

                                                                                                                                      Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass: This is a bible of using the Pressure Cooker. I love it. I cook all the beans for the Bean By Bean recipes in the cooker now. I've made her quick stew recipes as well. Really useful book.


                                                                                                                                      And another Lorna Sass book, Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way: This is a fantastic reference for cooking with every kind of whole grain imaginable. Instructions, ingredient information, and delicious recipes (not only vegetarian, but also meat with grain sides). If you've ever wondered what to do with Millet, this is the book for you.


                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                        I've been a huge fan of Lorna Sass for many years. I lived in a travel trailer doing seasonal work in order to see the country in the late '80's early '90's. Her works on pressure cooking were incredibly useful and I loved being able to have "long cooked" dishes with out heating up a small space for hours and hours. Plus it was a fuel efficient method - handy when living in the boonies and having to tank in your water and propane!

                                                                                                                                        Keep an eye out for Crescent's cornbread book. She does a nice job of providing such depth and flavor within a seemingly narrow topic.

                                                                                                                                      2. Santa fulfilled my list and brought me:
                                                                                                                                        Smitten Kitchen
                                                                                                                                        Vietnamese Home Cooking
                                                                                                                                        Fish with a Doubt

                                                                                                                                        I gave my husband Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

                                                                                                                                        I had hopes of getting Jerusalem from my sister but she had bought it for herself while she was spending the weekend with us. I mean really?

                                                                                                                                        1. I got an iPad under the tree, so I treated myself to a kindle edition of Jerusalem. I know I will cook from this book and participate in the COTM. If I can tolerate cooking with it, I will no longer have to purge cookbooks, or hesitate on buying new ones because I have no space. Definitely not kind to my wallet.

                                                                                                                                          First impression is that there are things lacking in the kindle edition. I can't find an index, simply a list of recipes. (Do e-cookbooks usually have indices)? In the recipe for poaches chicken with sweet spiced freekah, there is a link to cucumber with yoghurt. However the link took me to a fattoush salad. I used EYB to double check there definitely a yoghurt with cucumber with a different list of ingredients. And then I look up the alphabetical list of recipes to find it. Because there isnt an index, i cant look up by cucumber. This i found, is a very convoluted way to cross reference.

                                                                                                                                          I noticed kindle does social notes and three people have highlighted he roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and zatar. This can't be a coincidence and they must be all chow hounds!

                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                            I generally hate that highlighting feature when just reading a book (like a novel) on the Kindle because I don't care to know what other readers emphasize and don't like it disrupting the flow of my reading, but I can see how it might be an advantage for cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                              I agree with Caitlin that the highlighting feature is quite cool, but in all other ways it sounds like the publisher failed to think about how you would actually USE the kindle version of the cookbook, making for a rather frustrating experience for you, lilham. I can't believe they'd get rid of the index!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                I'm not a big fan of cookbooks on Kindle. I think I've gotten 3 cookbooks on Kindle and have been disappointed with the formatting and general difficulty in trying to use them. That said, I have a chef friend who loves his cookbooks on his full-sized iPad.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                  Hmmm...is it just personal preference (ie., you're just not a "digital" person and maybe your chef-friend is) or is the iPad superior in some way when it comes to cookbooks?


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                    I hear there are differences in iBook and kindle editions. I read on this board that for example Vietnamese Home Cooking is much better on the iBook edition.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                    No, I'm actually pretty electronically inclined. I'm actually posting this using my Galaxy Tab :-)

                                                                                                                                                    The issue for me is that I don't find the Kindle versions of cookbooks very user friendly. The table of contents and index are not easily accessible and they aren't especially made for simply just flipping through to find an interesting recipe. My friend as a full sized iPad, my Kindle - and even this Tablet I'm using now - are half the size. I think this is a case where size *does* matter.

                                                                                                                                                    I've been using Pepperplate to store my frequently used recipes. I access that via desk top, tablet & smart phone, and bring recipes up on my tablet in the kitchen. I love Pepperplate for that function, but that is one recipe at a time. My dislike for Kindle cookbooks my also stem from how I use cookbooks more than how I cook from them. It just doesn't work for me :-(

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                      I agree with you DD. I bought the Nigella Lawson COTM How to Cook for my iPad, and I found that using it was enormously clunky. Unless I live abroad again and don't want to schlepp books, I don't think I will buy another digital cookbook. When I was living in Cairo and just had my Kindle, I had bought Wolf Hall to read. I could never finish it on my Kindle because it was the kind of book that required a certain amount of flipping back and forth. I feel the same way about cookbooks, which is why I don't care for them in this format.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                    After my first terrible experience, I would NEVER buy a Kindle cookbook!

                                                                                                                                                  4. Last year's cookbook gifts, and ones that I have been wanting really badly, were the Zuni Cafe Cookbook and Ad Hoc at Home.

                                                                                                                                                    This year, since she's visiting, my Mom & I decided tomorrow we will go out and get Ina Garten's latest, Foolproof.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Santa kindly treated me to Volume II of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries,and the El Bulli book.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I put 2012 book purchase summary thread here:

                                                                                                                                                        Looking forward to reading about your experiences :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. Just got Thomas Keller's "Under Pressure" and "Buchon Bakery" for Christmas. Can't wait to start playing!