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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? September 2013 edition!

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So...back to school and some of us may have more time on our hands to seek out and enjoy new cookbooks...I will have to squeeze them into a rather busy work schedule, but you know I will...what's floating your culinary lit boat these days? LOTS of new releases coming up.

PS if you're interested in Japanese food, I highly recommend "Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo" by Matthew Amster-Burton, a travel memoir featuring his daughter Iris, who seems a Lulu type to me (she may even enjoy the book herself?). Humorous (I cracked up on the train several times) and non-cloying (no Cooking With Dexter-style excesses, shame on you, Pete Wells). MOST enjoyable.

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  1. The Food of Vietnam by Luke Nguyen is on my buy list

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1

      Have you tried any of Andrea Nguyen's books? They are my favorites. She also has a website vietworld.com that is full of info on cooking Vietnamese food.

      1. re: Candy

        I took Andrea Nguyen's Asian dumpling class today at Love Apple Farm in the Santa Cruz mountains. She is an excellent teacher...organized, makes everyone feel comfortable, good instructions, warm and funny.

        I'm looking forward to using her dumpling book.

    2. Waiting for Mighty Spice Express to come out in the US. Now that I have cleared out more than 5 boxes of books, I think I can buy at least a book or two without guilt.

      1. I haven't bought anything in the past few weeks and am trying not to until much later in the fall. I looked at the Eater Fall Cookbook Preview but, honestly, I didn't see anything that really excited me.

        The only one I want to check out is Anne Burrell's new one, Own Your Kitchen. And I mean check it out of the library to see if it is going to be as big of a disappointment as her first one, Cook Like A Rock Star. I still regret buying that one.

        1. I just saw a recipe from Raghavan Iyer's "Indian Cooking Unfolded" discussed on Serious Eats and nabbed the Kindle book for $9.99. 10 ingredient or less "easy" Indian recipes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: buttertart

            I've read that the recipes seem as if they're American w an Indian twist. Still, I am mildly interested. It's indexed on EYB:

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

          2. Looks like Paleo is the way to go in 2014. Here's the current soon to be released list from Amazon:

            http://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases...

            8 Replies
            1. re: Gio

              Yet another diet program? I don't think you saw my post of FB about a bookstore in Birmingham, AL. It was an amazing used book store, the owner said he had books going back to the 1500s. DH and I headed first to the cookbooks. There was an overwhelming number of diet books that had been off loaded by previous dieters.

              1. re: Gio

                love when these Paleo cookbooks include stuff like coconut flour and other junk to make "cupcakes".
                I always picture some cavemen sat around a fire baking a few cupcakes.

                1. re: kimeats

                  I'm so glad I wasn't drinking something when I read your post, kimeats, since it wold be coming out of my nose right now. Beyond lol!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    "Tasty mastadon, hon."
                    "Shall we finish with a cupcake? Made with real coconuts!"
                    "When do we invent flour?"

                    1. re: Westy

                      Hahaha

                2. re: Gio

                  Thanks for posting this list Gio. Luckily, I got through it without clicking any buttons. I was actually looking for a Paleo book so I immediately started paging through, but nothing caught my eye. I've recently started seeing a healthy aging doctor (isn't that a depressing sentence?) and his first piece of advice was for me to adopt a Paleo way of eating for the rest of my life. Not because I need to lose weight or because I am aging, but because everyone should be eating this way.

                  Diabetes runs in my family and though I am very fit for my age, I still carry extra weight around my middle. As a result, my insulin levels are in the "pay attention to this" range. So I am. I have been eating paleo for the past 27 days and I can honestly say it has made a huge difference in the way I feel. I've already retested my sugar levels, and my #s dropped considerably, so I know this is the right choice for me, long term. It is a little hard to get used to avoiding grains, refined sugar, and starchy veggies, but now that I am onboard, I think I can live this way.

                  As for the coconut flour....if you could no longer eat grains you would be posting recipes for coconut flour cupcakes too!

                  1. re: Gio

                    Keep hearing about Paleo . . .Eat to Lose Eat to Win (my favorite breakfasts) and Eat to Live work for me:

                    http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Lose-Win-Gr...

                    http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Live-Amazin...

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      If you are going to research Paleo, also research Primal. Primal makes a little more sense to me. That is what I am doing.

                  2. As usual, I am salivating over a couple of baking books. Since I'm doing WW, I think of them as porn. I'm particularly interested in the 4 and 20 blackbirds pie book being released soon. And Gio? You're just making trouble here!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: roxlet

                      I've got Four and Twenty Blackbirds pre-ordered. Still considering Hoosier Mama and the upcoming Southern Pie Book (from Southern Living) is on my radar.

                      1. re: emily

                        I adore the Hoosier Mama book.

                        1. re: emily

                          Oooooh Southern Pie...

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I already have a Southern Pie book. Do I need another? OK. Stupid question.

                      2. David Leibovitz "Ready for Dessert" just jumped off a store shelf at me... sigh. "Ciao Bella book of Gelato and Sorbetto" snuck in the bag before I could escape!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JanMc

                          Ready for dessert is a good investment..

                        2. Food Journeys of a Lifetime just arrived and is gorgeous. It is a reading book though there are a few recipes.

                          Just ordered and hope to receive this week:

                          The Muffin Tin Cookbook

                          My China by Kylie Kwong. It was recommended on these boards and I loved her shows.

                          Vegan Secret Suppers by Merinda Anderson. I read about this book in my local paper and since I am interested in having a couple of vegan meals a week, I thought it would be a good resource. Recipes are not simple but look interesting. Here is the article and some recipes in case someone is interested: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/foo...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: herby

                            Thanks for bringing Vegan Secret Suppers to my attention. I just bought it on my iPad, and it does look very interesting.

                            I hope you like My China! It's a beautiful book, and I've had good results with it.

                            1. re: herby

                              Food Journeys of a Lifetime (2009) National Geographic looks really interesting.

                            2. Just ordered:

                              1. Bromberg Brothers Blue Ribbon
                              2. SF Chronicle Recipes (I and II)
                              3. Family Meals - same guy as the Union Square cookbooks

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Westy

                                Family Meals is amazing! Good choice.

                                1. re: nikkihwood

                                  What are your favorites. I like the philosophy very much, but the recipes seem quite different than what aim used to.

                                  1. re: Westy

                                    We really like the Dominican Chicken, I've made the Dominican Beef using TriTip...what else, oh, the Pushcart Chicken, and my spouse really loves the slow-cooked green beans. I had this from the library, and it's on my holiday wish list.

                                2. re: Westy

                                  Just made the Thai beef salad from family meals. Made my own vinaigrette. Used sesame oil, Chinese black vinegar, grated ginger, olive oil, Thai basil. Really great

                                  1. re: Westy

                                    I tried searching for Family Meals and I believe you mean Family Table?

                                    1. re: emily

                                      Correct. Apologies.

                                  2. New book: "Greedy Girl's Diet" by Nadia Sawalha. EYB has on-line recipes:

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

                                    We ought to just because.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Nadia Sawalha? AKA sister of Saffy from Ab Fab? With connections like that, I've got to check it out. Looks pretty good, will see if my library has it..

                                      1. re: rstuart

                                        And also a winner of Celebrity Masterchef and then host of Junior Masterchef, which is how the cookery book thing started, I think

                                    2. Joe Yonan's "Eat Your Vegetables" looks like a good one. I like to check a new cookbook from the library when I can so I can give it a serious look before buying. This has saved me a lot of $ on books that look good at first but really are not ones I will use much

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: joanberry

                                        What a coincidence.. I just picked that up from the library on Saturday? Haven't had a chance to look through it yet..

                                      2. Just ordered:

                                        The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Everyday

                                        Asian Tofu (Andrea Nguyen - I also have her tofu making kit from Williams Sonoma but haven't used it yet)

                                        World's Best Cocktails: 500 Signature Drinks from the World's Best Bars and Bartenders

                                        Hoosier Mama Book of Pies

                                        The Southern Pie Book (by Southern Living magazine)

                                        One Souffle at a Time (memoir by Anne Willan - wasn't sure I'd be interested in this, but I found myself enjoying the rather lengthy preview on Amazon)

                                        French: The Secrets of Classic Cooking Made Easy

                                        16 Replies
                                        1. re: emily

                                          Your previous post made me order Hoosier Mama, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of Southern Pies.

                                          1. re: emily

                                            I love Andrea Nguyen's book, Asian Tofu, not so much for the tofu recipes (they are fine, but are covered in other books and there are similar/better versions in my cookbook collection), but because of her precise and detailed instructions on making tofu. I've attempted making tofu before, but with her book I am able to receive consistent results every time.

                                            1. re: BigSal

                                              There's a tofu making kit? Wantwantwant...
                                              Nguyen goes into making fu yi/yuba which is something I adore (tofu skin)...one of these days...

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                I didn't realize she had a tofu making kit either, I just have some of my own, but I did make yuba using her book. What a delicate and delicious treat.

                                                I thought I was going to pass on Pretty Good number One, but now...

                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                  I'm sure you can find this on your own, but here's the link to the tofu kit:
                                                  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                  I will make some just as soon as I narrow down which recipe to use it in....

                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                    Yuba is one of the best things on earth to eat.

                                              2. re: emily

                                                I gt a cheap copy of Bonne Femme via the Good Cook but haven't been very inspired by it and am thinking of trading it. Have you found anything in there that might make me want to give it a second look?

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Not yet, but I've only gotten through the first chapter.

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    I've had this cookbook for a couple of years and have enjoyed many of the recipes. Two of my favorites are Boeuf Bourguignon with Short Ribs and Chcken Nouvelle Veronique.

                                                    1. re: wakondatch

                                                      They both sound great, thank you, though I worry that the Boeuf Bourguignon might be a little too involved for me these days.

                                                      http://chezbonnefemme.com/recipes/chi...

                                                      http://chezbonnefemme.com/recipes/boe...

                                                      This rice she serves wtih the Boeuf Bourguignon sounds great, too. Have you made it? http://chezbonnefemme.com/recipes/any...

                                                      ETA: ok, now I've been poking around her website. Lots of terrific-sounding recipes. I wonder why I wasn't more drawn to this book before? I think I need to have another look. Thank you for giving me the nudge I needed to have another look!

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Now you've got me interested in the Bonne Femme book! The recipes on her web site look fab!

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          I'm *pretty* sure I have this book - a Christmas gift from LulusDad, but never really had a chance to look at it. Do the rest of you sometimes get books and just never manage to give them a look?

                                                          Need to give this one a shot. I love France, although their northern food isn't my favorite.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            Yes, sometimes even a book I really pined for can sit, unopened, for awhile.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                              I have this problem frequently! It's as if something is preventing me from opening it.

                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                So glad to hear I'm not alone in this. I want want want a book and then once it comes I somehow get busy and it ends up in a pile somewhere.

                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Her website is a lot of fun. Great posts, in addition to ideas from her cookbook. She usually posts something new about once a week. Yes, I have tried the Any Night Baked Rice, but have cooked it on stovetop in sauce pan rather than in oven - only because I am used to cooking rice on top of stove. It is very good, but with all the flavors in the Bouef dish, didn't find much need to get fancy with rice. I have used the rice dish with lighter main dishes.

                                                      2. Recently got:

                                                        The Urban Rajah's Curry Memoirs by Ivor Peters

                                                        Rick Stein's India (enjoyed the program on TV so much!)

                                                        and the Incredible Spice Men book, just love those guys.

                                                        Thinking about picking up Iyars Indian Cooking Unfolded but I already have his 660 curries... so is it worth it?

                                                        Oh and also got Levant by Anissa Helou which is grand. Believe Yotam Ottolenghi has a review on the cover.

                                                        Pretty Good Number One is in my wishlist! Should I go for it?

                                                        20 Replies
                                                        1. re: kimeats

                                                          Only if they make cupcakes out of coconut powder.

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            Haha! ;)

                                                          2. re: kimeats

                                                            I'm not thrilled with indian Cooking Unfolded, it's VERY basic.
                                                            Do get Pretty Good Number One, it's really fun.

                                                            1. re: kimeats

                                                              I'd never heard of Pretty Good Number One, but now I want it. Cheap enough on kindle that I'll feel no guilt at all.

                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                That's what I did, too.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  I am super tempted to order on kindle :)

                                                                  Why or why do I read these threads???

                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                    Get.it.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      OK, OK got it already :)

                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                        :)

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Reading it tonight on my kindle. You are wicked, BT; now I WANT to go to Japan! :) And I mean NOW!!!

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            I am thinking that a bunch of us should get together for a meal. I am in NYC often enough and just north of the city even more often. Maybe we could do a post-turkey dinner at my daughter's house - looks like Nov 30th would be the date. Keep it small, cook together - what do you say?

                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                              Where north of the city?

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                *The City = Minneapolis TDQ says hopefully?*

                                                                                Shucks, probably not.

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Lol. I think the city is NYC, but you have Mary Tyler Moore. :)

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    I bet TDQ can turn the world on with her smile.

                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    New York City but there are lots of you in Minneapolis, right?

                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                      Yes, there are at least a few of us COTM'ers in MN.

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                  3. re: roxlet

                                                                                    Sloatsburg, NY

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      Maybe Boston? ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                        I can do the heavy looking on. Well, maybe a prep or two.

                                                                    2. I got Ruhlman's "The Book of Schmaltz" it's fantastic.

                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Book-Schmaltz-L...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                        do all the recipes include schmaltz?

                                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                                          Can't wait to read this!

                                                                        2. My birthday's in October, so I'm looking for ideas - just put Hoosier Mama's Book of Pie on the wish list thanks to the August thread. Also looking at Savory Cocktails (disclosure - I'm friends with the author but I get no remuneration from it - not even a free copy of the book!)

                                                                          I'm also looking at Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen

                                                                          1. If you liked Pretty Good Number One, you should check out the Spilled Milk Podcast, which Matthew does with Molly Wizenberg of Orangette. It's very entertaining.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                              Thanks, I'm not keen on MW (based on her memoir), but...

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                She's a lot funnier on the podcast than she is in writing. The tone is a lot more like Matthew's writing - they just chat and tell jokes and talk about food.

                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                  Must look into it in that case!

                                                                            2. My (pre-ordered last year) Ottolenghi arrived today!! Happy dance!

                                                                              Hopefully, a completed kitchen in a week or so (another happy dance to come).

                                                                              Also, must post a picture of my "cookbook shelf" that my DH built into our island cabinetry! So awesome. :-)

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                Please post your kitchen photos - bookshelf and all! I am thinking about kitchen reno in not too distant fiture.

                                                                                1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                  My copy of Ottolenghi arrived yesterday too. I had ordered over a year ago and because the release date kept getting pushed back again and again, by the time the package made its way to my doorstep I had completely forgotten about it.
                                                                                  Love that it has a squeezy cover like the others....and now I can finally find out what all the fuss is about!

                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                    Mine arrived a few days ago! Had a quick thumb through it and the recipes look intriguing. Not sure where I'll find samphire though....

                                                                                2. Let's see, I haven't posted on one of these threads in a while, so I have some catching up to do.

                                                                                  I'll start with the "Real" books:

                                                                                  The Art of Peruvian Cuisine II, by Tony Custer - this is a big deal. I have had the Art of Peruvian Cuisine for a while now, after lusting for it for years, but balking at the $75 price tag. When I finally understood that the book is a fundraiser for the author's charity, I went ahead and shelled out for it, and didn't regret it at all. Now there is a second volume, even bigger and if possible, more beautiful than the first, and I jumped on it without hesitation. The recipes mostly come from restaurant chefs, so this is not everyday food. It showcases the beauty and creativity of Peruvian cuisine. Really stunning.

                                                                                  Slow Cooker Revolution, Vol II, by America's Test Kitchen - The other end of the spectrum from the book above, but what can I say? With cooler weather on the way, I'm starting to think about slow cooker meals, and I know these will be very reliable recipes, even if not the most exciting.

                                                                                  Barbecue Crossroads, by Robb Walsh (with great photography by O. Rufus Lovett) - All I can say is, if you have any interest in barbecue, get this book. It's a tour through barbecue country, with profiles of pit masters and plenty of recipes (made some ribs from one already, and it's a winner). I have many books on barbecue, but this one is really special.

                                                                                  Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales, by Roberto Santibañez - a nice, compact book full of recipes for street-food type stuff, from a reliable author. Looks good.

                                                                                  Antojitos, by Barbara Sibley and Margaritte Malfy - This book is a few years old, but I recall it getting very good press when it came out. Another smallish book, with appealing recipes for beverages, salsas, and small-plate stuff.

                                                                                  For the iPad, I've bought several more:

                                                                                  Vegan Secret Supper, by Mérida Anderson - based on herby's comments.

                                                                                  Everything Peruvian, by Morena Cuadra and Morena Escardó

                                                                                  Vedge, by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby - from the vegan restaurant of the same name in Philadelphia.

                                                                                  Eat Your Vegetables, by Joe Yonan

                                                                                  Crazy Good Italian, by Mike Isabella

                                                                                  Eating In, With Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Weekend Menus and Work Night Encores, Issues 1 & 2 - this one deserves a special mention. Kasper is now putting these out quarterly, and I believe they are only available as ebooks. The recipes are accompanied by tips on shopping and cooking technique, and there is some embedded audio from the radio show. There are also ideas on how to repurpose your leftovers for quick, weeknight meals. I like the quarterly concept - it's kind of like what Canal House was doing, but Kasper's food always appeals to me more than the Canal House food did. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of her radio show.

                                                                                  74 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                    Question for both herby and Mel - I'm very interested in the Vegan Secret Supper book, but I'd like to know how much vegan cheese she uses in it. A lot of the books I've picked up at the library rely on this stuff a lot, and I have no interest in using it. I'm thrilled at the idea of adding vegan meals but I don't want to do so by using fake versions of real food, if you know what I mean (no offense meant to any vegans out there). I've had amazing vegan meals without any of that sort of thing, and that is what I'd like to create myself. Is this maybe the book for me?
                                                                                    And Vedge - how about that one?

                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      If you're talking about the kind of vegan "cheese" that you can get at the supermarket, there is none of that in either book. Both books are pretty fancy food, restaurant type things. Now in Vegan Secret Supper, there are some "cheeses" that you make from scratch from nuts, like cashew cheese and hazelnut cheese.

                                                                                      In Vedge, they do call for vegan mayo and vegan sour cream in a handful of recipes. And in some of the baked goods they call for vegan margarine, and soy milk or "vegan cream" (whatever that is). In Vegan Secret Supper, about the most I'm seeing is some occasional soy or almond milk.

                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                        Thanks so much Mel. So Vedge doesn't do the vegan cheese thing, but does do vegan mayo/cream, etc. Both are pretty fancy - I'm liking what I'm hearing so far. Having given them a look, does one appeal more than the other to you? Or haven't you had a chance to really look at them yet (I'm guilty of this more than I'd like to admit).

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          Well, I just downloaded Vegan Secret Supper this morning, so I haven't had much time with it. I've had Vedge just for a few days. Despite the fact that Vedge is actually a restaurant book, it's recipes are the simpler of the two books. The recipes in Vegan Secret Supper are very involved, multiple-component dishes, with restaurant-style presentation.

                                                                                          Vegan Secret Supper is exciting me just a bit more so far, but the food will be a lot of work. I'm looking at a recipe for "Leek & Oyster Mushroom Risotto Cakes with Yellow Beet Reduction. There are something like 18 ingredients in the risotto cakes, including dulse flakes, kelp powder, and cashew cheese (which is another recipe in itself, but it is optional in this one). Then you have the yellow beet reduction to make. This book is reminding me a bit of the first Millennium cookbook (do you remember that one?).

                                                                                          OK, now looking at Vedge, I would say there are recipes that look almost as complex on the plate. Such as "Hearts of Palm Cakes on Curried Lentils", but when you get into the details, are not that involved. The restaurant makes this with fresh hearts of palm flown in from Hawaii (lucky them!), but the recipe calls for canned or jarred. Vegan mayo does make an appearance here (personally, not being vegan, I am likely to sub in regular mayo). I'd say Vedge is a bit more home-cook/grocery store friendly.

                                                                                          Honestly, I think you should get them both (I am that little devil sitting on your shoulder). They are both available for iPad and Kindle, if that helps.

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            Naughty naughty Mel! Yes, it does help that they're both available on kindle. But I think you're swaying me toward Vedge. I'm with you on the vegan mayo - as long as I'm not a vegan, it isn't cheating to use the real stuff. I assume it will act the same way in a recipe, and I'm absolutely sure I'll like it better. I never saw the Millennium cookbook, but i ate there once and it was fantastic.

                                                                                            Thanks again for your help.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I'm making a dinner tonight entirely from Vedge. Three dishes. I have to say, I've already started on two of them, and I'm seeing some issues with the recipes. I will report back later tonight or tomorrow morning.

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                Wow, I'm impressed. I'll also be incredibly grateful to you for your thoughts about how the dinner turns out, and whether or not the issues ended up being serious or not.

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                  OK, here's my report after my first meal from Vedge. I made 3 dishes. Sorry I can't give meaningful page numbers, as I have the iPad edition.

                                                                                                  French Breakfast Radishes with Nori, Tamari, and Avocado - The headnote describes the restaurant's "fancy radish plate" as featuring exotic radishes that have been "roasted, pickled and marinated, served with smoked tamari and avocado." This recipe, they claim, gives you "every bit of the taste in a fraction of the time. The picture shows a sushi plate of radishes, some of which have obviously been roasted, along with chunks of avocado. Some of the radishes and avocado pieces are encircled by a band of nori.

                                                                                                  The recipe has you do the radishes only one way: Cut in half lengthwise, salted, tossed with some rice vinegar, and cured for just 15-30 minutes to make a quick tsukemono-style of pickle. The avocado is mashed with lemon juice, scallions and salt and pepper. It is then placed on a tray alongside the radishes. Here's where I started getting annoyed. First, what the recipe is describing is not what is shown in the picture. Second, they have obviously simplified their recipes for us home cooks. Let's say it - they dumbed them down, a lot. So I rebelled just a bit. I only pickled half the radishes. The other half I tossed with some oil and salt and roasted (at 400 for 30 min). I left the avocado in chunks, and just tossed it with the other ingredients. Then I piled everything onto a plate, and we ate it with chopsticks and the tamari alongside.

                                                                                                  This was quite good, although not prepared as written. The one problem is that it was very salty. Now, I like things pretty salty, but this was really salty. And then you dip in tamari, and it's even saltier. I wouldn't want to skip the tamari because it did add something to the dish, so next time I'd be careful that the other components were not quite so salty.

                                                                                                  Heirloom Tomatoes with Grilled Shitakes and Green Goddess - Here is where the vegan mayo makes it's first appearance. I decided to actually pick some up and give it a try. First, I did a little taste test: Vegenaise vs. Duke's, side by side. The Vegenaise is not bad, really. Which isn't to say it compares to Duke's. The Veganaise is a bit sweeter and saltier, and not quite as tangy. In the future, I won't go out of my way to get it, unless I'm cooking for a vegan, but I decided to go ahead and use it for this dinner. The green goddess dressing is simply the Vegenaise, blended up with some basil, tarragon, capers, dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a bit of water. It was good, but once again, a bit too salty.

                                                                                                  This dish comes together very quickly. Some shitakes are tossed with oil and salt and pepper and seared in a pan or grilled, then sliced thin. Heirloom tomatoes are sliced, drizzled with salt and olive oil, and placed on the plates (I did not season the tomatoes, because I had already decided the dressing was too salty). The dressing is poured over the tomatoes, and the shitakes are placed on top. Each plate is garnished with a handful of baby salad greens (I used only arugula). The recipe calls for 12 oz of greens for 2-4 people, which I think is an awful lot. I just put an amount that looked nice to me.

                                                                                                  This ended up being my favorite dish of the night. I had really good Cherokee Purple tomatoes from the garden, and the meatiness of the shitakes combined with the tomato was a great combination. The saltiness of the dressing was not a big deal, because I had adjusted the salt in the other components to compensate. Next time, I would reduce the salt in the dressing, or just use my own recipe. But overall, this was a winner, and will be repeated.

                                                                                                  Hearts of Palm Cakes on Curried Lentils - The picture shows an absolutely scrumptious looking fritter (and I'm saying fritter, because it clearly looks fried), with a nice rough, chunky texture. Alongside are some soft yellow or red lentils with scallions. I had a jar of hearts of palm in the pantry, so this seemed like a good way to use them up.

                                                                                                  The recipe starts with a quick sauté of bell pepper, scallions, an the hearts of palm, which have been cut into chunks. It gets seasoned with some curry powder and salt. After this cools a bit, you put it in a food processor and pulse to a "coarse, shredded consistency". Meanwhile, you cook up some red or yellow lentils that also included sautéed onion, vegetable stock, more curry powder, and salt. Cilantro is stirred in at the end of cooking.

                                                                                                  For the cakes, you stir 1/2 cup of vegan mayo into the heart of palm mixture. That seemed like an awful lot, and the mixture was getting too soft, so I held back a bit and used maybe 1/3 of a cup. These get formed into four patties, and baked at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Here is where I got frustrated, again. Baked? I thought these would be fried! Only four patties? The fritter in the picture looks pretty small, but if you make only four patties, they will be hamburger-sized. Well, I did as told, and made four patties, and popped them in the oven. After 8 minutes, I pulled them out and gave one a little poke with the spatula. It was completely soft, and not very browned. I carefully flipped them all, and stuck them back in the oven for about 15 minutes. By that time, they had browned up nicely and were a bit firmer (but still a little softer than I'd like). The dish is served by spooning some lentils onto the plates, and putting one of the patties on each serving.

                                                                                                  The end result was pretty good, although the patties did not have the texture I would have liked. Next time, I would use less mayo, and probably add some chickpea flour to bind them, and I would make more, smaller fritters. And I would fry them!!! Note that in the picture, I said there were scallions on the lentils (and no cilantro to be seen anywhere), whereas in the recipe there were no scallions in or on the lentils. I just find that infuriating.

                                                                                                  So there you have it. I ended up having an excellent meal, and all dishes were pretty good, and the tomato dish was exceptional. The recipes were a bit problematic, with some quantities and cooking times being off. The recipes and the pictures are a complete disconnect. This book would be better off if it didn't have the pictures at all.

                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                    All that and I forget the pictures...

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      More from Vedge last night:

                                                                                                      PORTOBELLO FRITES

                                                                                                      I was drawn in by the picture of the "meaty" looking portobello cap and the accompanying fries. But as is typical for this book, the recipe did not match the picture.

                                                                                                      The recipe has you start by baking potatoes. You will later cut them into wedges, and pan fry them to crisp them up. I did not do this. Maybe someone else wants to try it, but I didn't think this would yield an acceptably french fry. So I made fries my own way, and used purple potatoes, because that's what I had.

                                                                                                      For the mushrooms, you brush them with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until soft all the way through. Once again, the cooking time was understated. It took about 20 minutes for my mushrooms to cook all the way. You deglaze the roasting pan with a mixture of wine, dijon mustard, and vegetable stock, and this gets poured into a saucepan and reduced. The recipe says to reduce by half, but I felt that was still too much sauce, and reduced by 3/4. Once again, this takes longer than stated. The sauce is finished with some fresh tarragon. You are supposed to reheat the mushrooms caps before serving (I just kept them warm in the oven). You pour the wine sauce over the mushrooms and serve the fries on the side. I put the mushrooms over a bed of arugula to have some green on the plate. The picture shows something on top of the mushrooms (sautéed onion, perhaps?) which is not in the recipe. I put a little pico de gallo on top of mine. I also cut the mushroom caps into thick slices before plating.

                                                                                                      This was good, although I liked the portobellos with the hazelnut crust from VSS better. I missed the nutty crust from the VSS version, but this sauce from Vedge might be quite good over the VSS mushrooms.

                                                                                                      The plate wasn't very photogenic, with the purple potato fries and the mushroom combining to make everything very dark and dull.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        I'm bothered by what seems to be blatant lack of truth in advertising (re: the photos). And I agree with you that how they're suggesting you do a french fry just isn't going to hit the sweet spot for my french fry craving.

                                                                                                    2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      The tomato/shiitake dish does sound very very good. And would maybe a coating of panko and then a quick pan fry have helped with the lentils? Everything *sounds* really good, but I definitely understand your frustration with the book and how these recipes are written. And again, thank you so much - I'm learning more about this book from this one post than I would have from 25 amazon reviews. I really appreciate it. I haven't given up on the book, but I'll await maybe another meal. Do you have it in you? Or are you feeling lackluster about it at this point? It looks and sounds like a lovely meal (but a fair amount of work).

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        Oh, I'll probably do another meal. Some panko or breadcrumbs might have helped, but the whole texture of the cake (which were heart of palms, the lentils were just on the side), was too soft. So I think some kind of flour or breadcrumbs need to be mixed in, as well. And I do think pan frying would be better than baking, and dropping into oil and deep frying might be better still. Oh, and next time I will skip the food processor step, and just chop up the heart of palm to the desired texture. I think the authors have the impression that home cooks will shy away from a lot of chopping or from frying.

                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                          Oh gosh, sorry that I misread it. I thought it was the lentils that were made into patties. No, no, I don't get totally processed hearts of palm without breadcrumbs or pan frying as a meal. Sounds like mush. Totally agree on just chopping the hearts of plam.

                                                                                                          I'm glad you'll go for another meal, but somewhat nervous.

                                                                                                      2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        Oh, and I think I'll be sticking to regular mayo.

                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                          I will say that in the green goddess dressing, because there are so many strong flavors in there, the vegenaise worked well. So I wouldn't hesitate to use it in an application like this one if I had vegans coming for dinner.

                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                            My oldest gf is a vegan, but she lives on the other side of the country so I don't cook for her often. But yes, if she was coming I'd do the veganaise (I believe that is what they call it). I was surprised that the green goddess didn't have more herbs in it.

                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                              I may have gone kind of heavy on the herbs :-)

                                                                                                            2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                              The grapeseed oil Veganaise has the best flavor imo. I used to conduct taste testings for a large natural food chain. It was interesting trying all the varieties at the same time!

                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                I haven't done a side by side, but the grapeseed oil version is the one I've chosen in the past when cooking for vegans. The "original" is based on canola oil, which sometimes tastes fishy to me (and many others, if chowhound comments are anything to go by). But this time I bought the original, because that is what the book recommends and I wanted to test the book.

                                                                                                          2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                            Thanks for posting such a comprehensive report. I have been contemplating adding a Vegan Cookbook to my collection and this one looks very tempting, but your concerns are causing me to pause.....

                                                                                                            I recently started seeing a Doctor that recommended I (everyone, really) follow a Paleo diet, and so I am really trying to vamp up my veggie options (as I am supposed to shoot for 4 cups a day). I have a lot of Veggie cookbooks already, but I thought this one would take it one step further. Hopefully EYB will index it soon so I can take a more comprehensive look before buying it.

                                                                                                            The other book that has been on my radar is SUPERFOOD KITCHEN by Julie Morris. I have it out from the library right now and I am loving it, especially the breakfast options. I made the Acai Berry Truffles and they were truly delicious. I am going to try the Banana Seed Bread next.

                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                              Banana seeds?

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                I know you are a good cook, not afraid of a challenge. You would probably do fine with Vedge, but like me, you'd feel put-out when you realized you weren't getting the restaurant version. I haven't even started in on their dish of grilled portobellos with French fries: the picture shows a nice crisp shoestring fry, and the recipe calls for you to bake a potato, cut into wedges, and crisp it in a pan. Infuriating.

                                                                                                                Have you tried any of Denis Cotter's books? They are vegetarian, but not vegan. Generally the non-vegan part is some high-quality cheese, and many of the recipes are vegan. This is restaurant quality food, not dumbed down at all, but still doable in a home kitchen. His books are my favorite vegetarian books. He has a passion for vegetables that is unmatched.

                                                                                                                Thanks for pointing out Superfood Kitchen. While I am not vegetarian, or paleo, I like to eat lots and lots of vegetables, and many vegetarian or vegan meals. Most of the paleo books are too high in protein for me (I form kidney stones, so I need to easy on the protein), although I like the concept. I'm always on the lookout for plant-based recipes that are "real food", with lots of real veggies, and not imitations.

                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                  I will look into Denis Cotter's books. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. The only downside I have found with Superfood Kitchen is the pricetag that goes along with many of the superfoods. I have stockpiled a pantry of most of the things needed in the recipes so I will be in a better position to cook out of it going forward. Things like Gogi berries, acai powder, hemp and chia seeds, coconut flour, efa oil, nut butters, etc. Luckily, my Co-op carries alot of these items in their bulk bins so I can buy on a per recipe basis.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                    Dennis Cotter is great. I keep meaning to add one of his books to my collection. I got rid of the "foraging" one which I got sent for free because it just wasn't practical but some of the others look good. Which one would you recommend?

                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    My copy of Vegan Secret Supper has not arrived yet but hopefully soon as I am intrigued by it. The food must be good and appealing to different tastes as her pop-up restaurants are successful in Vancouver, Montreal and NYC - each very different location food-wise. I'll post once the book arrives and I make a recipe or two from it.

                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                      The Vegan Secret Supper arrived and I sat by the lake after my pathetic attempt at balancing on a funny looking plastic kayak-like vessel and read through a large chunk of it. Very pleasant book - small (just over 200 pages), nice none-glossy paper, most recipes are on one to two pages and almost every one has a photo. I like the layout, the way page numbers are positioned. A couple of things are annoying - index is in reddish font and hard to read unless the light is perfect and each chapter has a list of recipes but no page numbers! Minor annoyances that I can live with. Her philosophy appeals to me: organic when feasible, local, interesting choices of sweeteners, not too much soy. I like that she tells how to plate and wish she would provide more menu ideas. There is a bit too much of coconut milk and cream to my taste and use of other nuts is rather extensive but the calories, fat and protein has to come from somewhere!

                                                                                                      Here are a few recipes that jumped off the pages for me:

                                                                                                      Juniper Tofu
                                                                                                      Olive Tapenade
                                                                                                      Eggplant Samosas
                                                                                                      Apple Smoked Tofu and Caramelized Onion Spring Rolls
                                                                                                      Onion Soup
                                                                                                      Watermelon Red Pepper Gazpacho
                                                                                                      Sesame Avocado Quinoa Pilaf
                                                                                                      Sherry-roasted Root Vegetables
                                                                                                      Lentil Walnut Tourtiere

                                                                                                      There are also some good sounding risottos and condiments; the whole pantry section is quite interesting. It will be a couple of weeks until I will have time to cook from the book though I am contemplating making her Gazpacho for Tuesday lunch since I have all the ingredients and it is super simple!

                                                                                                      I think this is a good book to have if you are interested in cooking this way even once in a while and are willing and able to invest time in preparing multilayered complex dishes. In the introduction she says that this is slow food and to prepare a four-course dinner with all the soaking, holding, making sauces and such it would take 2-3 days. Not complete days, of course, but you need to plan in advance.

                                                                                                      Now I want to eat at one of her pop-ups in Montreal :)

                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                        Thanks so much for the review, herby. That lentil-walnut tourtiere especially caught my eye. But I have to say, I don't have the time or inclination at this point in my life to spend 2-3 days on a meal.

                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                          LLM, my brother (who is not very much into cooking) swears by this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-V...

                                                                                                          I haven't tried it myself, but my brother says that he gets good results from this book. The recipes must be simple if my brother cooks them, and I think they are "real food" recipes -- e.g. little or no fake meat, cheese, etc. Maybe this one is worth a test drive from the library?

                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                            Thanks Westminstress. I believe Gio also highly recommended that book - either Gio or JoanN. The fact that your non-cooking brother likes it says a lot in terms of not asking for oodles of time; and I'm definitely looking for something that isn't about using fake cheese. I have this on my amazon wish list; have a feeling they don't have a kindle version, but I do have a tiny bit of space right now on my bookshelves. Very much appreciate your input.

                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                              Aha, I am wrong! There IS a kindle version. I'm going for it. Thanks to you, and to others who suggested it before. Woohoo!!

                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                Here's a recipe adapted from the book... "Zucchini Lemon Couscous". That's something I'd make myself:

                                                                                                                http://drmitraray.com/newsletters/rec...

                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  Right up my alley.

                                                                                                                  This will be an interesting experiment. I'm so used to curling up with a new cookbook and a blank sheet of paper and making notes on what I want to try and any changes I'd like to make with it. Somehow, as much as I love my kindle, it doesn't strike me as something I'll curl up with. I guess I will need to learn to love it in new ways.

                                                                                                                  I also picked up that Number One Pretty Good book for my kindle. At $3.99 why the heck not?

                                                                                                              2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                I have that book, although I haven't gotten around to cooking from it yet. It is classic Mediterranean stuff. Absolutely NO fake anything in any of the recipes, that I've seen (and I have looked through it thoroughly). It is kind of in the vein of last month's COTM, except this one is completely vegan, whereas the Shulman book has eggs and dairy.

                                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                  A friend of mine is the publisher of the Klein book and he sent me that one and a couple of others when I was trying a vegan diet for about three months. This was the one title that really appealed to me. As you say, they are "real food" recipes (great description). I didn't feel as though I had to go out and buy alternate staples or substitutes. And everything I made from it was very good. The diet, at least full time, didn't agree with me, but the book certainly did.

                                                                                                              3. re: herby

                                                                                                                I have now made a meal from Vegan Secret Supper. I had to choose carefully, because many of the recipes do call for components that need to be made in advance. The cashew cheese, for example, shows up a lot. To make that, you have to first sprout wheat (or another grain), then make rejuvelac (a fermented liquid from the sprouted wheat), then make the cheese. The whole process will take at least 4.5 days. (I've started a batch). So for last night, I came up with this:

                                                                                                                HAZELNUT-CRUSTED PORTOBELLOS WITH CARAMELIZED FENNEL PARSNIP MASH, RADICCHIO MARMALADE & BALSAMIC PORT REDUCTION (that makes me tired just typing it).

                                                                                                                As you can guess from the title, this is a four-component plate. For the radicchio marmalade, you sauté some radicchio, then add maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, a bay leaf, fresh thyme, pepper, a clove, half a cinnamon stick, and 2 (count 'em, 2) juniper berries. This is cooked down to a jam. The book gives a total cooking time of 18 minutes, but it takes quite a bit longer. I found cooking times to be understated consistently.

                                                                                                                For the balsamic port reduction, you sauté some garlic and sage leaves, then add peppercorns, portobello mushroom stems, 1 clove, port wine, balsamic vinegar, and 2 bay leaves. This is just simmered down until reduced "slightly" (an example of some vague wording that seems characteristic). I probably let it reduce by about half, and once again, it took longer than stated.

                                                                                                                For the caramelized fennel parsnip mash, you bake the parsnips with some (no, a lot) of garlic cloves in a baking dish covered with foil (or in a foil packet) for 25-40 minutes, or until the parsnips are soft. I went for 35 minutes, and the parsnips were nowhere near soft. Meanwhile, you've sautéed some fennel, and have been letting it cook with some balsamic vinegar, covered, until caramelized and soft. Which is supposed to be 10 minutes total, but takes much longer. I added my underdone parsnips to my underdone fennel, and let them continue to sweat for another 20 minutes or so, until they actually were at least somewhat soft. You are supposed to mash the parsnips with some nut milk, pepper and cayenne, then fold in the fennel. Since my parsnips and fennel were already combined in the pot, I just added the rest of the ingredients and took a stick blender to the whole thing.

                                                                                                                The final component is the main attraction. You make a marinade of balsamic vinegar, port, tamari, olive oil, liquid smoke, dijon mustard, pepper, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, garlic cloves and rosemary, and marinate the mushrooms in this in a ziploc bag for at least 30 minutes. You grind up some hazelnuts in the food processor, and when the mushrooms are ready, you dredge them in the hazelnuts and put on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with smoked salt, and bake at 375 for 12-13 minutes per side. Having experienced the understated cooking times in the other components, I bumped up the oven temp to 400.

                                                                                                                All the recipes give specific plating instructions. For this one, you cut a mushroom cap in half, and spoon the port sauce over top. Then a scoop of fennel parsnip mash goes on one side, and the radicchio marmalade on the other. The result is perhaps the ugliest plate of food I've ever served. But that's not what really matters, is it?

                                                                                                                The overall effect was very much of a Fall dish, with flavors that are reminiscent of the Thanksgiving table. If you are the kind of person who loves your cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, you would probably like this meal. For me, there was just too much sweet in it. The radicchio marmalade was incredibly sweet, and the flavor of the radicchio was undetectable. Radicchio is an expensive vegetable, so it seemed a waste of money to buy it and cover it up so much. This could be made just as well with red cabbage, and might even be better. But red cabbage wouldn't sound as cool in the recipe title, would it? The fennel parsnip mash was good, reminiscent of a sweet potato mash. Despite being minimally seasoned, it came out tasting like it had pumpkin pie spices in it. Interesting. If you like sweet potatoes, as Mr. MM does, you'll love this. The mushroom was for me the best component by far. It came out juicy, well-seasoned, and with a nice texture from the nut coating. The port wine reduction was a bit sweet, but complimented the mushroom well and lent a steak-like juiciness.

                                                                                                                While this recipe is involved, much of it can be made in advance and reheated. This is typical of the book. You could plan ahead for entertaining, and make several components of the recipe in advance, and reheat and assemble before serving. The Fall/Winter flavors and tendency toward sweetness are found in many of the recipes. I keep seeing things that would be good for the holidays, but very little that uses summer produce. One of the few recipes calling for tomatoes pairs them with "seasonal" winter squash. Obviously this author is from a different latitude than I. Mr. MM, who has more of a sweet tooth than I do, loved our dinner from this book. I can have almost an aversion to sweet things, and this meal was far, far, too sweet for my taste.

                                                                                                                Next up, will be the eggplant samosas.

                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                  Mel, I'm both incredibly impressed with your stamina and grateful for your reviews. Like you, I"m not that big on the sweet stuff in my savory. Just reading the title I wondered if the radicchio marmalade was going to be necessary for this. I'm trying to figure out how the parsnips and fennel got that sweet thing going on - I never really think of parsnips (which I love) or fennel (really really love) as sweet, and that part sounds so good - aside from the whole being undercooked problem, of course. I roast both vegetables fairly often, and it is true that parsnips take longer to cook than most; how did the authors not realize this?

                                                                                                                  Good luck with the samosas.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                    Well, you know how balsamic vinegar gets sweet when you cook it down? That's part of what's going on with the fennel and parsnip. Plus long, slow, and relatively dry cooking method. Just like onions get sweet when you cook them down. The parsnip mash could probably be made less sweet by not actually caramelizing the fennel. The radicchio is going to be sweet because of the large amount of maple syrup. Of course, that could be reduced.

                                                                                                                    But more to the point, the mushrooms could absolutely be served on their own (with the port sauce). There was nothing magical going on with the combination of the mushrooms and the other components. It was very much a "meat and two sides" kind of plate, and I would have prefered other sides. I think around here, the mushrooms will be made again, but the other two dishes are less likely to happen.

                                                                                                                    Also, I think you could sub a robust, slightly sweet red wine (a big zinfandel is what pops into my mind), for some or all of the port, and get a less sweet sauce for the mushrooms. Or you could use the author's suggestion of subbing red wine + sugar for the port, and just reduce the sugar. I could see these mushrooms being fantastic with a modified sauce, and along with some ripe tomatoes from the garden, and maybe some nice mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                      I absolutely would skip the radicchio marmalade, and maybe just go for roasted and mashed parsnips - just roast them in olive oil and then mash with some cream - *real* cream ; )
                                                                                                                      Without those two sweet parts a little port in the sauce probably wouldn't bother me so much, and actually sounds pretty darned delicious. Maybe they're trying a little too hard?

                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                        Or maybe just a different taste preference than we have. It occurs to me that the mushroom dish from VSS would be awesome alongside the tomato dish I made from Vedge, or somehow combined with it, as the Vedge dish also had mushrooms and you wouldn't want to go overboard there.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                          Yes, maybe just a different taste preference - absolutely.

                                                                                                                          For me, never too many mushrooms.

                                                                                                                  2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                    Amazing review, Mel, thank you! I looked at that recipe and for some reason radicchio jam did not sound good to me. Now I understand why. I was planning to make her watermelon red pepper gazpacho for todays lunch but it is raining and kind of cold and I am making mussels instead :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                      I had not noticed that watermelon gazpacho. I have two watermelons on hand from my CSA, and I don't even like watermelon. So I think I'll try this for dinner tonight. Also based on this thread, I'm going to make the octopus salad from The Art of Peruvian Cuisine. I am also planning to make the pickled green beans from VSS. I almost have supper planned!

                                                                                                                    2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                      I was exhausted just reading your report. You definitely have taken a few for the team!

                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                        Two more dishes made from Vegan Secret Supper:

                                                                                                                        Baked Eggplant Samosas with Assorted Chutneys & Coconut Sour Cream - well, in my case, it was just the samosas. I didn't make the chutneys or "sour cream", but instead served with a sauce I had leftover from another meal. I also did not make the coconut pastry that is supposed to go with this dish. Being gluten-free, I made my own crust. So this is really just about the filling. To make that, you toast cumin seeds in a pot, then add coconut oil, and then garam masala, ground coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Then some onions go in, along with some salt, then ginger and garlic. Tomatoes are added and cook down for a bit, then diced eggplant (I also peeled mine). This cooks down until everything is soft and the liquid reduces (15-20 minutes per the book, but as usual, it took longer). Cilantro is stirred in at the end. The directions for filling the pastry have you cut out half-circles, the bring the corners up to have a sort of triangular shape. I just rolled out circles, and folded in half over the filling, so I made more of an empanada-looking semicircle. These came out nicely. The filling is well-seasoned, and not too sweet. I think a coriander/coconut chutney would be just the ticket with these. The ones the author recommends are fruit/tamarind combination and will be sweeter, which seems to be her taste.

                                                                                                                        Watermelon Red Pepper Gazpacho - This is probably the easiest recipe in the book. It calls for 8 cups of cubed watermelon, but doesn't say what size the cubes should be, which would affect the volume measurement. The way I cut my watermelon, in large chunks, the whole melon was 16 cups, very roughly. You just put the watermelon, a red bell pepper, 1/2 a red jalapeño, and some lime juice in a blender and whiz it all up. I used two red bell peppers, because of the large amount of watermelon I had, and I used three Thai chiles, because I only had green jalapeños, and I didn't want to muddy the color of the soup. Even in a large capacity Vitamix, I had to blend this in batches. The soup is served cold. The book calls for a garnish of micro basil and micro cilantro sprouts, which I didn't have. I used sliced cinnamon basil from my garden, which turned out to be an incredibly good match. My soup came out quite spicy from the Thai peppers. How was it? Well, I don't like watermelon, and this preparation did not make me like it. Mr. MM, who is more amenable to watermelon than I am, liked it quite well.

                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                          They certainly both look beautiful. I love samosas; I assume these are fried? My guess is that I'd like the watermelon gazpacho. Watermelon has always struck me as a less sweet fruit (I can see people shaking their heads in astonishment). Sort of reminds me of cucumber. As always, I appreciate these reports.

                                                                                                                          I'm about halfway through reading Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen on my kindle. I have to say, this was a great call from Westmistress and JoanN. I am finding tons of things that I'd like to make, and that wouldn't seem unnatural coming out of my kitchen (in other words, no rolled eyes from my husband about the vegan meal).

                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                            Hmmm...interesting. I just read this blurb about Mediterranean Vegan on Amazon: "because much of Mediterranean cooking is vegan by nature olive oil is used in many cuisines rather than butter, and meat has never been the centerpiece of the meal, for example she was successful. Rather than experimenting with replacements for anchovies and the like, she chose recipes that already met the requirements of a vegan diet"

                                                                                                                            I like her approach.

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              I like her approach too. That said, I'm not promising that some cheese won't make it into a few of the meals I cook from this, but there will definitely be meals cooked from this - and there are enough that are cream/cheeseless that seem natural that way that I think will do what I'm looking for. I think cooking from a kindle is going to be the trickiest part of this endevour (sp?).

                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                Am I right in thinking you cook from pepperplate recipes already? You can cut and paste ebooks into pepperplate. I have been doing it for recipes I cook often from. (For the shopping list feature, as I use kindle/ibooks from an ipad). I remember yours isn't a fire?

                                                                                                                                1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                  Ooooh, thanks lilham. I have used pepperplate but have yet to use it for cooking. I will definitely use this tip! Mine is not a fire - it is the original bare bones model.

                                                                                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                              The samosas were baked. Even though I used a different dough, I followed the baking instructions in the recipe. Should have specified.

                                                                                                                              Funny you think of watermelon as less sweet. The reason I am not a fan of watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon... you get the idea (as well as bananas) is that they are sweet with out the offsetting sour that I crave in my fruits. It's not so much a question of how much sugar is in the fruit, but whether it is balanced by some acidity.

                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                You know, in thinking about this I suddenly remembered something from my youth: my mother used to serve me watermelon salted. And it was wonderful.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                  So did mine! But still, not enough to make me like it...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                    That is amazing - I thought my mother was the only one who came up with this odd seeming idea.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                      It's pretty common in the South.

                                                                                                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                I'm glad to hear this, LLM! Please keep us posted if you try any recipes.

                                                                                                                              3. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                Beautiful looking food and your serving dishes are very attractive :)

                                                                                                                                Thank you for your reviews, Mel! It helps a lot to read about your impressions in deciding which recipes to try first.

                                                                                                                      2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                        I also recently got Vedge, not sure what to think of it so far.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                          I've requested Eat Your Vegetables from the library, based on Breadcrumbs's raves in previous months' threads. They don't have it in yet and have just one copy on order, but luckily I'm first on the list. (I also entered the EYB giveaway, but figure I'm unlikely to win the random drawing. BTW, there are still a few weeks left to enter if you're an EYB member: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013...)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                            Just to clarify, there are two books out right now with the same title. I think you are referring to the one by Arthur Potts Dawson, right? There is also a slightly newer one out by Joe Yonan, with the same name (just what we need, right? More confusion).

                                                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                              Hmm, further investigation via EYB shows that the Arthur Potts Dawson one is, indeed, the one Breadcrumbs has and raved about, but the Joe Yonan title (Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook) that you bought is the one in the giveaway and that my library has on order. Looks good, based on EYB recipe list (and I might need to make the grilled kimcheese sandwich sooner rather than later since I have everything in my fridge).

                                                                                                                              Just to further muddy the waters, EYB also lists another (unindexed) book from 1985, Eat Your Vegetables! by Nancy Baggett, which I see herby has in her library, so perhaps she can speak to that one.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                I actually bought both the Dawson and the Yonan book. Because, you know, I'm a weak-willed addict.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                  I do? Really?! And looks like I do have it at the Lakehouse per bookmark. No clue about the book... Will definitely check it out next week when all the craziness associated with tomorrow's BBQ for 150 or so is over. The BBQ is in its 10th year and has grown from a simple affair for 30 or so to this. And since this is the 10th wedding anniversary of my beloved children who gave me my precious grandchildren... guess you know how it ends :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                    OK, today is my "rest" day and I lazed around with cookbooks. First went looking for Eat Your Vegetables by Nancy Baggett and two other ladies. Typical mid-80s book - paperback with some pencil drawings. Over 200 recipes are organized alphabetically by vegetable. Sort of like Victory Garden is organized but much smaller book and not very exciting. It is very obvious that no one read it ever and I wonder whether it came with the house because my children were too young then to buy cookbooks and I do not remember owning it though I have very good memory for things like that. I was going to make something out of it just to test it but can't find anything appealing that has either broccoli or pattypan squash in it. So, it goes into give away pile - there is no pile yet and I am starting it with this book :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                      It's sure to be a while until I lay eyes on Joe Yonan's Eat Your Vegetables (it's still listed as on order on the library's website), but it's already served me well with the (hokily named) grilled kimcheese sandwich. There's a link to the recipe online st EYB, but you hardly need the instructions once you've seen the ingredients, unless you've never made a grilled cheese sandwich. I decided to try it because it sounded like an interesting idea and I essentially had everything sitting in my kitchen. It's just a grilled cheese on whole-grain sandwich bread, with cheese (he calls for aged cheddar, I've used Gruyere and jack because they were on hand, and the nuttiness of Gruyere works better), drained and chopped kimchi, thinly sliced Asian pear, and Sriracha. It's an inspired combination of crunchy, spicy, sweet, salty that I'm sure wouldn't have occurred to me. I've made it three times so far, and I think it will be a lunch staple straight through the fall, while Asian pears are in season.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                        That sounds utterly terrific.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                          Oh boy, that sounds *really* good.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                    MelMM, I have Art of Peruvian Cuisine, also, and am embarrassed to admit I've never even removed the shrink wrap! But, like you, I paid $75 for it and am not about to get rid of it. Have you cooked anything from it that you would recommend and think might be doable for someone under a lot of time constraints? Or are they all pretty involved?

                                                                                                                                    Either way, I'd love to read about the winners!

                                                                                                                                    ETA: Holy smokes, Vol 2 is also $75, which I really cannot justify based on how dusty my cookbook shelves are getting. MelMM, do I need this book --are there traditional Peruvian recipes in there you can't find anywhere else in English or are they really pretty cheffy, say, The French Laundry of Peru?-- If they are pretty cheffy, may I live vicariously through you? Anything in there I must try?

                                                                                                                                    Finally, how did you even find out there was a Vol 2? Does the author have a blog or something I ought to be reading?

                                                                                                                                    Thank you muchly,

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      The recipes are often less complicated than they look in the photos. The pictures have a very formal, plated look to them that makes the dishes more intimidating than they really should be. The only complication is getting a few ingredients, like aji paste.

                                                                                                                                      If you like octopus, I think those are some of the simplest recipes in the book. Pulpo Oliva on page 136 is very simple, as is Ensalada de Pulpo con Bacon on page 126. The recipes call for fresh octopus, but where I live, I get it frozen. In the recipe, they have you cook it and then freeze it, then thaw and use. If you start with frozen raw octopus, you can just thaw it, and then saute it or grill it to use in the recipe. You get the same effect. Frozen octopus is the best thing ever!

                                                                                                                                      You must remove that shrink-wrap today, even if you never cook a thing. This is one stunning book, worthwhile just for the food porn, but more doable than it would seem.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                        Thank you! I don't think I can commit to removing the shrink wrap today, but I'll tell you what, I'll remove it before the week is out. :) Those octopus recipes sound great and, like you, I'll probably be starting out with frozen...

                                                                                                                                        ~DQ

                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          To answer your other question about Vol. 2, I would hold off on it until you've tried out the first volume. The first one is pretty "cheffy", and the second one takes that to another level. I am seeing very little in there that is simple, and many of the recipes have ingredients that will be near-impossible to obtain. Like Alpaca ham.

                                                                                                                                          That said, the production is as good or better than the first one so if you like your food porn, go for it. And it is for a good cause...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                            Sady, I can't say I currently have a reliable source of alpaca ham... :) though I can apparently get alpaca steaks, jerky, sausages and summer sausage locally (ham can't be that much ,more of a stretch for them, can it?) http://www.smgfoods.com/shop/pc/Alpac...

                                                                                                                                            Nevertheless, sounds like I ought to be content with vol 1, once I removed the shrink wrap.

                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                        2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                          Mel, you are truly a wealth (melth?!) of information today.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                            Melth!

                                                                                                                                            LLM, you crack me up!

                                                                                                                                    2. Beyond the Great Wall
                                                                                                                                      Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
                                                                                                                                      Mangoes and Curry Leaves all by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

                                                                                                                                      I've wanted them since they were first published but just never made it to the top of my to buy list. Couldn't pass them up at 2.50 cents though. I also have their Seductions of Rice cookbook.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                        Wow, impressive haul; and such a great price!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                          Those are all good, if you can ignore the blablabla by Mr. A.

                                                                                                                                        2. Jerusalem by Ottolenghi

                                                                                                                                          1. I think it's a record for me as I haven't posted in ages. I've been really holding to my commitment to cull cookbooks and not purchase anything sight unseen. That said, I do have some recent acquisitions to report:

                                                                                                                                            Raghavan Iyer's lovely book INDIAN COOKING UNFOLDED on Thursday and I'm already smitten with it! I love the photographs and the fold out pages. The book reflects the author's relaxed, confident style and is beautifully written and thoughtfully laid out. I'm especially enjoying the stories of Indian life and the country in the author's headnotes. I'll be travelling to India in the new year and these insights are delightful and helpful. I'm thrilled to have this book on my shelf and thank Eat Your Books so very much for selecting my name in their contest.

                                                                                                                                            WILD ROSEMARY & LEMON CAKE - A COLLECTION OF ITALIAN RECIPES FROM THE AMALFI COAST - by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi was a book I pre-ordered on Amazon many months before my embargo on new cookbook purchases. This is a beautifully photographed book that truly takes you on a scenic journey of local food and the seaside region from which it originates. As you might expect, the book has a fish focus with lots of interesting, delicious looking recipes. Though I have an extensive collection of Italian books, this region was not represented and I'm happy to have this book on my shelves now. If only I could spend some time at home and cook from it!!

                                                                                                                                            SALTY SWEETS - by Christie Matheson was a gift from a co-worker who knows I love to cook and who is cleaning out her apartment. Other than a quick flip through it on my commute home, I haven't really had any time with this book but the photos sure are enticing.

                                                                                                                                            I also must confess that I picked up 3 books at a thrift shop yesterday. We'd stopped by to make a large drop off (since a garage sale is not in our immediate future and I need to clear some space for an upcoming renovation) and I just couldn't resist a quick look through the books. In addition to a couple of business books, I picked up:

                                                                                                                                            THE SPANISHWOMAN'S KITCHEN by Pepita Aris. This book was published in 1992 and reminded me a little of the Time Life country oriented books. It takes the reader on a journey throughout kitchens, markets and farms of the country and is much of a travelogue as it is cookbook. Ms Aris is an author, food journalist and broadcaster. Her writing captivated me immediately and this book is on my nightstand at the moment. I feel like this is a bit of a treasure. A quick Google search led me to Amazon where I learned this author has just (Sept 6) released a book called Recipes From My Spanish Grandmother and the dishes mentioned in the review sound wonderful. I may just need to purchase this one as well...after finding it a bookstore and looking at it first of course!!! See, I'm reformed!! ; )

                                                                                                                                            JASPER WHITE'S COOKING FROM NEW ENGLAND - I love New England cuisine and know that this book received highly positive reviews from readers, cooks and chefs alike. JW's books also tend to have lovely illustrations and this book is no exception. I've already tabbed more recipes than I can count in this book as I flipped through it over dinner last night!!

                                                                                                                                            A TASTE OF PUERTO RICO by Yvonne Ortiz - I was excited to see this book since it's been on my Amazon wishlist since someone mentioned it here. I haven't had a chance to work my way through it yet but the description of the Mojito de Ajo Tradicional (Traditional Garlic Dipping Sauce) made me crave it immediately!!

                                                                                                                                            A heavy travel schedule should keep me from acquiring more books in the weeks ahead though I do expect to be back here later in the week to report another book I pre-ordered some months ago that just shipped on Friday!

                                                                                                                                            1. Ready for Dessert (Lebovitz) - was on the buying list for quite some time and the first look is very promising

                                                                                                                                              Adobo Road Cookbook (Gapultos) - Looks like a very interesting book to dive into Filipino food

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                Ready for Dessert is a brilliant book. I've made quite a few things from there with great success.

                                                                                                                                              2. It's birthday season in our house, so I just bought Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I also checked Southern Pies out of the library.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                  I think the cake book has her recipe for Ocracoke Fig Cake. It is absolutely delicious and keeps very well.

                                                                                                                                                2. A couple of people in this thread have mentioned various cocktail books, so I'm going to put in a plug for this one: http://www.amazon.com/Handcrafted-Coc...

                                                                                                                                                  Molly Wellman is considered the premier mixologist in the Cincinnati area. I'm mostly a beer guy, but I've been to one of her bars (the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar across the river in Covington), and her expertise has disabused me of a longtime notion that I don't like Whiskey Sours. Her House sour and the Smokey sour (with smoked hot pepper infusion as an ingredient) are the best cocktails I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                  1. The only cookbook I'm looking to pick up won't be released until October.

                                                                                                                                                    "Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Goose, Both wild and Domesticated" by Hank Shaw...

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607...

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                      Nice. V popular around this household, especially on the spear side.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                        I've only made one recipe of his, which was this one:
                                                                                                                                                        http://leitesculinaria.com/76749/reci...

                                                                                                                                                        It was pretty awesome.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                          You actually cooked doves?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                            IIRC, when I made this, I used quail instead. They run just a bit larger than doves.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                            I'll have to try that recipe out this October, once dove season kicks off down here.

                                                                                                                                                            Dove is one of my favorite game birds to hunt, prep, and cook.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                              MeIMM, I'm surprised quail is larger than dove . . .

                                                                                                                                                              I have not tasted dove yet. SO likes it. Can I hunt them in SO's backyard with a bow and arrow? Otherwise, hunting in suburbia might not be permitted. Take me to Louisiana!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Just added Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris to my collection. This book is really interesting. It is Vegan and every recipe incorporates one or more Superfood (such as acai, hemp, goji berries, chia seeds, efa oil, etc.). I am learning a lot from reading through it and I already ordered a copy for myself which hopefully will be here within the week. Meanwhile, I have the library copy.

                                                                                                                                                          My sister made these amazing acai truffles that I tasted at her house and I immediately asked for the recipe. I made them myself last week and they were a snap to prepare and 99.5% healthy so you can feel good about indulging.

                                                                                                                                                          A lot of the recipes use nut butters of one form or another and some of the ingredients can be pricey and will require a field trip to either Whole Foods, The Co-op, or Amazon, but they are all available with advance planning.

                                                                                                                                                          I have been to the Co-op in SM and bought all the ingredients I needed from their bulk bins which is great cuz you can just get the 1/4 c. of this or tablespoon of that and it keeps down the cost.

                                                                                                                                                          My supper club will be making our next menu out of this book so I will report back with the outcome.

                                                                                                                                                          Meanwhile, I hope EYB indexes it soon!

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                            I have this book! Just got it. Are there any recipes you recommend or do not like?

                                                                                                                                                          2. I wound up buying Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert. I think that this is a very interesting book, organized by taste -- dairy, fruit, grains -- and it has some very intriguing combinations. I'm looking forward to baking from it.

                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              I've always wanted this book. I think it was a DCOTM way back when we were doing the "dessert" COTM.

                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy was cooked from starting on Feb 17, 2011 but as a Non-COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/514833

                                                                                                                                                                  Pure Dessert DCOTM thread

                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                    Guess I missed that - her name is not listed. Thanks TDQ!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                      Oooh. Thanks. I'll enjoy reading that.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                        Fantastic book.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                          I have only made a few things from Pure Dessert, but have loved what I've made, and should try more. The olive oil-sherry pound cake has a beautiful crumb and wonderful flavor (I actually made it into mini loaves for holiday gifts one year), the Italian chocolate-almond torte is simple and sophisticated (she has a version with walnuts in the Sinfully Easy book). My CH avatar is the plum and almond tart. I think I reviewed everything in the thread TDQ linked.

                                                                                                                                                                          I see that she has a new one coming out next month called Seriously Bittersweet. It's a complete revision of Bittersweet with lots more detail on chocolate and working with and subbing various percentages, in the Artisan paperback format of the last two. Knowing her, she may have streamlined the recipes (in terms of prep), too.
                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Seriously-Bitte...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            oooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              Kinda thought that would make your ears perk up!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                Rather. Just nabbed for Kindle delivery on day of release. souschef, are you listening?

                                                                                                                                                                2. I preordered The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes by Amy Thielen which comes out later this month.

                                                                                                                                                                  The last couple months I've been trying to explore my midwestern, prairie and plains states side of the family.

                                                                                                                                                                  In July I picked up Prairie Home Cooking: 400 Recipes that Celebrate the Bountiful Harvests, Creative Cooks, and Comforting Foods of the American Heartland
                                                                                                                                                                  by Judith Fertig but got distracted with packing and moving so I haven't been able to really delve into it yet nor even cook from it.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                    Random House Studios has produced a TV series called the Heartland Table in conjunction with the release of the book. Premieres today on Food Network:
                                                                                                                                                                    http://eater.com/archives/2013/08/19/...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                      Watched the first episode today, and it looks like it will be a great show - she did a really good looking potato dish, among the recipes. I've got the book on preorder as well, and I am really looking forward to receiving it.

                                                                                                                                                                      [And not to be OT, thank heavens FN has a new show that is not competition or reality. !]

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                      Uh oh, on my list...family in Iowa...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                        The New Midwestern Table arrived and I spent the afternoon perusing it and found quite a few recipes I'd like to try. I'm glad I got this one.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                          I got it for Kindle.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I may be late to the party, but I just discovered that Workman publishes electronic cookbooks. Moreover, they have a monthly deal for $2.99 per title. Many formats are supported.

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.workman.com/ecookbook-club...

                                                                                                                                                                        Uh oh.

                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                          I just got a freebie by signing up for their email newsletter. Cool.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, but next month...
                                                                                                                                                                            Although I have the offered books in paper, I find them hard to cook from, so I'm thinking electronic is the way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                              These would be good in that format, since they're ginormous. I might cave and get Hot Sour, I don't have it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, mostly I dust them. Whoever thought that books that large would be usable?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                  Doubt they really were intended for use -- more for the coffee-table market. Many Workman books suffer from gigantism, and the products of their Artisan subsidiary are even worse. Bleeah! The unsettling thing is that the trend seems to be spreading; now Ten Speed Press books all seem bigger than necessary. Maybe they're part of the Workman conglomerate now?

                                                                                                                                                                                  OTOH, ebooks may rescue the actual recipes from too-unwieldly-to-cook-with oblivion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                    And don't get me started on unreadable fonts and type sizes, not to mention colors that don't contrast sufficiently with their backgrounds to be legible. Then there's the fad for white print on a picture. Good grief.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                            So that explains it. I got the ebook of The Olive and the Caper last year when they had it at 2.99 because I love my hardcover so much. I picked up Hot Sour, Mangos and Great Wall earlier this month. Thanks for posting.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for pointing this website out. I hadn't heard of it. So far I'm liking it...$2.99 for a recent, well reviewed ebook? I'll take it.

                                                                                                                                                                              I just have to wait and see how much use I get out of them. I'm generally not a cookbook-ebook fan. I find them hard to navigate. (although EYB has helped me immensely)

                                                                                                                                                                              The fact of the matter is I just don't have room to buy more cookbooks. The library is helping, along with the ebooks deals. I plan to only buy my really, really favorites. Well see about that!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks from me as well. I just bought "Mangoes and Curry Leaves" by Alford and Duguid as an iBook for 2.99. Looking forward to future deals by that publisher.

                                                                                                                                                                                And it makes me wonder, are there other publisher web sites out there that we should be scanning for bargains?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                  As pagesinthesun posted, "the library is helping."

                                                                                                                                                                                  The best bargain is the public library :)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Just ordered: What Chefs Feed Their Kids: Recipes and Techniques for Cultivating a Love of Good Food by Fanae Aaron

                                                                                                                                                                                Saw it at the used bookstore when I sold back FOUR boxes of books. WOOHOO!

                                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                95 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Matthew Amster-Burton, famed off "Pretty Good Number One", has what looks like a super book on raising a culinarily-openminded child. I'm loath to reclick on it on Amazon because suddenly I got a raft of what to expect when you're expecting/lactation/feeding children-type books recommended to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    Did I somehow miss some big news in your family???

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                      No ma'am, not now, not ever. Cats only. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hungry Monkey! I actually sold that one back today! I gleaned all I could from it and then felt I could live without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        Matthew's book (Hungry Monkey) is more of a memoir rather than a how to.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                          True! It does have recipes, though, which you can see listed at EYB http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's good to get a sense of what other food loving parents feed their little kids but I got the impression that he had a lot more time to putter about the house than I did, so some of the recipes were a little more leisurely than I'm needing at this stage. Nevertheless, it's helpful just to scan the list of recipes for ideas! But, I didn't feel the need to hang onto this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep. I think he's also mentioned that while his daughter was happy to eat spicy food as a young toddler, she got to be a little pickier as she got older (this is true IME, BTW. I roll my eyes at all the people who say "My child will never be a picky eater because I expose them to all kinds of food!" I expose my child to all sorts of food, and while she does have some quirky loves (beans, octopus, kale salad, fingerling potatoes roasted alongside of chicken), at 6 she'll still pick pizza or chicken fingers if given the choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mine went through a phase where he really liked hot dogs and pizza. Thankfully, he's kind of snubbing those now. He loves lots of fruits and veggies and certain meats. Yogurt. Most breads. Everything else is questionable.

                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                They go in and out of phases. At 7 Lulu is somewhat pickier than she was, but I let it slide off my back because I know it is something she's picking up at school, and that while she might *say* she hates something, it gets eaten (no comment from me when this happens). Just keep feeding him the same stuff you eat and he'll see you eating and follow in your footsteps (for the most part).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, the pizza and hotdog thing could mean he's following in his fathers footsteps. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right? I TRY to stop their father from taking them to McDonald's, but no dice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was the pickiest child.. I drove my poor mother nuts. For one, I refused to eat meat (and my parents both came from meat, potato and veg familes, so that's what she made).. largely because it was "too chewy". I would eat most vegetables, except green beans and peas. The only vegetables that my brother *would* eat. And I loathed all nuts (still do, but not as intensely). I ate a lot of tuna salad sandwiches as a child! My mother was convinced that I would die of anemia if I didn't have meet.. a generational thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    As a teenager, my brother would pretty much only eat hot dogs, pizza (although he made his own with odd toppings), and frozen burritoes. He will now eat and make almost anything..
                                                                                                                                                                                                    So don't give up hope parents of picky eaters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I pretty much lived off of pickles, grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate milk as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funnily enough, milk was the one thing I couldn't stand. Absolutely could. not. stand. My mother would try all sorts of tricks to gussy it up (chocolate, strawberry, etc.) but it was still milk to me. I can now drink a hot chocolate, but if it isn't very, very hot, game's over. Milk, of all things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I basically lived on 50% candy until I was 10 or so. My mother would cook whole different dinners for me from what the rest of the family was eating. I really didn't start to eat seriously until I was a teenager, and even then, was super picky (no seafood thank you very much). I only developed a mature palate in my mid-20s, when we lived in Taipei.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha! my mother's mantra was " I am not a short-order cook!" My brother and I still say it to each other to crack each up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sadly, I think I was just searching for flavor as a kid. My first food memory was the beef teriyaki I ate with a "local" family on a beach in Maui when I was about 5 (do people still use the word "local"??). So much flavor! I didn't know it was beef teriyaki then; I've only put it together as an adult.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Good job TDQ!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Four boxes!! Congrats!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Feels great! I did rescue about a dozen books at the last minute--one, Bonne Femme discussed up-thread-- but a couple of others I've been having second thoughts for awhile about getting rid of and knew I would be rescuing. There were a couple I felt a little wistful about (Seductions of Rice is the only one I can even name at the moment), but decided to let go as planned. There are a few others that got bent while sitting in the box that I'm going to weight and straighten out, then sell later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  While I was browsing (waiting for them to tally my books and make an offer) I found a copy of the out-of-print early seventies edition of the NYT International Cookbook that I ALMOST bought. If their cashier had been a little speedier I probably would have bought it, but while I was waiting in line I was flipping through it and knew in my heart of hearts, I would probably never cook from this book. I really "wanted" to have it, but knew it would just go neglected. I'm a little sad, but I put it back and think it was probably the right choice for me right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have I made a terrible mistake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, you did a very very good job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for the reassurance. :) When I got home, I did go look at the listing of recipes on EYB and also at the listing of members (a couple of regular COTMers for sure) who had it on their bookshelves. I suppose if there's a recipe in the book I decide I must have, I can always ask for a paraphrase. Plus, I assume the very best ones are already in Hesser's ENYTC. I saw one of those on the shelf at the used bookstore, too. Pity, I thought, such a fantastic book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let me know how you like that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Sam Choy also had a cool-looking "cook with kids" book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When i was in India, i picked up a VERY British book called : "The Dinner Lady."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dinner-Lady-C...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't cooked anything from the book yet, but I did flip through it at the bookstore (it's not indexed on EYB alas) and what I liked about it is it went through all of the stages of childhood (so it's more than just feeding babies and toddlers), which I thought was kind of a different and interesting take.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Dinner Lady and Sam Choy's books both sound appealing! Interesting that Jamie Oliver wrote the Dinner Lady's intro!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Haha! I just bought both of those. I realized the only way I was going to get my hands on them to see if they are interesting is to buy them. Not indexed on EYB, "previewable" in Amazon or Google books, or available at my library... And cheap used copies abound on Amazon...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see The Dinner Lady has a "second helpings" book which might be worth considering if you fall in love with the first book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        No clue as to whether it is any good, but I really like Bill Granger: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It does look interesting and you gotta love that the book has been indexed on EYB, but it seems like copies, new or used, are going to be pretty pricey, assuming you can even track them down. I wonder if they did just a very limited release or what? No preview on Amazon US or google books, sadly, and just a couple of not-particularly persuasive pages on Amazon UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: on AmazonUK, they say the recipes and accompanying photos are all repeats from his other books. They are saying it's a great book if you don't have a ton of his books already (which I don't--I only have the Asian Every Day or whatever that's called), and but duplicative otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Given what you've just told us, I figured I'd look and see if I could find a website with some of his recipes. I came up with a BBC (hi greedy!) site. What is most interesting for those of us without much time for cooking is that it has a search box that will find quick and easy recipes. You can refine your search too. You can do it by ingredients or which chef you're particularly interested, etc. Here it is, in case that sounds useful to you: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/bill_...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This website could be very bad news for me (actually really good news). I have a guest coming for dinner on Thursday and didn't have a dessert planned so figured I'd look at quick and easy desserts. Came up with Sea Salt Chocolate Snaps by Nigel Slater. Basically you melt chocolate and toast some almonds and make into little rounds covered with sea salt. I want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What a great Web site. Can't believe I hadn't stumbled upon it before. Thanks for finding, thanks for linking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, great link, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds terrific! And easy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just a note to say that I did make the Sea Salt Chocolate Snaps yesterday. I skipped the pistachios but did have the almonds. These are fantastic and very easy. Not sure what the sugar on the almonds added, and might skip that step next time around, but these are great, especially when you have a guest and no dessert but want something to serve with their after dinner coffee. I must have made mine on the small side as I had more than 8-10. Here is a link in case anyone is interested: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sea...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the BBC Food site. I especially love that I don't have to convert the measurements. I'm getting lazy in my dotage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BBC Food is truly a great site. I like that they have nutritional information for almost all of their recipes as well....they also have Good Food magazine (must be picked up by any member of our family when they are visiting the UK, although you can buy it here at vast expense). have quite a few of their little cook books.. Cake and Bakes, Low-Fat Dishes, and One-Pot dishes..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tip on Good Food mag, rs. Husband makes it over to the UK about 3-4 times a year (for work), and I'm sure he'd pick it up for me if he saw it. Yay!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also find it here in Canada at larger bookstores, but it's about 10 or 12 dollars Cdn...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And he makes it to Canada fairly often too! (he's a Canuck).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Even better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I use his Asian Everyday, and I have Sydney food (which i think is a re-packaged either "Open Kitchen" or "Everyday."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Makes me hesitantt o buy a copy as well. I loved his TV show, btw. It used to be on occasionally. He sort of pops around Australia and cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have, but have not used, Asian Everyday. I have tons of stuff marked in it, but need to get myself to move it from the living room to the kitchen (rolling eyes at myself). Maybe I need to nominate it for November ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Asian Everyday is a great book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lets try to remember that come November nomination time. I'd really like to use it. And we've never had an Aussie cookbook, have we?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nope no Aussies have made it to COTM. Would love to do Asian Everyday as COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think there was mention of using a different granger book some time back.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have also been meaning to get a Matt Moran book or two. When I get home and also dinner at Matt's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've mentioned "Bill's Food" in the past. It's the only Granger book I have but I don't think I've ever cooked from it. As for other Australian cookbook authors, I love Donna Hays' recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wonder if an Oz month would work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And are you away Westy? Where are you visiting?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "When I Get Home"=Cookbook by Matt Moran.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had to google that. Had never heard of Mr. Moran until now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have you watched Australian masterchef? Moran is on it often. That's how I learned of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No! But maybe I should. Thank you for the heads up! I've watched UK The Professionals once or twice, but I shall see if I can search out the Aussie one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hmmm...no, I have not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am addicted to this show, lilham! There is such an incredible variety of talented Aussie chefs & cookbook writers, and I really had no idea what a thriving food culture they have there until I started watching Masterchef Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope. Just here in Cary/Morrisville NC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I read a lot about food and his name kept popping up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I once ordered a book (Soul Cafe) from NZ. Intersting, but what i found was that some ingredients (especially fish) are unique to NZ and wasn't sure how they'd translate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I *think* lilham is from NZ originally - is that right lilham?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We spent 6 or 7 weeks there and they definitely had very different fish from what I'm used to. My guess is that you could google the fish and figure out what it was most like from around here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (small wave from across the Triangle)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've got Donna Hay's Off the Shelf. I prefer Bill Granger to Donna Hay. It might be because I don't bake much though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting you prefer Granger. I'd love to do any of these Aussie authors for a COTM, though, I think it might be sad to lump them all together because I fear that might not give each author his or her due. These authors all have several books each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, I've heard a lot about Kylie Kwong. I'd be interested in hearing from other 'hounds if her books might be COTM-worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just bought her "My China" but have not even read it yet. It is a large book, one of those awkward to cook from tomes. My Australian SIL brought a couple of DVDs with her TV shows for me and I loved watching them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also have Donna Hay's "Off the Shelf" and made a few nice dishes from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Completely agree with you, TDQ, about lumping Australian cookbook into one COTM. Maybe select an author and cook from his/her books for a month?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then there's Neil Perry, Australian chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. I have his "The Food I Love: Beautiful, Simple Food to Cook at Home" and so do 364 EYB members.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup! I just joined EYB yesterday! I have that book and find it pretty engaging, but maybe not as user friendly as Granger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My christmas is likely going to involve getting his Asian food cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I've made no secret of being a big fan of Kylie Kwong. So I'd say yes, her books are absolutely COTM-worthy. My China is my favorite, but Simple Chinese Cooking is good too. I also have Recipes and Stories, but haven't gotten around to cooking from it yet. My China and Simple Chinese Cooking are both big, coffee-table-style books. My China has a travelogue component to it. It's pretty good reading, but the book is huge. Still, I've cooked a number of recipes from it and they've all been fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, Mel! You're making all her books sound appealing. I can hear my book shelves groaning from here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mel, when you have time, could you list some dishes from My China that are good and simple enough to execute. I cook many cuisines confidently but for some reason a Asian food leaves me unsure and timid. That said, I want to build up my confidence and Chinese and Japanese cuisines are the ones I would like to focus on this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You really can't go wrong with Irene Kuo's or barbara Tropp's work. That being said, Craig Claiborne's book is the one that made me think I could cook Chinese food (not in print, I am sure, but likely available from a used book seller).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mai Leung's book is excellent. Her "Starlight Shrimp" always gets raves and I use her roast duck recipe every so often.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the Shun Lee book very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A very different, but excellent book is "Bear and Fish Family." I am surprised it does not get more notice ion this site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for the suggestions, Westy! I have Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice, Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking and recently bought Kwong's My China. I think this is plenty of books for someone who is too timid to cook Chinese :) I'll start with these and see how far I get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Herby, I already did that for you here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9129...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (don't be embarrassed, that's exactly the kind of thing I would do).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll highlight the Ma Po tofu (hers is my favorite version), the Naxi-Style stir-fried chicken, and the tofu braised with tomatoes as particular favorites. Including a picture of the last two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I find all of Ms. Kwong's recipes to be pretty easy and very accessible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG, beyond embarrassed.... And what happened to that sticky I wrote out? Never mind, I just made another one and it is inside the book. Thank you Mel for putting up and I am so sorry for my absent mindness!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Herby! Be not afraid! I LOVE dim sum, and live far enough from the good stuff, that if I want it... I had to learn to make it. And talk about stage fright? I have an honorary niece named Ling...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Mastering the art of Chinese Cooking" Eileen Yen-Fei Lo is a good starter book. Recipes are explained well, and there are plenty of simple ones to get your feet wet with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am sorting my way thru storage (YECH!) and came across some oldy but goodies, the Wei-Chuan Cooking books(Chinese Snacks, Chinese Cuisine) by Huang Su Huei, translated by Nina Simonds. from the 1970's. The rest of the cookbooks are a later sort.. but these came out into the light!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just try one dish at a time, and make sure your pre-cooking prep is all done, and the rest is easy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JanMc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My Chinese "mother-in-law" is an excellent cook and the only cookbook I ever saw in her house (which is now in mine) was Huang Su Huei's "Chinese Cuisine" (in Chinese and English). We now much prefer Fuschia's books, but Chinese Cuisine is pretty darn good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is one of the bibles of Chinese food...Nina Simonds worked on it, you know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chinese Cuisine Vol 1 and Vol 2 are good, but the book from the Wei Chuan series that I use the most is "Chinese Cooking:Favorite Home Dishes", by Chen Hsueh Hsia. It is a bit similar to FD's "Every Grain of Rice" in that it focuses on every day cooking in the south China home style tradition. Lots of approachable week-night dishes in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But really Irene Kuo plus Fuschia Dunlop should be plenty to get you going Herby. Kuo's book has so many simple straight forward veg dishes--try the stir fried watercress, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been slowly working my through those Irene Kuo vegetable recipes in "The Key to Chinese Cooking", Qianning. They're simple and quick and best of all the food tastes So very fresh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Irene Kuo really has a way with vegetables, doesn't she? And her instructions are so clear, and in my experience spot on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you! I'll try some vegetable dishes from Kuo's book. Yesterday I was trying to decide what to make from My China but all recipes I looked at had Chinese wine in them and I have no idea where to find it. I remember looking for it at a Chinese grocer but didn't see. Maybe big A&T will have it - must make my way there next week. I also just got Behind the Great Wall on my Kindle....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The chinese wine should definitely be at the chinese grocer near the soy sauce, vinegar etc. But if you don't have it, you can sub dry sherry, or even bourbon or vermouth or vodka (as reported on in the cooking chinese from scratch thread)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            See if your local liquor store carries it. Mine does. The stuff you buy in the Asian groceries has salt in it and is labeled as cooking wine. That's why they're allowed to sell it in grocery stores that aren't otherwise allowed to sell wine or liquor. It isn't anything you'd want to drink, although it will do if you can't find the unadulterated stuff. But in that case, I'd go with the dry sherry as Westminstress recommends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our liquor stores do not sell Chinese wine - just checked on line. I'll try to find it and if not will use sherry - thank you for the suggestion!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you are looking in Canada herby you might want to check in the store and ask someone. In my experience, some stores do bring it in on request. Also, I was able to obtain a good quality wine in Chinatown and yes, there were some high sodium bottles on the shelf as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am in Ottawa and we have the tiniest Chinatown ever. I'll go back to check. We also have A&T - large Asian store you would know too - hoping to make it there next week; it is pretty much out of my way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chinese cooking wine is a staple so I think even the smallest Chinatown would have it. Have you asked the staff at your Chinese grocer? They probably just have one or two type of cooking alcohol available? What you are looking for is something like this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk/media/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It also helps if you can show them the Chinese name or a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you, Liliham! I'll keep looking for the wine just to try it but will follow MelMM's suggestion below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Herby, I never bother with the Chinese rice wine anymore. The stuff in most Asian markets is lousy, like the cooking wine at a grocery store, and has salt in it. I took a tip from chef Susanna Foo, and substitute hard liquor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Foo says in her first book, Chinese Cuisine, "In Taiwan, the locally made Shaoxing wine has a much different flavor than what is imported into this country. Instead, I began using liquors such as vodka, brandy and whiskey, which are never used for cooking in Taiwan because of their high cost - four or five times the amount in this country. Vodka, gin and vermouth are excellent with fish, shellfish and white meat. Brandy and whiskey complement pork; Madeira goes well with red meat and game."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot in a quest for "authenticity," trying to follow the letter of the recipe instead of the spirit, and using poor quality imported ingredients, instead of better quality ingredients that are more readily available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In all the Kylie Kwong recipes I've made, I've used a hard liquor instead of the rice wine. Bourbon is the one I like best, but others will work just fine. I cook Chinese food regularly, and I never buy Shaoxing wine anymore. To my taste, the food has only gotten better from the substitution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm with MelMM. I usually use Scotch because we always have it, but am presently working my way through a bottle of not so hot Irish that my husband bought in a later-regretted bout of pennypinching several months ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eileen Yin-Fei Lo (not my favorite writer on Chinese food) recommends gin (saying it's like Mei Gui Hua rose wine..having had a particularly bad experience with Chinese liquor in Taiwan I stay away from it in general).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Note that "jiu" (wine) in Chinese means wine and hard liquor both, and is part of the word for beer, pijiu, the pi being a phonetic, I think. Distinction based on proof is more fluid, so to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A good dry Sherry, even domestic, is nice in Chinese food too. That was the old-school recommendation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Curious why you say sherry was "the old-school recommendation." It's what Andrea Nguyen recommends as a substitute, although that's Vietnamese food not Chinese. But even in "Every Grain of Rice" Fuchsia Dunlop recommends substituting a medium-dry sherry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Basically because I remember it from Joyce Chen, Jim Lee, Irene Kuo, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for the suggestion and the quote, Mel! Makes so much sense. Makes me think about use of wine in Asia generally. They do not drink it - it is either beer or hard liquor - and therefore do not produce quality wine. But need alcohol in cooking to extract some flavours which are not water soluble. I'll still look for wine just to satisfy my curiosity but will cook with hard liquor - just made a note of it in cooking notebook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just as a point of interest, here are photos of a bottle and it's label of Shao Hsing wine that the parents of my Chinese sister-in-law gave me as a gift. This is what they served to guests. It was often sipped as a brandy after dinner, although on special occasions it was served throughout the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting point buttertart makes about the word in Chinese meaning both wine and hard liquor, although the proof here (18%) is more akin to wine than to hard spirits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gorgeous! Very interesting to know, Joan, that the wine is 18% proof. This is along the lines of sherry, port, madeira - fortified wines and not our regular "glass of wine" one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not a day goes by that I learn something new on these boards :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's a very good bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course Herby, you could always just make your own Chinese hooch--see Fuchsia Dunlop LOP pg 60-61. It's actually very easy to do, and the flavor is particularly great in marinades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do not have LOP, only EGOR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ooops. but actually egor is definitely a better intro book in many ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                qianning -- I shall get that one stat. Or mashang, whichever you prefer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ETA: OUCH!!! $45 plus on Amazon and ABE. Will keep an eye out for it...what do you particularly like from it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  $45, good grief, when did the weichuan books start going through the roof? I seem to remember a thread on the expense of the Shanghainese Weichuan book a while back, but I didn't know it was so pervasive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, FWIW, my absolute favorite recipe/most used from this book is "Chicken Stewed with Chinese Wolfberry", which gives you a good feel for the kind of recipe--lots of simple stewed/braised dishes (some other favorites-braised chicken wings with jujubes, braised bamboo shoots, clams with winter squash consomme, shrimp simmered with wine, braised napa) and very home style dishes, minimal ingredients or prep, (spicy fried fish, fried eggs with preserved daikon/turnip, soy simmered peanuts), not the sort of dish that makes an appearance on many Chinese restaurant menus in N. America, but that I would guess are very familiar to you from your years in Taiwan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum, yes. I just wish I had gotten it when it came out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I just bought "Land of Plenty" and "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The COTM archives are dangerous. I'm new to Chowhound, but really love the COTM feature. I'm kind of bummed that I didn't know about this years ago. While I owned a number of the former COTMs, many of your former choices were unfamiliar to me. I've been checking out cookbooks from the library over the last couple of months and giving some of them a test run. These are the first two that I've bought so far. I'm trying to exercise discipline and only buy books after making a few of the recipes and verifying how great they are ... but it is tough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: stockholm28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Welcome, and happy to hear it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: stockholm28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love both of those books. I saw ITVK at the used bookstore today and almost wanted to buy it just to give it as a gift or something. Seemed a shame that it was just sitting there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: stockholm28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm always sad, too, that I didn't start with COTM at its inception even though I was hanging around Chowhound then. I was not a confident cook and wasn't sure whether I'd be welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The good news is that those old COTM threads are still active--people post to them all the time. And so can you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Gil Marks' The World of Jewish Desserts - I have his Olive Trees and Honey and thoroughly enjoyed reading through it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pre-ordered One Good Dish (David Tanis) - skipped his first book and assumed this one was a pass, but the preview caught my eye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking will be here on Tues. Really looking forward to this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thought I'd note that the preview for Southern Italian Desserts is up on Amazon and it looks gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, is anyone familiar with Carolyn Phillips and her blog "Madame Huang's Kitchen"? She's got a cookbook coming out next year (called Simple Pleasures from a Chinese Kitchen, I believe). Based on a quick perusal of her blog, I will definitely be checking it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although at first I thought the title must be a joke, I am now also very much looking forward to Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whoever chose the cover for Southern Italian Desserts did a magnificent job. (Do you think that's quince paste enclosed in the pastry?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a savory cook, hardly ever do desserts, but I keep going back to look at this one, and have added it to my long at-least-read wishlist at Eat Your Books.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In general, though, this seems like a much less tempting cookbook season than fall-holiday 2012. I'm not drawn to Manresa, but imagine it will have plenty of buzz; likewise Rene Redzepi's 'Work in Progress' -- even the packaging looks pretentious (or innovative, depending on yr p.o.v.). Is noodle enthusiasm high enough to make Ivan Ramen a hit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A million cocktail books, of course; wonder how anyone chooses among them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing I see that I know I'll be getting eventually is Claude Jolicoeur's New Cidermaker's Handbook, along with Tom Burford's new treatise on apples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm pretty sure the cover is Watermelon Pudding Tart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, emily. Wow. Now I have to have a look. One of my least favorite fruits, and yet...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just remembered one more of the upcoming crop that appeals: Cowgirl Creamery Cooks. I admire the authors, and they've earned many fans from Bette's Oceanside Diner onwards. Probably not a keeper for me, but I want to read it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another, that may be one of the best of 2013 fall offerings, is A.O.C., from Suzanne Goin of Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Too far from my ecosystem, but of huge interest to her region and to restaurant-focused cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to say that I am not a fan of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. They just don't tickle my palette, I guess...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Definitely looking forward to AOC (though the preview recipes I've seen haven't excited me much) and Pok Pok...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I didn't buy this one, but got it as a gift from our eldest daughter who looks out for my well being.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Quinoa, The Everyday Superfood 365 by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My copy of "Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share their Tried and True Weeknight Recipes and Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen" just arrived. Authors Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion were Senior Editors at Saveur. ONe also worked at Gourmet and the other at Good Housekeeping, GQ, and Glamour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like it already and I've barely cracked the cover. It has a very practical no-nonsense feel to it: something tells me they really intend you to USE this book. No fussy dust jacket to get torn or lost. The inside front and back covers are printed with "The Keepers Manifesto"--starting out with #1 the importance of a sharp knife and ending with #23 love is the best ingredient, "Corny, but true."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like #11: "Let the kids set the table as soon as they are steady on their feet." Presciently or probably just coincidentally, I had mine set the table for the first time last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The book includes125+ (I'm sloppily quoting) "of their favorite original weeknight friendly keepers--simple trustworthy, satisfying dishes that are never boring. Streamlined classics, international and superfast dishes, ones that reheat well, and four categories of sides, starches and grains, hot vegetables, cold vegetables, and green salads. Also, sauces and dressings they call Lifesavers because thy are versatile, can be made ahead of time, and can be kept for several days. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You gotta love a cookbook that comes with a manifesto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This one is on my wish list. I hope to see a copy in a store before making the commitment. I have so many regret purchases, I feel like I owe it to the foundation below my bookshelves to take more time before pulling the trigger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please keep us posted how you like the actual recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cooked from Keepers for the first time tonight. Made the Asian Pork Sliders with Miso Magic Mayo. A big winner (and easy/quick as promised.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: marketpeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fantastic! Thank you so much for reporting back. Do let us know if you try anything else. I'm very encouraged by your success. The miso magic mayo had already caught my eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LMK how the recipes turn out! I was eyeing that one, but so many of the "family friendly" cookbooks I've seen turn out recipes that are just a little bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Have you tried Dinner: a Love Story? I read the blog, but the book/memoir (lots of recipes) is on sale in ebook format this month for $2.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have dinner a love story but haven't cooked from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of these days...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. I have Celiac, which sucks as prior to diagnosis I practically lived on bread, so right now I'm wanting Nicole Hunn's soon-to-be-released gluten-free bread book. I equally want Ottolenghi: The Cookbook; The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home; and Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Appetizers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I was in Costco today and decided to get the America's test kitchen cookbook, which has every recipe from every episode. Lots of basic stuff, so it may be moderately useful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Meatless:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Meatless-More-T...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. http://www.saveur.com/article/blog/Se...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can thank me later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thank you, now

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Any opinions on Sally Butcher's Veggiestan? Published under a different title in the U.S., but Veggiestan is such a cute title! She also has Snackistan coming out soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Azebaijani Kitchen: A Cookbook is also on my radar. I know nothing about Azebaijani food, but I'm interested in finding out more...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I can't seem to find the reference to Workman's Blue Plate Special, which inspired me to buy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Beyond The Great Wall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Burma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mangoes and Curry Leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hot Sour Salty Sweet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          all for under $7.00

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks so much for the tip. Will enjoy reading all of these cover to cover when I have the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: Add to my pile:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Food of Portugal, by Jean Anderson....Currently a contender for COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yikes! Time to step away from the computer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Put down the mouse and back away slowly ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I couldn't figure out how to download the freebie, the file wasn't openable on this laptop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buttertart, I was downloading on Kindle and it took me directly to Amazon and downloaded from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me to- it downloads as a document to your kindle but note that for the Free Burma Cookbook, it is only the curry section of the book. But the $2.51 books you can buy are all complete books.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How strange! My books downloaded without a problem. I didn't get Burma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grrrr...correct to be too, not to above!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Re the other books, they downloaded as books on my kindle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll try again. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I was in my local bookstore today feeling very guilty about not buying more there are supporting our local businesses, so when I saw One Bowl Baking, I decided to buy it. The author is a former tester for America's Test Kitchen, and now works for Serious Eats, so I felt pretty sure that the recipes would work. The book is actually terrific, and many of them are extremely appealing. It seems to be a book for when you really want to whip something up quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HMM...you temptress. I always liked that Yvonne Ruperti. I just Kindled it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dang it! Not at the Toronto Public Library site.. I will see if they have it in chapters and peruse it. I do like her recipes too.. usually check Serious Eats at least once a week..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OMG! I have to have this book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why? And I thought you were culling :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "My name is TDQ and I am a cookbook addict..." :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha-ha-ha :))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We should really rename this thread Cookbooks Anonymous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did cull! But, now my bookshelves are getting dusty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love one pot, one bowl anything! Easy clean-up. No digging through my cupboards in search of specialty item!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's her Serious Eats One Bowl Baking column: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/on...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, several of those recipes are also in the book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nice link - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I got this one for Kindle too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart, I'd tell you you're a bad influence, but I really can't if something is available on kindle ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have spent 2013 on a self-imposed cookbook buying ban, which I have *mostly* stuck to (I mean, who could NOT pick up Vefa's Kitchen at only $14.99??), so that we could afford a long family holiday in Britain. Once I got there I eased up on the ban, because most of my cookbooks are British and I figured it would be stupid not to take advantage of the chance to shop for them in-person... right? I actually found I was a lot more discriminating in what I chose to buy than I used to be, and spent a lot more time looking through books critically and asking myself whether I would actually cook from them. So clearly the cookbook-buying hiatus was helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, here's what I picked up on my trip (minus a copy of the Jamie Oliver recipe yearbook, which disappeared at some point before we got home - at least I cooked one recipe from it...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Diana Henry - Cook Simple. I'd been cooking from the library copy of this one over in the "Cooking from Diana Henry" thread, so buying it was a no-brainer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plenty by Ottolenghi - I have the US version, and the volume measurements in it drive me bonkers. I was happy to fork over for another copy with metric weight-based measurements. Plus, I bought it at the restaurant so it's autographed - swoon! Yotam Ottolenghi actually touched this book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (By the way, for those of you who just got your copies of the US edition of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook - I bookmarked the apple & olive oil cake with maple icing the day I acquired the book (I imported the UK edition) and have been waiting for apple season to get into full swing before making it. It was on the menu the other day when we ate at the restaurant, and my son ordered it -- it's every bit as delicious as it looks & sounds in the book.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How to Bake by Paul Hollywood, and Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book - bought these on the strength of the authors' performances as judges on the Great British Bake-Off. I haven't tried the Paul Hollywood book yet but have baked a couple of things from the Mary Berry book already - the Victoria Sponge turned out exceptionally well, but I had some issues with the Bara Brith, a type of Welsh teabread where you soak currants and sultanas in tea overnight - it sank in the middle, and looked dried out and unappealing (and nothing like the photo in the book), but luckily it tasted wonderful and we happily ate it slathered with Wensleydale butter alongside a cup of Yorkshire tea. I will try this again now that I'm home and using my familiar oven & digital scale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver - this came out a couple of weeks ago and was on sale for half price so I bought it. So far I'm pretty impressed. There are lots of tips for getting the most out of your food dollar, how to choose cheaper cuts of meat, and how to avoid wasting food (a big problem in my house). The vegetable chapter is large and appealing, with very colourful recipes and big flavours. The meat dishes are organized so that you can cook a large piece of meat, fish, or a whole chicken, then the next few pages will have multiple ideas for how to turn the leftover protein into other dishes. I roasted a chicken, then used the carcass & some of the leftovers to make the chicken stew, which has a further four recipe ideas. I used the stew as the filling for a pie, and it was really delicious, though relatively time-consuming - the chicken stew is NOT a quick weeknight meal, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally, two more baking books - Peyton and Byrne British Baking, and Seasonal Baking by Fiona Cairns. The first is basically a bible of British baking - everything from eccles cakes to treacle tart - and the second has a lot of traditional British baking recipes but they are arranged seasonally and most of them have some kind of interesting twist. The photos in Seasonal Baking are SO appealing. I look forward to baking and eating my way through these two books over the coming winter (I'd better sign up for a half-marathon in the spring - hah!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very well thought out and good haul there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to ask ... is this a *new* JO's yearbook mag, or the one from last year?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's the one from last year. I have been looking EVERYwhere for it and no luck; I think I must have stuck it in the recycle bin at some point :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bad luck geekmom! truly. So sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argh! That sounds like the type of thing I'd do. I'm so sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks TDQ and LLM for the sympathy. I feel a little better about losing that magazine now -- I had been SO excited to find it after reading the raves here! Oh well. I'll try to grab the 2013 one after it's released.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm jealous of the British baking books. Must mosey over to Amazon UK...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Without a doubt with only 2 entries on this thread this month, I’ve managed a personal record for fewest books purchased in a long while!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have three to report today along with an update on a couple of recent purchases. To start though, my new acquisitions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  COLLARDS & CARBONARA – SOUTHERN COOKING ITALIAN ROOTS by Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman. This is the book I’d mentioned pre-ordering some time ago. These chefs and restaurateurs studied together at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston then at The Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary Studies in Calabria before returning to the south to open two restaurants. The book obviously combines southern (US) cuisine with Italian and I must say the results sure do look enticing. Some dishes are standards from each respective cuisine, some are a fusion and then there are some “chefy” recipes as well…and those desserts…oh those desserts! Ricotta Cake with Satsuma Marmalade, Chocolate Malt Pie, Peanut Butter & Banana Pie and Butterscotch Budino with Caramel & Sea Salt…be still my beating heart!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FISH by Cree LeFavour – was an impulse buy today at Costco. No, I don’t “need” another Fish book but the international focus of this book drew me in and a review on the back cover sealed the deal. Johnathan Miles, cooking columnist for Field & Stream Magazine wrote: “Cree LeFavour doesn’t write mere recipes – she writes symphonies of flavours, composing some of the most soulful meals I’ve ever come across.” The book contains “54 Seafood Feasts” meaning that each fish or seafood recipe is accompanied by a recipe for a delectable side dish. Recipes that have already caught my eye include:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New England Cod Chowder with Blue Corn Griddle Cakes and Cherry Tomato Parsley Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New Haven White Clam Pie with Beet-Feta Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Trout with Walnut Lentils, Sauteed Baby Kale and Apple

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Basque Peasant Bacalao – Chilies, Potatoes, Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes over Toast with Tossed Greens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scallop-Chorizo Spaghetti w with Fennel-Cracker Bread Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pan-fried Lime-Chipotle Tilapia with Chile Corn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fish on a Stick with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, Dan Dan Noodles and Watermelon Cucumber Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pork Shrimp Sliders with Spicy Sweet Mayonnaise and Rice Noodle Cucumber Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kimchi Oyster Dogs with Sambal Mayo, Green Beans with Bonito Flakes and Crispy Yams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cod with Curried Red Lentils, Mustard Seeds, Basmati Rice and Apple Currant Relish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grilled Shrimp Kebabs with Punjabi Spice Paint and Mixed Summer Vegetables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pacific Halibut with Tomatoes, Garlic and Chickpeas, Pearl Couscous and Radish Clementine Relish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Senegalese Shrimp Stew over Millet with Collard Greens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CHARMAINE SOLOMON’S THAI COOKBOOK – a thrift shop bargain at $1.99 for the hardcover edition that someone had kept in beautiful like-new condition with a mylar book cover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then, just reporting back on a couple of new additions that I’ve cooked from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I initially reported purchasing MADHUR JAFFREY’S CURRY NATION I recall someone having thought or heard that the recipes were quite involved. I cooked two dishes from the book on a weeknight and I would say that they were very doable. That said, we did grill the Chicken Tikka for MADHUR’S CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA the evening prior so all that was left for Monday night was the quick and easy Masala. I did think some of the suggested cooking durations were underestimated in this recipe (eg. Three of four minutes for tomatoes to become pulpy). The recipe produced a flavourful dish though it isn’t my favourite version of this recipe. The other dish I tried was a personal favourite restaurant dish, MATAR PANEER. The only gripe I have with this recipe is the quantity of chilies called for: 4-5 hot green chilies finely chopped. I used 2 and my paneer was super-hot. Obviously heat varies from chili to chili but I honestly can’t imagine using 5 of any chili in this dish. I also think this is the first time I’ve fried paneer and I can’t say I enjoyed the experience. Despite removing some of the moisture from the cheese with a paper towel, those little cubes of paneer splattered like crazy. I quickly grabbed my splatter guard but even when I lifted it to turn the cubes, I managed to get burned (nothing serious thank goodness) as hot oil splattered in my face. That said, the dish was outstanding. mr bc doesn’t especially love Indian food or paneer and he “loved” this dish. (photos of each below)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Last night I prepared my first recipe from Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi’s WILD ROSEMARY & LEMON CAKE and it was a big winner. The Sugo Di Salsiccia, Porcini & Pancetta for the Scialatielli (photo below) was at once hearty and fresh with the earthy flavours from the porcini and the brightness of just-picked cherry tomatoes. A 5 ingredient sauce that was far greater than the sum of its parts I’m excited to try more dishes from this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You may not be buying a lot of books, bc, but you are sure leading me into temptation! Collards and Carbonara is a book that I read about a while back, and in which I am extremely interested given that my husband is southern and I am Italian. When you get further into the book, I'd love to hear more. And Wild Rosemary and Lemon Cake also sounds really interesting. You temptress, you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet I don't think you have any choice but to get that Collards & Carbonara. It sounds like it was made just for you and rbh!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like Wild Rosemary and Lemon Cake. As I mentioned up thread when I purchased it, the book focusses on cuisine of the Amalfi Coast, an area not otherwise represented on my cookbook shelf. If you're a fan of fish and seafood, this book will definitely appeal. I've tabbed a number of recipes in this book and will report back here when I have an opportunity to prepare them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That Collards & Carbonara book is intriguing, especially in light of the current COTM that blends Asian cuisine with Southern cooking. The desserts alone sound incredible. Do let us know what you think of the recipes when you try them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will do geekmom, there's a number of recipes that appeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Attention all you bakers out there, you probably don't want to read this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On a recent trip I came across an article about a soon-to-be released cookbook from a famous Vancouver bakery called Butter. Though I don't bake nearly as much as I'd like to, and I definitely don't need another cookbook, I couldn't help pre-order this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're in luck because I found the article online, complete with some sample recipes for:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Butter's Carrot Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Gingerstamp Cookie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies (doesn't that sound so seasonally appropriate that you want to make it immediately!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you're Canadian, you still have a chance to enter their contest and win a copy...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.styleathome.com/blog/2013/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're welcome!! ; )

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ooh. I have never actually heard of this bakery - must check it out next time I'm on that side of town. And thanks for the link to enter the contest, BC!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks BC.. I get their e-mails, and had actually entered the contest.. wonder if it will also come to the Toronto Public Library?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Calling all Herbys: Do you remember which book you wanted me to give an opinion on once it arrived at Casa G & G? Obviously I can't remember anything with these holes in my brain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On another note, "From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food" by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden arrived yesterday but I haven't had a good look at it yet. At first glance, though, I'd say it's quite a lovely book, but The Font Is Teeny. I'll have a chance to go through it later today. I hope I remember to report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio, I must have even bigger hole in my head because I can't remember. Was it even this thread? Or a book you mentioned on another thread? I'll keep thinking and hopefully it will come to me. Definitely wasn't Polish Kitchen :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Holy cow buttertart - I've *only* just seen the Lulu reference in your head post here! You obviously got that one completely right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Roundup of highlights from September cookbook releases at Eat Your Books: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013...

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