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Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

Hello all

Yes it is that time again. Please feel free to begin nominating for our August selection. To nominate please simply type the title of your nomination in all capital letters. Nominations will remain open until the 16th of July at 7pm pacific time.

Also, August will be my last month as facilitator which means we will need someone to start facilitating in August for our September books onward. I know a few people have mentioned some interest, hopefully we can get our next volunteer sorted out in the near term.

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  1. Does anyone have the link to past COTM? I don't want to nominate one that has been done in the past, and I can never remember all of them.

    2 Replies
    1. L.A. Son, by Roy Choi

      not a straight cook book - it's more like an autobiography with food attached - but the recipes are incredible.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rmarisco

        Incredible as in interesting, or incredible as in "I have made them and they are great"?

        1. re: pagesinthesun

          So, I can't even believe I'm suggesting this given my tight time schedule, but I was looking again through Suzanne Goin's A.O.C. cookbook, and the summer recipes sound SO delicious and are perfect for August produce. Would anybody be down for A.O.C.?

          Otherwise, my main focus for August cooking is the bounty at the farmers market. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, corn, basil etc. I will probably end up nominating Vegetable Literacy again, but want to go through the book and make sure it has enough great options for these classic summer veg. I don't mind having a book that has mostly veg side dishes because it is so easy this time of year to put some simple protein on the grill.

          1. re: Westminstress

            I know we've both cooked from this book and posted to the adjunct thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9274...

            Not sure about you, but the recipes I made were A LOT of work. The results were outstanding, but took a helluva lot more time than I want to spend in the kitchen in August. Would love to see it as COTM at some point during the year when I'm up for more complicated dishes.

            Here are my reports, by the way, on the three dishes I made. (I'm laughing now to see that one of the reports is almost as long as the recipe.

            )

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9274...
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9274...
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9274...

            1. re: JoanN

              Yes, good point about too much time in the kitchen in August. I don't know what I was thinking! Carried away by the delicious-sounding recipes I guess :) But you are right, it's a little unrealistic.

        2. ONE GOOD DISH - David Tanis... we could include all three books: A PLATTER OF FIGS and HEART OF THE ARTICHOKE

          Great fresh ingredients recipes for summer.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Tom P

            ONE GOOD DISH - David Tanis

            Sounds like a fine choice for summer cooking.

              1. re: Tom P

                I'm also going to nominate ONE GOOD DISH.

              2. ONE GOOD DISH by David Tanis

                That's what I want: <"Great fresh ingredients [with] recipes for summer."> But not another Madison cookbook..

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gio

                  I'd be willing to support David Tanis. If so, I'd love to have an adjunct thread for his other books and his excellent NYT column. And that should allow for good participation by folks who don't own the books.

                2. I'd love to do DIANA HENRY. I have most of her books, but the best for our purposes I think are Cook Simple, Food from Plenty and A Change of Appetite, which is newly published in the States.

                  34 Replies
                  1. re: greedygirl

                    I could certainly get on board for a DIANA HENRY month; I do think the new book will be too new for most people to get their hands on (at least from libraries). May need to wait a few months for a groundswell on this one. That said, I really do love her books.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      I would love, love, love DIANA HENRY. I think I could cook from her books every day and be happy (at least for a little while).

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Would someone please give me a quickie intro to how Diana Henry's books differ one from the other? The NYC libraries don't have any of her books, so, in other words, if I were going to buy one, how do I decide which?

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Right now, given that you're on WW (read this in another thread), I think you'd probably be most interested in the new book (A Change of Appetite). Here is what they say about it on amazon:

                          Here are the dishes that Diana Henry created when she started to crave a different kind of diet - less meat and heavy food, more vegetable-, fish-, and grain-based dishes - often inspired by the food of the Middle East and Far East, but also drawing on cuisines from Georgia to Scandinavia.

                          In her year of good eating, Diana lost weight, but this was about much more than weight loss - lead by taste, it was about discovering a healthier, fresher way of eating. From a Cambodian salad of shrimps, grapefruit, toasted coconut, and mint or North African mackerel with cumin to blood orange and cardamom sorbet, the
                          magical dishes in this book are bursting with flavor, with goodness and with color. Peppering the recipes is Diana's inimitable writing on everything from the miracle of broth to the great carbohydrate debate. Above all, this is about opening up our palates to new possibilities. There is no austerity here, simply fabulous food that nourishes body and soul.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I just got A Change of Attitude, and I am loving it so far.

                          2. re: JoanN

                            Joan, since you just started WW, I think you'll love her new book, A Change of Appetite, which focuses on healthy foods that taste great -- basically she searched the world for recipes that are delicious and flavorful without much in the way of cream, cheese, sugar and refined carbs. Lots of inspiration from Japan, N. Africa, the Middle East. I don't own it yet but tried one recipe from it off the web which was great.

                            Cook Simple (Pure Simple Cooking in the U.S.) focuses on recipes that don't take too much hands on time - either quick cooking or longer cooking but hands off such as roasted meats and veg. There is a wonderful summer vegetable section. Sounds like a million other books, but this is really a great collection of simple recipes that taste great. I have checked this book out of NYPL in the past, so I'm pretty sure they have it. This is the most popular of her books.

                            Food from Plenty (Plenty in the U.S.) is a bit idiosyncratic -- the focus is on making a lot out of things like seasonal vegetables, lesser known cuts of meat, sustainable fish, stale bread -- basically creating delicious foods out of thrifty/peasant type ingredients. I love this book.

                            I'm sure her other books are great too. She is just a very skilled recipe writer, one of the best out there IMO.

                            1. re: Westminstress

                              Thank you, both. This is tremendously helpful.

                              WM: Just looked up "Pure Simple Cooking" in the library catalog and although they have it, you have to read it in the main library; you can't check it out. Am about to go over and register for ILLiad to see if I can get any of her books through an inter-library loan.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Okay. Another question. I see on Diana Henry's Twitter feed that "A Change of Appetite" was supposedly published in the US and Canada on June 3, but I'm seeing no record of it anywhere. Anyone have any info on the North American edition?

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Yes, I own it - I preordered and it came the day it was published here (in early June).

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Very odd. When I looked for it on Amazon a couple of hours ago, the only edition they showed was the UK edition (with non available for PRIME shipping). When I looked again just now, they had the US edition listed. Thank you, one click. So, I guess I'm nominating DIANA HENRY.

                                  2. re: JoanN

                                    Yes, it is out, I saw it at the Union Square Barnes and Noble, I'm sure it's other places as well.

                                  3. re: JoanN

                                    Wow, that's crazy. I definitely checked it out of the library before buying it -- that was at least a year ago. They must have deaccessioned the copy I borrowed!

                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                      I've had that happen before. And if I'm not mistaken, it was with Ottolenghi (or if not, definitely another British author we were considering for COTM). I wouldn't be surprised if they order just one or two copies of a book, they promptly go AWOL, and the next copy they get in they make non-circulating.

                                        1. re: stockholm28

                                          Yes, thank you stockhom28. The second time I looked for it I found it. Can't imagine why I couldn't the first time. Anyway, on Sunday I will be the proud owner of "A Change of Appetite." Very much looking forward to it.

                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            Some of us have already cooked from and reported on the "Cooking from Diana Henry" thread. Look toward the bottom of the thread for reports on recipes from this book: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8959...

                                2. re: JoanN

                                  Joan, I'd say that Diana Henry has a fair number of recipes in both Pure Simple Cooking and A Change of Appetite that are potentially WW friendly. Not unlike the current COTM, DH tends to call for a lot of oil, much more than I like to use. I've cooked pretty extensively from PSC now, and also cooked several things from the new book and also from another of her books, invariably cutting the oil at least by half, with great results. And there are recipes that are naturally WW friendly; off hand, two such I've made from ACOA are the Japanese ginger-garlic chicken with smashed cucumber (this one has earned unanimous raved in the cooking from thread), which uses skinned chicken and zero added fat, and the stir-fried chile-garlic squid, both of which were absolutely delicious.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Very happy to read this, Caitlin. "Radically Simple" has been a bit of a challenge for me, but having found one recipe that was both excellent and WW friendly, I'm encouraged to look for more. I'm sure ACoC will make the search a lot easier.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Not to wander too OT, I hope. by discussing the current book here, but a few main-dish recipes in RS that I've liked and think could fit in your plan are Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy & Shitakes; Sole Provençal with Petit Ratatouille (with reduced oil, which I did); and Chicken Thighs with Rosemary & Two Paprikas, made with skinned chicken. Though I haven't yet made it, I'm also looking at Blistered Chicken, Tandoori-Style (with low- or nonfat yogurt in the marinade).

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Copied and pasted. And thanks. In fact, that Salmon "Bulgogi" is next up. Bought the shiitakes today, and have some leftover bok choy.

                                3. re: greedygirl

                                  I could definitely get behind a DIANA HENRY month. Lots of good summer dishes.

                                  Here is the "cooking from" thread, to get a sense of her recipes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895953

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    DIANA HENRY MONTH

                                    (A Change of Appetite is on its way to me now. And I've got Pure Simple, so I'll be ready to roll.)

                                    ~TDQ

                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                    DIANA HENRY would be fine by me. Looking in the NH library system a surprisingly wide swath of her books are available, including the newest one (not sure how long the hold queue is for that, though). Anyway, as a library-only cotm'er, if availability is problematic from other locales systems I'll gladly bow to other options.

                                    I haven't looked at many of Henry's books, or cooked much from them, but her work reminds me a lot of Molly Stevens, well researched, well written and well tested recipe compendiums. Not overly innovative, but with good flavors and results.

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      There is about a 500 post thread on cooking from her books that's been going for a year. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8959...

                                      1. re: rasputina

                                        Not sure if you’re just pointing this out or if you’re objecting to having as COTM a title with an active adjunct thread. I know there have been some objections in the past to having such a book as COTM (in fact, I may have been one of the objectors—:-( ). But we’ve had some very successful COTMs that started as “cooking from” threads. Witness “Radically Simple” this month, which had nearly 300 posts in the adjunct thread. “Around My French Table,” “Bon Appetit Y’All,” Ottolenghi, “Fish Without a Doubt,” “Asian Dumplings,” “660 Curries”—all had more or less active threads before becoming COTM. I, for one, have come to realize that the existence of a previous thread doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm for a book once it’s been chosen. In fact, that so many have posted, usually with good results, seems to encourage others to want to join in. And for the most part, those who have cooked from the book in the past and know it delivers are more than happy to explore it further.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          Sometimes those 500 long "cooking from" threads can be kinda of overwhelming if you're just finally getting around to dipping your toe into a book people have been "cooking from" for awhile because you feel a little obligated to read all of the posts. Having such a book be a COTM can kind of feel like a fresh (and more organized!) start for newcomers (to the book) in particular.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            I find that either before trying a recipe or after I've made it, I go to the adjunct and do a Ctrl > F to look for that specific recipe. I very rarely read one of those threads in it's entirety, unless it's something I've been contributing to all along. As you say, too overwhelming.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              Oh wow! You just changed my use of CH. Thanks, JoanN!

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                I do that too, with the searching of the thread (on long COTM threads, too), which works great if you've already chosen a recipe you're thinking about trying and you want to see if anyone else has tried it. But what you lose if you aren't playing along from the beginning (and therefore, don't really read the entire thread) is reports from other people on recipes you might not have tried. Also, there is something (for me) about the way these threads unfold as you "discover" the book together. I'm probably just weird. HA!

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  theDQ, I couldnt agree more! We need a special search term for those unexpected gems. Perhaps the person who starts a cooking from thread could choose a search code for anything that is an "excellent" or "would do again" and announce it in the first post. I am imagining something that would keep the searches "clean." Sowhen we start on the Banh Mi book, something like ANMI8.

                                                  Yea. I play with data a lot.

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    I can't tell you how many times I've searched a thread with control F and a word like "quick" or "easy," critical concepts for me these days. Or sometimes I'll search for a main ingredient, like "chicken" and read reports on the different dishes, without having a recipe in mind.

                                                    But I totally agree with you about the threads feeling different when we're all doing the book together in a month; it's so nice to read and participate at that natural pace.

                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                I'm not objecting. Just pointing it out.

                                          2. Good to see the discussion rolling for nominations. Just a reminder, anyone interested in taking over the coordinator role. Don't want to belabour the point, but I'm getting a bit worried.

                                            26 Replies
                                            1. re: delys77

                                              You may want to give an email address in your profile. Could be people who have interest but wish to discuss it off the board...

                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                  Strange, I must be blind. I don't see the email field in my profile at all.

                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                    Maybe because it's not there. ;-) Those of us who post our e-mail usually put it in the space to list a blog. See my profile page, e.g.: http://www.chow.com/profile/11407

                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                    Hi qianning, normally there is one nomination thread and then one voting thread to be posted in the month preceding the COTM. So for example if you took over for September you would normally do the nomination and vote thread in August. That said if you are interested but can't start till September proper, I could do the nominations and voting for you.

                                                    Let me know

                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                      That's fine. Mid august on is possible, just the first week of August that's a problem.

                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                        Ok then qianning, if you think you are good that's great. If you decide you need me to help with nom etc in August just let me know. My email is now up in my profile.

                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                      OT, but: blue room, you're back! So nice to see your name pop up on the recommends! I've missed your posts.

                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                            Thank you all for the welcoming words, both here and in my email. Feeling a little self-conscious* but would love to return.

                                                            *also sheepish, shabby, and selfish.

                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                              Welcome back! You don't look shabby to me at all! As for sheepish and shellfish, well, dive right back into the food talk!

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                  Glad to see you back! Looking forward to your return to COTM!

                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                    Glad you're back, br. I missed your posts.

                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                      blue room so nice to "see" you!! You've been missed. Sadly business travel has been keeping me from the kitchen and the COTM but I do drop in to CH for a quick peek when time permits.

                                                                      ps to all, I had some really lovely lunches at LEON on my recent trip to London. Today I picked up LEON Family & Friends and I must say, though I haven't cooked from the prior books, everything I've seen in this one thus far has impressed me. I'm not nominating w the block caps btw, that's just how the book is titled. Another little LEON tidbit...there's a new veggie cookbook out that looks amazing. Also, I read an article about a new UK Indian cookbook that really sounds wonderful. I'll post the title/author info when I get my files unpacked.

                                                                2. re: delys77

                                                                  When you have a chance an email with info & advice on how to set up the cotm threads would be much appreciated. I have a general idea on the usual routine, but no clue on setting up the sticky threads (edit-although with all the changes to the site that might be a moot point).

                                                                  I've set up an email account for this; cotmemail (at) mail.com

                                                                  You've done a great job, hope I can live up to the standards you & past co-coordinators have set.

                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                    To create the sticky thread, first you create it, and REPORT your new post to ask the Moderators to make it a sticky. I also found that I had to remind them to remove the one that it was replacing. That is it!

                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                      thanks. next dumb question, how does one report to the moderators.

                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                        Oh look... they have changed the word to FLAG. You select that, and you are given some choices. I always selected other. And then wrote my note.

                                                                        Just checked.... it still works that way.

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          Thanks, I would never have figured that out on my own.

                                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                                      Will do tomorrow afternoon when I'm back in town qianning. Cheers

                                                                      1. re: delys77

                                                                        No hurry, we are leaving Tuesday for a few days vaykay, so just wanted to ask before leaving, as I know you had mentioned a lot of road time next month and next thing you know it will be the second week of August....

                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                          Indeed, have a great time over the next few days.

                                                                  2. Anyone still interested in HAKKA?

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                        Oh, I totally get it. I really adore the DH books so I sort of threw that thought out there in case the newness of her newest ended up being a problem for people. And because, what the heck, someone needs to keep nominating it ; )

                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                            I have no right to nominate, what with my incredibly spotty participation in the last year, but.....yes!

                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                I think I'd be ready to settle down with Hakka in October. August and September are really produce-dominated months for me and I am usually in a Mediterranean mode for the most part.

                                                                              2. I guess I'd be foolish not to give DIANA HENRY MONTH my 2nd nom with 4 Henry books on my cookbook shelves.

                                                                                >Plenty: Good, Uncomplicated Food for the Sustainable Kitchen
                                                                                >Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day
                                                                                >Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Winter Food to Warm the Soul
                                                                                >Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa

                                                                                  1. re: cristina

                                                                                    I think this book was mentioned last month as well. For me the problem is, it is just so very new. My library system has only ordered one book and there are already a ton of "holds" waiting for it. Could be months before it is readily available, and since the book is quite expensive, I personally would prefer the opportunity to cook a bit from it before purchasing. Hope you will nominate again in a few months. By then, perhaps those of us who are library folks can get our hands on it.

                                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                                      I have the book and I agree with you. Even a used book on Amazon is very expensive. And the New York library system has only one copy, and that copy can't be checked out. I would love to see this as COTM at some point, but I think we need to wait until it's accessible to more people.

                                                                                    1. The Nominations Thread for September 2014 is up:

                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985304

                                                                                      With the new site format, not sure how obvious this will be, so I am posting the link on several other COTM threads. If you think there is some spot I've missed, or a better way to get word out, please let me know.