Cookbook Reviews« Previous Articles
Trend Alert Gluten Free Diets
Gluten Free eating is the new hip and trendy “diet” in Hollywood! So many celebrities are eating Gluten free, just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckam, Elizabeth Hasselbeck or Jenny McCarthy. While some people need to eat Gluten free due to allergies others may want to try the lifestyle to shed a few unwanted pounds. Gluten is in A LOT of foods and can be tricky when trying to eliminate.
Insiders at Eatsmartagesmart.com heard about Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (1,000 Recipes)Low Fat Diet Cooking Books) and her guide Gluten-Free Quick & Easy: From Prep to Plate Without the Fuss – 200+ Recipes for People with Food Sensitivities. They all look so delicious!!
Cookbooks are always the perfect Christmas and birthday gifts for those who love to spend time in the kitchen. In whatever kind of food they would want to prepare, a new cookbook will always bring the best out of any cook.
From new cooking ideas and presentations to great photos, cookbooks can both serve as great coffee table books and reference for the foodie.
Here is the list of the top ten cookbooks for this year.
This is a smart and witty modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility with a wide range of characters, from an IT specialist to a free-spirited younger sister. This book talks about love and loss amidst tasty recipes.
Sometimes the good thing about partaking in a reading challenge is that it makes you push your boundaries and read a book you normally wouldn’t – I read the Cookbook Collector for just that reason. I’d seen it previously in stores, but it just never gained by attention enough that I read it. However, I’m glad that I did. It’s a marvelous story about learning who you are and finding your place in teh world, about living each day as it comes and not putting off today what can be done tomorrow. I highly recommend it.
–Delicious Dee Challenge Addict
2. Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by René Redzepi
Noma is written by Chef Redzepi, responsible for putting Nordic cuisine on the map of world cuisine. Much like the creations of Chef Redzepi, this book is experimental and refreshing.
Lots of time and a northern place
Stunning photographs and well-written recipes make a great coffee table book. Yes, the kitchen equipment to reproduce the recipes faithfully is not likely to be found in most home kitchens — Thermomix, Pacojet, super bags, a pantry full of Willpowder and Le Sanctuaire containers, …the usual list — and the ingredients for many dishes will be a challenging find unless you have access to markets in the Nordic region. However, many of the recipes can be reproduced with more modest equipment and a little ingenuity, and many of the ingredients can be found seasonally here in Seattle. When the first new-growth spruce tips appear next spring, I will definitely be trying “Blueberries in their natural environment.” This dish is eye-poppingly beautiful and requires nothing more exotic than the spruce tips to reproduce. Ten stars for the photography.
–Demented dementad (Seattle, WA United States)
From harvesting to baking, Darina Allen crammed more than 700 recipes with age-old cooking and housekeeping techniques in this new book.
A beautiful book. Well written and illustrated with wonderful recipes.
4. Time for Dinner: Strategies, Inspiration, and Recipes for Family Meals Every Night of the WeekCooking, Food & Wine Books)by Pilar Guzmán, Jenny Rosenstrach, and Alanna Stang
Former Cookie magazine editors created this visual display of techniques and strategies for moms who would want to recreate the family dinner most families forego nowadays.
Editors of Cookie Magazine put taste and style into family meals
I was a subscriber to Cookie Magazine, and found myself greatly missing it when it was taken out of circulation. One of the sections I missed most was the recipes that showed one ingredient (for instance, ground turkey), and then plotted a graph showing 3 different ways to cook that item, with photos, tips and final pictures of the meal. All on one page! Well, this cookbook brings that back, along with fantastic images of a stocked fridge, pantry and cabinets. This is a cookbook with usable recipes, helpful tips and great ideas to encourage family dining. First on my list to try is the ice-cube-tray sushi and the sesame noodles with extras. And one more thing – it is a feast for the eyes, with killer photographs and detailed ingredient lists.
5. Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Foodby Paul Greenberg
An informative book by Paul Greeenberg on how to sustain the four species of fish many of us have come to love: cod, tuna, salmon and bass.
“The signal quality of Greenberg’s book is its genial and sometimes despairing struggle with contradiction. Not many who argue for our planet’s endangered species also write the thrill of hunting them. Like the fish he once hooked, he plunges away and is reeled back. ‘Four Fish’ is a serious and searching study. Written with wit and beauty, it is also play.”
–The Los Angeles Times
6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
Aimee Bender’s novel about a girl’s extraordinary sensory ability of being able to taste the emotions of the people who cook her food, it is a story that responds to the emotional hunger of living in the 21st century.
Great Concept – Poor Execution
The magical concepts in this story really could have made for an excellent novel. The idea of being able to taste the feelings of the person who prepared a meal was unique. However, the authors execution of this novel was so poor that I, myself, am tempted to rewrite the story the way it should have been written.
--Nicole A. (New York, NY)
7.The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking ManualCooking, Food & Wine Books)by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, and Peter Meehan
From the chef-owners of Chicago’s Frankies Spuntino, this cookbook presents a no-pretense and simple Italian food cooking.
The Perfect Kitchen Companion
Great book – most cookbooks, you look up a recipe, go to the page, and maybe read any relevant content for a page or two before just going off the recipe. This book is actually readable, from cover to cover. A quick background on the guys, tips on gear/gadgets and how best to stock your kitchen, then on to the food. One of my big complaints with cookbooks is being told “this is how it’s done” or “you only do it this way”, without being told why. I’m left wondering “if I don’t do it this way, will it suck, will it just be more watery, will it be a total disaster?” Here, they tell you what they do, and why they do it. Good stuff
From the world-renowned chef and Thai food expert, let David Thompson bring you to the vibrant world of authentic Thai cuisine.
“A hunger-inspiring tour of the outdoor markets and food stalls of Thailand. The evocative photos and recipes for noodles, curries, satays, salads, roasted meats, and more capture the daily rhythms, bright flavors, and bustling spirit of Bangkok’s streets, and will appeal to anyone with a love for Thai cuisine.”
Award-winning cookbook author Joan Nathan searched France for French Jewish cuisine. Suited for kosher kitchens, it showcases how Jewish bakers adapted to French cooking techniques.
This is another excellent book by Joan Nathan, and really worth owning! We’ve enjoyed several Algerian and Moroccan salads and vegetable dishes, and I intend to try many more dishes. The book covers way more than couscous and kugel, and it’s really something special and worth having.
–Kate Runyan “katethecook” (Santa Monica, CA)
Chad Robertson shows the versatility of the tatine bread in this cookbook. From the basic recipe to the most complex, this bread cookbook would surely delight any pastry and bread lover.
For intermediate or advanced bakers
There really are only a few bread recipes in this book. The author goes into lengthy detail about his breads, his philosophy, and how to make them. For those of you who are familiar with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking’s treatise on how to make an omelet (it’s about 20 pages long), that is what you will find here, just a lot fewer recipes. Why? Because Tartine specializes in making a few breads and pastries, and this book is about their bakery.
If you are looking for a comprehensive baking book of artisan breads, try Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread.” If you want easy, tasty recipes for most home bakers, take a look at the King Arthur Flour baking books, or Beth Hensperger’s excellent “Bread Bible.”
So, if you are not into creating and nursing sourdough starters, or you have no interest in reading through
20 pages of instructions to teach you how to make an artisan loaf of Tartine bread, this is not the book for you. There are plenty of other wonderful books on the market for that.
I would recommend this book for intermediate or advanced home bakers, or for professionals who are really looking to expand their bread baking repertoire.
The book does have some of the most detailed photos on folding and shaping loaves that I’ve seen, but the “artsy” quality of those photos is really irritating – I don’t want to see special shadowing, I just want a clear picture of a technique.
–Cookbook Gal “Cookbook Gal”
So grab your copy now!
“The cornbread was flavorful, moist and light with a deliciously tender crumb. My only hope with this recipe was that Isaiah would love it… And then Isaiah took a bite. The look on his face was pure heaven.”
Cooking for Isaiah is a love story of Silvana Nardone’s journey to develop great-tasting meals for her son, Isaiah, after he was diagnosed with food intolerances to gluten and dairy. The results of her efforts are found in the pages of this book, through 135 recipes that are not only easy to make, but taste and look delicious.
From “S’mores Pancakes with Marshmallow Sauce” to “Double-Decker Toasted Cornbread and Spicy Greens Stack,” and “Chicken and Waffles with Maple Bacon Gravy” to “Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting,” all of the recipes in Cooking for Isaiah are entirely free of gluten and dairy. Crafted with a variety of cooks in mind, an ingredient substitution chart shows you what to swap if, for example, you need to cook without gluten, but dairy is okay. You’ll also find Silvana’s tried-and-tested all-purpose flour and pancake mix recipes, sure to make gluten-free cooking and baking accessible to all. Written by Silvana Nardone, Editor in Chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, this charming, personal cookbook belongs on every cook’s shelf.
Used as a reference by students of acupuncture, this is a hefty, truly comprehensive guide to the theory and healing power of Chinese medicine. It’s also a primer on nutrition–including facts about green foods, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, and the “regeneration diets” used by cancer patients and arthritics–along with an inspiring cookbook with more than 300 mostly vegetarian, nutrient-packed recipes.
The information on Chinese medicine is useful for helping to diagnose health imbalances, especially nascent illnesses. It’s smartly paired with the whole-foods program because the Chinese have attributed various health-balancing properties to foods, so you can tailor your diet to help alleviate symptoms of illness. For example, Chinese medicine dictates that someone with low energy and a pale complexion (a yin deficiency) would benefit from avoiding bitter foods and increasing “sweet” foods such as soy, black sesame seeds, parsnips, rice, and oats. (Note that the Chinese definition of sweet foods is much different from the American one!)
Pitchford says in his dedication that he hopes the reader finds “healing, awareness, and peace” from following his program. The diet is certainly acetic by American standards (no alcohol, caffeine, white flour, fried foods, or sugar, and a minimum of eggs and dairy) but the reasons he gives for avoiding these “negative energy” foods are compelling. From the adrenal damage imparted by coffee to immune dysfunction brought on by excess refined sugar, Pitchford spurs you to rethink every dietary choice and its ultimate influence on your health. Without being alarmist, he adds dietary tips for protecting yourself against the dangers of modern life, including neutralizing damage from water fluoridation (thyroid and immune-system problems may result; fluoride is a carcinogen). There’s further reading on food combining, female health, heart disease, pregnancy, fasting, and weight loss. Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone who’s serious about strengthening his or her body from the inside out. –Erica Jorgensen
With simple-to-prepare yet exotic and delicious recipes such as Moroccan Pumpkin Soup and Roasted Bison Tenderloin with Apple Butter Sauce, Tosca shows us that eating clean can be as delicious and stimulating to the palate as it is satisfying and beneficial. She teases your tastebuds and challenges your preconceptions, but she also understands that time is a precious commodity, so her recipes are easy to prepare. Get: Over 150 delicious recipes, each with a gorgeous, mouth-watering full-page photo by renowned food photographer Donna Griffith; The finest foods the world has to offer, with simple instructions for preparation; Inspiring lifestyle photographs of Tosca; Tips, tricks, advice and information for those new to the art of cooking.
After more than twenty years of running Barefoot Contessa, the acclaimed specialty food store, Ina Garten published her first collection of recipes. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was an overnight sensation, but it’s the kind of success that can only be g
Cake mixes are undoubtedly convenient, but do they produce good cakes? They can, says Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor, if you know how to tweak them. Doing this involves the addition of ingredients to enrich the mixes and flavorings to enhance and, in some cases, conceal questionable tastes. To prove her point, Byrn offers more than 175 recipes for mix-based cakes and other desserts, including formulas for frostings that, Byrn maintains, must be made from scratch. The results are convincing; readers interested in satisfying, dependable desserts prepared quickly and with little fuss should welcome the book.
Beginning with a useful discussion of cake mixes, their history and composition, and an outline of the mix-transformation battle plan, the book then presents the recipes in chapters such as “Chocolate Cakes,” “Cake-Mix Classics,” “Special Occasion Cakes,” and “Incredible Bars and Comforting Cookies.” Among the most successful offerings are Deeply Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting, and Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake. A chapter devoted to crumbles, crisps, cobblers, trifles, and even a dessert pizza shows how to use the mixes in innovative ways, and “Lighter Cakes” presents “healthier” offerings, such as Pear and Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Cake. With sidebars such as The Legendary Pillsbury Bake-Off and tips for success throughout (“Cinnamon is one of the great tools to use when doctoring up cake mixes,” begins one), the book explores every aspect of cake-mix fixing while revealing the unexpected richness that the process can yield. –Arthur Boehm« Previous Articles