Tag Archives: cookbooks


Take a look at these and see what you think.

The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio
These recipes make it easy to go from the Farmers’ Market to your table. The book will also help you stock you pantry with the new basics, that is if you are interested. Check out the author’s food blog www.loveandlemons to see if these are the kind of recipes that appeal to you. Hey, I just love the title.


Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101 by Sara Moulton
This is a chef we home cooks could listen to all day. What does she have in store for us this time?

Home Cooked: Essential Recipes For a New Way to Cook by Anya Fernal
Easy week-night meals from a sustainable food expert. Yes, I want to learn how to make good aioli!


Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill.
History, context, recipes and comfort direct from Rome. All this is delivered with imagination and substance. Way beyond flower blossoms and artichokes. Perhaps the most intriguing title on the list?!


Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome by Virginia Willis
A James Beard Award Winning cookbook by an author named one of seven food writers you need to know by the Chicago Tribune. Here she provides southern favorites made with fresh local ingredients: shrimp, catfish, grits, stew, biscuits, pork and lots of veggies straight from the garden or fresh market. This might be the one I’m likely to spend my money on.

If you have feedback on any of these, do comment. We want to know more.



Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guild to Adventurous Cooking by Ben Ford (2014)
It is an adventure to feed a crowd. He makes it look like the Amazing Race: scrumptious, sumptuous and fun (maybe not always so easy). The pictures are amazing, along with step-by-step directions and illustrations. This one will surprise you, and there is plenty of reading material for a rainy afternoon.


Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar (2014)
Taking a look at this delightful book, I’m convinced they are having fun and creating wonderful food. I begin to believe I could do it to. I love their passion.


My Drunk Kitchen A Guide to Eating, Drinking And Going With Your Gut by Hannah Hart (2014)
I understand the book is smart and funny with plenty of variety. And, the food is good. Reviewers love it, the book I mean. Does it surprise you that drinking and cooking might go together?


Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten (Oct. 2014)
It’s not a surprise. We trust Ina Garten. If she says you can make a dish ahead and have it be very good, I believe her; and I think you will too. I love to make it ahead so I can’t wait for a look at this new cookbook of hers. We have to wait a bit to see just what recipes she has for us.


Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with 12 Families From the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes by Deborah Madison. (2013)
OK. For this book, not so new as the others, it is not a surprise to see it listed. I’ve written about it before. I’m still lusting after it though I have been eyeing it in bookstores for a year. Saw it again this past week at the bookstore. I want to read this book as much as to cook from it. I want to believe the recipes really would be delicious, and that would be a surprise. My luck with vegetarian cookbooks is very limited.

Check these out at the book store or the library. Maybe, read some reviews. See which one surprises you most, or which one makes you want to get in the kitchen cooking. And a surprise about this post is the length of the title. Breaking the rules. These cookbooks do that, too. Let us know if you buy one. I love your comments and readers do too.


I love cookbooks. On this trip to the library I found some treasures. Each book is different in terms of content and organization. Though some are classified in a genre other than cookbook, each is about food.


Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of my Appetities. By Kate Christensen (2013)

This book is a literary memoir. According to the flyleaf, she unpacks her life in this book. Food figures prominently. She is a well-known novelist. Blue Plate Special has been praised by many. Some call it some of her best writing. She lives in Maine. She grew up in Berkley and Arizona. Likely the food connections will reflect these locations. Should be interesting. I look forward to spending more time with this book.

Daniel and Bill Buford

Daniel and Bill Buford

Daniel: My French Cuisine. By Daniel Boulud. Essays by Bill Buford. Photographs by Thomas Schaur. (2013)

I didn’t check out this large, heavy book and carry it to my car along with quite a few others because of the French Cuisine title or this chef. I have enjoyed a previous book by Bill Buford detailing his extensive cooking adventures. I’ve always wanted to read more. Here’s my chance.

Part II of the book is titled Iconic Sessions. Here the reader finds Buford’s essays. I couldn’t decide which essay to read first. All of the dishes were out-of-the-ordinary, even unheard of, and extremely complicated. None were anything I would be reproducing. Most did not look particularly appetizing in the colorful photographs. Finally I chose Pot-au-Feu. I thought I had some idea what might be explained.

I know that Buford’s writing can transport me to first class kitchens. I want to go there. And in fact, it happened. I went to the history and hearth of French cooking in this essay. The trip was most enjoyable. Now, I’m ready for another essay, no matter the food.

The next section I would read is Part III, Daniel At Home. He cooks regional menus at home representing different French areas. Alsace is one province represented. The food looks wonderful, tasty and somewhat familiar. At the end of the book are basic recipes of one kind and another: sauces, stocks, short ribs. There is a helpful glossary of culinary terms. Part I of the book gives recipes in several categories from Restaurant Daniel along with essays by Daniel, e.g. Daniel on Cheese.

Endless enjoyment awaits. This is a book to keep one pleasantly occupied for hours.


Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-To-Table Meal. By Kurt Timmermeister (2014)

Mr. Timmermeister, chef and restaurateur, farms on a small plot on Vashon Island in Washington’s Puget Sound. Readers follow the farm-to-table trail as he prepares a feast for twenty friends. I’ve read two chapters so far. I love it. It is readable and interesting. Of these books, it is the one I am most likely to read first and most likely to read cover to cover. It calls to me. Our shared farm experiences is one of the reasons.

It’s hard to pin down the genre of this book. It might be called a farm memoir. It is clearly a non-fiction book about growing and preparing food. West Coast readers, please note. This is at least the second cookbook I have featured on the blog about food raised in your part of the country. You are not to be neglected. First you could claim the peaches and now an entire meal.


The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year In Holidays. By Ree Drummond. (2013)

I find this book as promising and successful as her previous two cookbooks. I own and use both. I’m not a holiday cook, but the recipes sound as scrumptious as advertised. Informative and inviting photographs are also beautiful and heart-warming. They feature how-to prep pictures, finished products and her beautiful home and family.

I feel I must have this cookbook. Here are some recipes I look forward to preparing:
Eight-Layer Dip (how about Super Bowl Sunday?)
Blackberry Margaritas
Caesar Salad (croutons, garlic, parmesan and anchovies––all items Jerry likes. Well, he doesn’t know he likes anchovies.)
Chocolate Strawberry Cake (I seldom make cakes. This is for Father’s Day or Fourth of July.)
Ree’s Favorite Pasta Salad

I’ve not even paged half through the book yet. WOW! This is the book I’m most likely to buy.

And now back to reading about a feast two years in the making. Next up a chapter on making cheese. Or maybe, I’ll browse more of Ree’s wonderful pictures. What about Bill Buford’s essays? Sounds like Blue Plate Special is on my back burner.


Midwestern Table


Amy Thielen’s new book The New Midwestern Table is so much more than a cookbook. I’m so excited about this book. Here are a few of the reasons it jumped into my arms and insisted I buy it.

I love authentic cooking.
Regional dishes are part of our national heritage.
I’m interested in the connection between our grandmother’s kitchens , our grandfather’s gardens, heirloom recipes and the distinctive, delicious food of the twenty-first century.
This book has pages and pages of information about food.
The pictures take me to Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the gravel roads of Iowa and so many Midwestern places that I love.
This book reminds me of my love of griddle burgers.
This book has a recipe for oysters and egg salad I will make this winter in Florida.
This book has a Bloody Mary Recipe I must try.

If you don’t think these are enough reasons, I have more.
I want to learn more about cooking lake perch, walleye and whitefish. These fish are available in Michigan and I’m not good preparing them.

Here comes another reason for my overwhelming excitement.
This book has a recipe for Glorified Rice. I have been looking for one almost my whole adult life. It was a favorite dessert of my growing up years. My Mom made it and it was sooooo gooood. I have been unable to find the recipe anywhere–––until now!

If all of the above is not enough, there is a uniqueness to this cookbook that makes it impossible to resist. For example, the sections or chapters are different than one might expect. Let me share the table of contents:
Dips, Party Food and Drinks
Soups and Salads (ok, so far, not too unique)
Lake Fish
Chicken Supper
Potatoes and Onions
Early-Day Baking

I understand that this list might not convince you. But, I’m telling you that what is in each chapter is even more unique than the titles. And all the information this author provides is even tastier than the pictures and recipes.

I am completely crazy over this book. I am so glad I bought it. I can’t wait to share more about it in upcoming blogs. This book is amazing!

Title: The New Midwestern Table. 200 Heartland Recipes
Author: Amy Thielen
Publisher: Clarkston-Potter, 2013
Pages: 400
Source: My personal copy

And in prepping this post, I just discovered her blog. WOW