Cookbooks can be the beginning of something wonderful, whether you are an experienced cook or someone who barely knows how to boil water. Cookbooks not only offer information but often inspiration to try something new. Look at the recipes and the photos and earmark your favorites for “Someday.” Or, you might be motivated to just jump right in with a recipe and try it out the same day. Everyone has their favorites. You might find your next favorite in this cookbook book review roundup!
Are you a cheese/charcuterie board lover? Once Upon A Rind in Hollywood Photographs by Rachel Riederman (Ulysses Press 2023) is for you. This clever book has 50 movie-themed cheese platters and snack boards. Whether you’re a die-hard movie buff or simply looking for creative ways to create a charcuterie or snack board, this book will offer you lots of smiles and inspiration.
Each section is themed (e.g. Romance, Action and Drama, Horror, Comedy, etc.). The Wonka Cheesecake bites are going to be a hit at your holiday party. The photos in this hardbound book are nicely done and the recipes (when it’s not just cheese, nuts, crackers, or fruit) are easy to do. If you don’t want to make the recipes, you can simply assemble a lot of these boards without cooking. It’s so cute you will want to do at least one board for your next gathering. It’s also a great gift for your hostess-with-the-mostess. Get This Book.
Cooking and Foraging for The Adventurous:
Are you a happy camper or an adventurous cook? From the Hill By the Sea by Executive Chef Seadon Shouse of the restaurant Halifax Hoboken (in Canada not New Jersey) is a new book by Executive Chef Seadon Shouse. This beautiful hardbound book with beautiful photographs are shared memories of the Chef’s childhood of fishing and foraging, mushroom hunting, and cooking both indoors and out. It’s a great way to work into becoming a sustainable cook who likes to “cook dough over a campfire and forage for mushroom and mussels.”
If you like to cook outdoors, and if you like the camp and forage, this book will provide days and days of delight. However, even though the recipes seem delicious, a lot of the ingredients really aren’t readily available. It may be more for adventurous foodies, but the book also excels as a stunning memoir. If you are into foraging and wild seafood you’ll love it for many reasons. The photos will make you want to visit Halifax Hoboken for sure! Cookbooks like these are not in every bookstore but you can purchase this cookbook for $50 Here:
Great Greece Feasting:
Do you love authentic Greek food but there’s none nearby? Peinao by identical twins Helena & Vikki Moursellas (Rizzoli 2023) will have you salivating before you ever reach for a pot or pan. This large, hardbound cookbook has lots of lovely photos of Greece along with tempting photography of the recipes. The choices run from Breakfast to dinner, drinks, and everything in between.
The recipes for the most part feature ingredients you probably already have or can easily acquire. Each recipe (traditional and modern) has prep suggestions along with pairing suggestions. The only thing missing is the nutritional/calorie information. Greek food for the most part appears to be reasonably healthy and in this case, so yummy I don’t care what the calorie count is! Peninao is a feast for the eyes and a feast for you and your guests. Get This Book
What’s For Lunch?
Lunchtime can often be confusing. We never really know what to make, so we end up with the same old sandwich, boring salad, or take-out. 142 Non-Sad Lunches by Alexander Hart (Smith Street Books (December 27, 2022) will rock your lunchtime world. The semi-hard-bound book has suggestions on how to streamline the preparation for everything from noodles and zoodles to wraps, bento boxes, Beans, and some modern classics.
If you are a salad lover, the large collection of salad recipes will light up your life with salads prepared in ways you never considered (e.g. baby beetroot, walnut, and ricotta salad with a date dressing). Towards the back of the book, there are bento box recipes (mostly assembly) and some wraps. The best thing about this book is that almost everything can be accomplished in about 5 minutes. Throw out those soggy sandwiches and make something healthy, beautiful, and delicious! Get This Book
An Amazing French Cookbook With Lots More:
I am sure many households have the classic book by Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But the new Complete Book of French Cooking by Hurbert Delorme and Vincent Boue with Photographs by Clay McLachlan and a foreword by Chef Paul Bocuse (Flammarion 2023) is the new must-have classic. What I love is that the basic techniques are demonstrated in photos as well as text. The first part of the book is all about just about everything. From basic equipment to meat cuts, fruit seasons, fasts and oils, spices, mushrooms and so much more before you ever get to the recipes. This gorgeous hardbound 544-page book makes the information and techniques simple.
Then the pages share recipe classics and new modern takes by master chefs. Some may be advanced, but others are easy enough for beginners. If you’ve ever wondered how in the world to make an authentic bearnaise sauce, braise vegetables, and even how to make crystalized fruits and vegetables, the answers are found easily (with lovely photography) in this book.
There are two hundred step-by-step kitchen fundamentals: knife techniques (chopping, slicing, paring), cooking methods (braising, grilling, frying, steaming, poaching, roasting), sauces and stuffings, eggs, and dough. The one hundred sixty-five classic recipes—onion soup, quiche Lorraine, boeuf bourguignon, tarte Tatin—are graded with a three-star rating so the home chef can gauge the complexity and gradually expand their cooking ability.
I think I could spend the rest of my life learning how to be like a French cook, but at least I can master some of the techniques more easily and attempt to do a decent potato gratin! You don[‘t have to go to culinary college, just get this book and get started. Get This Book