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With the colder weather here I've been thinking about soups lately. Does anyone have any good cookbook recommendations? I've been using Lidia Bastianich recipes but feel that I need to expand my horizons. Simple and easy to find ingredients would be preferred but I don't mind if it's a little time consuming.

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With the colder weather here I've been thinking about soups lately. Does anyone have any good cookbook recommendations? I've been using Lidia Bastianich recipes but feel that I need to expand my horizons. Simple and easy to find ingredients would be preferred but I don't mind if it's a little time consuming.

Not a cookbook, but this recent list from Saveur includes a few that we have liked (pumpkin black bean and white bean provencal): http://www.saveur.com/article/-/Fall-Soups

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With the colder weather here I've been thinking about soups lately. Does anyone have any good cookbook recommendations? I've been using Lidia Bastianich recipes but feel that I need to expand my horizons. Simple and easy to find ingredients would be preferred but I don't mind if it's a little time consuming.

Lately I've been especially fond of A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell. I should mention that it is vegetarian recipes only, but the recipes are so delicious I don't miss the meat. The book includes an abundance of beautiful color photos. It's a gorgeous book. Some of my recent favorites are: Greek Spinach and Orzo Soup, Mediterranean Saffron Stew, Acorn Squash and Fava Bean Stew, and Moroccan Red Lentil-Bean Stew -- to give you an idea of the kinds of dishes you'll find.

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My favorite soup of all time to make at home remains the Squash Soup from TKeller's "Bouchon" as adapted in the Sunday NYT magazine on 12/12/2004.

My copy is extremely yellowed (in addition to the yellowish squash soup stains) and wrinkled, but I'd be extremely put out if I lost it.

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Lately I've been especially fond of A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell. I should mention that it is vegetarian recipes only, but the recipes are so delicious I don't miss the meat. The book includes an abundance of beautiful color photos. It's a gorgeous book. Some of my recent favorites are: Greek Spinach and Orzo Soup, Mediterranean Saffron Stew, Acorn Squash and Fava Bean Stew, and Moroccan Red Lentil-Bean Stew -- to give you an idea of the kinds of dishes you'll find.

Wow, all the reviews seem very positive. I've been thinking I should have more vegetarian meals in my diet and this book looks like a good start for that.

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Anyone have any recent cookbook recommendations? I tend to find myself enjoying books with plenty of photographs for inspiration, as opposed to the older, more textual classics (although they are a great reference, and readily available at the library).

Some newer ones I've been digging are Edward Lee's Smoke and Pickles and Kenji's Food Lab. Lee's book has some really fun combinations of Asian and southern flavors, while Kenji's is more straightforward, essentially condensing his Food Lab articles and essential recipes into a beautiful, massive tome.

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I have been really enjoying Heritage by Sean Brock, but I have been getting into the whole seed and foodways preservation stuff.  My grandfather was really into that, so it is also nostalgic in a way.  I just got it for Christmas though and have only made a few recipes.  I will also note that it isn't the type of cookbook that you can follow 100% in terms of timing of recipes or ingredients (he sources a lot of local stuff), so I think it is best for a cook like me who is fine with cooking from the hip and making it work.

(Don't have Anson Mills whole wheat flour or cornmeal because Hubby brings me stuff from Mt. Vernon.  Didn't have Sea Island peas for Hoppin John so used black eyed, etc.)

Surprisingly, one of my most used "chefy" cookbooks is The Family Meal.  I thought it would be impossible, but I have made a lot of recipes from it.  I am really trying to make more recipes from my Charles Pham Vietnamese Home Cooking because anything I have made is delicious, but sometimes there are too many homemade components.  I could probably sub in store bought things, I am just not familiar enough with Vietnamese cooking to know what and where to buy those substitutions.  But I want to get there and it is a really good read with really tasty recipes.

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I have been really enjoying Heritage by Sean Brock, but I have been getting into the whole seed and foodways preservation stuff.  My grandfather was really into that, so it is also nostalgic in a way.  I just got it for Christmas though and have only made a few recipes.  I will also note that it isn't the type of cookbook that you can follow 100% in terms of timing of recipes or ingredients (he sources a lot of local stuff), so I think it is best for a cook like me who is fine with cooking from the hip and making it work.

(Don't have Anson Mills whole wheat flour or cornmeal because Hubby brings me stuff from Mt. Vernon.  Didn't have Sea Island peas for Hoppin John so used black eyed, etc.)

Surprisingly, one of my most used "chefy" cookbooks is The Family Meal.  I thought it would be impossible, but I have made a lot of recipes from it.  I am really trying to make more recipes from my Charles Pham Vietnamese Home Cooking because anything I have made is delicious, but sometimes there are too many homemade components.  I could probably sub in store bought things, I am just not familiar enough with Vietnamese cooking to know what and where to buy those substitutions.  But I want to get there and it is a really good read with really tasty recipes.

[i know this thread doesn't have a lot of activity, but would you like me to make it into a separate subforum in Shopping and Cooking? There's no reason we can't have one thread per cookbook, along with an index by category - plus, that way it will be more useful, and could draw in more people to participate. I think that in the long term, having this split up and properly organized could really help people. (Any volunteers? :))

Normally, I'd just "do it" because I think it's the logically correct thing to do, but I have a special affinity for our Shopping and Cooking posters, and want to make sure I'm furnishing them with what *they* want; not with merely what I think is best.]

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I've really enjoyed Kenji's food lab book - though it comes with the caveat that I've been a pretty avid follower of him on seriouseats for a couple years now.

I also have been getting quite a bit of mileage out of the Jacques Pepin "Heart and Soul" - there are a lot of stories in addition to some interesting recipes.

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Great recs, definitely planning to check these out.

Don, I think the index would be convenient for sure, but cookbooks might be one of those things where there are just more books than things to say about them. It takes acquiring a cookbook, flipping through it and maybe trying a couple of the recipes to really be able to comment on it, so discussion on all but the most popular books might be limited. I like the format of this thread, where you can write a short blurb on one or a few books of interest, and the standouts will naturally get seconded. Although it took the power of Google-fu just to find this topic in the first place, so hey, I'm certainly not opposed to a separate subforum in principle.

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I've really enjoyed Kenji's food lab book - though it comes with the caveat that I've been a pretty avid follower of him on seriouseats for a couple years now.

I'll echo this assessment. The book may be semi-random at times where it will suddenly give you two pages on asparagus techniques but it has all been useful information. On several of the step by step recipes there are additional pictures to aid in the process. Because it covers so much ground, this could be useful for entry cooks/dabblers who want a wider base or more experienced chefs who want to get some of Kenji's specific tricks to improve what they already know.

The other cookbook I received over the holidays was the latest Food52 release, their baking cookbook. I've found all of their cookbooks to be extremely strong on the pictures, but some of the recipes can be overly basic. Considering that I am still fairly inexperienced at baking this was right up my alley.

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Great recs, definitely planning to check these out.

Don, I think the index would be convenient for sure, but cookbooks might be one of those things where there are just more books than things to say about them. It takes acquiring a cookbook, flipping through it and maybe trying a couple of the recipes to really be able to comment on it, so discussion on all but the most popular books might be limited. I like the format of this thread, where you can write a short blurb on one or a few books of interest, and the standouts will naturally get seconded. Although it took the power of Google-fu just to find this topic in the first place, so hey, I'm certainly not opposed to a separate subforum in principle.

I agree with Shaho:   This is a meaty thread.  Also, imho it has had a lot of comments and views in general, it just got lost in the last couple of years; which also suggests that when it was more visible it really got a lot of comments and views all within a relatively shorter period of time.

I agree on the comments about evaluating a cookbook.  It takes time and effort and trying a lot of recipes and then there is a comparative element in suggesting that one cookbook in particular is special; at least that is my experience and it mirrors that of Shaho above.   I have no idea if any one cookbook would inspire tons of comments from many readers, but my gut is simply giving this a separate line item in the cooking section alone would get more eyeballs to it.    I know I came to this forum at a period when comments in this thread had dried up and so I never saw it till now.  But it is meaty.  I'm going to reread and probably invest in some of the suggestions, some from years back.

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Between Christmas and my recent birthday I've received a number of Amazon gift cards, so this is a very dangerous thread for me.  One cookbook I've enjoyed cooking out of recently is Lucky Peach's 101 Easy Asian recipes.  As a neophyte  cook of Asian food I find it straddles the line of accessibility and challenge quite nicely.  I echo the praise for the Food Lab and Smoke and Pickles cookbooks; everything has come out great so far.  Both have a nice mix of easy and more complex depending on your mood and what you have time for.

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A cookbook/diatribe/confessional I've been enjoying very much is A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Cord, the chef proprietor of the No. 7  sub shops in NYC.  Aside from the bizarre ingredient combinations that he promises will work very well, I think this book is freaking hilarious.  There's an on-going sub-conversation between him and his editor Francis Lam that reminds me of the editorial asides that Jim Gaffigan inserts in his comedy routines.  It's probably not for everyone, but I'm really glad I'm reading it and look forward to trying some of his crazy-ass recipes.

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16 hours ago, silentbob said:

Cathal Armstrong's book, which he co-wrote with David Hagedorn, is inexplicably bargain-binned for $8 at Barnes & Noble when all other retailers are still selling it in the $20s.  I just bought multiple copies to give as gifts.

Thanks for this, might stop by and get one or two!  

I now will have an extra Deep Run Roots- I got one for my MIL (personalized) and she already received one as a gift, so she is going to give me that one to re-gift to someone.  I am hoping no one gets one for me for Christmas- as I may have gifted a signed one for myself pre-Christmas.  MK tried to take liberties and get me a cookbook not on my amazon list- he obviously didn't do a good job checking the cabinet of cookbooks first- so I have a Bryan Voltaggio Home cookbook personalized to Ali (not noted on the listing) that I am hoping we can return or re-sell.  If anyone has an Ali in their life... 

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Anthony Bourdain recently released a new cookbook that seemed to fly under the radar.  I'm not sure how I heard about it, but it was a very random thing, and I was surprised to see that it was already released.  It's called "Appetites" and it's written in the Bourdain style, which I love.  Like his other cookbook there's a some "foundational" information in there like how to make and use stocks (can't remember anything else off hand, but there was more).

Anyhow, I like it a lot and made some good dishes with it.  Sadly, his 2 day recipe for Korean Fried Chicken didn't live up to my expectations or his descriptions, but I'd still recommend the book. 

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The end-of-the-year cookbooks are beginning to roll out, just in time for people to start contemplating holiday gift ideas.

I'll recommend Istanbul & Beyond: Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey.*  Written by Robyn Eckhardt with photography by David Hagerman, the wife/husband team behind the EatingAsia blog and whose work has appeared in the NY Times, Saveur, and many other foodie publications.  It's a great read with beautiful photography.

* Full disclosure, I was a recipe tester for this book...all five recipes I tested made the final cut.  Fun experience!

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We got the Rasika cookbook, and it appears to have all the recipes you could want. I have a Black Cod order into McLean Organic Butcher (to be picked up on Friday), and also will be heading to the local Indian spice store to get the 20-odd obscure spices needed to successfully pull off this type of cuisine ;). I think our plan is to make the Black Cod, Palaak Chat, and Paneer Shashlik (all spellings approximate). Keep your fingers crossed!

 

 

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I got the David Guas cookbook for my birthday from my SIL, it is signed by him and is a really nice present, but I don't know how many of the recipes I will actually make.  Some of my favorites that I would think would be easier to make from his shop- like his delicious gluten free chocolate cookies- aren't in there :(

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Hello All, 

I am looking for a good bread cookbook for my SIL.  I would say she is a good intermediate home cook, who could make sense of most books.  I have a bread book at home that is ok, but I don't pull out all the time.  I more often go searching for a recipe that suits my fancy, but I also bake regularly. Any bread books you really like, or that would be good for someone starting out in the process?  I don't see her keeping starters all over, as they have a pretty small place, so something that focuses less heavily on breads that need starter would be good.

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7 minutes ago, ktmoomau said:

Hello All, 

I am looking for a good bread cookbook for my SIL. ...

You might take a look at Jim Lahey’s “My Bread.”  There are recipes for all kinds of bread, and all are no-knead.  In addition to the nice discussions of the procedures, there are numerous photos of how to follow the recipes.  For example, the basic recipe is accompanied by 24 photographs covering three full pages showing every step in the process.

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It's old, but I like Beard on Bread. In addition to yeast breads, it covers a whole range, including quick breads, coffee cake, doughnuts. The last few times I've come across it it's been for sale cheap so it could easily pair with another book. It's a pretty "home cook friendly" book.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice is another one I've liked. It has very detailed recipes and recipes for starters, etc., so maybe that's a littl too much for what you want.

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The always great James Oseland teams up with the always great Ten Speed Press for a new cookbook series World Food, inspired by the old Time-Life cookbooks.

The first release will be World Food: Mexico City: Heritage Recipes for Classic Home Cooking on Nov. 24, 2020.

The second release will be World Food: Paris: Heritage Recipes for Classic Home Cooking in early 2021. 

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I recently picked up a copy of Eric Ripert's Vegetable Simple from Amazon for around $24.  This isn't really the type of book I normally purchase - I tend to go for more general cooking, and vegetable cooking doesn't blow my skirt up.  But I'm at the end of my creativity on the topic as the amount I cook at home has risen dramatically, so I thought I'd check it out.

Overall the recipes are all approachable, with straightforward instructions and ingredients that I can typically find at the Whole Foods, if occasionally on Amazon.  I've purchased "celebrity chef" books before (Eleven Madison Park) and found the recipes almost undecipherable for the home cook.  I consider myself a slightly above average home cook, and recipe complexity ranges from simple to right at my skill level.

It's safe to say that most of the dishes are in the "simple done right" (hence the title) category, but so far I've really enjoyed everything - particularly the ratatouille.  Will be trying the spinach gratin this evening with a nice filet.

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These are some of the cookbooks I've been using a lot during the pandemic.

Falastin: A Cookbook  Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley.  Palestinian cooking from Ottolenghi's business partner.  A little more chefy/hip in the Ottolenghi mode.

Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen  More Palestinian from human rights lawyer turned cookbook author Yasmin Khan.  A little more downhome family cooking focused.  And yes, owning Falastin and Zaitoun is worth it.  

Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus  Yasmin Khan's follow-up cookbook focused on the Eastern Mediterranean and the impact of the ongoing refugee crisis.   

Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia  Regional Italian/Sardinian cooking from British ex-pat Letitia Clark.  Her blog is also good.

Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou  Melissa Martin.  Family recipes that serve as inspiration for the Mosquito Supper Club restaurant in New Orleans.  Be warned, there are no short cuts in this cookbook, many recipes start with "cook onions for 1 hour"  but totally worth it.  Also most of the recipes are scaled for 6-8 servings.    

Maunika Gowardhan's website  Regional Indian.  She has moved most of her new recipes to her app, which only works for Apple, but her website has a good backlog of pre-app recipes.  Her next cookbook devoted to Thali comes out this Fall.   

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I just got Dessert Person, which I am excited about, but looking through it, some recipes are fairly seasonal- kumquats, persimmon, figs, etc , but it isn't a huge amount of recipes, and I like that I can go watch her make some of the recipes on youtube.  And some items are just fairly different than what are in my normal dessert cookbooks.

I have actually been using an old Martha Stewart cookbook a lot actually, I opened it to get a muffin recipe I like in it, and forgot how many other things it had. 

I have Indian-ish out on my counter and was going to spend a little time cooking through some things in it.

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