I’m often drawn to specific cookbooks for their particular aesthetic and/or design. Whether it’s the stunning photography, the design of the interior or just the way the author creates his recipes in a unique individual way, cookbooks nowadays are more than just a collection of recipes. This collection of cookbooks typifies exactly what I love in contemporary cookbooks from the gorgeous aesthetic of Sweet Paul in his book Eat & Make to the luscious photos in The Flavour Principle to the infographic style of Michael Ruhlman’s Egg. Stick around to the end of this post as well for a chance to win a copy of Josey Baker Bread, a beautiful cookbook from an individual who’s enthusiasm for baking bread shines through and is positively infectious.
A few months ago there was an explosion of articles about the “ridiculous” $4 toast that was being sold here in San Francisco. People wrote about how elitist is was, and how it was the perfect example of the absurdity of living in San Francisco. Completely blown out of proportion, the man behind the toast is none other than the down-to-earth Josey Baker. His book Josey Baker Bread is probably the antithesis of elitism, full of down-to-earth personality and easy step-by-step recipe with specific details about what sort of equipment is needed for baking the beautiful bread that he sells. For anyone who has been intimidated by making bread or want try their hand at baking artisan bread, this book makes it all seem doable. From the photos of what the bread looks like when it’s underbaked, overbaked and baked just right, to the casual writing that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with a pal, this cookbook is geared toward the beginner bread baker though more experience bread bakers would also get some pretty nifty tips, technique pointers and excellent recipes.
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After taking a trip around the world in yesterday five different cookbooks, today’s post features an eclectic mix of American based cuisine. Ranging from the critically acclaimed chef Marc Forgione to the down home cooking of Lisa Fain and her Homesick Texan’s Family Table cookbook each cookbooks has a mix of various different approaches to cooking and subject matter. At the end of this post there are instructions on how you can win the Marc Forgione cookbook, generously supplied by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
If you follow celebrity chefs at all, you are probably familiar with Marc Forgione, winner of season 3 of The Next Iron Chef. Those who live in New York may have dined at his eponymous restaurant or at least heard about the infamous story of how he kicked out a New York Times writer from his restaurant. But beyond all the hullaballoo and hype lies a great chef who creates even greater food. With his eponymous named cookbook Marc Forgione, this cookbook seems to be made for the home kitchen, unlike some restaurant and chef cookbooks. The recipes are approachable, the majority of ingredients (mostly) available at a well-stocked grocery store and the instructions written in a way that (gasp) are actually understandable. This is probably no doubt because of the collaboration with Olga Massey, the woman behind the critically acclaimed blog Sassy Radish and co-author of the book. Chock full of great recipes and solid techniques (how to truss a chicken is full explained with process photos for instance) this cookbook is not just any restaurant vanity project cookbook but a go-to reference guide for creating restaurant quality meals.
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I swear every year that I am going to stop with the cookbooks. But honestly I can’t help it. In fact, on my desk right now is a stack of cookbooks that is threatening to topple over, right on top of my shiny new Macbook Air. Which normally I would be horrified at the prospect, but I love my cookbooks and my Macbook Air is under warranty right? Though I guess explaining to the genius bar guy that a mountain of books fell on the computer would be a little awkward. That said, instead of doing my usual MASSIVE cookbook roundup like I’ve done in the past, I’m going to do something a little different. I present to you Cookbook Week here on Eat the Love. For the next five days I’ll be featuring five cookbooks per post, for five days in a row. 25 books in all. Yeah, that’s a lot of cookbooks, but trust me when I said I tried to whittle them down to less and I couldn’t. BEST OF ALL, each post will include a giveaway for one of the cookbooks I feature in the post. So swing by and visit this here blog each day this week for a chance to win a cookbook. For today’s giveaway, stick around to the end of this post for a chance to win David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.
Of course, I’m not one to play favorites with cookbooks, but David Lebovitz has always been a long time favorite cookbook author (and blogger) of mine, even before I started this blog. Funny, witty and intelligent, his recipes are rock solid and his personality shines through in each story. My Paris Kitchen doesn’t disappoint with warm anecdotes, beautiful photography and sage advice on how to navigate the craziness of living in Paris. I immediately made his caramel pork ribs recipe when I got the book (they were as fantastic as they sounded) and can’t wait to dive into some of his other classic French dishes like cassoulet, croque-monsieur and steak frites. Completely with stories and side trips interjected between recipes and chapters, as well as gorgeous photography of Paris and France, this is the sort of cookbook that belongs both in the kitchen as you cook your way through it, and in the bedroom, as you’re curled up under the covers reading it before you fall asleep dreaming of your French adventure. [click to continue…]