"You can learn so much about food just by listening
to people from
different cultural backgrounds talk about their food memories...what you
is about the soul of their food, not its science." ~ Chef Craig von
Cooking with Spices
Recipes for Multicultural Flavors, 15 January, 2018
"Every time you reach toward the spice rack;
you're unlocking their magical world." ~ Mark C. Stevens
"Cooking with Spices" is a decadent guide
to having a love affair with spices. Halfway through this book I
just had to cook something with Chinese Five Spice. I made a stir
fry with the spice blend and added a plum sauce and a pepper
jelly. It was great to be inspired so suddenly by a book.
What Mark C. Stevens really provides is his love of
aromatic cuisine. This cookbook could take you to the next level
in your cooking journey. While spices like nutmeg and cinnamon may
be common in your kitchen, you will also be introduced to things
like guava pulp, dried rose petals and Indian black salt. It may
take a little time to gather all the needed spices and
ingredients, but the blends are easy to put together and will
inspire many dishes with various possibilities. Like many
marinades can be used on a wide variety of meats and vegetables.
By reading this well-researched book I learned tricks
like adding lemon zest to pie crusts. Then I learned that chipotle
is just the smoke dried version of a jalapeno. Yes this book has a
lot of recipes for spicy foods so if you like things a little hot,
you will be very happy.
While reading I started to make a list of all the
spices I want to order in the near future, things like nigella
seeds, star anise, Jamaican allspice, coriander seeds. A few weeks
ago I actually redid my spice cabinet and spice rack so I'm
rearing to go. But now I need some spices like whole allspice,
cumin seeds, Szechuan peppercorns and green cardamom pods. The
truth is when you make a fresh spice blend, it just tastes
superior to any blend already made at the store. So you don't need
to go all out and purchase the 50 plus spices in this cookbook.
Just start small and do a few recipes at a time and soon you'll
have all the spices you desire.
Mark C. Stevens is not only a gourmet cook, he is
also a creative writer who has perfected his craft. This book is
as fun to read in bed as it is to cook from in the kitchen. Most
of my dreaming of recipes occurred in the bedroom. Then I was
instantly inspired to try some spices immediately.
Some of the flavor combinations I'll try soon include
pears with cardamom. nutmeg and sage in a cream sauce, paprika and
oregano with chicken and mushrooms. And for desert tonight I'm
going to have bananas with candied ginger, nutmeg and vanilla.
Doesn't it sound delicious?
There are many tips for keeping spices fresh like
keeping them in a cool, dark place. For spices you use a lot as I
do, you may prefer a spice carousel that turns easily so you can
locate spices in seconds instead of digging through your kitchen
Last but not least, at the end of the book there are
actually some recipes that call for herbs.
Reading this educational and enlightening book makes
you feel like you've gone back in time when the exciting days of
spice discoveries were occurring all over the world. Now in one
book you can access many cultures in a few hours. This book took
me a day to read, but the inspiration will last a lifetime.
~The Rebecca Review
New York Cookbook
Café au Lait Cheesecake with a Mocha Crust, February 2,
Molly O'Neill's New York Cookbook is a celebration of the New York
Food world. She is the food columnist for The New York Times
Magazine and spent five years working on this amazing book. The
first recipe I tried was "Katie's Café au Lait Cheesecake
with a Mocha Crust." The ingredients looked delicious with
cinnamon and chocolate wafers for the crust and a rum and coffee
flavored filling. I made it for Easter and everyone was very
Since the author is a food columnist I knew she would be selecting
winning recipes and so I felt confident enough to make the recipe
for a big occasion without even trying it out at least one time
for myself. I was very pleased with the results and can recommend
the recipe to you for any occasion.
Whether you are interested in trying lots of new recipes or you
just enjoy reading cookbooks, the New York Cookbook has so much to
offer. Page after page of delicious information mingle with the
even more delicious recipes. Some of the fun recipes include:
New York Penicillin - a chicken soup made by Aunt Marie Stacey.
This stock/soup is then used in a variety of recipes and is very
easy to make.
Irish Soda Bread - Make two loaves of bread in no time at all.
Simple Fresh Tomato Sauce - The perfect sauce for pasta made with
fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and a little brown sugar.
Shrimp Fried Rice
Yoko's Japanese Salad Dressing
Some of the sweet treats include: "Coney Island Fudge"
made with cream and semisweet chocolate, "Zoe Morsette's
Oatmeal Macaroons," "Aunt Olga's Cardamom Cake,"
and "Katharine Hepburn's Brownies." If you love ice
cream, you may want to try out the recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce and
A few of the highlights in this book include:
Food Walks - Wander through food markets
A Few Essential Ingredients in Italian Cooking
Manhattan Clam Chowder
In Search of New York Steak
A Trip Down Menu Lane
The New York Cookbook is an extremely well-researched feast that
will satisfy the cerebral appetite as well as please your family
and friends when you try out the delicious recipes. These recipes
have been created by some of the best cooks in New York and you
can use them with confidence, knowing you are making something
wonderful for dinner or dessert. This cookbook was a wonderful
gift from a friend who loves visiting New York and I already have
plans to buy copies for friends and relatives. This is a highly
collectible cookbook with recipes you will look forward to making
year after year.
~The Rebecca Review
Delicious Recipes even if you Love Your Veggies
I purchased "Deceptively Delicious" back in January but
was initially tentative about trying this cookbook due to the fact
that I had to make a puree for every recipe. Once I got over that
hurdle and decided to make the "Green Eggs" I was
hooked. I then wanted to try other recipes because the eggs were
so delicious. They are the easiest recipe in the book and
basically require you to sauté baby spinach, which you then
incorporate into scrambled eggs. You do need a small food
processor to make the recipe but you could also use a blender.
The next recipe I tried was the "Ranch Dressing." It was
good on salad but not as good as a dip. The "Greek Dip"
was delicious for dipping veggies (celery was especially good) and
crackers not to mention pita bread. The recipe uses chickpeas and
artichoke hearts and I found I could make it in a blender. My food
processor only holds about 1 cup of ingredients so for this
cookbook you may want to buy a larger food processor.
The last two recipes I tried include the "Turkey Chili"
and the "Oatmeal with Sweet Potato." For the turkey
chili you need to puree carrots and red bell peppers. I had never
steamed red bell peppers before but it worked well and at the same
time I cooked the carrots in the boiling water. Less to clean up
later! For the turkey chili I added an additional tablespoon of
chili powder and 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence because I
felt the recipe needed a little more seasoning for adults but it
was perfect for kids. I think the reason the recipe needed more
salt is because it calls for low-sodium chicken broth. Instead of
the kidney beans I used some butter beans I had in my pantry. For
the turkey recipe it would have been helpful to know how many
carrots and red bell peppers you would need. I found you needed
about three carrots and 1 ½ bell peppers. Other than that fact
the recipes are very easy to make and don't take as much time as
you would expect them to. The oatmeal recipe is delicious with the
addition of pumpkin pie spice and peanut butter.
All of the recipes I've tried so far have worked very well which
has encouraged me to try even more. Since I have more sweet
potatoes left over the "Hot Cocoa" with pumpkin pie
spice sounds delicious. You may also want to try "Blueberry
Cheesecake Cupcakes with Yellow Squash and Spinach,"
"Frozen Yogurt Pops," "Macaroni and Cheese,"
and "Chicken Salad with Cauliflower."
Once you make a puree and realize how easy it really is you will
love this cookbook! Highly Recommended even if you love eating
your veggies. I try out new recipes every week and this is one of
my favorite cookbooks this year.
~The Rebecca Review
CRAVE: The Feast of the Five Senses by Ludo Lefebvre
Rare Perfection, December 4, 2006
"Spiced with sultry nigella seed (sometimes confused with
black cumin) and sumac, this bread tastes like a walk in the
forest on a hot summer day." ~ pg. 243, Spiced White Bread
Ludo Lefebvre's CRAVE cookbook holds within its pages the most
perfect puff pastry recipe you may ever try. I made the pastry
yesterday and just drizzled icing over delicately crispy apple
pastries. A sprinkling of nutmeg seemed perfect and I can truly
say they are the best pastries I've ever made. The puff pastry
cooks perfectly unlike many store bought versions that seem to
cook unevenly and it is made with pure butter. The results were
Many of the recipes in CRAVE are infused with the scent of
cinnamon and nutmeg. The Spiced Bread is the first recipe I tried.
The spice mixture is made from nutmeg, ginger, pepper and cloves
and since I didn't have whole nutmegs, I used a ½ tablespoon
nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon dry ginger, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and ¼
teaspoon cloves. I crushed them all together with a mortar and
pestle and then made the bread recipe using hot apple cider
(infused with cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves and star anise) in
place of the water, muscovado sugar for the granulated sugar, 2 ½
teaspoons instant yeast and 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon
zest for the "ground sumac" which I need to order.
The recipe can be adapted slightly if you don't have all the
ingredients needed, but the spice mix seems essential. I also
ground up the "nigella" which I've used before on Indian
Naan to produce the faint memory of spicy onions. This is also
called Charnushka and Kalonji.
The bread recipe worked especially well in my bread machine,
although I only used the dough cycle the first time and tried to
make the bread look like the picture on page 33. You can use the
bread in a variety of ways, including making delicious sandwiches
with slices of turkey. The bread works especially well with a
variety of cheeses or even for breakfast as toast with spinach
chicken sausages and eggs. Just as I had imagined, cubes of bread
would work well as croutons and they are featured in the Creamy
Pumpkin Soup recipe.
Recipes to love include:
Moussaka of Lamb with Cumin and Roasted Tomato Coulis
Caramelized Cod with Five Flavors and Baby Spinach Salad
Sweet Onion Tart with Curry and Parsley Sauce
Cinnamon and Rosemary-Infused Chicken Breast with Baby Vegetables
...and for dessert:
Napoleons of Puff Pastry with Vanilla-Whisky Cream
Lemon Sorbet with Saffron
Pain D'Epices (a spice loaf)
Qunice Jam with Nostradamus Spice
Chocolate Soufflés with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
Everything I've tried so far has exceeded my expectations. The
pictures give a good indication of the delicious aromas that will
fill your home. Fresh herbs and intoxicating spices fill the pages
with sensory pleasure, cooking wishes and nostalgia. The Basic
Recipes are helpful if you want to learn how to make stock, or you
can improvise with stock pastes. There is a recipe for Curry Powder,
Four Spices Powder and Citrus Zest Confit. These items are used in
The recipes can be made mostly with ingredients found locally, but
there are a few unique items you might want to invest in over time.
Buying this cookbook along with Vanilla Beans, Saffron, Cardamom,
Cinnamon, Fleur De Sel, high-quality peppercorns (Tellicherry), Star
Anise, Acacia Honey, Argan Oil, Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and
Verjus (tart juice of unripened grapes) would make any cook a little
heady. I felt heady just thinking about all the recipes I wanted to
"If you've had the now-popular Chai tea, you've tasted
cardamom, a spice that combines hints of camphor, citrus, and
bergamot." ~ pg. 22
The prose throughout is especially personable and makes the recipes
even more enjoyable to try. Ludo Lefebvre spends lots of time
talking about eating apples out under trees in orchards, his first
experience cooking in the middle of a forest and how he loves the
feeling of Fleur de Sel between his fingers as he sprinkles it over
dishes he is preparing. The story of how he became a chef mingles
within the amazing recipes to create a very satisfying culinary
Almost all the recipes have additional notes to invite you into the
cooking experience and then the instructions effortlessly guide you
through the steps. I found this book was uncomplicated, very well
organized and basically a dream. The recipes have all been carefully
thought out and the ingredients carefully considered. This is about
accessible culinary art or creating memorable experiences through
While you may think of vanilla as being most useful in cakes and
cookies, Ludo Lefebvre uses vanilla beans in his Ahi tuna steaks. He
also creates a Chestnut Ice Cream for warm waffles, which is very
creative. The recipes all seem to be perfect for wintery feasts by
candlelight, although the Yellow Peach Tart with Lemon Verbena would
be perfect right when ripe peaches appear.
Kitten Meesa helping me by sitting
right on top of the recipe instructions!
I thought it was very interesting that while using this cookbook, I
was making an apple cider using the spices that were Nostradamus'
favorites even before reading this on page 228! This cookbook will
inspire you in ways no other cookbook will - it is magical! While
cooking from CRAVE, I like to make apple cider and burn a L'Occitane
Winter Forest candle. I will now return to stealing another puff
pastry while I await my husband's return home from the hunt. I sent
him to the grocery store for more supplies (salmon/steaks), as I
will be cooking from this book for quite a few more weeks!
Most cookbooks inspire me to try one or two recipes,
but this has entire worlds to experience and is truly a "feast
of the five senses" with an additional dash of warm culinary
~The Rebecca Review
Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook
Celebration of Chinese Cooking, December 25, 2006
Yan-kit's cookbook is a celebration of authentic flavors from China,
with easy-to-follow numbered steps to make cooking even easier.
National favorites like Peking Duck are featured along with
delicious Wonton Soup and Spring Rolls. The book is divided into
"Recipes" and "Regional Menus."
The first section explains ingredients, equipment and techniques.
New cooks will love the detailed pages on how to use a Wok, Steamer
and various knives like the cleaver. Step-by-step pictures take you
through everything from preparing the ingredients to the final
Yan-kit also includes fun advice on what to drink with your meal,
how to eat rice and how to serve a meal. Pictures of all the
vegetables, dried mushrooms, bean products, herbs, spices, cereals,
sauces, oils, wines, vinegars, grains and noodles is very helpful
A few of the intriguing ingredients featured include Chinese
flowering cabbage, winter melon, ginkgo nuts, Szechwan peppercorns,
Tientsin fen pi made from mung beans, floral mushrooms and dried
A few of the delicious recipes include:
Steamed Scallops in the Shell
Lobster with Ginger and Scallions
Kung Pao Chicken
Willow Chicken in Black Bean Sauce
Beef with Preserved Tangerine Peel
Red Bean Paste Pancakes
The Szechwan Menu serves eight and includes delicious Silver thread
buns, Lotus leaf buns, Fragrant and Crispy Duck, Hot and Sour Soup,
Fragrant Shredded Pork, Dry-fried four-season beans and Pang Pang
What is it about a delicious soup served in a beautiful bowl and
enjoyed with a porcelain soup spoon? I think the recipes are even
more delicious when served in something like the set with a beautiful peony design
. You may also want to look for a Cantonese Fire Pot.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is not an ingredient in this cookbook, so
the flavors come from quality ingredients and flavorings. The
classic favorites are included, but this book is a little more
gourmet in appeal all while retaining an authentic appeal. The
beauty of this book is that you can either select a new recipe to
try for lunch or dinner or go all out and cook for a party by using
the menu section.
~The Rebecca Review
Sierra Mar Cookbook
A Passion for Gourmet Cooking, October 23, 2006
The Sierra Mar Cookbook features recipes from the #1 Hotel
Restaurant in California. The ever-changing menu features a fusion
of French, Mediterranean and Asian culinary influences. The
pictures alone produce a sense of awe and are beyond
The unique style of this cookbook displays six intriguing menu
options that represent six evenings at Sierra Mar:
Local Farmers Markets & Perfect Timing
Monterey Bay Salmon, Taste Memory & Total Utilization
Tomatoes, Terroir & the Artistry They Inspire
Preserves, Marmalades & Capturing Flavors that Sustain Us
Black Truffles, Shellfish & Pondering the Soul of Food
Slow Braising of Flavors & Big Sur Chanterelles, a Rustic
Spirit of Taste
It seems rare for a cookbook to have the variety of stunning
scenic pictures and it leaves you longing to visit this
restaurant. A slopping field of flowers melts into a perfectly
pink sunset in one picture and in another waves dash against the
Recipes that looked especially tempting include:
Salad of Grilled Black Mission Figs, Bitter Greens and Bleu de
Haut Jura Cheese with a Port Reduction
Pancetta-Wrapped Sika Venison Loin with Pistachio Puree,
Huckleberry Sauce and Pumpkin Dumplings
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage-Pecan Brown Butter
Composed Main Lobster Salad with Satsuma Mandarins, Hearts of Palm
and Basil Oil
(the colors are gorgeous and look very tropical)
Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Crispy Potato Cake and Oyster Mushroom
Ceylon Tea - Glazed Salmon with Hoisin-Braised Bacon and Pea
Throughout the book there are step-by-step technique pictures with
descriptions so you can learn how to slice potato gaufrettes. A
section of "basic recipes" introduces you to Brioche,
Pate Brissee, Champagne Vinaigrette, Fig Jam, Red Wine Syrup and
If you are looking to impress someone with recipes that will
create an intoxicating culinary experience, I can't think of any
cookbook that compares to this one! The pictures are stunning and
the flavors are complex and have comforting seasonal appeal.
~The Rebecca Review
The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook
Collectible Santa Fe Cookbook, January 28, 2006
"The heart and soul of the School is the agriculture upon
which the food is based. Many of the traditional methods of
growing and processing regional foods - posole, atole, chicos -
are almost lost arts. The Cooking School serves as a vehicle to
expose and sustain traditional lifestyles." ~Introduction
The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook is filled with pictures
from the school and some of them are rather amusing, like the
picture of the goats next to the recipe for Open-faced Quesadillas
with Goat Cheese and Roast Peppers. Pictures of peppers roasting
over an open grill and blue corn being crushed in a molcajete
gives this cookbook a warm sunny personality.
I was especially appreciative of the section on the types of
chiles. De Arbol, Serrano and Jalapeño are familiar, but Pasilla
and Moritas are definitely new to me.
Delicious Recipes Include:
Blue Corn Pancakes
Black Bean Soup
Wild Mint and Lamb Soup
Jicama Salad with Watercress, Radishes, and Chiles
Grilled Shrimp in Achiote Marinade
Spiced Winter Pears with Ginger Crème Sauce
The Indian Fry Bread is easy to make and makes you feel a
different connection to the earth and culture. It is different to
fry bread and makes you feel like you are participating in some
ancient bread making ritual as you pat out the dough by hand (Or
you can roll it out, but I learned how to make it that way from my
The recipes for Fresh Tortillas will take your cooking to new
levels or homemade bliss and there is also a recipe for Green
Chile Sauce and the smoky dipping sauce called Chipotle. Spiced
Bananas with Rum and a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake make this
truly collectible. Each recipe has a story and there are cooks
notes and plenty of pictures that will make you wish you were
gathering the produce and walking through sunny fields of corn.
I've walked barefoot in New Mexico and fell in love with the
Sopaipillas and the warm earth and even survived a hailstorm in my
"just purchased" car. Fortunately we found shelter fast.
This cookbook brought back so many memories! It might inspire a
vacation to New Mexico.
~The Rebecca Review
International Cooking for Comfort, April 14, 2006
Delia Smith's cookbook is a welcome addition to any cookbook
collection. With the focus primarily on Chicken, she explores
seasonal ideas and provides practical suggestions for making
gravies and sauces.
The mood of the book is "English Country Garden" as you
may imagine from the olive cover. Baskets of mushrooms, avenues of
trees and pots of delicious chicken saut?ed with onions, tomatoes
and rosemary continue this theme throughout. Roast Chicken is
presented on a well-worn cutting board and Crunchy
Pistachio=Crusted Drumsticks are shown fresh from the oven, still
on the baking sheet. Many of the pictures create more of a mood as
in one page where pictures of raspberries, peaches, cherry
tomatoes and a butterfly on a flower all mingle with scenes of a
picnic a tea tray and more country garden flowers.
The element of "gourmet cooking" at home is very
prevalent and with the exception of the slightly more complex
"Chicken Medallions Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms in Marsala
Sauce" and a few of the pastries, everything looks fairly
straightforward. There are directions for making your own chicken
stock or you could use a stock base paste mixed with water.
Roast Chicken with Lemon Sauce
Tandoori-Style Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro Chutney
Thai Coconut Chicken with Spiced Rice
Coq au Vin
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Herbed Chicken Tartlets - unique pastries with a pork sausage
filling surrounding chicken breast and wrapped in homemade dough.
Perfect for summer picnics.
Most of the recipes use ingredients that are easy to find at your
local store, like the Chicken Paprikash is made with onions,
tomatoes, paprika, flour, cayenne, chicken stock, bell peppers and
sour cream. The ingredient lists are on the left with numbered
instructions on the right. Most of the recipes have a picture of
the finished product on the adjacent page.
The SmartCook Collection makes Delia Smith's recipes highly
accessible and with the variety of recipes and international
flavors, there is a comforting dish for every season and mood.
~The Rebecca Review
The Cook's Book
Passion for Cooking, October 11, 2005
"Techniques are the key to good cooking. The Cook's Book
provides the most comprehensive guide to all you may ever need in
the kitchen." ~Jill Norman
Jill Norman, editor of the Elizabeth David classic cookbooks, has
created a celebration of cooking that is bursting with knowledge
and techniques. There are over 1800 full-color photographs and the
recipes cover all major cooking styles, including Thai, Mexican,
French, Indian and Chinese. Top Chefs from around the world
present cooking methods you can master at home. They also include
many of their signature dishes. Each Chef has their own chapter:
Sauces & Dressings - Paul Gayler, UK
All the basic saucemaking techniques are covered from deglazing to
using a paste of butter and flour to thicken a sauce. Classics are
covered in step-by-step beauty as mayonnaise, Hollandaise and Béarnaise
are created and then varied to suit all occasions.
Foams - Ferran Adrià
We all know the types of foams we don't want, like when making
food and a pot boils over or when making strawberry jam, but how
do you make foams on purpose and with a sense of perfection. Here
they take the form of Pistachio foam, frozen chocolate mousse and
cappuccino almond foam with truffle juice.
Stocks & Soups - Shaun Hill, UK (All the basics for
soups and heartwarming meals)
Flavorings - Peter Gordon
An especially exciting chapter filled with freshly crushed spices
and herb mixtures. How do you dry-roast spices or grind them in a
mortar and pestle? The recipes include sexy offerings like
Saffron-Poached Peaches or Coconut & Palm sugar sauce.
Latin American Cooking - Norman Van Aken (Classics like
caramelized plantains served with Mojo marinated chicken.)
Eggs & Dairy Products - Michael Romano
Fish & Shellfish - Charlie Trotter (He goes to great
lengths in this chapter to show you how to prepare every type of
seafood imaginable. This is Seafood 101.)
Japanese Cooking - Hisayuki Takeuchi from Paris (Sushi fans
will adore this chapter.)
Poultry & Game Birds - Shaun Hill (A special section on
how to cut up poultry into eight pieces - useful for all sorts of
Indian Cooking - Atul Kochhar
Meat - Marcus Wareing, UK (Techniques that will take
roasting meats to unexplored levels.)
Chinese Cooking - Ken Hom
Vegetables - Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter's chapters are highly detailed, showing you ever
way to slice and dice vegetables or prepare tomatoes and peppers.
He even shows you how to pickle cucumbers and create gourmet
Asparacus & Goat Cheese Terrines.
Pasta & Dumplings - Michael Romano (Pasta from
Asian Noodles & Dumplings - Christine Manfield from
Thai Cooking - David Thompson
Grains & Beans - Paul Gayler (Secrets for cooking rice
or turning lentils into smooth perfection in a Dal.)
Breads & Batters - Dan Lepard (The first recipe I've
ever found for Crisp Rye Bread.)
Mexican Cooking - Rick Bayless from Chicago
Pastry & Sweet Dough - Pierre Hermé (Unique crisp
Arlettes and even a recipe for Croissants.)
Middle Eastern Cooking - Greg Malouf (Turkish Coffee)
Desserts - Pierre Hermé (The basics of sugar syrups,
candied fruits and nuts, Crème Pâtissière, Rose Ice Cream and
unimaginably beautiful Italian Meringue.)
Cakes - Stephan Franz (Essential information on how to cut
and fill cakes.)
Fruits & Nuts - Shaun Hill (Figs in cinnamon and lemon,
baked apples, steamed orange puddings and even Nougat with
almonds, pistachios and candied cherries. Perfect for Christmas.
"Cooking is like a language in which I can communicate my
emotions and the love I feel for life and nature." ~Hisayuki
Each chef is featured in the contributing chef's section which
gives background information and current projects. This is
followed by a section on the equipment you will need to prepare
the recipes. There is a focus on accurate measuring and finding
As you read this book from cover to cover you may feel a great
sense of accomplishment as you see how many techniques you have
already mastered just from cooking for years and years.
I can't think of a more perfect book to give a new cook and if you
are just starting to delve into this magical world of flavors and
experience, this book will take you into the world of step-by-step
instruction. This will make following just about any recipe much
easier because you will have seen the techniques and you can also
refer back to this book through the index to find just about
anything you need to know.
I had barely made it to page 45 when the need to cook up a steak
dinner complete with garlic sauces, broccoli in a plum wine sauce
and crisp herbed potatoes fried in olive oil overtook me. You may
find yourself creating new recipes just because you learn a new
technique or it could be an infusion of inspiration born of the
pure celebration of cooking itself. Either way, this book will not
be only for reading in bed, this is a cookbook you won't be
leaving on the counter for long because of the inspirational
recipes, excellent glossary and complete index.
Have you ever imagined recipes like this?
Streusel Tart with Pistachios & Cherries - Beautiful
Tarte Au Citron (Lemon Tart) - So smooth and creamy you may faint
Milk Chocolate Truffles with Passion Fruit
Lime Ice Cream with Cajeta
Some of the classic recipes include:
Sachertorte - The chocolate cake topped with a chocolate glaze
Dresden Stollen - Perfect for Christmas gifts.
Pears swim in syrup poaching to perfection. Lamb is infused with
rosemary and orange juice. Sliced carambola drowns in zabaglione.
Chocolate marries pumpkin pie and settles into a cheesecake with a
splash of country cream.
Such perfection! This is the type of cookbook you can fall in love
with, instantly. Looking through this book all at once might leave
you a little heady.
Curry Pumpkin Soup, October 7, 2005
There is a revolution going on. The formality of the dining
room table is being exchanged for a more relaxed gathering around
the coffee table as the new mode for entertaining. ~Jennifer Joyce
From the first page, Small Bites impresses with artistically
designed culinary temptations. With minimal effort you can make
soups, salads, skewers, wrapped Japanese style delicacies, sweets
and even dishes of tempting vegetables.
These dishes are known as tapas, antipasti, mezze or finger food.
They are perfect for a lifestyle that promotes social gatherings
like book clubs or parties.
Unique selections: Fried Artichokes with Saffron Aioli, followed
by an entire section on Latin Fiesta that includes classic recipes
for a margarita. For the fried food recipes, you are sent to
various pages of interest. Crispy Scallops can be dipped in Wasabi
Mayonnaise and Ithaca Zucchini cakes are served with a dill yogurt
The soups are served in small cups or creative containers. The Red
curry Pumpkin Soup is made with coconut milk, chicken stock and
fresh pumpkin. Cilantro and shallots garnish the spicy garlicky
The Dips chapter also contains a recipe for Mango crush and a
complete menu that includes Lemongrass Beef Skewers and passion
Fruit Trifle. Each chapter has a "quick" section with
tips on fast foods you can make in a hurry. Roasted garlic with
warm bread and Spicy peanut dip are easy to make and have just a
The Salads in this book look like they are straight out of a
gourmet magazine. Watermelon and Feta cheese? There is a
salty/sweet theme to some of the dishes.
If you love making skewers on your grill then the Citrus Swordfish
Brochettes may entice you with the pomegranate dipping sauce. This
chapter is filled with luxurious flavors of saffron, dried fruits,
fragrant rose water, pistachios, black olives and smoked paprika.
The shrimp are even dusted with Sumac. The theme is Middle Eastern
Delights and each and ever page is filled with delicious satays
for every taste and sauce dipping desire. Whether you are hungry
for shrimp, lamb, pork or beef, there is a recipe.
By the time you get to the chapter on Meats you may be a little
overwhelmed with all the ideas and rather hungry for recipes like
Five-spice hoisin ribs. These are made in the oven and only take 2
hours with minimal preparation and care.
The fish chapter contains recipes for chicken breast bites. There
is some mingling of ideas in each chapter and this book doesn't
focus on any one food like chicken or beef. There is a good
variety of every type of food you could imagine. For wrapped
seafood, onward to the Wrapped, Tied and Rolled chapter which also
contains ideas for rolling fruit with arugula and parmesan.
If you are thinking "parties," then look for the Wild
Mushroom Crostini with Marscarpone and Sherry vinegar. Rent your
favorite Bollywood movie and enjoy a spicy Indian feast complete
with magenta pink tablecloths, small spice boals and scattered
rose petals. The imaginative table settings add beauty to the
pages filled with tons of tasty recipes. The "Rolled Zucchini
Ribbons" are a stunning presentation and will catch the
attention of your guests. The Artichoke Puff Pastry Bites are also
easy to make because you can purchase puff pastry in sheets.
The recipes are adventurous, delicious and are made from
ingredients that are easily found at your local grocery store. The
Sweets chapter includes such tempting delights as chocolate
cupcakes with cherry colored icing and rose petals. Is there no
mercy? Chocolate Crinkle Cookies would ship well at Christmas and
thinking about Figs dipped in chocolate and pistachios is making
me feel a bit heady.
An entire section is dedicated to "useful" recipes -
mostly sauces and dressings.
Jennifer Joyce loves to travel in search of new flavors and
recipes and her book is simply stunning in beauty and overwhelming
of Saffron and Pumpkin Soup, October 11, 2005
Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall all meet in a collection of
seasonal recipes celebrating the sweetness of summer and the
comfort of winter cooking. Spring's earthy green flavors contrast
with the more mellow beauty of a pumpkin soup as the weather
If you have yet to taste the mingling of chestnuts with chocolate,
then this cookbook is a perfect place to start. When chestnuts are
pureed they turn creamy and mingle with chocolate in dreamy
perfection. Chocolate Chestnut Rum Roulade is a chocolate sponge
rolled up with chestnut filling and is tempting as a desert in
For winter there are Sausages with Beaujolais. The sausages are
cooked in a light red wine and served with a colorful display of
parsley potatoes. Honey, Orange & Cinnamon Roast Duck is made
with Seville Oranges that used in marmalade and here they are used
in the sauce.
Page after page of recipes are shown in full color on the right
while the recipe is on the left. Each recipe has easy-to-follow
steps and the pictures truly inspire. Gourmet Flavors include:
Chicken Dumplings with Miso Broth
Grilled Ginger Shrimp with Papaya Salsa
Strawberry Soup with Yogurt
Saffron, Orange & Apricot Syllabub
Steak and Mushroom Pie
Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Turkey with Orange and Cranberry Sauce
If you have been wondering how to serve peas in more creative
ways, they appear in tartlets and timbales. Want to try a recipe
with orange-flower water? There is a recipe for Orange-Flower
Panna Cotta that is a smooth baked pudding with strawberries.
Seasons truly embraces not only seasonal fare, but the expanding
ingredient selections that make our cooking ever more
multicultural. One of the most exciting cookbook finds of 2005.
Definitely a collectible cookbook for cooks who are fans of
gourmet and multicultural cooking.
|The Armchair James Beard
||The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook : Secrets...
taste of the past
If there was one thing I would change about my life, I
would have loved to have met James Beard. He went on to the
next life the year I discovered my true love - cooking. I
was in Africa at the time and started cooking more than
anything else. Daily I would come home and dream of dinner
time when I too would learn many things from a cook who
taught me how to enjoy some of the basic foods in life.
While I was born in a different time and place, Africa was
about 100 years behind America in some ways. I went through
many of the same experiences he did. Times were simpler in
Africa and I long for the days when cooking and eating
dinner was a family occasion. After reading this charming
collection of James Beards experiences with food and
important people in his life - I now know why James Beard is
so revered and honored for his amazing talents. His
inspiration continues to flow through his books and this is
a must read for the cookbook collector or anyone who wants a
taste of the past
I purchased this book for my Editor as a gift a while
back. Buy one copy for all of your friends. That way they
might start asking you to dinner for once! Buy it for your
cookbook collecting friends or anyone who loves coffee
table books. While it won't stay on the coffee table for
long - you will want to read it from cover to cover as I
did. Ina Garten wrote me an encouraging letter when I was
compiling my new cookbook. I had written to her telling
her how much I loved her cookbook. She is just super nice!
I always love the fact that a cookbook is not just a book
but is a living creation with a real author standing
behind her work. She is just someone you wished lived next
to you so you could go over for dinner all the time (of
course you would wait for an invitation :-) Her recipes
just look so good! Here new cookbook is now out and it is
Contessa Parties. I tried some recipes and wrote a
review which is at this site. It also have fun links to
Ina Garten's Web site.
|Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home
||The Best Recipe
book to inspire and introduce you to two famous cooks...
I did not grow up watching Julia Child on her famous TV
program, but I sure love butter as much as she does. I grew
up in Africa so I didn't hear of her until a few years ago
when I started looking for shows on TV about cooking. After
watching a special on her life and then watching a cooking
show where Jacques made the most delicious creations, I
decided to hunt down this book. I enjoyed both Julia and
Jacques' sense of humor and love the work they have done
together. Most cooks need books they can cook from fast.
This book is for a day when you can take the time to read
from cover to cover. Not only will you learn some new
techniques you never thought of (a chicken massage with
butter-mmmm!), you will also see that cooks are not all the
same. We all have a special talent and gift to give the
world. It is good to know that these two cooks stepped out
of their own kitchens and have used their lives to teach so
much. I recommend this book to all who collect books and all
who may be new to the world of cooking.
How recipes should be written!
This is not only a book for those who love to be
entertained, it is also for those who love to cook and want
to make their cooking the best it can be. Christopher
Kimball is one of the great researchers of our time. His
attention to detail is remarkable. As an aspiring cookbook
author myself, I see this book as an example of how recipes
should be written.
My favorite sections are the detailed scientific and
descriptive essays which are intriguing and entertaining to
read. The information on chocolate is extremely accurate. By
reading this book you will find out why some flaky pie crust
recipes call for eggs, which tools are the best for
preparing apples, and why evaporated milk helps to deepen
the flavor of some dishes.
For some recipes, an extended explanation proceeds the
recipe. When discussing "Individual Fallen Chocolate
Cakes," three pages are devoted to explaining how the
perfect recipe was achieved.
I am so pleased this book uses "chiles" instead
of "chilies" since I had to prove to my editor
that this was a valid spelling. In the winter, a "Chili
Con Carne" is delicious and directions are given for
spicing it up if you want more "heat."
I was also intrigued by recipes for: "Braised Lamb
Shoulder Chops with Figs and North African Spices,"
Bread Stuffing with Sausage, Pecans, and Dried
Apricots," "Penne with Portobello Mushroom
Ragu," "Bruschetta with Red Onions, Herbs and
Parmesan." While those sound very gourmet, there are
also recipes for "Minestrone," "Tabbouleh,"
"Polenta," "Fried Chicken," "Roast
Turkey," "Curry," "Cornbread,"
"Boston Cream Pie," "Popovers," Peanut
Butter Cookies," and "Asparagus Frittata."
This book actually contains the Best Recipes from the
pages of the magazine: Cook's Illustrated, which was first
published in 1993. When creating these recipes, the editors
started with the goal of developing the best recipe for
"meatloaf" or "chocolate pudding."
Cook's Illustrated is known for a near-obsessive dedication
to finding the best recipes.
Here is a good example of Christopher Kimball's writing
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
"Sometimes the heavenly smell of cinnamon swirl
bread emanating from the oven is the best part of the bread.
Often after baking there are gaps between the swirls of
cinnamon filing and bread, and the filling is prone to
leaking out and burning in the pan.
We wanted to solve these problems when developing our
recipe. We also wanted the baked texture to be moist and
light, yet firm enough to be sliced fresh the first day and
toasted for a few days after. To achieve the best texture
and crust, we knew we needed to perfect the baking time and
temperature as well as fine-tune the ingredients. While we
were at it, we decided to use this recipe to develop a
technique for the ever-popular cinnamon rolls."
My husband agrees that the "Molasses-Spice
Cookies" are the best he has ever tasted. After years
of searching for a recipe he would love....Christopher
Kimball saved my marriage....I am kidding, but my husband
was quite pleased.
You will also find a recipe for Key Lime Pie. (Have you
ever noticed that you can smell Key Lime pie when someone
mentions it or you see it in a cookbook? It happens to me
all the time. I have vivid food memories.) The beauty of
this cookbook is that the science of how a dish evolves is
also sometimes included. On page 496, the science of how
"Key Lime Pie Thickens" is explained in detail.
Another aspect of this cookbook, is the delightful
information on kitchen equipment.
"Years ago, free-standing mixers were a kitchen
staple. Grandma probably had a "mixmaster," which
is a generic term for a free-standing mixer, thought it is
actually a brand name for units manufactured by Sunbeam.
.....If all you want to do is whip egg whites or cream, or
if you only make cakes from a mix, you don't really need a
heavy-duty standing mixer." page 351
This is the first book I reach for when I have a cooking
question or want to validate my beliefs. You could say this
is my cooking Bible. I also like the fact that there is a
real author and not just a corporation standing behind these
I find it refreshing to find that the author is
interested in his readership and really does want you to
have success the first time you make a recipe. Thank you Mr.
Kimball for helping us clarify the technical details and
solve the cooking confusion.
Cooking A to Z : The Complete Culinary...
How to Cook Everything : Simple Recipes...
pictures with deliciously entertaining text
If you are looking for a perfect cookbook for a cookbook
collector, this is one they will value highly. Pictures
burst from the page and are refreshingly surrounded with
interesting tidbits and realistic recipes. The layout is
superb and each subject is nicely highlighted for easy
location while you page through 629 pages of intoxicating
inspiration. The cover is practical with a plastic sheath
and the book will open and stay that way on your counter.
The type is easy to read with plenty of bold text for
emphasis. I cannot give enough positive comments about this
book. You will love it.
another cookbook :)
I have the habit of giving cookbooks as gifts. I recently
gave How to Cook Everything as a gift. This cookbook is not
only perfect for the cookbook collector, but will be
appreciated by a new cook. I was inspired by the success of
this cookbook and it showed me there is room in the world
for a cookbook which revives our favorites and inspires us
to try something new.
|The World Encyclopedia of Bread and...
||Provence : A Country Almanac
scent of homemade bread...
If you have never made a loaf of homemade bread you have
missed out on one of the most therapeutic experiences in the
kitchen. The sensory delight you will experience as the
bread cooks is nothing short of magical. Understandably,
many of us do not have time to wait for bread to rise or
feel insecure about the process of kneading. Put your fears
aside, you can do this. Start on a Saturday afternoon and
learn all you can. As an avid reader of history and culture,
I enjoyed the history and Introduction chapters almost as
much as the page after page of homemade goodness. For once
the pictures actually look like what you will achieve in a
home kitchen. There is an entire section on breads from
various locations. Whether you just enjoy imagining you will
make a loaf of bread, or want to purchase a gift for a
friend....this is the book on bread you will both love.
El Farol: Tapas and Spanish Cuisine
Flan, June 14, 2005
El Farol is the oldest restaurant and bar in Santa Fe, New
Mexico. Frescoes by Alfred Morang decorate the walls of the
1835 adobe. In this eclectic setting, oil paintings by
Roland Van Loon dance across your vision as you take
pleasure in the Spanish Cuisine.
For quite some time I've wondered about using smoked
paprika and Chef James Campbell Caruso uses this
ingredient in many of his recipes. Have you ever wondered
how to make those preserved lemons? There is a recipe with
simple ingredients like sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, garlic
and olive oil. Once the lemons are preserved, you store them
in oil for six months to a year. The Preserved Lemon Butter
Sauce calls for 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemons. This
sauce can be served over salmon.
One of the most intriguing recipes is for the El Farol
Pincho Spice Mix that makes use of all sorts of spices and
herbs I've never blended together before like, smoked
paprika and oregano. You rub the unique spices on anything
you can grill.
If you love blue cheese, you may want to try to find "Cabrales."
Most of the recipes do use readily available ingredients
although you may have to hunt for saffron in your grocery
store or order it online.
Recipes you may enjoy:
Lemon-Rosemary Flan - the El Farol's biggest-selling dessert
Marscarpone-Stuffed Figs and Dates - sprinkled with
pistachios and arranged with orange slices.
Grilled Artichokes in Saffron Butter
Beef Empanadas - a masa harina/flour based dough filled with
spicy turkey filling.
Grilled Artichokes in Saffron Butter - one of the most
popular tapas (small, savory Spanish dishes)
The picture in this book that made me terribly hungry was
the Ensalada de Uvas con Queso. A grape salad with fresh
mozzarella. I had wondered about using the small balls of
mozzarella and here is the recipe.
Pantry items you may need include: sherry
vinegar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, sea salt, sweet
smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, saffron, star anise, fennel
seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, olive oil, masa harina,
raisins and of course, lots of fresh garlic.
Growing fresh herbs is optional and rosemary is one of the
herbs I still need to plant this year. Once it is planted,
I'm making the Lemon-Rosemary Flan. I have a feeling we will
be eating a little better this summer than last! The food in
the El Farol cookbook is comforting, delicious and at times
a little exotic. Fortunately dried figs are not difficult to
find and most of the spices can be found at the grocery
store or here at Amazon.
This is a book with page after page of an area in France
I love. It is a place I want to visit time and time again. I
can almost smell the intoxicating lavender breeze as I
glance at the cover. If you purchase this book as a gift, I
highly recommend enclosing something that has the scent of lavender. A soap or even a drop of lavender oil on the
inside cover will make this a sensory experience. While I
love books filled with recipes, I could not resist this one.
Oh, to be in France at this moment sitting by a lavender
field. This book truly brought back memories of my trip to
France and I enjoyed the information on olives as I had
purchased olive oil and olives at a little sea side store in
Cassis. You will be looking into plane tickets soon after
reading about the rich culinary heritage of this region.
These are my favorite cookbooks of all time...so
Picnic 125 Recipes
Picnics for all Seasons, October 10, 2005
"A picnic evokes thoughts of leisure, relaxation, and enjoyment
of the outdoors. It can be a still life in the open air or a
boisterous frolic on the beach. Some picnics celebrate a special
occasion, some offer the opportunity for friends to gather, and others
provide an excuse for breaking the routine of daily life." ~DeeDee
Are you dreaming of sipping hot chocolate out in the snow or nibbling
on brownies after skiing, then there is a lot to offer even in the
winter. DeeDee Stovel is a caterer and cooking teacher who is also the
author of "Weekend! A Menu Cookbook for Relaxed
Entertaining." The recipes in this cookbook are family favorites
so most are for eight people. You can easily cut the recipes in half
or plan to have leftovers. The picnics for Romantic outings are
designed for smaller quantities.
In this creative work, you can find picnic ideas for every season.
This would be perfect as a gift with a basket filled with items needed
for some of the recipes. The recipes are a reflection of the favorites
on the East Coast, but they will appeal to anyone who loves to go on a
picnic. You will find information on:
DeeDee Stovel loves art and introduces the reader to famous artists
who loved to paint picnic scenes. She briefly introduces picnic
history and includes information on portable meals from the past.
The useful information includes ideas on how to keep food safe, how to
prepare meals to go and how to keep food cold or hot. If you are
looking to create "ambience" then she gives recommendations
for flowers, mints, candy and other items to add to your checklist.
There are two ready-to-go checklists for "Baskets at the
Ready." This enables the picnic prone to be ready to travel at
the hint of a picnic longing.
Picnics of Interest:
Breakfast in a Meadow
Spring Day Hike
Family Celebration in the Backyard
Summer Canoe Picnic
Sunlight Through the Trees Picnic
Music Festival Picnic
Moonlight on a Mountaintop Picnic
Teddy Bear's Birthday Party Picnic
Cross-Country Ski Picnic
Recipe Ideas are organized according to the Picnic, but you can even
just take one new idea from your favorite chapters and create your own
outdoor feast. There are tantalizing recipes for:
Herbal Ice Tea
Apricot Almond Bars
Red Potato Salad
Grilled Salmon Fillets with Mustard Dill Sauce
Frosty Fruit Salad
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
Marinated Pasta Salad
Petite Lobster Rolls
Cold Rice Salad
Spicy Beans with Sausage
If I had to choose one picnic book to keep in a basket for spontaneous
outdoor feasts, this
would be it. There are 125 recipes with seasonal appeal and lots of
classic favorites and some intriguing surprises.
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook...
Books for Serious Cooks - Visit Joseph M. Carlin's Food Heritage
goal is to help preserve America's rich culinary past. I also found a
combination in Rare Bits : Unusual Origins of Popular...
about half of the books are recently published encourages me to believe
have begun to take food history seriously. And it makes me feel
to think that there are at least a few people out there who like a
history with their dinner." —Michael
Hastings discussing Food Books
Cookbooks Page II - Well, I keep adding to the list....
food meaning. It's easy to trivialize, because food
is everywhere. But love of food is love of life. ~Barbara Haber
Does anyone really have sixteen thousand cookbooks?
YES, but they are in a library!
Barbara Haber is
the curator of books at the Radcliffe Institute's Schlesinger
They house one
of the largest culinary collections. When Barbara arrived, the
had a mere eight
thousand books of all kinds and just a modest cache of cookbooks.
donations from private collectors gave the library a big boost.
out more about culinary history...Click
It's strange to think most books are about love... even
~Stephan in the French film: A Heart in Winter