All Posts In Books

Enter to Win a Copy of Nancy Fuller’s New Cookbook, Farmhouse Rules

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, October 6th, 2015

Farmhouse Rules: Simple, Seasonal Meals for the Whole FamilyAs fans of her Food Network show Farmhouse Rules know, Nancy Fuller is all about food, family and the farm, and in her first-ever cookbook, Farmhouse Rules: Simple, Seasonal Meals for the Whole Family, she’ll celebrate those same three traditions.

Recently FN Dish caught up with Nancy to chat about her new book, and she told us that the style of cooking presented in it is indeed “farmhouse,” allowing for “chop, chop, in the pot” preparation. The recipes are “very simple, very seasonal,” she said, and in keeping with that idea, she’s broken up the book into four main parts, each highlighting a season of the year and some of its most-tried-and-true recipes, from spring’s Buttery Braised Radishes to fall’s Pot Roast Done Easy.

Read more

Spice Up Your Sweet Tooth with Maple Sticky Buns

by in Books, September 24th, 2015

Maple Sticky BunsThe first telltale chill of the onset of autumn is swirling around in the air, and it’s time to think ahead to the joys of fall baking. Just in time for the cooler weather is Samantha Seneviratne’s The New Sugar and Spice. This book takes you on a tour of your spice cabinet like you’ve never experienced before, teasing out bold new flavors in the classic baked goods you already know and love, like the cinnamon-infused Maple Sticky Buns pictured above (recipe after the jump for you to try at home).

We asked Seneviratne to detail for us her top do’s and don’t’s for weaving new and exciting spices into baking recipes:

  • Do taste everything! Even if you don’t think you like a certain spice, give it a new look every now and then. You never know how a new preparation may change your perspective.
  • Don’t let your spices languish in the pantry for too long. Make sure they’re fresh before you use them.
  • Do grate nutmeg fresh. It’s much tastier than the preground spice. I like freshly ground cardamom best, too.
  • Don’t use imitation vanilla. Your cakes will thank you.
  • Do use a spice grinder with a removable basin. Washing the basin in between uses keeps flavors fresh and clean.
  • Don’t forget the salt! It’s one of the most-important spices in baking.

Read more

Enter to Win a Copy of Bobby Flay’s New Cookbook, Brunch @ Bobby’s

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, September 17th, 2015

Enter to Win a Copy of Bobby Flay's New Cookbook, Brunch at Bobby'sWith his penchant for Southwestern flavors and a string of successful Bobby’s Burger Palace restaurants, Bobby Flay has surely earned the right to call himself a taco master and a burger aficionado, though his range in the kitchen doesn’t stop there — or even at lunch or dinner. He also has an appetite for brunch, which he explores on the series Brunch @ Bobby’s and in his brand-new cookbook of the same name. Available for preorder now and officially on sale on Sept. 29, Brunch @ Bobby’s: 140 Recipes for the Best Part of the Weekend explores the best sweet and savory side of this late-morning meal, from a towering stack of chocolate pancakes to an all-new take on bacon, eggs and hash browns.

Recently FN Dish checked in with Bobby, and he revealed his go-to brunch order as well as his take on why brunch has become so popular. When he goes out for brunch, he’s quick to balance the meal by including both salty and sweet elements, explaining, “It always involves eggs, but I always order something for the table, whether it’s like French toast or waffles or pancakes — in that sort of vernacular, like the sweet brunch.” As for a cocktail to sip on the side, he keeps it simple, opting for a mimosa. “The juice, to me, [it] just has to be fresh-squeezed,” says Bobby. He’s familiar with the “ritual” that brunch has become, and says, “It’s the way that people entertain in terms of meeting out. People have their brunch places that they go every weekend.” He adds, “It’s a great way to kind of grab the newspaper, have some coffee, have your brunch cocktail and then sort of carry on your Sunday.”

Read more

Beat the Heat with Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks

by in Books, Drinks, August 8th, 2015

Punch Bowls and Pitcher DrinksAs the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).

Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:

  • The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
  • Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
  • Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
  • Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.

Read more

The Modern Family Cookbook Is Coming

by in Books, News, July 25th, 2015

The Modern Family CookbookRemotes down, spatulas up, Modern Family fans. Now you can master recipes inspired by the hit TV sitcom, served with a side of sly humor. Time Inc. Books imprint Oxmoor House is set to release The Modern Family Cookbook on September 22, the day before the show’s seventh season hits the air.

The book’s 100 simple, family-friendly recipes — suitable for a variety of meals and holidays — evoke the show’s quirky cast and characters, and allude to key onscreen moments. So “peerents” and kids alike can whip up Cam’s Country-Comes-to-Town Farmhouse Breakfast or Phil’s Traditional First-Day-of-School Pancakes — “Don’t forget the whipped cream smile!” the press release chirps — as well as Dunphy’s Failsafe Roast Chicken and Manny’s Chocolate Torte.

Read more

Heading Off on Vacation? Don’t Forget to Pack These Food-Focused Books

by in Books, July 8th, 2015

The World on a PlateWhen summer heats up, there’s only one thing to do: pack your cooler, grab a good book and hit the beach. Even when we step out of the kitchen, our minds never wander far from delicious dishes, and we like our literature the way we like our pantry: overflowing with mouthwatering food. These are the books you’ll find in our beach bags this summer.

The World on a Plate by Mina Holland
If you’re looking for a book to double as an imaginary culinary vacation, The World on a Plate is the book for your beach bag. It won Best Culinary Travel Book in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and it’s easy to see why. Holland’s writing is open and engaging, and she teases your appetite, one country’s specialty dishes at a time. The food dances to life through history and cultural context. Once you read it, you’ll never again be able to peruse your pantry without seeing the storied histories and secret lives of some of your favorite ingredients — right down to the cinnamon and sugar in your favorite cookies. It’s a culinary and historical tour of world cuisine that includes everything from the most-prevalent flavor profiles and pantry staples to each cuisine’s signature recipes. The World on a Plate is the perfect summer read for the soul that has a serious (and seriously hungry) case of wanderlust. Order your copy here.

Read more

The Top Picnic Mistakes to Avoid, and How to Fix Them If They Happen, Plus Boozy Bubbles to Pack in the Basket

by in Books, In Season, June 26th, 2015

The PicnicWhen it comes to summer picnics, you’ll be hard pressed to find better resources for tips, tricks and menus than Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson of the Portland Picnic Society. They’ve assembled the only picnic guide you’ll ever need in their new book, The Picnic. The Picnic has everything from the rules for common lawn games and 99 uses for Mason jars to delicious recipes and menu ideas. The book is perfect for the novice picnicgoer, with guides for packing your basket and how big a blanket to get, and a list of essential tools everyone always forgets.

One of the most-useful parts of The Picnic is the crisis-aversion section of the book, where 10 common picnic disasters are triaged proactively for you. Planning a picnic before you can snag your own copy of the book? Keep the following details in mind.

1. Bathroom Break: Nothing ruins a picnic like having to go, with no relief in sight. Scout the state of your picnic site’s restrooms upon arrival. If they’re locked or loathsome, search for the nearest coffeehouse and inform your friends of its location.

2. Beat the Heat: If it’s a real sizzler of a day, surprise your fellow guests with a Mediterranean-scented cooldown: Add a few drops of rose, citrus or lavender oil to chilled miniature spray bottles of water and distribute them to the crowd. (Paper fans work, too.)

3. Battle of the Bugs: Summer bugs are a picnic plague. Bring an arsenal of citronella votives and bug spray. To keep unwelcome sweet-tea swimmers at bay, try this easy trick for transforming a Mason jar: Remove the lid and set it aside. Take a square of decorative paper, punch a hole in it, lay it over the lip of your jar, replace the ring and poke a straw through the hole. Drink elsewhere, bugs.

Read more

3 Common Baking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Plus the Only Cookie Guide You Need

by in Books, May 28th, 2015

Honey Walnut BarsCookie lovers, rejoice! Mindy Segal’s new cookbook, Cookie Love, is here to fill your life and your kitchen with crunchy, chewy, salty-sweet four-bite treats. Whether you’re craving the crispy, caramelized goodness of Oatmeal Scotchies or the deep chocolate and sweet minty notes of the Black Sabbath sandwich cookies, you’ll find your new favorite cookie bite in the pages of this book. The variety of cookies you’ll find in Cookie Love runs the gamut from classic drop cookies with bold flavors all the way to sweet and salty bar cookies (like the Honey Walnut Bars, which you can make home with the recipe below) and back again. Meringues? It has them. Rugelach? You’re set. Spritz cookies? Look no further. Segal has you covered with fun, innovative flavors and textures no matter what kind of cookie you’re looking to make.

When it comes to baking, it’s no secret that getting it right is all in the details. According to Segal, these are the top three reasons many home cooks struggle with cookie baking. Learn from these notes:

1. They do not read the recipe through and follow the writer’s techniques.
2. They do not use correct room-temperature ingredients.
3. They think they can alter the recipe before they have even made it.

Read more

Get the Most Out of Your Toast with New Toppings

by in Books, May 13th, 2015

Tomatillo Egg ToastIf you think toast is boring to make or to eat, Jill Donenfeld’s new book, Better on Toast, challenges you to think again. The book is a 70-recipe adventure into the world of open-faced toast possibilities, and it’s a delicious ride from the first dish to the last. “It’s not rocket science we’re talking about here,” Donenfeld writes. “It’s not even molecular gastronomy… Food tastes better when it’s eaten on a piece of hot, crispy bread.”

How right she is. With dishes ranging from the Avocado Classic Toast (mashed avocado on toast with lemon and red pepper flakes, drizzled with olive oil) to the luscious, creamy Tomatillo Egg Toast (pictured above and recipe below for you to savor at home), you’ll find a whole collection of crusty, mouthwatering recipe gems. Donenfeld covers everything from proper breadselection and toasting technique to using up leftover ingredients in the rare event you find you haven’t eaten the whole dish in one go. There are visual guides that show how you can take one ingredient and dress it up a handful of ways (like the burrata toasts below, and another similar feature of ricotta variations). She even includes a wonderful little note template for you to use when inviting neighbors over to try your new favorite toast recipes. (Or not … nobody would fault you for wanting to keep these plates all to yourself.)

Toast itself is a simple concept, but really good toast can be made with just a few small tweaks to the cooking process. Get the most out of each crispy, crunchy bite with these tips from Donenfeld:

Don’t: Dry-toast in the toaster oven — this makes for dry, flaky toast.
Do: Toast with a fat (mayo, butter, oil) in a pan — this creates a crispy crust that melts into the interior of the bread as you take a bite.

Read more

8 Great Cookbooks to Give This Mother’s Day

by in Books, May 7th, 2015

What Katie Ate on the Weekendby Mandy Major

If you’re looking for something to add to — or in place of — that fruit basket or flower delivery this Mother’s Day, why not try a cookbook? The following titles are overflowing with fantastic recipes, but they contain far more than just food. Each of these new cookbooks offers its readers a window into a different world, providing a unique sense of place, and the dishes that go along with it.

What Katie Ate on the Weekend
Food photographer and world traveler Katie Quinn Davies is a superstar in her native Australia, and it’s easy to see why. This lush book is filled with snapshots of far-flung locations and picturesque food. The recipes look lavish but are easily accessible for home cooks — think chicken thighs with pomegranate molasses, puff pastry tarts with chorizo, and chocolate brownies with salted butterscotch and cherries. Clocking in at a hefty 320 pages, it’s eminently giftable, offering up kitchen inspiration and bedtime reading all in one. Avery, $40

Read more