All Posts In Books

For the Love of Salty Sweets: Rich Chocolate Brownies with Sea Salt

by in Books, February 11th, 2016

Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bakes is back and more delicious than ever with her sophomore cookbook, Sea Salt Sweet. Sea Salt Sweet strikes the perfect balance between the art and the science of pastry and baking with fun, accessible recipes that tickle both your sweet cravings and your salty ones.

We checked in with Baird to get her top do’s and don’ts for using salt. Hear what she has to say below, and read on for some of her favorite salty-sweet flavor combinations. And those brownies up there? Those are Baird’s Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies with Maldon Flake. Check out the recipe for these beauties below.

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Baking Advice from Cookbook Author Abby Dodge

by in Books, December 20th, 2015

Love of baked goods but fear of baking is a common kitchen story. If you’re one of those people who is intimidated by baking’s precision or thinks the exactness is boring, think again. Former pastry chef and cookbook author Abby Dodge believes there’s an inner baker in everyone. And she hopes to inspire people to break out the flour and turn on the oven with her newest book, The Everyday Baker (featured in our holiday cookbook gift guide).

Read our interview with Dodge below to find out which recipes she’ll be making this season, the kitchen tools she can’t live without and her biggest baking pet peeves. Plus, grab her recipe for Rosemary-Cornmeal Shortbread (pictured above), her go-to cookie for all occasions. Like all the other recipes in her book, it includes step-by-step photos and thorough twist ideas, so you can be confident in (and have fun with) your holiday cookies this year.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Edible Holiday Gifts, According to Food Gift Love’s Maggie Battista

by in Books, Holidays, December 14th, 2015

Peanut Butter BallsWith the holiday season in full swing, chances are good you’re making your list and checking it twice — and trying to figure out what to give all the important people in your life. From hostess gifts to something for your children’s teacher or your friends from book club, one thing rings true: Everyone loves a delicious holiday treat. Maggie Battista’s new book, Food Gift Love, has you covered on all edible gift fronts.

If the idea of making edible gifts is daunting for you, Food Gift Love is the book to guide you through the holiday season. (It’s also a wonderful gift if you’re not inclined to make edible gifts yourself, but you have friends who enjoy that sort of holiday cooking and baking.) The recipes are elegant and sophisticated without being fussy or difficult to produce. Each one comes together wonderfully easily, and the helpful gift-packaging advice will leave you looking like a holiday rock star with minimal effort. Battista shared her top do’s and don’ts for holiday season edible-gift making with us:

Do:

  • Host a food-gift-making party. Turn a holiday get-together into a marmalade-making session or chocolate-dipping feast. Attendees can contribute food and gift-wrap supplies. Share the expense, the work, the bounty and the holiday spirit!
  • Put a label on it. Be sure to put the name and date prepared (and, if you like, a date by which to consume it) so your recipient knows exactly how long she or he has to enjoy the edible treat this holiday season.
  • Regifting gift-wrap is OK. Save old but clean gift-wrap and reuse it for new gifts. Making use of old ribbon and paper multiplies your holiday gift decor options and lengthens their lives before they’re recycled.

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9 Best Children’s Books About Food

by in Books, Family, Holidays, December 7th, 2015

Bread and Jam for Frances
When I was a kid, I had a poster on my wall that read, “A book is a present you can open again and again.” And it’s true — books make a perfect holiday gift for kids of all ages.

Some of my favorite books for children are about food. Surely you’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Green Eggs and Ham, but have you heard of any of these other delicious stories?

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
In this classic book, Frances wants to only eat her favorite foods — bread and jam — at every meal, turning up her nose at all the delicious things her family enjoys. Mrs. Badger ultimately gives her what she wants, but Frances soon realizes an important lesson about the importance of variety.

Image courtesy of HarperCollins

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Making Holiday Magic from Scratch: Home Baking with Yvette van Boven

by in Books, Holidays, December 1st, 2015

Chocolate Fudge with Melted MarshmallowsAny new cookbook from Yvette van Boven feels like an early holiday present to home cooks everywhere, and her newest book, Home Baked, is absolutely no exception. Home Baked is exactly what you’ve come to love and expect from van Boven: vibrant and lovely, with mouthwatering recipes that read like a daydream spilling across the pages of someone’s beloved kitchen journal. The recipes are diverse, ranging from kitchen staples (like Lemon Curd and Sourdough Starter) to fully assembled baked goods (like the Chocolate Fudge with Melted Marshmallows, recipe below for you to try at home). There are showstopping birthday cakes and cookies and baked bars and even treats for your favorite furry friends. Taking it beyond recipes, van Boven has filled Home Baked with wonderful stories, beautiful images of Ireland, and tips and tricks for making sure even your leftover bread and cake scraps don’t go to waste.

When it comes to avoiding the stress of crunch time in her holiday baking routine, van Boven’s trick is simple: “I’m quite a planner,” she told FN Dish. “I make lists. Good thing is that I work from home. I can make bread and leave it to proof while I work on something else on the computer at the same time. But I do plan ahead. I hate surprises at the last minute, and I like to sit down with my family and friends once they’re here, without stress.”

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Chatting with Alice Waters: Here’s How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy Meals

by in Books, November 10th, 2015

Chatting with Alice Waters: Here's How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy MealsWhen it comes to stocking your home pantry like a professional chef, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better adviser than Alice Waters. Her new book, aptly titled My Pantry, is an eloquent exploration of what Waters keeps on hand in her kitchen all the time. It explores how to make several staple ingredients, like vanilla extract, candied citrus peel and ricotta cheese. It also gives recipes that utilize items from a well-stocked pantry, like superfood granola or Chocolate Nut Bark (recipe below for you to enjoy at home).

My Pantry blends Waters’ lovely writing with her highly craveable food and speaks to how a home pantry can evolve its staple items over time. “My travels to Morocco, Australia and Mexico have influenced what I keep on hand, especially spices,” Waters told FN Dish. “My pantry has also changed through my thinking about the importance of school lunch nutrition — whole grains, fruits and vegetables first.” You can find more about her work improving youth nutrition through better food resources for schools with her Edible Schoolyard Project.

What does Waters say every home cook needs to keep in a well-stocked pantry? The list is surprisingly simple. “You must always have olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices,” she said. “Plus brown rice, farro pasta and preserved tomatoes.” According to Waters, a good home cook keeps 10 to 15 items on hand at all times, and with My Pantry you’ll find yourself making delicious meals from your pantry shelves multiple times a week. How does Waters choose what to make when she’s cooking from her pantry? “I pick whatever looks inspiring to me or what works with what I have on hand. You can make a delicious simple meal with only three or four ingredients.”

You can order your own copy of My Pantry here.

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Enter to Win a Copy of Giada De Laurentiis’ New Cookbook, Happy Cooking

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, November 2nd, 2015

Enter to Win a Copy of Giada De Laurentiis' New Cookbook, Happy CookingGiven the hectic rush of your kids’ after-school activities, the demands of your late-hours job and even the simple fatigue from the day-to-day hustle and bustle, it can seem nearly impossible to turn out any homemade meals for your family, let alone ones that are good for you. But Giada De Laurentiis is out to prove just the opposite. In her brand-new cookbook, Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out, she’ll show just how easy it can be not only to work healthy, wholesome meal prep into your daily routine but to enjoy the process of doing so as well.

Giada knows a thing or two about this all-important balancing act. When she’s not starring on Food Network Star or hosting Giada in Italy or Giada’s Holiday Handbook (premiering Sunday, Nov. 8 at 11a|10c), she’s likely in Las Vegas overseeing her premiere restaurant, Giada, or at home with her young daughter, so you can be sure that the tips, techniques and recipes she introduces in this all-in-one lifestyle book are not only inspired but also tried-and-true. In Happy Cooking you’ll be able to find almost 200 recipes, including wake-up-worthy breakfasts like granola and lemony pancakes, hearty fare like lasagna, and snacks for anytime, plus helpful how-tos for entertaining during the holiday season.

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6 Tips for Better Pasta That Everyone Should Know, Plus Fall’s Best Gnocchi

by in Books, Recipes, October 29th, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and SageThe potential for that box of pasta sitting on your pantry shelf is almost limitless, as The Four Seasons of Pasta is here to prove. Written by mother-daughter team Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, this book stretches the classic standby ingredient into new and delightfully flavorful seasonal meals. Think Pasta alla Carbonara for spring, Spaghetti with SunBurst Tomatoes for summer, a hearty Ragu Bolognese for winter, or the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for autumn (recipe below for you to try at home).

And though you’ve likely been making pasta since you first learned to boil water, heed Nancy and Sara’s advice for a truly exceptional pasta dish:

1. Make sure your pasta water is abundant — 5 or 6 quarts for a standard 500-gram (about 1 pound) box of pasta.

2. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil.

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Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Robert Irvine’s New Book, Fit Fuel

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, October 19th, 2015

Fit Fuel: A Chef's Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best LifeAs committed as Robert Irvine is to executing top-notch dishes in the kitchen and giving struggling restaurateurs a second chance at success on Restaurant: Impossible Ambush (premiering Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9|8c), he’s also a fierce fitness guru, dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same. In his brand-new book, Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best Life, Robert breaks down the ins and outs of what it takes to “fuel your life”: just a handful of “principles,” including “Eat real food” and “Believe you can change.”

Part cookbook, part pep talk and part handy exercise manual, Robert’s brand-new publication doesn’t just talk the talk of what it takes to get in shape, but it also walks the walk as Robert personally demonstrates how to complete some of the best moves, and explains the whys and hows behind them. And with his recipes for every meal of the day — even dessert — Robert proves that the journey to fitness success doesn’t have to mean boring, bland meals. Think satisfying fare like Sesame Shrimp Chopped Salad, Roast Chicken, Vegetables & Parsnip Puree and A Better Carrot Cake.

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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.

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