One of the best things about autumn rolling in are all the new cookbook releases hitting shelves, and the Fall 2014 season includes some exceptional culinary titles.
Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan is an all-around stunning book. From the immaculate food photography to the craving-inducing recipes to the yellow polka-dot pattern adorning the pages, Huckleberry is everything you could hope for in a bakery cookbook — and then some. Nathan’s witty stories bring you right into the heart of her kitchen, and it’s easy to feel like she’s unlocked her bakery doors for you and invited you in for a tour.
The chapters roll out based on what time in the morning Nathan and her team start which baked goods, from muffins at 3:30am to biscuits and scones, rustic cakes and tea cakes, breads and other things that rise, flaky dough and its many uses, things baked in a dish, fried stuff, pancakes, cereals, sandwiches, hearty plates each topped with an egg to 10am coffee and other beverages. The substance of each chapter is a marvel, and the book features more than a hundred recipes that you can easily make at home. Nathan gives detailed notes on ways you can change things up, and the balance between sweet and savory dishes ensures that the book has something that will speak to any craving. With food photographer Matt Armendariz’s stunning food images, there’s no way to escape craving the Chocolate Chunk Muffins, the Vanilla French Toast with Brown Sugar-Cranberry Sauce, or My Dad’s Pancakes. The recipe for Black and Blue Oat Bars is included below, in case you just can’t wait to try one of the recipes.
For thousands of us, fall is the real season of renewal, when back-to-school planning encompasses everything from freshly sharpened pencils to visions of easier, tastier — and saner — mealtimes. If those visions are starting to blur a couple of weeks into the new routine, take heart and meet Katie Workman. The mother of an 11- and a 14-year-old, she is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket.
The book’s frank and funny tone, elevated comfort food and down-to-earth suggestions for involving kids in the kitchen have endeared Workman to legions of fans (and helped spawn a sequel due out next summer). Last month, she stopped by Food Network Kitchen in New York’s Chelsea Market to make her Taco Night tacos and dish on late-night cooking, the one kitchen tool she can’t live without and annoying food habits all parents should avoid. Here are some questions and answers from our conversation, plus three family-friendly recipes worth incorporating into your repertoire right now. (For more on Katie’s visit, check out The One Recipe: Katie Workman’s Taco Night Tacos.)
by Michelle Park
There is arguably no other American cooking tradition quite as lore ridden as barbecue. This month, we’ve handpicked two cookbooks devoted to that mouthwatering marriage of meat and smoke that will urge you to partake before summer officially ends. The first is one of the most-classic books we have on the subject, and the second is sure to become one.
The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, James A. Beard and Helen Evans Brown (1955)
When navigating something as American as barbecue, who better to turn to than quintessential American cooks? A little antiquated on some fronts, pheasant being less common than it used to be, The Complete Book still has much to offer anyone entering the foray of outdoor cooking — something tells me corn pudding and grilled sausages won’t go out of style anytime soon. Inside, you’ll find a handy guide of times and temperatures for nearly every cut of meat you can put over a fire. True to its title, the book also dedicates entire chapters to tried-and-true sauces, marinades, appetizers and sides to round out your all-American feast — each, of course, matched with its ideal meat pairings. At once authoritative and approachable, this book is the trustworthy friend you’ll consult before any cookout. The American palate may have since graduated beyond French dressing, but we think this book is here to stay.
Pack your bags and grab a fork, because this week you’re heading on a trip around the world with Kim Sunée’s new book, A Mouthful of Stars. Part travel diary and part cookbook, A Mouthful of Stars covers a vast and intriguing amount of ground in its pages. It also offers up an impressive and delectable selection of food from Sunée’s favorite destinations.
The chapters are broken down into location themes, but you won’t simply find the usual suspect destinations in A Mouthful of Stars. Instead, Sunée takes you on what really feels like a personal guided tour of her favorite international (and a few domestic) food spots. Chapter one takes you to Seoul; chapter two whisks you off to North Africa, India and Mexico.
Flipping through Alexe van Beuren’s B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook is like wandering down the friendliest small-town Main Street in the country. Hailing from Mississippi, the book is a love letter to small-town life and the food that goes along with it. The stories and recipes are vibrant, jumping right off the page. Van Beuren founded the grocery to fulfill a need for the town, but it was the establishment’s addition of a lunch counter that led to the genesis of the recipes collected in the book. The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook tells the tale of both businesses in a charming and honest way. The foundation of the book and the moral of van Beuren’s stories always lead back to a willing and supportive community coming together around plates of delicious food.
That brings us to the most-important part of the book: the food. Alexe Van Beuren makes one thing incredibly clear: the B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery wouldn’t be the same without the recipes brought to the table by Dixie Grimes. The magical spell a good Southern dish casts over the senses is laced throughout each of Grimes’ recipes. The book starts off with a bit of town history and a welcome to the store, then covers breakfast, seasonal soups, salads, spreads and sandwich fixings, casseroles, mains, sides and “Southern sweet thangs.”
Opening The Soda Fountain by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman is like taking a step back in American culinary history. The book takes you on a fascinating tour of the American soda fountain, a traditional establishment that has roots far deeper than a lot of the cola drinkers and ice cream lovers of today realize. It hits the mark of being “a slice of history with a double scoop of how-to.”
The Soda Fountain is divided into two primary sections, Stories and Recipes. The Stories chapters take you through the evolution of the soda fountain as an American culinary institution, from its first days as a pharmacy staple (yes, you read that right) through its Golden Age and into the Great Depression, right on to its second coming in small shops around the country. The stories are fun and charming, featuring tales of jazz and Prohibition. You get the sense as you flip through the pages that Giasullo and Freeman love and respect American food history as much as they appreciate a well-made ice cream float.
If you’re tired of the standard chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, this book’s for you. Desserts can be a wonderful way to experiment in the kitchen, from trying flavors like coconut and pineapple to creating cakes that look like mounds of cheese or even a burger with french fries. For those ready to take the plunge into creating the most luxurious delicacies, look no further than this new cookbook by the editors of Food Network Magazine, Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More.
From exotic twists on old classics with recipes like Mini Bacon Cheesecakes and Poppy Seed Tortes to fruity favorites like Apple-Walnut Galette and Orange-Cream Pops, there are recipes for every mood and age group. Kids will love the Fake-Out Cakes section of the book, which involves cakes shaped like popcorn and lobster rolls, while adults will devour the grown-up flavors of the Chocolate and Olive Oil Fig Cake as well as the Hazelnut Dacquoise. With step-by-step instructions and full-page color photographs to make sure you’re on the right track, Sweet demystifies dessert and makes sure you’re doing it right.
You can buy a copy of Sweet here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Sweet, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite dessert recipe (you must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win — find dessert recipes here).
Libbie Summers approaches cooking like a fun adventure, and Sweet and Vicious bursts with color, excitement and inspiration. Her mantras leap right off the page and snare your attention: Welcome the unexpected. Be fearless. Have fun. Be creative.
The book promises right in the introduction that the recipes are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and they do not disappoint. Summers approach to baking is layering flavors together, some that you’re familiar with, and some that will delight and surprise you from the first bite to the last. Sweet and Vicious breaks the baking into chapters on cakes, sweet breads and pastries, savory breads, pies, cookies, canine goods and secret weapons. That’s right: There’s a whole section featuring treats for your furry friends (and my own pup can attest that these recipes are something special).
The section entitled Secret Weapons is the one that really stands out and brings it all together. Libbie gives you recipes for myriad extracts, the essences that take the layered flavors in her recipes to the next level. You’ll also find a handful of especially wonderful drink recipes tucked in there, along with some infused sugar recipes and a frosting guide. Secret Weapons elevates recipes like the Hot Spiced Donut Holes (below) or the Salvation Cinnamon Rolls or the Lemonhead Cake. Sweet and Vicious also contains a lot of supplemental content that you can find on Libbie’s site. You can order a copy of Sweet and Vicious here.
Nothing takes the burn out of midsummer heat like free cookbooks. FN Dish is giving one lucky reader his or her very own stack of books mentioned in recent Off the Shelf posts.
The books featured in this giveaway include:
Jeni Britton Bauer’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint
David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen
Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food
Allison Kave’s First Prize Pies
To enter: Tell us in the comments what your favorite summer recipe from Food Network is (must include URL in answer). FN Dish is giving away this collection of cookbooks to one lucky, randomly selected commenter.