Cooking the Books: Books to Give

cookbooks

 

When the malls are getting you down, and you’ve still got a few hard-to-shop-for folks on your list, take our advice and turn to cookbooks. Who doesn’t love a cookbook?

Here are three of our favorites, from influencers who hold a special place in our hearts— and kitchens!

smitten kitchen everyday cookbook

Smitten Kitchen

We are die-hard fans of Deb Perelman and have enjoyed her blog for years, so when she came out with a new cookbook called Smitten Kitchen Every Day, we were first in line. It’s filled with delicious and easy recipes for a date night in, a Sunday supper with friends, or a busy weeknight meal.

not without salt

Not without Salt

When Ashley Rodriguez turned her weekly dinner date with her husband into a cookbook titled “Date Night In,” we couldn’t get enough of the fun ideas. And now, her  latest cookbook, Let’s Stay In, expands on the concept with recipes to cook for the family. We can’t wait to get our hands on a copy.

kale and caramel cookbook

Kale and Caramel

Lily Diamond from Kale & Caramel has turned her blog in to a beautiful cookbook filled with wonderful recipes and do-it-yourself beauty products. Her book isn’t just recipes, though, it’s a kind of guide to all the ways we can connect to nature through food.

What’s your favorite cookbook to give away during the Holidays?

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…

michelle lopez

Michelle Lopez began baking to cope with the stress of college and eventually launched her blog, Hummingbird High in 2011 Now she’s a two time Saveur Magazine “Best Baking Blog” winner and continues to wow us with the most incredible desserts. And today, we’re so excited to include her in our 5 Things series. So without further ado, here’s 5 Things you might not know about Michelle…

  1. I moved around a lot throughout my childhood and my 20s. I’ve lived in 4 countries, 5 states, and 8 cities total. Now I’m happy to call Portland, Oregon, home forever — at least, that’s what I say, but who knows if that’ll end up being true. 🙂
  2. I only have one food allergy: pumpkin seeds. I can eat the rest of the pumpkin just fine though!
  3. I don’t own a car. I commute everywhere by foot or bicycle, rain or shine! I once even biked from the East Coast to the West Coast (I started in Portland, Maine, and ended up in Vancouver, Canada).
  4. Before I became a full-time blogger, I worked in tech for 5+ years as an engineer. My new cookbook is all about how I balanced my job and my blog, focusing on dessert recipes you can make quickly on a weeknight!
  5. My college degree wasn’t food-related, art-related, or even tech-related; I actually majored in economics, and I wrote a thesis that argued that taxing airlines could decrease flight delays.
  6. I’m a big Harry Potter nerd and according to JK Rowling’s official website, my house is Ravenclaw.
  7. One of my bucket list items is to cycle the entire length of the Ring Road in Iceland.

Cooking the Books: Thanksgiving Classics

You know it’s November when you start digging out those tried and true Thanksgiving recipes passed down to you from your mother and your grandmother. There’s always the classic pumpkin pie or the sweet potato casserole with fluffy marshmallows that you can’t help but make each year because come on, it’s tradition!

There’s no way to get around the classics, so we’ve rounded up our favorite classic recipes (with a twist!) from our favorite cookbooks!

The Prize-Winning Turkey

Unfortunately more often than not, too many Thanksgiving turkeys suffer from dried turkey syndrome. Enter Samin Nosrat’s spatchcocked turkey recipe from her cookbook, “Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat.” The secret is seasoning it two days before and using lots of herbs and butter.

The Creamiest Mashed Potatoes

We would trust Julia Child with our lives so of course we had to include her famous garlic mashed potato recipe from her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1. It includes a rich béchamel sauce and lots and lots of garlic.

Not Your Traditional Pumpkin Pie

You’ve heard of pumpkin pie, but why not try something different this year like carrot pie from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons cookbook? Topped with candied ginger and toasted pecans, it’s sure to be a hit.

Cranberry Sauce That’s Here to Stay

Most of our childhood memories involve cranberry sauce from a can, but when made from scratch it’s so delicious! It also makes for great leftover turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. One of our favorite cranberry recipes comes from Nigel Slater who references Glynn Christian’s “Real Flavours” version that’s served warm with additions of roasted black peppercorns, mace and lemon, grated orange or cardamom.

What are your favorite cookbook recipes this Thanksgiving?

What’s Cooking: November

fall produce

We love this time of year because the produce is abundant and there are so many wonderful things to make! We’ve been spending our free time in the kitchen making large bowls of comforting pasta and soup, roasting our favorite fall veggies, and enjoying sweets with apple, pumpkin and cinnamon. In addition, we’ve been trying out some new recipes like these…

malaysian fried rice

 

A bunch of years back, Zak Pelaccio was cooking the most amazing Malaysian food at Fatty Crab in New York. I was at Fine Cooking magazine at the time, which gave me license to ask him for the recipe for his Malaysian Chicken and Rice (ha!). An eye-opening concoction of tender chicken pieces, crispy rice, fish sauce, ginger and green onions, its name belies its complexity and deliciousness. We still make it every little while, and darn if it isn’t as good as ever. Laurie, CEO + Founder

winter-squash-agrodolce

As a child, I hated squash but now I embrace it. There are so many things you can do with it whether it be roasting it with butter and sage, making a creamy squash soup or my favorite way: roasted and dressed with agridolce like this recipe here. Netanya, Social Media Manager

Now that it’s finally fall and whole lot cooler, I’m breaking out my pasta maker for some comforting bowls of pasta and homemade sauces. This Bolognese recipe is heavenly! Anna, Brand Strategist

Shameless plug, but I’ve been making my curried butternut squash soup on repeat. This soup is easy to throw together, forgiving, and versatile the best of kind of recipe. If I don’t have leeks on hand, I’ll use a yellow onion. If I’m in the mood for spice, I’ll add a tablespoon of red curry paste. Plus, this soup makes delicious leftovers! Edie, Account Manager

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…

Laurie Buckle

She is our constant go-to for new playlists,  a supportive boss who is always encouraging us to think bigger and a resource for all things food. Our #CookItCrew wouldn’t exist without her and we’re so happy to share 5 things you might have not known about her today!

  1. I’m a better eater than cook — a skill I learned when I worked at Bon Appétit, and we had to go to recipe testings twice a day. Each editor at the table had to describe in detail  what they liked or didn’t like about the dish, and how to fix it. The pressure!
  2. Bananas are the bain of my existence. I live in fear of finding them in smoothies, acai bowls, fruit salads, anywhere.
  3. Of all the apps on my phone, I love Shazam the best. I’m always making a playlist.
  4. Baking isn’t a strong suit, but I make one cake very well: Wolfgang Puck’s Gateau au Chocolat. It’s from his 1981 book, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen (I’ve made a mess of page 221!), and it never gets old.
  5. I spent 32 years in the corporate world before I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Fancy that!

What’s Cooking: October

It’s hard to let go of the Summer season but we’re trying to embrace it with some delicious summer-into-fall dishes. Here’s a few recipes we’ll be cooking up this month.

tomato salad

Since I’m representing the West Coast side of the #cookitcrew, I’m still all about tomatoes. That said, I know the end is near. This is one heck of a way to celebrate that hard fact. Laurie, CEO + Founder

cinnamon rolls

As soon as the weather changes from Summer to Fall, I start craving warm spices like cinnamon and oh, lots of butter. And when I think about those two things, I instantly think of these sweet and fluffy cinnamon rollsNetanya, Social Media Manager

Now that it’s officially October, I’m welcoming all-things pumpkin spice with open arms. This pumpkin pie cookie dough looks insanely delicious, but I’m also eyeing a slice of Natalie’s vegan pumpkin cake. One can never have too many pumpkin desserts, right? Edie, Account Manager

I’ve never met a squash I didn’t like, but I’m particularly fond of delicata squash (you don’t have to peel it!!). Now that it’s at the market, I’ll be making this recipe from Athena Calderone’s Eye Swoon. It’s simple, but the flavor combination packs a punch. Renae, Senior Brand Strategist

With the cooler weather sweeping through Denver, we’ve been craving a good ol’ bowl of chili! I found a recipe from one of our very own influencers— Oh, Sweet Basil — and it was delicious! The bacon is everything. Jackie, Senior Account Manager

Lately, I’ve been incorporating meatless meals into our weekly rotation, and I’ve honestly felt a lot more energized. I feel like my body is a fan. I try to vary up the recipes, but I’m really fond of this Caramelized Onion Mushroom and Spinach Pizza recipe, even if it is pizza!  Anna, Brand Strategist

Road Food: Where We’re Eating

Being that our team is all over the country, we’re constantly sharing new restaurant recommendations with each other.  Here are some of the places we’ve been enjoying eating at lately.

Almost without fail, we do two things on Sunday mornings: Hit the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, and grab breakfast there at The Walrus and the Hedgehog. They get most all of their ingredients at the market, from bread to tomatoes, greens to eggs, which makes their food truly farm fresh and delicious! Laurie, CEO+ Founder

My husband and I recently spent the weekend in Aspen, Colorado. While every meal was memorable (and the backdrop equally impressive), my favorite lunch was at Spring Café. This bright, airy, and eco-friendly joint serves up feel good food: nutrient-dense smoothies, nourishing salads, hearty breakfast wraps, and the best dirty chai latte. Edie, Account Manager 

Since fall has finally arrived here in New York, I’ve had an urge to spend my weekends at farmers markets scouring all of the wonderful fall produce and in doing so, have discovered my new favorite bakery, She Wolf Bakery. Their rye bread is next level and their polenta loaf toasted with salted butter is my new treat and I don’t think it’s one I’m willing to share… Netanya, Social Media Manager

If you accuse me of rarely leaving the UES of NYC, then you’re not wrong. There’s almost everything you need in terms of cuisine from Italian to Szechuan to Indian. Which is why I was thrilled to find Blake Lane, the perfect healthy lunch spot that wasn’t Sweetgreen. Try the Poke or the Bibimbap. Anna, Brand Strategist

Last Sunday, we decided to drive out to Lookout Mountain to catch the sunset over the Rockies. It was beautiful— but as we took in the view, my stomach began to growl. I said— “Let’s get Thai!” When that cool air that swept through, that’s all I wanted— a hot bowl of Panang Curry at US Thai.  Jackie, Senior Account Manager

 

Photos: Walrus and the Hedgehog/ Spring Cafe / She Wolf Bakery/Blake Lane

 

 

Cooking the Books: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

salt, fat, acid, heat bookbook

I’m sure you’d think I was kidding if I told you that I found the best cookbook of all time, but it’s true! I just purchased Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat and it’s by far the best and most comprehensive cookbook out there. I can’t put it down.

It’s more like a textbook really, because it goes deep into the science behind cooking. Want to know the importance of salting your meat before you cook it? Or how to make the perfect scrambled eggs? (The secret is a little lemon juice by the way.) Or how to not break a mayonnaise? This book tells you how while showcasing the four main pillars of cooking every good cook should know. The fun and amusing illustrations and charts, don’t hurt either. There’s als a glossary of delicious recipes you’ll want to try time and time again.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat cookbook

I’m taking my time getting through it because I really want to soak it all in, but I highly recommend it for everyone, amateur or advanced cook alike.

Oh, and even better, the book is becoming a Netflix original series, so all the more reason to get in on the action!

Cooking the Books: Alison Roman’s Dining In

chocolate chip cookies

Confession: We’ve got some cookbook hoarders over here on #teamcookit. We love to curl up with our cookbooks on the weekends and cook from them during the week. We have a Slack channel devoted to them, and we’re always talking about the latest cookbook we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Over the past couple weeks, Alison Roman’s Dining In has been the topic of choice. Laurie, our CEO & Founder was the first to cook from it, making-roasted pork shoulder with garlic, oranges, chilies and cilantro. Then Netanya, our Social Media Manager, got her hands on it, making everything from crunchy chili oil to cumin-roasted cauliflower with dates and tahini.

At that point, I knew I had to buy myself a copy. Although I’m not one to call myself a baker, the folks at my boyfriend’s office had no complaints about the Instagram-famous Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies along with the Buttered Raspberry Hand Pies I made (even though I used blackberries instead of raspberries, since they were a better buy and I like them better!).

And just to test out whether this cookbook was really a winner, I made Alison’s Sour Cream Flatbread with Oil-Roasted Mushrooms for dinner one night.

One bite and the verdict was clear. Dining In is truly an incredible cookbook, with easy, delicious and approachable recipes you’ll keep coming back to time and again. So we hope you grab a copy for yourself and “Dine in.”

What’s Cooking: August

chocolate chunk shortbread cookies

 

In the summertime, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven. That said, there are some recipes we’ll gladly suffer for. These are some of our team’s favorites from the past few sultry weeks.

dining in cookbook

Well, currently my head and heart have been dedicated and devoted to Alison Roman’s Dining In. This week, I made two batches of the Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, one because everyone was talking about them, and the second because…I get it, I get it, they are delicious! Jackie, Senior Account Manager

strawberry balsamic pie

There is something so quintessential about pie and summertime. Every year, I pull out Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ recipe for strawberry balsamic pie. It’s a perfect crowd pleaser! Netanya, Social Media Manager

fruit salad

I’ve been obsessed for a bit now with salads that combine fruit, tomatoes, cheese and avocado. And I have no intention of stopping. This excellent version from our girl Haley of Brewing Happiness knocked the idea out of the park by adding chunks of country bread for a new take on panzanella. Laurie, CEO + Founder

almond pesto

This time of year, basil grows like a weed in my backyard (how lucky am I?). So I’m making all sorts of pesto variations. I love Deliciously Ella’s take on pesto, made with almonds instead of pine nuts. It has a more delicate flavor than the traditional version—all the better for a light summer meal. Renae, Senior Brand Strategist

Poached Eggs

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to learn and attempt to make poached eggs. This post and video by Lisa of Downshiftology is the perfect guide: It breaks down all the problems you could have and all the tips you’ll need. Now I can master brunch (in my pajamas)! Anna, Brand Strategist

mediterranean salmon

Salmon en papillote is a year-round staple (so easy and delicious), but we’ve been loving the Roasted Root’s Mediterranean twist. It’s incredibly flavorful and pairs well with leftover grains and leafy greens. Edie, Account Manager