It’s been a good couple of months as far as reading cookbooks goes, even if my timing on two of them wasn’t the best.
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
I’ve loved his other books, both his memoir (The Sweet Life in Paris) and cookbooks (especially The Perfect Scoop and Ready for Dessert), and his latest bridges the gap between the two formats. It’s still clearly a cookbook, but it is filled with stories about his experiences in Paris since moving there a decade ago. I had to return it to the library before I was able to try any of the recipes, but there were lots that sounded (and looked) delicious.
Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten
Beautiful photographs, and lots of suggestions for menus (not just individual dishes) and tips that work for entertaining. She likes seafood a lot more than I do, and some of her other ingredients aren’t ones that I buy because of their cost, but I still found several recipes I’d like to try.
Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You by Carla Hall
If you’re familiar with her at all, the personality that came through on Top Chef shines throughout her first cookbook. She may be a chef with the ability to design and execute complicated dishes, but the focus here is on comfort food, and everything seemed very do-able for a home cook without extensive experience. I loved the tips she includes on some of the recipes for how to turn them into a fancier presentation if you’re wanting to use them for entertaining.
Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories by Susie Middleton
Gorgeous photographs and some tempting-sounding recipes for late spring/early summer, high summer, and late summer/early fall dishes, but the formatting and organization was terrible. The stories that flow throughout the text are appealing, but laid out in these small sidebars that carry over page after page. It’s very strange, and makes for a very disjointed reading experience. It also makes the recipes themselves sometimes not fit on a page as well, and results in lots of additional flipping back and forth.
Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
One of the ones that my timing was bad – the weather is too warm for me to want most of the soups, stews, chilis, and casseroles where slow cooking shines. However, that’s not the fault of the book, and I may check it out again once fall arrives. I tried the chili potato gratin recipe (subbing lentils for the seitan according to her suggestion) and thought it was really tasty. I’d happily make it again, especially as it was just as good reheated the next day. My husband even liked it. We did use real cheese on it though, as we’re not actually vegan. 🙂
Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage
The other one where my timing was poor, but it also wasn’t the best fit, so I doubt I’ll try it again. Although pies may be popular in the summer for most people, I generally try to avoid turning my oven on once temperatures approach 90, so I wasn’t trying any of them right now. Since I’m not vegan, pie crust with butter isn’t an issue for me, and that’s one of the benefits of this book – no butter in the crust, or other dairy products in the pies themselves (or meat products in the savory pies). However, if you are vegan or trying to cut down on dairy or meat products, there were lots of ideas in here that sounded tasty.
For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!
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