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Which cookbook do you like?
Posted: 30 November 2009 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m contemplating getting a second RHC, but to get over the super saver shipping threshold I need to spend a bit more. I could do with a new exciting cookbook. Which cookbooks did you recently see or get that you liked?

I’m an omnivorous, adventurous cook with an omnivorous, adventurous husband, so any cuisine is welcome. (As long as it’s not German cool smile ). Also, I really really like photos with my recipes, one of the reasons I like RHC so much.

Looking forward to your recommendations!

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Posted: 30 November 2009 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Do you have Julia Child’s The Way to Cook? I love it.

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Posted: 30 November 2009 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Kathleen, yes, I have that, and I agree, it’s perfect, a great cookbook to fall back when I want something classic. I’m looking for something that’s got lots of new recipes in it. I was looking at Stir from Barbara Lynch, but I’m a sucker for photos and am not sure it has enough grin

I also have a beautiful source for pasture fed lamb, so lots of lamb recipes would be appreciated.

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Posted: 30 November 2009 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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There have not been many five star new titles published this holiday season. I do agree with you on lots of colour pics. It makes such a difference. If a cookbook is worth publishing then up the budget to include pics!

Personally I buy mainly classics and look for new recipes on the web.

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Posted: 01 December 2009 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Two cookbooks I can recommend are “Zuni Cafe Cookbook” by Judy Rodgers and “Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.” They are both a few years old, but worth seeking out.

“Ottolenghi” was recommended by somebody on this website for their granola bar recipe. Whoever that was, thank you! I just got the book yesterday, and I cooked two savory dishes from it tonight (salmon with red pepper and hazlenut salsa on p. 139, and chargrilled broccoli with chili and garlic p. 41). Both recipes were excellent. The book is full of lovely photos, although not every single recipe is pictured. Still, there are enough photos, especially in the vegetable chapter, so that you can see how delicious the finished dish looks. The style of cooking is Mediterrranean-Israeli-Moroccan, with a heavy emphasis on fresh herbs, fresh lemon, olive oil, and garlic. This is my kind of cooking! I adore this book, and I can’t wait to try the granola, plus the various grain and vegetable salads. It is a British book, so my American mind has to translate what is meant by “caster sugar,” “courgette,” and “mangetout.” Fortunately, I own a scale that weighs in grams, because that is how all the recipes are written—no cups or ounces to be found in these pages!

“Zuni Cafe” is a fascinating book. Rodgers guides you through the cooking of a recipe, teaching you, for example, how to taste for salt (one of her favorite seasoning ingredients).  Her style of cooking is Mediterranean-California, with some French and Italian influence thrown into the mix. The Lentils Braised in Red Wine on p. 267 are a superb winter vegetarian dish (using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock). I’ve made the beef short ribs braised in Chimay ale (p. 383) several times. She has pages of detail on options for roasting lamb, along with seasoning variations. The Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad (p. 342) is super-excellent. Each recipe is accompanied by a wine recommendation. I could go on and on about this book. One drawback is that the photos are in their own separate section, and not all dishes are photographed. Still, the writing is so good, and the layout is spacious enough, that the book is a pleasure to read.

One of my strategies for buying a cookbook when I am not sure I will like it is to first check it out from the library, read several recipes, and try a few. If the book passes this initial “test drive” I go online to place my order. With this strategy, I have avoided buying some cookbooks that did not suit my style of cooking, thereby saving myself some serious bucks and bookshelf real-estate.

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Posted: 01 December 2009 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks Christine! I also looked at Ottolenghi, after somebody recommended it for the granola bars. It looks great to me, but I was holding off buying it the next time I’m in Europe or till one of my British friends come visit me grin

Zuni Cafe looks great, thanks so much for the recommendation. Went ahead and ordered it… It was my impulse buy for the month I think. I usually go to a bookstore and look at the cookbooks there but I knew I wanted to take advantage of the good price on RHC.

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Posted: 01 December 2009 04:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Zuni Cafe won two James Beard awards a few years ago . They are famed for their roast chicken and bread salad and their magnificent caesar salad.

Good choice Christine!


Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) books which I am sure you know are also worthwhile.

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Posted: 01 December 2009 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Silke, please let me know how you like Zuni book. I’d be interested to hear what you cook from it first. 

Paul, I found the “Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza & Calzone” book in a secondhand store years ago, and it is one of my most treasured finds! It is a slim volume, but it is chock-full of ideas on what to pair with homemade pasta and pizza dough. Whenever I’m in the mood to make fresh pasta, it is one of the books I turn to for ideas—especially when my garden is in full bloom with tomatoes, basil, oregano, and chives.

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Posted: 01 December 2009 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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i would get 2 more RHC!  in fact, i have ordered about 20, and can hardly keep anything on my shelf since all my friends want one!

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Posted: 07 December 2009 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m probably too late, but I’d recommend any of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.  Her recipes are amazing, and most are complete with wonderful color photos.  Also, Tyler Florence’s books are fantastic.
If you had a baking book in mind, how about any of Dorie Greenspan, Pam Anderson, Nick Malgieri’s books.

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Posted: 09 December 2009 03:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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What would you rate as her best recipes? I would like to try a few.

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Posted: 09 December 2009 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Silke,if you like lamb,why dont you get a moroccan cookbook.They have great recipes and mediterranean also.Amazon have lovely Moroccan and tagine books

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Posted: 09 December 2009 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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It is always fun to see such great new ideas, for cookbooks. We are a family that loves to cook, and I have a passion for collecting cookbooks and trying all the new recipes.  A favorite of mine of mine is,“A Montana Table:Recipes from Chico Hot Springs Resort”.  I avoided buying it for years because we lived in Montana and I wanted the excuse of eating at their restaurant as an excuse for the resort, although I would drive the 3 hours just for brunch or dinner if I had to, but we now live in SD so I have less chance to go there.  Every recipe I have tried is exceptional and comes out exactly as we remembered tasting it in the restaurant!

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Posted: 09 December 2009 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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smile Recipes and cookbooks hold such wonderful memories for us.Here in Australia we have come from typical english recipes ,to now every manner of cuisines to choose from.Im the same I love collecting cookbooks,my daughter is a chef ,so I justify my purchases by saying ,they will be handy for her.My daughter says to me,‘you dont need that book mum’,you just do this and that.My daughter doesnt realiise that part of the joy of having the books ,is reading the stories of how they do things and why,also photos of different locations that are included in some books and where the recipes came from,like mum or great aunt etc,I love that about the books ,not just the recipes.Its like The montana table brings the times spent at the resort close to you

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Posted: 09 December 2009 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Yes it does.  It also has great stories on the history of the resort, and some nice pictures.  One of my favorite parts of this cookbook is it gives all the recipes for the sauces that they use, allowing you to make it exactly how you remember it.

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Posted: 15 December 2009 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Paul - 09 December 2009 07:23 AM

What would you rate as her best recipes? I would like to try a few.

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