I love cookbooks. I have at least 40, not to mention the millions of cooking magazines I have lying around the house. I don't subscribe to any cooking magazines because...well...I can't decide on one! I also spend a lot of time searching for recipes on the internet. From Polish Kolacz Weselny to Authentic Miso Soup, it's all there. But, for some odd reason, I still can't stop buying cookbooks. Maybe it's the pictures? I love to have an idea of what my final product is actually supposed to look like. Maybe it's how they're compiled by category (Baking, Chocolate, Italian)? Or maybe it's how the chef intertwines their life story into the recipes they're sharing with me. Food has a lot to do with memories, so when you use a recipe that has a history, it somehow tends to feel very special. Whatever the reason, though, I love cookbooks. So I just wanted to share a few of my personal favorites.
A Homemade Life - by Molly Wizenberg
I received this book as a gift from a dear friend and fellow kitchen-dweller (SHOUT OUT: Jen!). We love to cook together. The day Julie & Julia came out on DVD, we started the oven and cooked up Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon and "Julie's" Tomato Bruschetta (this is the actual recipe from the movie), and then sat down to watch the movie together.
Anyway, back to A Homemade Life. This reviewer summed it up best I think:
"In A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg recounts a life with the kitchen at its center. From her mother's pound cake, a staple of summer picnics during her childhood in Oklahoma, to the eggs she cooked for her father during the weeks before his death, food and memories are intimately entwined. You won't be able to decide whether to curl up and sink into the story or to head straight to the market to fill your basket with ingredients for Cider-Glazed Salmon and Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots."
This was the first cookbook to ever make me laugh and cry when I read it. Highly recommended. By the way, before she had a book she had a blog. Find it here.
My French Kitchen - by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde
Author of Chocolat. Enough said?
Not only is it filled with delicious and authentic French recipes, the pictures are fabulous. Think little-blond-boy-on-a-bicycle-carrying-French-bread and beautiful cottage gardens. This was also a gift, from that same fabulous friend. The day I got it, I couldn't put it down. It has the best French Onion Soup recipe I've ever tried. It also has an amazing Winter Sausage and Bean Soup recipe.
Lastly (for now), my new favorite:
Falling Cloudberries - by Tessa Kiros
I love the family tree at the beginning of the book. It explains where her influences come from (her parents are from Cyprus and Finland). She also lived in South Africa as a child, and later married an Italian. So you can just imagine the stories and the recipes. Authentic and Amaaazing. Before I decided to go on strike with meat, my favorite recipe was Leg of Lamb with Oregano and Lemon. Yummmmmm... Great for entertaining.
Please share your favorite cookbook with me!