The Cookshelf: Winter Holiday 2017

By | December 14, 2017
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"FIRST we eat, THEN we do everything else." - M.F.K. Fisher

Nine of the latest-and-greatest cookbooks for your holiday shopping, curated and reviewed by Susan Kehoe from Browseabout Books

Browseabout Books: 133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE; 302-226-2665;

Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook
By Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu Potter
An amazing collection of dishes from 100 of the most awesome female cooks in the business, including Chrissy Teigen, Chloe Coscarelli, and Padma Lakshmi. The creators of Cherry Bombe magazine tested every recipe in their tiny NYC apartment, and the fun retro photographs will inspire you to eat your way through the entire collection. Begin with a refreshing Charred Pineapple Margarita before diving into the Hanger Steak & Tomato Salad with Sichuan Vinaigrette. End it with a totally decadent Maple Chocolate Pudding with Bacon Spoons.

Milk Street: The New Home Cooking
By Christopher Kimball
Little, Brown
Christopher Kimball is a kitchen wizard! He was the driving force behind America’s Test Kitchen for decades, and now is the founder of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, a Boston-based magazine, cooking school, and public television and radio shows. As with the Test Kitchen books, every recipe is preceded by a brief synopsis of the creation and evolution of each dish. Beautifully photographed, with little hints and tips thrown into the mix, the motivated home chef will have the culinary know-how to create amazing internationally inspired dishes such as Korean Pork and Kimchi Stew, Sweet-and Spicy Ginger Green Beans and Tahini Swirl Brownies.

Naturally Vegetarian: Recipes & Stories from My Italian Family Farm
By Valentina Solfrini
Avery Publishing
Solfrini is the creator and photographer of the beautiful blog, Hortus Cuisine ( Her family’s farm in the tiny Italian village of Gradara serves as the backdrop for her love of fresh, seasonal, delicious Italian cooking. The cookbook, organized seasonally, is sumptuously photographed with delightful descriptions of life in the Italian countryside as the preamble to each season. Enjoy the warmth of winter’s harvest by preparing the Earthy Baked Cabbage Soup or Caramelized Brussels Sprouts & Lentil Salad. Finish your cozy meal with a wondrous dessert of Pistachio & White Chocolate Tiramisu.

Sushi: Taste and Technique
By Kimiko Barber & Hiroki Takemura
DK Publishing
A delightful little gem for the sushi lover on your holiday list! Like all DK published books, it’s chock full of outstanding color photos; this one in particular is loaded with beautifully prepared sushi delights, along with step-by-step pictures and techniques to create restaurant-quality sushi at home. With interesting chapters on sushi etiquette, what to drink with sushi, and seafood safety and sustainability, it’s the perfect book for any aspiring sushi maker.

The Chef and the Slow Cooker
By Hugh Acheson Potter
The crockpot is a divisive kitchen gadget. Home cooks either love it or have no idea what to do with it. This cookbook is for those of us who have no idea how to unleash the power of the pot. Charleston, SC restaurateur Acheson begins with the basics of broth making (veggie, shrimp or chicken), then dives right in with more complex fare like Duck & Andouille Gumbo and Poached Cod with Leek-Vermouth Broth, and ends with one (and a half!) desserts. The recipes are flavor-forward and, because of their slow cooker convenience, are perfect for working folks and their families.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day
By Deb Perelman Knopf
Perlman’s hugely popular Smitten Kitchen website is a treasure trove of delicious elevated comfort food classics with an emphasis on vegetarian cuisine. Smitten Kitchen Every Day is her second cookbook, and it is filled with all-new recipes tested in her tiny NYC apartment with ingredients that are easy to find. Every recipe in here reinforces her belief that unfussy can still be ridiculously delicious. Wake up with Perfect Blueberry Muffins, have a healthy Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas & Salted Pistachios for lunch, and end the day dining on Miso Maple Ribs with Roasted Scallions. If you’ve been extra good, treat yourself to a Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake!

Zingerman’s Bakehouse
By Amy Emberling & Frank Carollo
Chronicle Books
Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a 25-year-old baking institution. Surprisingly, this is their first cookbook, and it’s totally worth the wait! With recipes for every skill level, it’s a beautifully illustrated guide to all things baked. A lengthy chapter on holiday baking includes classic preparations for Stollen, Hamantaschen, and Rugelach. If you’re more interested in the art of bread-making, check out the well-tested recipes for Jewish Rye and Sicilian Sesame Semolina Bread.

National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure
By Barton Seaver
National Geographic Kids
The best way to get kids to eat healthy meals is to involve them in the preparation. Seaver does a super job of getting kids excited about cooking and helps encourage them to appreciate the importance of food as a way to create awesome memories with their family. This colorful cookbook is organized seasonally with clear, easy instructions and includes a bit of food history along with every recipe. Lots of basics are covered, like how to fry a sunny-side up egg, but there are also more complicated preparations such as grilling (ask an adult for some help!) and instructions on growing an indoor herb garden and how to navigate a farmer’s market.

Federal Donuts
By Mike Solomonov & Steven Cook
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Philadelphia-based restaurateur Mike Solomonov has been putting the delicious into donuts and fried chicken since 2011. This cheeky, irreverent guide covers the “FedNuts” origin story, other amazing donut shops across the country, and copious recipes designed for the home baker, including Grapefruit Brulee, Pomegranate Nutella and Strawberry Lavender. Donuts not your thing? Check out the chapter on their amazing fried chicken!

Article from Edible Delmarva at
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