Cookbook Favorites 2013 – and a giveaway! December 6, 2013
For the past few years in December, I’ve posted a collection of my favorite cookbooks of the year – a Top 9. No matter how busy I get or how pulled in other directions I am from the blog, I always look forward to sharing these books with you – I start thinking about which ones I’m going to pick weeks in advance. I’m giddy about it, honestly. This year is no different – there were A LOT of great cookbooks. I tend to get a lot of books throughout the year – whether sent to me or things I’ve purchased – and this year seemed to be a particularly strong one. The list for 2013 has some much awaited titles from big names…and some beautiful books that may be a bit lesser known. For me, the books I wanted to see this year were beautifully shot, have a strong story behind them and have recipes in them that are easily replicated. My faves from 2013 are:
- Notes from the Larder by Nigel Slater – Honestly, Nigel Slater could re-write the phone book and I’d put it on my top whatever list. Every single thing he does is done just so darned well. This new book is even more special than I imagined – a daily journal of food and life for a year. It’s absolutely magical..and the recipes in this book are basic, throw together food done impeccably. It’s also another stunner – each of his books is like an art piece and this one is no exception.
- Pretzel Making At Home by Andrea Slonecker – This book is small but it’s mighty. It’s also one of the most beautifully photographed books I saw all year. There are a variety of recipes – from making pretzels from scratch to using pretzels in things like brittle & such…which is perfect for someone like me who winces at the thought of baking at home.
- The Food of Vietnam by Luke Nguyen – I’ve been a fan of Luke Nguyen for a long, long time. His show on Cooking Channel has fueled my Vietnam wanderlust for years. His new book feels like one of the definitive guides to Vietnamese cooking – all done in a stunning almost coffee-table sized volume. The photography is insane and really gives a glimpse into the country’s life and culture.
- The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli – This is a book I received from the publisher – I had never heard of Lemonade before I checked out the book. Now, it’s a place on my to-do list the next time I’m in California. The recipes are so healthy, light and fresh…and the use of seasonal ingredients is fantastic. I’ve cooked from this book several times and it’s easy & accessible recipes are something I’ll be turning to regularly.
- I LOVE NY by Daniel Humm & Will Guidara – This book, which is beautiful on its own as a showpiece, is Daniel Humm’s love letter to New York. Whereas the Eleven Madison Park book is about extreme ingredients and technique, this book is about showcasing ingredients native to the state of New York in an accessible way. The photography is some of my favorite ever in a cookbook…and you can feel the love and reverence in every page.
- One Good Dish by David Tanis – It’s been a minute since David Tanis put out a new book…and it was worth the wait. For this volume, he’s turned away from the menu-based books and has shared a great collection of recipes that stand on their own. The principles behind the recipes are the same, though – quality ingredients in simple, non-fussy dishes. The photos from Gentl & Hyers are stunning, as well.
- South American Grill by Rachael Lane – In the midst of a bunch of brooding, moody, rustic books…this book was a breath of fresh air. South American flavors highlighted in uncomplicated recipes and some seriously cheery, beautiful photography.
- Summerland by Anne Quatrano – Growing up in Atlanta, I feel like I owe a good bit of what I know about food, restaurants and the art of dining out to Anne Quatrano. Her restaurant, Bacchanalia, is where my family used to go for special occasions and celebrations – I think we made up excuses to go more than just a few times a year. I’ve wondered when she’d come out with a book and it happened in 2013. The recipes are in her signature style and the photos (taken by my friend Brian Woodcock) are bold & brazen.
- The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings by Nathan Williams – The Kinfolk book is something that I’m really happy to see – a really inclusive, warm & fuzzy collection of home recipes. There’s nothing fussy or fancy in any of the dishes – there’s just cozy food and lovely, comfortable stories and photography to accompany them. The photos seem familiar yet inspirational at the same time – a hard feat to accomplish.
As has become an annual tradition on my blog, I’m giving away 3 of the books on this list to one lucky winner. It’s my thank you to y’all for hanging out and hanging in there throughout the year and sharing so much of yourself with me here. You get to choose ANY THREE of the nine listed in this post. Just leave a comment below letting me know which three you’d like to receive. I’ll be picking the winner (and closing comments) on December 20th – my holiday gift to you! PLEASE make sure you leave your email in the comment or your comment signature so I can get in touch with you if you win! As this is not a sponsored post & something I’m doing on my own, I’m unable to ship outside the US. Thanks for understanding and good luck!