Category Archives: Cookbooks

Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes

Just wanted to share a great little cookbook with y’all, Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes, which is published by Sur La Table.  Now, now, I really have no bias since I work part-time at SLT, I truly LOVE most all cookbooks.  But I gotta’ tell ya’, this lil’ cookbook packs a powerful punch!  I’d been staring at in on our shelves for about a year, but I really had a hankerin’ for tomato soup as Fall was drawing near, so I picked it up one day and gave it a once over.

Okay, seriously, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal cookies, fried chicken, pork roast, burgers, leg of lamb, beef stew, chili, chicken noodle soup, buttermilk biscuits, banana bread, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, sweet potatoes, apple pie, beef stroganoff…the list just goes on, and on with the great everyday, comforting recipes in this book.  I had to have it.  And get this…of all the cookbooks I own, and buy on a regular basis, I’ve already made THREE recipes out of this teeny book.  Really?  Really.

And guess what?  They’ve all been amazing thus far!  PB cookies, roasted potato wedges, and most recently, oven-braised short ribs with fennel.  Shut up – to die for!  Seriously, make it, it’s a food of love…I’ve linked the recipe and everything for criminy’s sake.  Get on it!

Is there a cookbooks anonymous?

Because I need it!  I also need another cookbook like a hole in the head!  And yet, I continue to buy them…I buy them a LOT.  And why?  Well, why not?  They make me happy, and they’re always there for me on a rainy day, or a day when I’m bored, or even better, as a literal reference library for when I need to feel inspired to make something new.

They’re kinda’ like shoes.  They ARE my shoes.  Well…they’ve become my shoes.  Like every other flippant gal in her 20’s, I loved my shoe collection just as much as the next gal…ten years ago!  I collected them like crazy, hit up every clearance sale I came across, tried them all on and strutted around my apartment on rainy/bored days.  (Are you seeing a pattern here?)

Then, something happened when good ole’ mother nature rolled the clock over three-oh.  Like, omigod, she made me realize my feet hurt, a lot, like totally.  And so began the shoes to cookbooks replacement therapy.  And I shall blame it on Nigella Lawson.  Yup, her How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook was one of my firsts.  Bought it on a whim, in my 20’s, because I liked the cover art and the title.  But even though I read it cover-to-cover, I wasn’t completely hooked even then…see, I was still on the shoes.

I bought a few cookbooks here and there along the way, but it wasn’t until I went to work part-time at Sur La Table almost 4 years ago that I really got bit.  That’s when the Nigella cookbook I had became my first signed cookbook!  Yup…she came to Dallas for a book signing for Nigella Express and signed her new cookbook for me, as well as my Domestic Goddess one.  “For Kerrie: Happy Baking!”  And get this, I wasn’t even there, I was on vacation, so I didn’t even get to meet her!  Crazy, I know…I’ve always regretted it.  But I’d left the books for her with a sweet note thanking her for coming “across the pond” to see us, which my manager later told me she read and tucked away in her purse.

So, I can honestly say, because of Nigella, I have an entire section of my bookcase dedicated to signed cookbooks!  lol  I have many, many others that aren’t signed, but there is a special place for those that are, and she kicked it all off – love her.  Oh, and here’s what I’ve picked up in the last month and am reading now:

I’ve got a couple of canning books in here to read up before the summer-ripe fruits and veggies arrive, the quintessential guide by Ball, and a new book about Canning for a New Generation – that’s me!  A few baking staples w/ the Magnolia Bakery cookbook and Jim Lahey’s My Bread masterpiece about his rise to fame with Sullivan St. Bakery, and his amazing 12-18 hour proofing technique!  Edible, a great cookbook to have if you follow the Edible communities/magazines for your area, or even if you don’t, it’s a beautiful book.  If you’re into eating local and the Slow Food movement, this book is for you.  The SLT Art & Soul of Baking is a given…we put out some great books, and I wanted to learn more about souffles. Memorable Recipes was on clearance at SLT, had some yummy looking things when I skimmed it, so why not?  Maxine Clark, her books are just great, she is definitely a go-to for Italian cooking.  Click the link and look at the cover, how could you pass up a book like that on clearance!?  And of course, my lovely Beekman Boys, Josh and Brent, whom I follow so dearly and enjoy immensely.  The Bucolic Plague is their latest, run out and get it for an amazing story – and follow their new 2nd season on Planet Green which starts tonight!  I promise, you’ll love me for it.

Okay, I gotta get to bed so I can take a stab at this stack of books on my nightstand…night peeps.

New Cookbook: Cook Italy

Y’all remember how excited I was when I got In Season, and I love this new cookbook for all the same reasons: beautiful book, wonderful photography, and 2 ribbon markers – classy!

Makes me want homeade pasta, now.

Cook Italy by Katie Caldesi is an amazing book full of fabulous photography, and over 400 authentic recipes and techniques from every region of Italy!  She’s a British woman that spent a lot of time in the different regions of Italy learning how to cook popular Italian fare specific to each region, then came back to England and opened an Italian cooking school!  (Yeah, don’t think for a moment that I’m not trying to check that out when I go to England this Sept!)  :)

The vibrant colors in this book are amazing!

If you’re a cookbook lover and collector like me, this one is not to be missed, your shelf needs it!

Tiny rosemary sprigs in the dimples of focaccia - splendid.