Cook Your Way into 2017
I love to cook. Well, mostly I love to eat, and even after the excesses of the holiday season, I am turning my thoughts towards trying new and different recipes this year. And no, I'm not going to tell you how you have to detox and eat a lot of kale (not that there's anything wrong with it), but I'll leave that to the Gwyneth Paltrows of the world.
I also love to read, and while it's nice to have a collection of print cookbooks, they tend to take up a lot of room - both on the bookshelf and on the counter. (And no one wants to be the person who returns a cookbook to the library with tomato sauce all over it).
I often find myself searching the internet to find recipes, but I've been delighted to discover all the great cookbooks that are available from OverDrive that I can download onto my iPad. They take up much less room and it's easier to just give the iPad a wipe when I'm done.
Celebrity chefs and their cookbooks are ubiquitous today, but they do cover a great range of food types and are both enjoyable to read and to cook from. Famous or not, there are some great titles available in eBook format from the library.
Chef, restaurateur, tv star and bad boy Anthony Bourdain has published his first cookbook in more than 10 years called Appetites.
Perhaps best known for his tell-all (and extremely entertaining) books about the restaurant industry including Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, his cookbook is a culinary exploration of all things weird and wonderful with great writing and photography.
One celebrity whose books are not only beautiful but great to cook from is Ina Garten - also known as the Barefoot Contessa. Her latest book is a collection of some of her husband's favourite recipes, Cooking for Jeffrey. He's a pretty lucky guy to have been eating her food all these years!
Another of her cookbooks, Barefoot in Paris, includes one of my favourite go-to snack recipes for Roasted Rosemary Cashews. I'm cheating a bit by giving you the recipe here, but the book has lots of other great things in it so you should definitely check it out.
Even Oprah's getting in on the act this year with the release of her new book, Food, Health and Happiness. Part cookbook and part memoir, Oprah shares stories from her life as well as including great recipes for eating well without compromising your health. Now I'm sure we could all do this too if we had a personal chef, but at least Oprah's willing to share her secrets with us!
Aside from cooking, I also really like to read books about food. I particularly enjoy ones that involve travel since I love so many different types of food from places I've never been. I'm a huge ramen fan, so Michael Booth's new book Super Sushi Ramen Express immediately caught my attention. It's difficult enough navigating a new culture and different food but to do it with 2 kids under six is very brave!
Ruth Reichl is a powerhouse in the culinary world. She's held such prestigious positions as Editor-in-Chief of the now-defunct Gourmet Magazine as well as food critic for the L.A. Times and the New York Times. She has written a number of wonderful books about food, but particularly enjoyable is Garlic & Sapphires in which she chronicles the lengths she had to go to to remain unrecognized when visiting restaurants as a reviewer for the L.A. Times.
And if you've ever thought about writing food blog or even a cookbook someday, Dianne Jacob's book Will Write for Food has everything you need to get you started.