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The good, the bad and the ugly

Inglorious fruit

Visit any supermarket produce department and you'll see beautifully arranged bins with towering mounds of perfectly formed, glossy fruits and vegetables. There is nary a blemish or mark on the produce. But as any gardener knows, not all cucumbers are straight, sometimes carrots look funny, and apples are frequently lopsided. A great many fruits and vegetables don't conform to the supermarket ideals of beauty. So why don't we see them in the stores? Supermarket produce managers would likely say it's because people won't buy the imperfect foods. But one grocer is seeking to change that. Intermarché, France's third-largest grocery chain, has launched a campaign to get people to buy less than perfect produce.

Featuring clever ads for "inglorious" fruits and vegetables, the stores hope to entice customers to buy "the ridiculous potato," the "disfigured eggplant," and the "failed lemon" by offering a 30% discount. The goal is to reduce food waste - almost all imperfect produce is just tossed by the growers. You may have seen this video making the rounds on social media with calls for other supermarkets to emulate the campaign, which has been quite successful. Have any of the stores in your area tried to do this or something similar?

5,000 cookbooks and counting

5000 cookbooks

Drum roll, please: we are thrilled to announce that we have indexed book number 5,000 in the EYB Library! So which book is lucky number 5,000? It's Monday Morning Cooking Club: The Feast Goes On, an Australian book that Yotam Ottolenghi calls "a remarkable excursion into the realm of comfort food."

The Feast Goes OnEYB indexers have been diligently working to reach this milestone, so thanks goes to them for their dedication to the task. They have received assistance from members who have indexed their favorite cookbooks, so thank you to everyone who has volunteered to do that. Remember, if you have a book on your Bookshelf that you can't wait to see indexed, you can request that EYB do the indexing or that you do it yourself.

This milestone follows on the heels of surpassing 1,000,000 indexed recipes earlier this year. We are not stopping to rest on our laurels, however. We've added two new magazines this month, Sweet Paul Magazine and Kinfolk. Plus we are in the process of indexing over 400 more volumes. The odds just keep getting better that the cookbook you've been thinking of buying will be indexed on EYB - so go ahead, buy it! And if you click on the Buy Book link from EYB, we get a small affiliate fee from the retailer, so we have more money to spend indexing more books - a win-win!

July 2014 cookbook roundup

Every month Susie Chang reviews new cookbook releases and notes trends in the United States. And she may also occasionally throw in a review of a "not-quite cookbook."  And for our non-U.S. members, Jane and Fiona provide similar reviews for new Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.


Oddly enough, the outdoorsy, spontaneous month of July brings a surprising lack of grill books - could that market finally be tapped out?  Instead, there's lots of street food, DIY backyard and healthy books, and family-friendly books.  And by far the most exciting street-food title - as far as I'm concerned - is the Banh Mi Handbook, by veteran author Andrea Nguyen, who promises to make the daunting Queen of Sandwiches accessible to all. 

Perfect Preserves


Perfect Preserves: 100 Delicious Ways to Preserve Fruit and Vegetables by Thane Prince:  This summer's canning & preserving books seem to have been taken over by pickles, but here's one in the traditional popular format.






Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well by Carly de Castro, Heidi Gores and Hayden Slater: The trend has moved over from juicer books to juice books.




Banh Mi Handbook
The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches
by Andrea Nguyen: From my perspective at least, July's most anticipated publication.  Nguyen's recipes are generally scrupulously tested and her instructions clear, so sandwich nirvana may be just around the corner for home cooks. Learn about the history of banh mi from author Andrea Nguyen and enter our contest for a chance to win one of three copies of the cookbook.



Ice Creamery Cookbook


The Ice Creamery Cookbook: Modern Frozen Treats & Sweet Embellishments by Shelly Kaldunski:  Ice cream books are an embarrassment of riches these days.  This one got recipes for all the go-withs, too - cones, edible bowls, toppings, sauces...


Wrapped Crepes


Wrapped Crepes, Wraps, and Rolls from Around the World by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra and Keiko Oikawa:  It's definitely hard to resist something wrapped in something else - recipes for the portable and the exotic.




Meat and Potatoes cookbook

Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear
by Rahm Fama and Beth Dooley: Stepping up to the great void where the July grill books should be, Fama cooks up a whole lot of protein in nothing more complicated than a cast-iron skillet.




Making Soda at Home

Making Soda at Home: Mastering the Craft of Carbonation
by Jeremy Butler:  There's an abundance of good soda books out there, but this is the first one I've seen that doesn't involve an outlay for equipment. 




Everyday Kitchen for Kids

Everyday Kitchen for Kids
by Jennifer Low:  Very much focused on safety - no knives, electrics, or stovetop cooking.  It'll be interesting to see what that leaves.





Gluten-free Family Favorites

Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need to Feed Kids and Adults All Day, Every Day
by Peter Bronski and Kelli Bronski:  One-stop shopping for the special-diet family.





Better from Scratch

Better From Scratch (Williams-Sonoma)  by Ivy Manning: A primer on making condiments and other everyday food products that most of us purchase instead of making. Read our interview with author Ivy Manning and enter our contest for your chance to win one of three copies of the book!




Green City Market cookbook


The Green City Market Cookbook: The first collection of recipes from the celebrity chefs, local farmers, loyal customers, and longtime vendors that make up Chicago's Green City Market community.




The Vibrant Table


The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassof: Over 100 recipes from the author's "always vegetarian, mostly vegan, gluten-free, and sometimes raw" kitchen.




Salad Samurai cookbook


Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero: The author of several vegan cookbooks turns to entreé salads, with ideas for meatless, dairy-less seasonal main dish salads based on whole-food ingredients. 





And...just for reading:Brunch

Brunch: A History by Farha Ternikar: Brunch joins Breakfast, Lunch, Barbecue, and The Picnic in this charming food history series.  I bet you can guess what's next.






150 Essential salads

150 Essential Salads by Canadian Living Magazine:  Salads for every occasion from Canada's top women's magazine.







Burgers by Paul Gayler: Paul Gayler, Executive Chef at The Lanesborough Hotel in London believes that a well-made burger can transcend the sum of its parts to become truly sublime. In this small book he presents his favourite 25 burger recipes and covers all bases - meat, poultry, fish and seafood and vegetarian.



Hummus Bros. cookbook

Hummus Bros. Levantine Kitchen: Delicious, Healthy Recipes Inspired by the Ancient Mediterranean: Hummus is such a versatile food and a true staple of the eastern Mediterranean, where every restaurant wants to be known as makers of the best hummus in town. The Hummus Bros claims to offer the best hummus in London town and now bring it to the world via their first book. They include recipes that go well with hummus.



Rachel Khoo's sweet and savoury

Rachel Khoo's Sweet and Savoury Pâtés: Rachel and her tiny kitchen became famous through her TV series and cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen She now shows you how to make a variety of spreads to serve as a snack or a main course. From a nutty pate, fruit curd and lots of clever ideas for chocolate and caramel, this unique collection of recipes provide the homemade, healthy alternative to all of your favourite spreads.


Good Eating

Good Eating: Suggestions for wartime dishes: A selection of dishes from Daily Telegraph readers trying to cope with meagre rations during wartime. The facsimile edition includes recipes for the perfect omelette made with dried egg, mock cream, mock fish pie (made with Jerusalem artichokes!) and seven ways to stuff potatoes.




Home Baking

Home Baking by Jo Wheatley: Jo Wheatley, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2011, shares a new collection of the hearty food she brought her three hungry boys up on, the fool proof recipes handed down to her by her Nan, and the treats she delights her extended family and friends with.




Great British Bake Off


Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking by Linda Collister: And another book from the GBBO factory. Recipes are contributed by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry and there are the best recipes from the Series 5 contestants.




Simple Cakes

Simple Cakes by Mary Berry: The British queen of baking demonstrates that cake-making need not be complicated (unless you are a contestant on the Great British Bake Off). Step-by-step illustrations and simple instructions ensure impressive results every time.




Scottish Food Bible



The Scottish Food Bible by Claire Macdonald: A celebration of the best ingredients from Scotland - from oatmeal, dairy produce, meat and fish, fruit and vegetables and even whisky.





Spice: Layers of Flavor


Spice: Layers of Flavour by Dhruv Baker: Dhruv Baker is the winner of the BBC's MASTERCHEF 2010 and has a rich cultural background which has helped shape how he cooks and the spices he uses in his dishes.





Salad love

Salad Love: How to Create a Lunchtime Salad Every Weekday, in 20 Minutes or Less:  David Bez, a designer by profession, made his workmates jealous with the well balanced, carefully crafted salad he prepared for his lunch in no time every day. Now he shares his winning formula for creating salads by layering a base, vegetables or fruit, fresh herbs, protein toppings and dressings, which creates a perfect salad every time.



Australia and New Zealand

BreadBread: Global Baker by Dean Brettschneider: With 25 years as a professional baker, Dean shares his expert knowledge of how to make exceptional breads with step by step instructions on artisan breadmaking techniques. From the basics through to more complex creations, plus information on essential ingredients and equipment, make this a wonderfully usable book. Bagels, baguettes, sourdough and stollen are all included as well as a fascinating history of breadmaking.



Gery Mehigan Favourites

Gary Mehigan's Favourites: Over 100 Recipes to Cook at Home by Gary Mehigan: Masterchef Australia co-judge Gary Mehigan lives and breathes food. This book is the result of Gary's ongoing food obsession: a collection of his favourite recipes garnered from thirty years in the industry. Gary also gives mini-masterclasses covering some of his favourite foods, such as bread, chillies and tomatoes.



Miguel's TapasMiguel's Tapas by Miguel Maestre: Television personality Miguel's energy and passion for his native cuisine, brings together the best traditional Spanish recipes as well as contemporary creations that can be made quickly to feed a gathering for authentic tapas for all times of the day.



Japanese cookbook

Japanese: Modern & Traditional Cuisine by Hideo Dekura: In his latest book, part of the Silk Series, Hideo takes us through the seasons of Japan and the history of Japanese cuisine. He shares the basic tools and ingredients you will need as well as introducing tableware and knives. With over 60 recipes including a large vegetable section this book covers all the basic recipes for cooking Japanese food at home.




Best of StonesoupThe Best of Stonesoup: 25 Favourite Recipes: Healthy Meals Made Easy by Jules Clancy: Jules' weekly blog, Stonesoup, about fresh, healthy and delicious food is indexed on Eat Your Books. This free ebook compiles 25 recipes from Stonesoup, including soups, salads, veggie meals, carnivore meals, and sweet treats. You can download it by clicking on the Buy Book link on EYB.


Latest from Australian Women's Weekly:

Best Ever Collection

The Best-Ever Collection by Australian Women's Weekly:  Over the last 80 years, The Australian Women's Weekly has published countless recipes in the magazine. This latest collection is a selection of their favourite dishes that have been collected and cherished by three generations from all over the world.


Dinner with friends - potluck or theme?

My favorite way to see my friends is to get together for dinner.  I love going to other people's beautiful, clean houses and bringing dessert or drinks or sides.  I love having people to our messy, chaotic house and plying them with good things to eat and drink.  And I love summer, because that's when we have time to do a bit of both.

Some of my friends are planners.  They'll make a big amazing protein like a corned beef or something that's been smoked for hours and then put out requests for the perfect sides to go with it. Usually everybody's happy to comply, whether it means trying a new recipe or just picking something up at the store.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have another friend who has a yearly potluck - she invites the whole community and whatever happens, happens.  Sometimes there are multiple pasta salads or carbs or a whole lot of beer - you never know, but everyone has a great time anyway.

When people come to my house, it's somewhere in between.  My dinners are usually somewhat thematic because I'm probably testing something from that week's cookbook, so I might be making all-Southern or all-slow cooker or all-vegetarian.  But my dinners are also potluck-y, because you never know what will happen.  I've rarely tried the recipes before, so things could be great...or I could be in for an eleventh-hour salvage operation, or we might have to order pizza.  (That - the pizza - hasn't happened yet, but I always warn people that it could.) I'm lucky enough to have friends who are adventurous enough to go with that, and good enough cooks that they come with something great (and more reliable than whatever I'm serving) in hand.

What's your preference, planned or spontaneous?  And do you have a tried-and-true potluck dish?

31 ways to enjoy your morning cuppa

Iced Vietnamese Coffee

Coffee is enjoyed (some might say required) by millions of people every day. It's interesting to see how different cultures have put their distinctive mark on this stimulating beverage. Food Republic shared an appealing infographic that lists 31 different coffee drinks from around the world. While the last such photo depiction published here stirred a bit of controversy, this graphic doesn't make any bold claims. Instead, it shows one or two popular coffee drinks from various countries or regions.

Many places seem to have a sweet tooth for coffee drinks, like Germany with its Eiskaffee that includes ice cream and chocolate chips. Many Asian countries are shown using sweetened condensed milk in coffee drinks, while the Italians are thought to prefer their java unsweetened, with milk generally only in the morning coffee and not later.

An interesting sidenote about infographics like these is that they rarely seem to be created by a food website or company. This particular graphic was made (or commissioned) by a discount airfare website. While these fluff pieces can be entertaining, we probably shouldn't rely on them for accuracy - there are at least two country names misspelled on the graphic, which does not inspire confidence in the remainder of the information. (To be fair, this infographic does list sources for the information, while many others do not.) But even if it isn't completely accurate, many of the drinks look like they are worth a try.

What do you think of these infographics? Do you use them for inspiration or reference or has graphic fatigue set in for you?

Photo of Iced Vietnamese coffee from Bon Appétit Magazine and the EYB Library

Underappreciated summer vegetables

Roasted okra chips

Summertime brings a plethora of vegetables. Many people eagerly await the first corn, tomatoes, and melons of the season. But as this articles explains, there are other great vegetables that get overlooked in the shadows of these more popular foods. Break out of your routine and try some of these delicious vegetables, starting with kohlrabi. Sometimes thought of as "the alien in the CSA box," kohlrabi is "a versatile, nutrient-dense veggie. Naturally fat-free, it's loaded with fiber, potassium and immune-boosting vitamin C. Crisp and juicy, it's a member of the brassica family (such as cabbage and cauliflower) and actually has a similar flavor if eaten raw."

Another underappreciated vegetable is okra, which has a reputation for being slimy. However, if prepared properly, okra can be a delight. It's great sauteed with other summer vegetables, and wonderful if you "roast it, whole, with oil, salt, pepper and seasonings like smoked paprika. Browned and slightly crisp, you can eat it as is or add it to a salad or side dish."

Kohlrabi and apple saladMustard greens, eggplant (aubergines), and cabbage round out the list of overlooked vegetables. Which of these (or which other underappreciated veg) is your favorite?

Photos of roasted okra chips and kohlrabi and apple salad from the EYB Library

B-List cocktails make a comeback

East India
Many factors have spurred the renaissance of classic cocktails over the last few years. Recipes have gone viral on social media, hipsters have brought back fashions including cocktails, and distilleries have brushed the dust off old recipes and reissued classic spirits (and other distilleries have reimagined them). Most bartenders can now make a proper Manhattan and martini, but those cocktails only scratch the surface of the classic cocktail genre. Now mixologists are digging deeper to find other lost gems, reports the online magazine Punch.

So what is a "B-list" cocktail? Drinks like "the Martinez, the likely precursor to the Martini, before maraschino and orange bitters were subtracted from the formula. Or the Aviation, which brought chalky purple crème de violette, a violet-flavored liqueur, back to bar stocks." Other cocktails like the Last Word or Vieux Carré would also fit the bill.

And why are these drinks finding their way back into the spotlight? Part of it is like a badge of honor for bartenders to know these authentic and historic drinks. And in a chicken-and-egg-style situation, the folks on the other side of the bar rail are demanding these formerly obscure classics. "Some consumers have adopted cocktail-spotting as a full-time hobby, seeking out the newest and best watering holes with the same fervor restaurant junkies pursue new openings."

Once rediscovered, these B-list drinks can be elevated to A-list status. Noted cocktail expert Jeffrey Morgenthaler (author of the recently published Bar Book) notes that when he started in this business, "a perfect example of a second-tier cocktail would be a Negroni. Now my mom knows what a Negroni is."

The article notes three up-and-coming classic cocktails: De La Louisiane, Bamboo, and El Presidente, the last being "a combination of rum, dry vermouth, orange curaçao and grenadine-which is said to date back to 1920s Cuba." Do you fancy any lesser-known classic cocktails? 

Photo of an East India cocktail by Darcie Boschee

Why it's better from scratch

Ivy ManningIvy Manning is a Portland, Oregon-based food and travel writer, food stylist, and cookbook author. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Cooking Light, Sunset Magazine, Fine Cooking, and Bon Appétit. Although her home base is in Oregon, Manning travels the globe studying the cuisines of diverse countries including Thailand, Italy, France, and Mexico. The author of last year's book on homemade crackers is back with a new book featuring recipes that you may be able to use on those crackers. Better from Scratch (Williams-Sonoma) includes dozens of do-it-yourself recipes inspired by everyday food products that most of us purchase instead of making. The cookbook also includes advice on storing foods and tips on making food gifts, trendy sodas and cocktails, and completely homemade snack platters. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win one of three copies of the book.) We asked Ivy about the inspiration for the book and which recipes are her favorites:

How did you come up with the idea for this book?  What was the light bulb moment?

I started making crackers while working in catering and was amazed at how easy and delicious they were. Later, I wrote a book called Crackers and Dips. Since then, I've been looking at how to make everything from scratch, especially things that we would never thing of. It's great fun to reverse-engineer packaged foods, take out all the junk, and make them better just by doing it yourself.

What is the "from scratch" recipe that you think will surprise readers?  The one that they might never have considered making themselves?

Bacon! It's takes a few minutes to put together, and then a few weeks of curing, and smoking on a gas grill is so easy! And the results? Let's just say I have a lot of new friends that "drop by" whenever I mention I'm making bacon.

Better from ScratchWere there any products that you tried making from scratch and decided it just wasn't worth the effort?

Miso. I love the stuff, but messing with koji (the mold used to ferment the soybeans), stirring, and storing the stuff for months in the fridge proved a little too technical. Plus, there's an artisan miso maker in my city, so I'm set.

And any that you tried and decided the store-bought product really couldn't be improved on?

That depends on your subjective taste. I love the chipotle ketchup and classic ketchup recipes in my book, but my friend's little kids wanted the sweeter, saltier stuff in the squeeze bottle because that's all they've ever known. I blame it on "happy meals."

What are the top three reasons that you think make homemade products better than store-bought?

First, homemade just tastes better! The ingredients are fresher and better quality because when you're making small batch from scratch foods you're not worried about your bottom line and shareholders. Second, you don't need to use scary preservatives, anti-caking agents, and food coloring when make homemade foods. If you're at all concerned about what you're putting into your body (and you should be), it's better to control as many of your own food sources as possible. Third, it's fun! Homemade Cracker Jacks, good quality chocolate Ande's candies, scratch sriracha, Better From Scratch is full of fun little projects that are perfect for folks who love to putter around in the kitchen. That said, I was shocked at how easy it is to make so many of these things. Time and again I said, "Why haven't I made this before? It's not hard and it's so much better!"

What is your current favorite homemade food/drink to give as gifts?

It's berry season, so I've been making homemade nutella and bringing it with pints of ripe berries to dinner parties as a hostess gift. The homemade margarita mix has been a big hit at barbecues.

The cocktail trend is huge right now and it is very expensive to stock a bar with all the cordials and liqueurs you might need.  What homemade bar items do you use?

I make my own tonic syrup and it makes all the difference in my gin and tonics. I also make my own limoncello and clementinecello and serve it chilled as a digestif. Oh, and my spiced cranberry-pomegranate syrup makes the best cosmos in the world.

This is your fourth cookbook.  What do you have coming up next?

I just finished up another book for Williams-Sonoma called Weeknight Vegetarian that comes out in January. It's a book on how to make really satisfying meals quickly on meatless Monday, or any other day of the week, for that matter. 

Cookbook giveaway - Better from Scratch

Better from Scratch cookbook

Better from Scratch (Williams-Sonoma) is chock full of recipes for everyday food items that many of us purchase, like ketchup and bacon. You can read author Ivy Manning's views on why it's better to make these items from scratch in our author interview. In addition to the recipes, the book includes tips on food storage and how to make delicious DIY gifts.

We're delighted to offer three copies of Better from Scratch to EYB members. Enter soon - the contest ends on August 15, 2014.

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection? You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf. Happy cooking & baking everyone!

From magazines & blogs:

Bulgur & Lentil Salad by Andy Harris from the June issue of indexed Jamie Magazine

Homemade "Magic Shell" from Good Housekeeping, added with the Bookmarklet

4 blueberry recipes from the July/August issue of indexed Vegetarian Times Magazine

From UK books:

29 recipes from Tessa Kiros: The Recipe Collection

Malt Loaf from Simply Good Bread by Peter Sidwell, indexed by an EYB member


And don't forget to enter our contest for a chance to win a free LIFETIME membership!
(Ends July 31st)

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!