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Cocktails and tea together

Sepia's Death and taxes

It will likely not come as a surprise to learn that recipes for drinks with alcohol outnumber non-alcoholic beverages in the EYB Library by nearly 3 to 2.  Now a growing movement meshes the non-alcoholic beverage world with the world of cocktails: adding tea to liquor, unleashing sophisticated flavor combinations. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the trend.

Jesse Held, "cocktail czar" at several Twin Cities-area bars, is a fan of combining tea with alcohol. "Tea has such a complexity where you don't need a lot of different ingredients to achieve a pretty cool cocktail," he says. Held's menus include tea-infused drinks ranging from an Earl Grey tequila Old-Fashioned to gin and vodka sour riffs featuring rooibos and green tea, respectively. While infusions can take six to ten days to mature, clear spirits like vodka and gin draw in flavors more quickly and can be sometimes be steeped in a matter of hours.

Gin enjoys a particular affinity with tea. Held notes that gin has a lot in common with tea as flavors like lemon peel and coriander are common to both products.  In addition to infusions, Held also utilizes tea syrups, combining hot tea with equal amounts of sugar to dissolve the sweetener. The syrup is cooled before use. Tea bitters are also being explored.

While the trend of using tea in cocktails may be growing, it's not altogether a new idea. Alcoholic drinks from the dawn of the cocktail era have used tea as an ingredient for over two hundred years. Artillery punch, which dates back to the 1700s, is one example, and tea toddies have also been around for some time. Have you enjoyed tea in a cocktail?

Photo of Sepia's death & taxes from indexed blog Serious Eats

Refine your recipe search

ScreenshotThe conundrum with having so many recipes in the EYB Library is that you can be overwhelmed with search results. Luckily we have excellent features to help you narrow your search. Let's say you're interested in online pumpkin dessert recipes without nuts. If you tick the box for Online Recipes and just type 'pumpkin' into the search box, you get over 2,700 hits. However, if you use the 'Filter By' menu, expand the Ingredient tab to Vegetables> Pumpkins & squash> and select Pumpkin by using the plus sign, you're down to just over 1,000 results. Next, expand the Recipe Types filter and select Desserts--now you are down to about 100 recipes.

To exclude nuts, expand the Ingredient tab to Baking ingredients and select Nuts. Once the filter is applied, click the green plus sign next to nuts to change it into a minus sign--meaning exclude that ingredient. Continue applying filters to focus on or exclude criteria.

To learn more about using filters and making your searches more effective, check out our excellent instructional video or quick tutorial.

October 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.

US

Whatever else this month may turn out to be, it's a monumental one for bakers. Dorie Greenspan, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and Peter Reinhart ALL have books coming out, so go ahead and spring for that 25-pound bag of flour you've been eyeing at Costco. Big players on the TV, restaurant, and blog scene are back, as well as the magazine-based producers. This is just a tiny fraction of what's out there as the cookbook season truly hits its stride. By the way, $40 is the new $35 - many new hardcovers are now reaching this as a standard price point.

Cookbook collage The Baking Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum: A lifetime of expertise from RLB, as her fans call her. A handpicked selection of her best cakes, breads, etc. We're happy to report that we have a complete index of RLB's recipes from each of her books, her blog, and other sources. View the calendar of events for information on Rose's book tour.

Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, by Dorie Greenspan: French home baking is simple! says Dorie. Dozens of teatime sweets you don't have to be a pastry chef to pull off. Dorie is also fully indexed on EYB, and we've got her book tour on our calendar of events. (Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of Baking Chez Moi, and check out Dorie's charming EYB interview.)

Bread Revolution: World-Class Baking with Sprouted and Whole Grains, Heirloom Flours, and Fresh Techniques, by Peter Reinhart: The venerable mad monk of bread tells you everything you need to know about grape seeds and emmer.

Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito: The self-proclaimed Magnum Opus from the BAKED bakery duo. Learn more about the book in our author interview, and enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book. You can find out whether the authors' book tour will be near you on our cookbook event calendar.

Cookbook collageSaveur: The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world's best recipes for today's kitchen  by the editors of Saveur: Saveur combs the archives for international favorites once featured in the magazine.

The Cook's Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide that Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated, and The America's Test Kitchen New Family Cookbook: Actually, the old family cookbook only came out four years ago, but the folks at ATK are gluttons for self-reinvention. The family cookbook is just as "bulletproof" as the meat book, but maybe a little less macho.

The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals by Corky Pollan, Lori Pollan, Dana Pollan and Tracy Pollan: Less well-known but just as omnivorous, 4 relations of Michael Pollan set an example at table.

Cookbook collageMake It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten: Ina makes cooking even easier. Maybe the next book will be "The Barefoot Contessa Calls For Takeout!" Catch Ina on tour; see the calendar for dates & locations.

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson: Even more wildly eclectic and globetrotting than usual for Samuelsson, but a little more home cook-friendly. Check the calendar of events for dates & locations of Samuelsson's book tour.

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi, by Yotam Ottolenghi: This year's cookbook from possibly the most prolific chef-entrepreneur around today is already a big hit in the U.K. and now hits U.S. bookstores.

How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman - Pressed for time? Bittman's got your back with shortcuts and quick recipes. Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book, and check out the calendar of events for Bittman's tour information. With this book, Bittman's full recipe index on EYB tallies over 17,000 - an impressive statistic!

Cookbook collageThe Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs by Karen Page: Page tackles the content and husband Andrew Dornenburg turns to photography in a continuation of their successful series of meta-cookbooks, this time without the meat. Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book and learn what inspired it. Karen's US book tour is also in progress.

The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand: Not-too-hard recipes and a punchy format enliven this volume, but the real draw is the drool-worthy interiors - gleaming kitchens that will either inspire or depress you. This is another cookbook you can enter to win! Read Faith Durand's author interview, too. The Kitchn is indexed, click here to add it to your Bookshelf.

The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food, by Charles Phan. Did you find Phan's 2012 home-cooking book delicious but super-fussy? Try the restaurant version!  You can enter our contest to win a copy of this cookbook too!

My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients by Geoffrey Zakarian: Think there's nothing to eat in the house? Think again! Zakarian goes Iron Chef on your pantry.

Cookbook collageHow to Roast by Michael Ruhlman: The first in a promised series, this how-to book offers practical advice along with detailed photos. What's even better, it's another cookbook you have a chance of winning in our contest! For a sneak peek, check out an excerpt from the book, and view the calendar to see tour information.

America Farm to Table by Mario Batali and Jim Webster: Bestselling author and world-renowned chef Mario Batali pays homage to the American farmer - from Maine to Los Angeles - in stories, photos and recipes. Batali is making a limited stop tour - find out where in the event calendar.

Joy the Baker: Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson - Another baking book in a month full of them, this one from the author of the highly-rated EYB-indexed blog Joy the Baker. The cookbook is packed with 125 of Joy's favorite, super easy, most over-the-top, totally delicious treats.

Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell - In this dazzling, full color cookbook and kitchen manual, the chef of Alice Waters' Chez Panisse offers basic techniques and essential recipes for the home cook. Coming soon: a contest for your chance to win a copy - keep checking the blog for information. Also, see where Cal is headed on his book tour.

Cookbook collageDominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes: From the genius who brought us the cronut. Ansel recalls tales of working hard for Daniel Boulud and the thinking outside the box that led to the invention of his famous confection. See if Dominique is coming to your town - see the dates & locations for his book tour.

Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky: The passionate master of the Argentine grill takes us grilling in magical places. 

Heritage by Sean Brock:  With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavours of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. See the dates and locations for Brock's tour on our calendar of events.

Alexander Gauthier: Chef, La Grenouille: Since 2003, Alexandre Gauthier has been the chef at La Grenouillere, a sixteenth-century farmhouse by the river Canche. There, he creates a highly personal cuisine, a snapshot of every season. Through this book, he offers a hundred of his culinary creations to read, to cook, to consider.

Cookbook collageThe Big Book of Sides: More than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces, and More by Rick Rodgers: If you're ever stumped about what to make to accompany the main course, you should be able to find an answer here. See if Rick Rodgers will be in your area on his book tour.

Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen by Dana Cowin: An engaging cookbook from the longtime editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, in which the first lady of food spills the secrets of her culinary ineptitude, while learning-finally-to cook.

Blue Chair Cooks With Jam & Marmalade by Rachael Saunders: Building on the success of the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, Rachel's new book is a guide to using preserves in cooking as well as an exciting exploration of flavors and ingredients. Rachel's on tour; check out the calendar of events for information. 

International Night by Mark and Lizzie Kurlansky: This cookbook sprang from a weekly tradition of Mark spinning a globe. Wherever his daughter's finger landed became the theme of the dinner.

Cookbook collageMy Little French Kitchen: More than 100 Recipes from the Mountains, Market Squares, and Shores of France by Rachel Khoo: Follow-up to Khoo's adorable "Little Paris Kitchen," this time with a pan-Gallic regional focus. The UK edition was published last year.

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson: French TV features its own Rachael Ray, in a to-die-for, centuries-old, immaculate farmhouse.

Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites by Clotilde Dusoulier: Francophiles have many choices this month. Here, author of the indexed blog Chocolate and Zucchini delves into the history and meaning of fifty of the French language's most popular food-related expressions. This is yet another author for which we have a complete index of all recipes.

French Regional Food by Joël Robuchon and Loic Bienassis: Minute region-by-region survey of a country and its gastronomic obsessions.

 

Cookbook collageMy Portugal by George Mendes: The chef and owner of Michelin-starred Aldea introduces us to the world of Portuguese cuisine through a bevy of recipes for foods ranging from fresh seafood and savory meats to crisp vegetables.

Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla: Unlike other Indian cookbooks, Singla has embedded different preparation styles and ingredients into every recipe including adaptations for making a meal vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, as well as alternatives for the slow cooker. Check out the calendar of events for dates & locations of Singla's book tour.

A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow: The debut cookbook by Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood. Kostow discusses the transformative effect that the Napa Valley has had on his perception of cooking and craft.

Cocina Tropical by Jose Santaella: For adventurous mainland cooks in pursuit of exotic flavors, this book offers exciting new territory, and for Puerto Rican descendants everywhere, it pays tribute to the beloved homeland.

Cookbook collageMediterranean Vegetarian Feasts by Aglaia Kremezi: Kremezi returns to her roots with fresh, healthy, easy-to-make recipes exploring the traditional plant-based foods of the Mediterranean.

Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh, More Than 100 Unforgettable Dishes Updated for Today's Kitchen by Janna Gur: Classics with staying power from all over the diaspora. 

How to Eataly by Eataly: Eataly's team of experts, including Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich, covers everything you need to know about Italian food.

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin: A lifestyle-y, airy, organic book that is like going on a trip to Whole Foods between hard covers.

 

Cookbook collage

My Best: Alain Ducasse
My Best: Eric Ripert

My Best: Daniel Boulud
My Best: Pierre Hermé


These are among the world's most celebrated chefs, the luminaries who changed the landscape of fine dining. Here are the dishes of their careers, the distinctive plates that made them household names. From Ducasse's famous vegetable "cookpot" and Hermé's ispahan to Ripert's bluefin tuna and Boulud's sea bass, each volume in My 10 Best offers a master's career-defining 10 recipes, complete with step-by-step, illustrated directions designed for the home cook.

 

 

 

Cookbook collageFresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal by Julie O'Brien and Richard J. Climenhage: Firefly Kitchens in Seattle wants to convert you to the glories of fermentation, with all the kraut you ever wanted.

Love Me, Feed Me: Sharing with Your Dog the Everyday Good Food You Cook and Enjoy, by Judith Jones: Well, it's not like editing Julia Child, but if you're Judith Jones you can pretty much publish any cookbook you want to.

UK

Cookbook collageMexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte: The first truly comprehensive bible of authentic Mexican home cooking, written by a living culinary legend, this book features an unprecedented 700 recipes from across the entire country, showcasing the rich diversity and flavors of Mexican cuisine. The book is published in the USA this month too. See our calendar for her tour dates.

Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber: The third book from the winner of The Great British Bake Off. In this books Edd demystifies French cakes - guiding you through the techniques with step-by-step photographs.

Bistronomy: French Food Unbound by Katrina Meynink: The Bistronomy movement is led by young chefs who choose lower prices and a relaxed atmosphere rather than expensive fixtures and stuffiness. This dynamic book captures the vital elements of Bistronomy - the democratic spirit of generous, affordable hospitality, and the imaginative reworking of classic fare built on quality ingredients and technique. There will be a giveaway for this book soon.

Fabulous Family Food by Nadia Sawalha: Nadia understand the time pressures that make it hard to get dinner on the table every night. Her recipes are practical and stress-free and tested on her own family.

Cookbook collageSpice at Home by Vivek Singh: Vivek Singh's simple recipes for spice at home are a brilliant marriage between Indian spicing and Western culinary styles. One of the UK's top Indian chefs, Vivek adds spice for a modern twist on traditional dishes.

Sweet Envy by Alastair Wise and Teena Kearney-Wise: Evoking childhood memories of sweetie shops and ice-cream parlours, Sweet Envy is full of tempting recipes that combine textures, flavours and premium ingredients - all with a modern twist. This is also published in Australia this month.

Primrose Bakery Christmas by Martha Swift: The Primrose Bakery has been bringing an extra bit of twinkle to their Christmas baking for over a decade and in this book reveal their unique twists and exciting reinventions of traditional Christmas treats, as well as all-new recipes to breathe fresh life into your festive baking repertoire.

Do Ahead Christmas by James Ramsden: The festive season is when most of us need a bit of help in the kitchen. This is where James Ramsden's 'do-ahead' approach to cooking comes into its own, allowing the cook to enjoy being with their guests instead of stuck in the kitchen.

Cookbook collageThe Great British Bake Off: Christmas by Lizzie Kamenetzky:  The ultimate Bake Off Christmas collection with all of Paul Hollywood's and Mary Berry's Christmas masterclass recipes. Also includes new bakes from all four winners, Edd Kimber, Jo Wheatley, John Whaite and Frances Quinn, plus other wonderful Bake Off contestants.

Paul Hollywood's British Baking: And another GBBO spin-off book, this time from one of the judges. The names alone should pique your interest - Bakewells, Bannocks, Cornish Fairings, Dingle Pies, Welsh Cakes, Yorkshire Parkin and more.

Duck & Waffle by Daniel Doherty: Duck & Waffle has been one of the most talked-about restaurant openings in recent years - it's London's only upscale 24-hour restaurant, serving an average of 4,000 customers a week. Daniel's modern take on European cuisine showcases his culinary diversity, with an emphasis on local, rustic, seasonal and sustainable British ingredients.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura: A tribute to Bottura's twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana, his three Michelin star restaurant based in Modena, Italy. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and stories explaining Bottura's inspirations. Also published in the USA this month.

Cookbook collageFrench Regional Food by Joël Robuchon and Loïc Bienassis: Drawing on twenty years of research, this book explores the French culinary landscape as never before - defining regions by their specific culinary identity and practice rather than sticking to today's formal administrative divisions.

A Year in 120 Recipes by Jack Monroe: Jack Monroe has exploded onto the British cooking scene. She started with a blog A Girl Called Jack, where she created resourceful recipes with very little money. This then led to a Guardian column and her first cookbook, A Girl Called Jack, which was a huge hit. Now she returns with her second book, still focusing on cooking on a budget, but with a seasonal slant.

Ireland

Irish Countrywomen's Association CookbookSimply Delicious Christmas

Irish Countrywomen's Association Book of Tea and Company: The women of the ICA give you their favourite old-fashioned recipes-all to be enjoyed at teatime.

A Simply Delicious Christmas by Darina Allen: A 25th anniversary reissue of the classic Christmas cookbook, revised and updated for modern tastes. The traditional, much-loved recipes are still there too.

 

Canada

Cookbook collageJ.K.: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook: Kennedy is a chef at the forefront of Canada's farm-to-table, slow food and local food movements. In this celebration of Canadian food, JK's philosophy of simplicity and pleasure shines through. Check for his tour dates.

Made in Quebec: A Culinary Journey by Julian Armstrong: Quebec has a cuisine firmly based on French foundations, but blended and enriched over the years by the cooking styles of a variety of immigrant groups, initially British and American, more recently Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Asian. This book is a comprehensive celebration of Quebecois cuisine.

Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow by Randy Shore: Author of "The Green Man" column in the Vancouver Sun, he spent five years teaching himself how to grow food for his family and then how to use the resulting bounty to create imaginative and nourishing meals the year round. Randy reveals the secrets to creating and maintaining a fully functioning vegetable garden and then shows how to showcase your bounty with delicious, nutrient-packed recipes.

Tin Fish Gourmet by Barbara-Jo McIntosh: Discover how to transform everyday canned seafood into stylish, delicious dishes in this cookbook that features innovative recipes for not only tinned salmon and tuna but clams, oysters, shrimp, crabmeat, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and more. The author owns the cookbook store Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks. (Read the EYB profile of Books to Cooks.)

The Dirty Apron CookbookThe Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Robertson: The Dirty Apron Cooking School in Vancouver caters to a range of students - both beginners and more experienced cooks - looking to come away with delicious menus and more confidence in the kitchen. The Dirty Apron Cookbook brings together the best of these recipes along with many of the tips and tricks shared in the school's classes.

 

Australia

Cookbook collageWhat Katie Ate: At the Weekend by Katie Quinn Davies: Katie takes favourite recipes from her successful blog (indexed on EYB), along with many never-seen-before. Her beautifully photographed recipes provide inspiring ideas for informal get-togethers - entice your guests with Katie's refreshing take on flavour-packed pizzas, salads, tapas, cocktails and decadent desserts.

Sepia: The Cuisine of Martin Benn by Martin Benn: This beautiful book evokes the glamour and sophistication of Sydney restaurant, Sepia and the beauty of its Japanese-influenced food. Based around four degustation menus, the 60 recipes highlight the technical mastery of Martin's food. Interspersed among the menus are narrative features exploring the workings of the restaurant, and the stories of its staff and clientele.

Dessert Divas by Christine Manfield: Acclaimed chef Christine Manfield believes that desserts should appeal to all the senses - seductive, ethereal and delicious, with aesthetics that capture your imagination. They must also be big on personality - hence Dessert Divas - they are dramatic showgirls! The recipes, from her Sydney restaurant Universal, are designed to capture the four seasons, and to celebrate cheese and chocolate, ingredients people eternally lust after. Christine is taking her desserts on the road, showcasing them at different restaurants - details here.

New Thai Food: Recipes for Home by Martin Boetz: With David Thompson as his mentor, Martin Boetz has become a Thai food expert. The New Thai Food is perfect for the home cook keen to explore the vibrant tastes of Thailand in their own kitchen. Martin shows you how to get started with some good fish sauce, chillies and sugar - the basics for many Thai dishes, as well as recipes for mains, salads, curries and desserts.

Cookbook collageJulie Goodwin's 20/20 Meals: Feed Your Family for $20 in 20 Minutes by Julie Goodwin: Winner of the original Australian Masterchef, Julie's 4th cookbook focuses on a subject close to her heart - feeding your family without breaking the bank or spending hours slaving over a hot stove. Alongside simple, wallet-friendly and delicious recipes you'll find Julie's tips to keep your kitchen organised.

Beautiful Food by Jody Vassallo: Health food guru Jody Vassallo has created 130 recipes for genuinely nutritious food to heal, nourish and restore, inside and out. With recipes for every season, body type and time of day - from Spicy sunshine eggs for breakfast, Pumpkin, fennel and black quinoa soup for lunch, to Charred chicken with chimichurri sauce followed by a slice of Black sesame chocolate cake for dinner.

Mr Hong by Dan Hong: From working in his mother's Vietnamese restaurant in Sydney, Dan has gone on to become a critically acclaimed chef, working at some of Australia's most prestigious restaurants. His first book contains 100 recipes, that reflect his proud heritage, technical skill and boundless enthusiasm for experimenting. You'll find Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, as well as fusions of the three - re-imagined and re-invigorated.

Cook Book: 187 Recipes That Will Make You Incredibly Popular by Matt Preston: This latest collection from Matt brings together nearly 200 of his favourite dishes. From slow-cooked roasts and tasty braises to mouth-watering desserts and tea-time treats. As well as the expected, you'll also find killer kale recipes, fresh, Asian-inspired starters and delicious salads. And some sneaky cheats' tips and tricks to make every day cooking even faster.

Art of Traditional ItalianThe Art of Traditional Italian by Lucio Galletto: This book is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds - original artworks from some of Australia's finest artists accompany the recipes in this collaboration between Lucio and the long-time friends whose art famously lines the walls of his Sydney restaurant, Lucio's. Includes favourites - vitello tonnato, risotto alla milanese, eggplant parmigiana, veal saltimbocca and tiramisu, along with many more classic dishes.

Real Food of ChinaThe Real Food of China by Leanne Kitchen and Antony Suvalko: Through the authors' personal travels through China came the realisation that what is commonly perceived as 'Chinese food' in the Western world is only part of the story. This book celebrates the lesser known, wonderfully diverse aspects of this ancient culture's cooking, with food that is full of flavour, utilizes seasonal produce and is simple to prepare with beautiful photographs shot on location.

From the Australian Women's Weekly:
In Season

 

In Season
Christmas Goodies
Christmas Cakes and Puddings 

 

 

 

 

 New Zealand

Cookbook collageDepot: Biography of a Restaurant (with recipes) by Al Brown: Another beautiful book from Al - more than a cookbook he tells the story how the idea for his restaurant, Depot, was conceived - he wanted the feeling of being at a Kiwi bach (holiday home), casual friendly and delicious food. I've never been in a bach serving food as good as Depot - but maybe with this cookbook in their hands there might be a rise in standards this summer.

Everyday Delicious by Chelsea Winter: Chelsea specialises in good straight-forward Kiwi food - mainstream and unpretentious. Two of her most popular recipes are chicken pie and strawberry cheesecake - the focus is on 'week-night' style meals pitched at young families who are pushed for time.

SPQR by SPQR: Legendary Ponsonby restaurant S.P.Q.R has been a magnet for Auckland diners for more than 20 years. The S.P.Q.R cookbook shares more than 85 dishes from the restaurant's Italian inspired menu, all carefully translated and tested for the home cook.

Dr Libby's Sweet Food Story: Real Food Recipes & Wisdom by Libby Weaver: In her usual straightforward but scientific way, Dr Libby explains the sugar conundrum, how the body uses sweet foods and ingredients, and why you may crave them. She explains how to avoid the 3 o'clock craving for sweet foods, with recipes created from whole-food ingredients, including drinks, sauces, snacks, baking, puddings and desserts.

Cookbook collageJo Seagar Bakes by Jo Seagar: Although renowned for her baking, this is Jo Seagar's first baking book. Jo shares all her tips and helpful hints to make sure your baking works. The classics are included, as well as new and popular favourites and updated flavours.

The Unbakery: Raw Organic Goodness by Megan May: The recipes are from the Little Bird Unbakery, a popular raw food café in Auckland. The book encourages food lovers to try more uncooked food, preparing dishes from raw, natural ingredients. All recipes are gluten, dairy and cane sugar free, along with being vegan.

The Revive Cafe Cookbook 4: More Delicious and Easy Recipes Inspired by Auckland's Healthy Food Haven by Jeremy Dixon: There are 78 new healthy, vegetarian recipes inspired by the Revive Cafés. The recipes contain whole grains, plant-based protein, fresh produce and virtually no processed sugars or flours and they are all dairy and egg free and most are gluten free.

Dorie's "behind the kitchen door" desserts

Dorie GreenspanDorie Greenspan, part-time Parisian and patron saint of American home bakers, is out with her 11th cookbook, Baking Chez Moi (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), in stores now. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win a copy.) We're delighted to announce that we've indexed all of Dorie's recipes - eleven cookbooks, newspaper and magazine articles, and posts from her blog, In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie. In total there are nearly 2,500 recipes, with 703 online recipe links and 7 videos.

In Baking Chez Moi, Dorie shares surprisingly simple recipes from her own Paris kitchen and those of good friends.  We spoke recently about the book, how the culture of baking differs in her two favorite countries, and the madness of macarons.

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On Baking Chez Moi:

It's been 40 years since my first trip to Paris, when I first put my foot down and said this is where I belong. The first thing I ate in Paris was a strawberry tartlet. I was as interested in pastry as a child could be, but from that first step and that first taste it was love, and I tried to go back as often as I could.  I've now been a Paris part-timer for 20 years. This book was my opportunity to share what I've loved over all these years about French baking. So lucky because I have an apartment in Paris, a Paris life, and Paris friends. So I was actually able to collect and test and share recipes from friends, what they make at home, for their families and friends. For me, it opened another world.

On attitudes toward baking, French and American:

The French are not home bakers the way Americans are - not wild, crazy, passionate, "I'll give my weekend up to one fabulous desesrt."  French home baking is very simple, very homey, but I think it's kind of stylish - chic the way French fashion is chic.  Often the sweets are simple as they could be, with just one little touch, one little ingredient - maybe it will be something like a chocolate tart where it's just ganache, cream and chocolate, poured into a crust - which a Frenchwoman would never bake herself.  So it's sleek and beautiful and dark and shiny on top, on a beautiful dessert plate.  It might have beautiful berries, or a storebought cookie.

When I asked my friends to share their recipes, time after time they would say. "Oh, they're too simple." They were traditional, or regional, or the way Grandma made it...they don't have a huge repertory of desserts.  A French home cook might have 8 things she makes. Shop desserts are for fancy - for company. I have one friend who bakes as well as she cooks, and she'll always have a homemade dessert. But for most of my other friends, baking's really for family. So these really were behind the kitchen door recipes -  French people don't usually let you into their kitchen.

On writing for an American audience while in a kitchen in Paris:

I consider myself the "baking evangelist" (I've tried this in France - it doesn't work!). I want everybody to bake. I try to eliminate all the excuses you might have for not going into the kitchen and baking. So I bring my American ingredients there. I bring my own flour - King Arthur, Hecker's, Gold Medal, Pillsbury.  French flour is milled finer than ours- it's not quite Wondra-like, but it's fine, and I think the protein level is lower. Everything seems more tender. I travel with a 5 pound sack of flour, and if I know I'm going to be baking a lot I make my husband take a 5-pound sack.

I also take baking powder and sugar - but my sugar was once confiscated at the airport because apparently sugar is used in bomb-making!

Also, the sizes are different. Everything for baking in French supermarket would get me through just one day. Two-pound bags of flour...and little bottles of vanilla - just enough for one recipe. Storage space is at a premium in Paris.  

Are there any French ingredients you used that are difficult to find here?

Not really. Maybe lavender buds, or rose extract (France has been in rose fever for 10 years or more, and it shows no signs of dying). Fleur de sel, perhaps...but I can't think of another ingredient; I really made an effort to make the ingredients as gettable as possible without compromising the deliciousness of a recipe. 

Some favorite recipes from the book:

Here's the pear tart  - oh wait, here's the cherry crumb tart. And one of my favorites is not baking as we know it but...Laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple.  Laurent works at the salon next to Isabel who cuts my hair.  Isabel loves to eat, Laurent loves to cook. Laurent made this pineapple, and when I asked about it, he said "Oh you know, it's just a pineapple and some jam, some cognac..." How much?  "...and just some orange juice if you have it. I put in 18 spices because I wanted to see what it would taste like..."  This kind of epitomizes the French style in home baking - not precise, not fussy.  It takes advantage of what you might have - it's more of a template or idea than a recipe.  Like the canistrelli recipe - you just use a fork and your fingers.  You use what you have.

There's really not many recipes in the book that aren't simple. Though there is the gingerbread bûche de Noël....making praline, making cake but rolling it (which isn't difficult, but when you make a rolled cake, you always feel like wow! hey! look what I did.) The frosting is egg white and marshmallow, and you need a candy thermometer.  So that's project baking. 

On French vs. American attitudes toward diet:

I have never, in all the years that I've been invited to dinner in France, been asked if I have a food allergy, if there is something I don't eat, or something if I don't like. The expectation is I will clean my plate.  And I've never served a dessert or been served a dessert where someone has said, "I can't," or "I shouldn't." I've never been in the company of French people who have said "I feel so guilty."  Everything's changing, for sure, but eating is still considered a pleasure; being at a table with friends, one of life's great pleasures, to be savored, to be enjoyed.

In general, the French don't snack, the portions are much smaller. And there's a rule about seconds. It's very polite to ask for seconds for anything that's homemade.  It's not polite to take seconds of anything that's storebought. So when the cheese comes along, you take what you want  because you know you won't get a  second chance.

On the rigors of recipe testing and proofing:

I'm totally neurotic - I never make a recipe and say 'Done.'  Sometimes it's not done because I always second-check, to be triple sure. Sometimes it doesn't work the way I wanted to, so it gets tested until it does. Sometimes it's because I think 'Oh! this recipe would be good with cardamom.' My books would be twice as long if I let all my fantasies turn into written recipes!

So many questions come up - not just will it taste good, does it work, but the practical considerations...Do you have to use the savarin pan for gateau savoie? Can you use a mini-muffin tray instead of financier molds?  I'm always telling Rux [Rux Martin, Dorie's editor]  I want one more read.

I'm a spontaneous cook and baker - I might change the menu 4:00 in the afternoon. And when it doesn't work out, it's horrible. So I never want that to happen to anyone who's using my recipe.

On the macaron phenomenon:

This is my 11th book.  In Paris Sweets (2002), I wrote "No one should make macarons." Then one home baker after another in the U.S. started making them.  There are more cooking classes for home bakers in Paris than there have ever been, and there are macaron classes. There are silicone mats for macarons...there are more younger people doing things their parents wouldn't.

When I was writing Baking from My Home to Yours (2006), I decided not to do them then either. And then, when I wrote Around My French Table (2010), Rux said, "Now?" And no.  But with this book - a French book, a baking book - I thought "This is crazy. People who have never baked before are saying "I'll make macarons!" So I made a recipe, slightly different from this one for I did for the L.A. Times. I tested it 13 times. I was so afraid.  I was making notes - "Some leave the oven door open, some leave it not open.  Some people stick a spoon in the oven door, some people use parchment paper..."  The only thing I didn't do was bake the macarons standing on my head.

You can see from the recipe - "A Word on Egg Whites", "A Word on Almond Flour", "A Word on Measuring", "A Word on Timing" - just how nervous I was!

On simplicity and complexity in baking:

I don't think anyone who wants to roll fondant and pipe roses will be very happy with my book. It's very much a book to be used during the week and on weekends. I think anything you do in baking, the more simple it is, the more important it is to use really great ingredients, and to make each element count, and to do it well. There's something to be learned in even the simplest recipe.  I know I learned working on these recipes. I think the chocolate shards on the cover cake [is] the most brilliant idea I've seen in years, and it's so simple.  But even for aspirational bakers, there's a lot here.

My audience  might not be the candy flower maker, who I have the most admiration for...but this book for peole who love baking or want to learn to bake, and who want to bake as I do, for family and friends.

On baking and childhood, and "high" vs "low":

There's a cake in the book called Moka Dupont. When I got my proof pages Bernard Collet (who was the one who told me about Moka Dupont, which he had as a child) came over and looked at it. He said, "I would call it "Haute Moka Dupont" or "Moka Dupont Revisité.  Mine never looks like that. You didn't cover the edges. We always cover the edges and take a fork and make a squiggle line.  And you served it with ice cream!" And I was using the wrong cookies!

It's an icebox cake, but it was made a particular way, it was the carrying on of a tradition.  It's a kid thing - you can taste the sugar in the filling, but the espresso taste is there for grownups - a mix of high and low. 

That mix of high and low - the use of storebought and homemade - the expensive butter to make the cake, but you fill it with Nutella -  for me it's the fun of pastry.  There's really no good reason for eating dessert. (I tried to make it a food group, but I failed!) We eat dessert for the sheer pleasure of it. We bake because we love baking and sharing with other people. No matter what cake, sweet, tart, there's a little bit of capturing childhood with it. Dessert is a special treat, a pleasure, a reward, a gift of some kind. No matter how sophisticated the dessert, I like to think it brings back that childish joy in having a sweet.

What's next?

Cookies! My son Joshua had a retail business, cookies with my recipes - it was called 'Beurre and Sel.'  It's closed now, but the recipes will live on - the cookie book will have them. We made them in these rings - but I converted them to make at home without the rings, but just as beautiful and just as precise. We're looking at Fall 2016.

Cookbook giveaway - Baking Chez Moi

Baking Chez MoiIn Baking Chez Moi, Dorie Greenspan's eleventh cookbook, she shares simple yet sophisticated French desserts from her Paris kitchen. You can read her charming EYB interview to learn more about the cookbook and the differences in baking culture in France and the United States.

We've indexed all of Dorie's recipes on EYB -  eleven cookbooks as well as newspaper & magazine articles and blog posts. We're delighted to offer three copies of Baking Chez Moin to EYB members in the U.S. Click on the contest below to view all of the entry options. One of the options is to answer this question in the comments:

Other than World Peace Cookies, which of Dorie's recipes is your favorite?

Please note that you must enter the comment after signing into Rafflecopter or your entry won't be counted. The contest ends November 25, 2014.

Meat, meat, meat, meat!

Is cooking meat the first great hurdle of any omnivorous cook?  I think it's between that and baking.  I think my progression was pretty typical: first boneless chicken breast, then ground beef, then pork chops, then whole chickens and chicken parts, then ground pork, then the rest.  I didn't get round to beef cuts until a few years in.  (And I'm still not great at game, organ meats, and off cuts.)

This month it seems that America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated Meat Book), DK Publishing (The Meat Cookbook), and Atria Books (Meat: Everything You Need to Know) are all angling for readers at just that culinary developmental stage - let's call it the Borderline Beef stage.  Because they all feature BEEF on their covers: I see what looks like an eye round roast, a grilled skirt steak (yum!), and a porterhouse steak. All are heavy reference tomes in the 3-4-pound range (about the weight of a center-cut rib roast. Coincidence?  I think not.)

It's a little strange given that the price of beef is at historic highs thanks to climate change.  We can speculate on the reasons - the ascension of the Paleo diet? the ostracization of carbs?  But when it comes right down to it, I suspect that what these books are all banking on is that moment of insecurity when you first face the high heat with a joint of red, red meat, which, in itself, cost as much as all the breakfasts you were going to eat all week.

How did you first learn to cook meat? and would you have wanted to have one of these Big Books by your side?  Would you want one now?

Happy birthday, Reuben!

Reuben sandwich

As with any iconic food, the origins of the reuben sandwich are a bit fuzzy. Legend has it that the combination of Irish corned beef, Jewish rye, German sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing was created in 1914 at the long-shuttered Reuben's Delicatessen in Manhattan. That makes the sandwich an even 100 years old.

"There's lots of evidence that the sandwich was invented by Arnold Reuben," says Francine Segan, a food historian and author who dismisses claims that the sandwich was invented in Omaha, Nebraska. Another contested topic is how to prepare the sandwich. Some opt for toasted bread, others argue that the sandwich must be griddled. And then there are the versions with pastrami and even turkey, although that sandwich is often called a Rachael. If you know this history of that name, let us know. The sandwich is so well-loved that it's spawned reuben dips, spreads, meatloaf and even salad. We'll skip those for now and go straight to these classic reuben recipes from the EYB Library:

The Reuben from Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches
Reuben sandwich from Saveur Magazine
The reuben from The Guardian Cook supplement
The classic reuben sandwich
from Mississippi Kitchen
Photo by Darcie Boschee

The top pumpkin recipes, just in time for Halloween

Stuffed pumpkin 

With Halloween just a few days away, we wouldn't be surprised if you had pumpkin on your mind. Whether you're carving one or roasting it, there are many inspiring examples to choose from during the fall season.

As a general rule, the pumpkins sold for decoration aren't very flavorful as they are bred mainly for appearance. Instead of cooking with a carving pumpkin, seek out a pie pumpkin variety or substitute one of a number of squash. Good alternatives include kabocha, acorn, hubbard, or butternut squash, as all of these are members of the curcurbit family along with pumpkin. Of the types listed here, the closest to pumpkin is the butternut squash. Each variety of squash has a slightly different flavor profile, so try several to find which one is your favorite.

If you're looking for new ways to use your pumpkins and squash, you may want to check out the top 10 recipes for pumpkin from The Guardian, or try one of the following top recipes from the EYB Library. It's interesting to note that many of the highly-rated recipes in the Library are member-indexed--don't forget to index the next great recipe you find so it will be easy for you, as well as other EYB members, to find.

Butternut squash gratin with goat cheese and hazelnuts from Epicurious
Butternut squash baked risotto from MarthaStewart.com
Pumpkin oat bread from Naturally Ella
Spicy pumpkin hummus from Once Upon a Cutting Board
Butternut squash and caramelized onion galette from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Miso sesame winter squash from 101 Cookbooks
Pumpkin stuffed with everything good
from Around My French Table (pictured at top)

Culinary trends for 2015

grains

Colorado-based Sterling Rice Group, a consulting and advertising firm, has issued its predictions for culinary trends in 2015, reports Elaine Watson of Food Navigator USA. The trends range from new foods to twists on cuisine to restaurant incubators. If their forecast is accurate, here's a sample of what we can expect to see next year:

  • Regional grains - health conscious consumers will move away from "commodity" grains to ones they perceive as more healthful, including alternatives to wheat and corn. Local bakers and chefs will turn to milling their own grains for use in their cooking and baking.
  • Hop-free beer - in a reversal of the "all hops, all the time" trend, expect to see brewers looking back to medieval gruits - using herbs and flowers such as lavender and elderberry as bittering and flavoring agents.
  • Farm-to-table kosher - the trend moves into serving a growing market segment: millenial Jews who are starting to eat kosher
  • Fancy charcoal - Japanese charcoal, or binchotan, is kilned oak that burns at much hotter temperatures than regular charcoal, offering a clean, odorless, and smokeless way to cook foods quickly while retaining flavors.
  • "Advanced Asian" - according to SPG, we should prepare for "more complex and true-to-region Asian foods." They predict the food with be spicier and will highlight underappreciated regions like northern Thai (Issan) cuisine and Filipino foods.

You can read the remaining predictions at the Food Navigator site. I am interested in the gruit-flavored beers because I am not a fan of hops. Are you intrigued by any of these trends?

Photo of grains by Darcie Boschee

Recipes with warmth and ease in The Kitchn Cookbook

Faith DurandFaith Durand is Executive Editor of The Kitchn, one of the United States' largest websites devoted to home cooking, reaching over 14 million readers a month. Faith is also the author of Bakeless Sweets, the first cookbook dedicated to pudding and no-bake desserts. Her newest book is The Kitchn Cookbook, coauthored with Sara Kate Gillingham, published by Clarkson Potter and in bookstores now. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of The Kitchn Cookbook).  We asked Faith about The Kitchn and her new cookbook:

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There are 3,449 recipes on The Kitchn (we know because they are all indexed on EYB).  How on earth did you manage to choose your best recipes for the book?

Well, first off, most of the recipes in the book are new and never before published on The Kitchn! We wanted to create a new batch of recipes with all the things we value on The Kitchn: warmth, ease, accessibility, but still a real sense of drawing from smart cooking skills and different cultures. Having said that, though, we did include a few all-time reader favorite recipes. We just drew out the ones that have been so wildly popular they deserved a victory lap in the book, things like Monkey Bread with Bourbon Crème Anglaise, and Sparkling Peach Sangria.

The book also contains lessons for 50 basic skills that every cook should master.  How did you decide which skills were most important?

As we developed the recipes we also made note of the things that we do over and over again: boil water, chop onions, knead dough. These are the skills that let you not only cook well but learn to cook impromptu meals with no recipes at all.

Were there any skills covered that taught something even to an experts like you?

I always learn something new, every time I write a book! It's always a process of discovery. I loved how the veggie burger, for instance, is baked in the oven (not pan-fried). That takes some of the guesswork and hassle out of cooking veggie burgers and for me anyway makes it more accessible.

Of course The Kitchn covers a lot more than just cooking - kitchen design, storage, hygiene, shopping, etc.  Again, how did you choose from 9 years of excellent advice what to include in the book?

It was really a matter of looking at essentials. We've published so many fun and helpful tips over the years, but when you come down to it, what's most essential to a clean, well-organized, and happy kitchen? I hope that we emphasized these the most.

What are your favorite features of your own kitchen?

I love the light in my kitchen. The sun comes in all day - in the morning, in the afternoon, and even at sunset. I also have a really deep kitchen sink that hides all my dirty dishes!

Are you a gadget junky or do you keep things simple in your kitchen?

I don't have a lot of gadgets, but I do have many, many duplicate tools. For Christmas last year my husband gifted me with about half a dozen 1 teaspoon measuring spoons, since I always seem to need a clean one!

Whose kitchen that you have featured on The Kitchn do you most envy?

The one that I (and most of our readers!) seem to love the most is this gorgeous blue and marble kitchen in San Francisco

The Kitchn has 14 million readers per month so presumably you get a lot of feedback from them.  How much did your readers contribute to what was chosen for the book?

So much! We looked at what they like best and what they respond to, and we even included a lot of reader comments in the sidebars of the book. They have so much to offer; we really look to them to decide what to write about.

Do you know what has been the most popular recipe ever on The Kitchn?

Oh yes! Once you move past all our cooking lessons (How To Cook a Turkey, et.al.) it's Emma's fab Thin Crust Pizza recipe

And finally, what is the recipe from The Kitchn that you personally cook the most?
Well, besides Sara Kate's margarita recipe (does that count!?) it's probably these absolutely perfect pancakes by Dana. My husband is a cracking good pancake flipper and often makes them on the weekends.
Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!

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