Paying tribute to Marcella Hazan

We've been reading the tributes to Marcella Hazan that have been published since she passed away yesterday and were struck by some fascinating items about this preeminent teacher of Italian cuisine. First and foremost, she was as much a teacher as a chef - one of the most effective in preaching and spreading the gospel of authentic Italian cuisine. As… read more

Quick ways to soften butter

Among the most notable pet peeves in a kitchen has to be this overlooked description in a recipe: "butter, softened" - and all you have is cold, hard butter. So here's some quick ways on how to solve this problem with minimal angst: Cut the butter into small chunks and set out at room temperature Grate the butter (especially good… read more

Comparing Child’s, Fisher’s, and Beard’s First French Meals

M.F.K. Fisher's great-nephew Luke Barr has written a book called    Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste which discusses a time when the esteemed culinarians James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones were all together in the South of France. Grub Street has excerpted some  of the book, specifically… read more

Cantaloupe is only one of many fruits that can be roasted to heighten flavor

Over the past several months, we've noticed a number of recipes that suggest roasting fruit to maximize flavor - even restoring flavor in dull fruit. Roasting vegetables - cauliflower, green beans, even tomatoes - is fairly obvious, but fruit? Of course, it does make sense - roasting caramelized the inherent sugars in food. But there's the possible problem of destroying… read more

Cookbook giveaway – Regional Cooking of Italy

We're so pleased to be able to offer a five-book collection of Valentina Harris' great Italian regional cookbooks, assembled in one collection as the Regional Cooking of Italy.  In the collection is The Food and Cooking of Tuscany, The Food and Cooking of Sicily and Southern Italy, The Food and Cooking of Venice and the North-East of Italy, The Food… read more

Meeting Valentina Harris

Certainly to our U.K. readers, where she is such a well-respected authority on Italian food and food culture, Valentina Harris needs no introduction. For anyone who hasn't met her, she has been writing award-winning cookbooks since 1984, when she published Perfect Pasta. She's now written  over 30 books on Italian food,and still finds time to host  culinary adventures across Europe. Five… read more

Cookbook giveaway – Recipes and Secrets from Our Test Kitchen: 80 Years of Wisdom from Australia’s Most Famous Kitchen

Today, we're offering a special giveaway just for our members with Australian and New Zealand addresses.  The Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks are renowned for their reliability as each recipe is Triple Tested for success in the famous AWW Test Kitchen. They are some of the world's most successful cookbooks and can be found in almost every English-speaking country; they are… read more

You Complete Me

Maybe because my life so often seems like a messy accumulation of loose ends, I'm a sucker for completion in cookbooks.  When a cookbook claims to be "complete," I sigh with satisfaction and think "Ahhh...I will never need another cookbook on this subject again."  Of course, that has not even once proven to be true.  For example, there was the… read more

September 2013 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 U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It must be September, because after a quiet summer the publishers are… read more

Me and my cookbooks – September 2013

We're hearing from a lot of you that you've enjoyed meeting some of our EYB members through our Me and my Cookbooks Monthly feature. We'd love to introduce as many as we can -  If you'd like to be featured, just email us at    Our featured EYB member this month is James Glucksman (EYB member jlg84), currently resident… read more

Cookbook giveaway – The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation

Mollie Katzen's latest book, The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation, is her first really new vegetarian collection since the 1990's. We're delighted to be able to offer one of three copies to our members in a Cookbook giveaway series. (Remember you can check  on all of the giveaways by just looking in the right-hand category column… read more

Interview with Mollie Katzen

Author of the iconic Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen has been publishing almost continuously since the debut of that culture-changing first book.  But her most recent title, The Heart of the Plate, stands as a testimony to the way eating culture itself has changed both for the author herself and for ourselves as a country over more than 35 years.  And… read more

Reviving 12 limp vegetables

The Washington Post had a very useful item yesterday, How to Bring 12 Kinds of Vegetables Back to Life. Since we're sure that everyone has experienced limp asparagus spears, flaccid green beans, and anemic salad greens, this is a handy guide. Essentially, each procedure buys you 24 hours of extra vegetable life. They specifically deal with: asparagus broccoli carrots celery chives… read more

Lessons learned from a home kitchen health inspection

Our friend, Faith Durand, recently volunteered for an interesting experiment - inviting a health inspector to come and check on her home kitchen. In the Kitchn's  A Health Inspector Visited My Kitchen, and Here's What Happened, she reported on the trial:  "It all started with an email from Mary, a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, the local newspaper in my… read more

Quick tip:The two-step process to keep brown sugar from hardening

No matter how long you've been cooking, it seems that brown sugar remains one of the kitchen's most aggravating ingredients. Poorly packaged - in a box that never seals tightly - it hardens and clumps easily. The key is to never let it dry out - a condition that requires two steps. The first step is to immediately transfer the… read more

We Are Family

Just as we saw with the words "table" and "kitchen" a while back, there's a battle going on for the soul of "family" in cookbook titles.  What is a family cookbook, exactly?  What, or who, counts as family, and what does a family cookbook need to accomplish? The what, or who, used to be easy. Family was family, by blood… read more

Cookbook giveaway – Beating the Lunch Box Blues

Here at EYB we're all for encouraging our members to indulge their passion for cookbooks. To that end, we've created a program to give our members a chance to win a copy of new, exciting cookbooks that have just been published. To see all the contests, just look in the right-hand category column on any blog page and click on… read more

Lunchtime with J.M. Hirsch

  On his blog, Lunch Box Blues, J.M. Hirsch describes himself as "By day, I'm J.M. Hirsch, food editor for The Associated Press and author of   Beating the Lunch Box Blues and High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking. By night, I'm just a dorky dad trying to feed my son a great dinner and pack him a lunch he'll… read more

The Neanderthal approach to spiced food

A recent visit to Penzey's recently was quite enlightening in showing how adding spices to foods has been kicked up to the next level - about half the store was dedicated to specialty spice blends named after geographic territories (Northwoods, Bangkok), purposes (BBQ 3000, Apple Pie), audience (Salad lovers, Forward!) and others.  Apparently, a sprinkling of plain paprika no longer… read more

Cooking Light’s taste tests produce 41 winners

Every year Cooking Light gives out its Taste Test Awards, an annual guide to the best supermarket and artisanal products in a variety of categories. After eliminating foods that didn't meet nutritional standards, they chose their top 41 supermarket foods in 20 categories. The categories are quite diverse, including some obvious ones such as popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, chicken broth, canned soup,… read more

The most popular recipe on the Internet

Unlike television shows or books, it's hard to gauge the popularity of things on the internet because of the sheer volume - how do you compare? But there are indications - Twitter has Followers, Facebook has Likes, and recipes have views and ratings.  And by those indications, The Washington Post has dubbed this lasagna recipe on - with over 7,000 reviews, 10,000 ratings,… read more

Test to see if you’re just a little obsessed with food

Here at EYB, we happen to intensely dislike the word "foodie" and try to avoid using it, but in this case it may be appropriate. At least BuzzFeed, in their list of 22 Problems Only Foodies Will Understand, thinks so. So, take this test and find out how many of these strike a chord - and may mark a tiny… read more

Line cooks

When it comes to cookbook design, it's the Wild West out there! Maybe its because cookbooks, stalwart sellers in a digital age, have the luxury of experimentation as buyers hunt down increasingly charming and quirky gifts.  Maybe it has to do with our increasingly visual culture.   In any case, I've posted about some of these graphic innovations on earlier… read more

Rules to use before buying a cookbook

Over at the blog, The Cookbook Man, there's a very interesting entry called The Cookbook MANifesto.  Basically, it a series of rules about cookbooks - buying, using, and writing them. It's presented as a cloud series, and you can print  a PDF of the entire collection, but here are some rules in the buying category that hit home: Don't buy… read more

Are we no longer beer drinkers?

In August, The Atlantic ran two indepth articles exploring beer-drinking - and the (sad?) possibility that, at least in the U.S., we're no longer choosing beer as our preferred beverage. In the first article, Why Are American Drinkers Turning Against Beer?  they produce some sobering statistics: " "Just 20 years ago, it was America's most popular alcoholic beverage by far.… read more
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