December 2017 Cookbook Roundup

After the whirlwind of the last few months, December's releases feel like a calm breeze after the storm. It was an epic year for cookbooks. I believe the ever-growing trend of high quality cookbooks is a result of cookbook lovers and cooks demanding more. We are looking for inspiration and a challenge. We don't need another version of the basics, we know the basics. We want innovative recipes, beautiful photographs, and engaging writing that inspires us to try new dishes and seek out new ingredients. We require more from a cookbook than just a collection of recipes and the publishers and authors are responding to our desire for more. We have ignited authors and chefs to deliver work that is spectacular and this year's cookbooks are proof positive we have succeeded. 

As always, the monthly roundup shares new releases from around the world that caught my attention and I feel would interest our members. If you are planning to purchase any of these books for yourself or as gifts, please use the Buy Book link as we will receive a small affiliate fee that will allow us to index more books. You don't even need to buy the book you clicked from, we get affiliate revenue for anything you buy from Amazon over the next 24 hours after clicking the link. You will find the Buy Book link (pale blue box to the right of +Bookshelf) when you click on the book titles highlighted in this post (or any post) - your support is very much appreciated. Please remember us during your online shopping, you can access our affiliate stores through these direct links Amazon US, Amazon CA and Amazon UK with the same result.

Information about our Cookbook Club can be found here, check us out and come join us. This month's roundup covering the clubs will be in two parts, Part I was posted earlier this week; Part II will be before the end of the year. For those of you who may have missed my Top Books of 2017, this hefty compilation shares many titles that would make great gifts this year.

We also have many giveaways open and I will be working harder than ever in 2018 to bring you more. If you need help with entering the contests this post will take you step-by-step through the process. As a reminder, we have tagged each promotion with the specific region to make those regions searchable. Once you have found your region's tag - bookmark that search, and you will never have to scroll through the long giveaway list again. To further assist, I have set out the tags below with links to the proper searches. #US, #UK, #NZ, #AU, #CA, #worldwide.

As books are often released in multiple countries you may wish to browse through the entire roundup (especially as this month's roundup is quite compact). The Buy Book button will show you the options available for online booksellers including Book Depository which offers free shipping worldwide.

I wish to thank you all for your support of Eat Your Books and our entire team wishes you the happiest of holidays and all good things and cookbooks in 2018!


The Farm Cooking School: Techniques and Recipes for Inspired Seasonal Cooking by Ian Knauer and Shelley Wiseman is a title that made my best of 2017 list. Ian and Shelley run The Farm Cooking School in New Jersey and their schedule of classes can always be found on our Calendar. This book is gorgeous, full of the chefs' combined knowledge, the foundations of cooking and inspirational, rustic and thoughtful recipes. I love the seasonal aspect, especially the four season theme. For instance, the section on the 4 seasons of panna cotta share recipes for Vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb syrup, Lemon verbana panna cotta with summer fruit, Maple panna cotta with apple cider syrup and Honey panna cotta with candied orange zest. Other subjects covered in this style include pasta, pavlova, savory tarte tatins and more. It is a spectacular book and we will be bringing you a promotion soon.

Bobby Flay Fit: Food for a Healthy Lifestyle by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson is the celebrity chef's guide to staying healthy. Here, Flay shares an arsenal of low-calorie flavor bombs such as rubs, relishes, and marinades that add a punch to lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce. With fitness tips and a look into the chef's daily routines, this cookbook is for those who want to eat right without overhauling their pantries or sacrificing flavor.

The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig is the latest offering for Whole30 followers. Included are recipes perfect for weeknight cooking, lunches in a hurry, and hearty breakfasts that still get you out the door on time; nearly effortless skillet meals, stir-fries, sheet-pan suppers, and slow-cook and no-cook meals, most of which can be made in 30 minutes or less; creative, delicious meals using widely-available ingredients found in any supermarket and Melissa's favorite kitchen hacks, designed to save time and money while maximizing flavor.

Nutritious Delicious: Turbocharge Your Favorite Recipes with 50 Everyday Superfoods by America's Test Kitchen details how to amp up the nutritional value in daily cooking, focusing on 50 everyday superfoods among vegetables and fruit, grains, and proteins, and uses them as the basis for building more nutrient-packed versions of the dishes we love for every meal of the day.

Baking with Steel: The Revolutionary New Approach to Perfect Pizza, Bread, and More by Andris Lagsdin is the perfect companion for anyone with a Baking Steel. This book focuses on the many ways one can use the steel in cooking applications besides producing a perfectly crisp pizza. I've had the Baking Steel for a few years and have only used it for pizza (which alone is worth the cost of the product) but I am excited to test out the other methods to utilize this revoluntionary product.

Modern Comfort Cooking: Feel-Good Favorites Made Fresh and New by Lauren Grier is the easiest and most fun way for today's home cooks to inspire their weeknight cooking routines. Over 75 of the most popular comfort foods get a super tasty twist using modern ingredients, flavors and techniques. I love the fusion of international flavors in classic dishes.

Palate Passport by Neha Khullar was published late last month and just came to my attention a week ago. The author spent three years and a lifetime writing this book. She traveled the world collecting experiences and food memories like others collect postcards and stamps on their passports. The photographs are lovely and plentiful. The recipes each share an experience. For instance, the South Indian tomato chutney tells the tale of hotel breakfast in Mumbai and a French dinner in St. Martin inspired the Cauliflower shooters. We are lucky to experience these memories through Neha's beautiful narrative, and we can immerse ourselves further by creating these dishes and memories for ourselves in our own kitchen. I just received this title this week so haven't had an opportunity to try any recipes but hope to remedy that soon. 

The Sunday Dinner Cookbook: 250 Modern Classics to Share with Family and Friends by Editors of Tide & Town delivers a new and inventive menu for any week of the year! This charming cookbook organizes the weeks of the year with 52 corresponding meal options, encompassing entree, sides, and dessert (some using cake mixes) for the whole family that can be mixed and matched throughout for an unlimited amount of possibilities. There are short-cuts contained in this book as well as plenty of fundamental basic recipes and advice perfect for the new cook. Make family event planning easy and memorable with helpful tips and tricks of decor, as well as advice for lovely dinner manners and conversation. 

CROCK-POT® Mexican Slow Cooking by Editors of Publications International Ltd. shares more than 80 slow-cooked Mexican recipes for zesty appetizers; simmering soups, stews and chilies; chicken and turkey; beef and pork; vegetarian fiesta; side dishes; desserts and drinks!

Brunch Is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party by Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano takes hesitant hosts through every phase of throwing a great dinner party, from guest list to subpoena. Loaded with wit, celebrity advice, plus sincere insights about how humans can be more generous to each other. This book is a spirited guide to restoring civility. 

Dalí: The Wines of Gala by Hans Werner Holzwarth follows on the heels of Les Dîners de Gala which was re-released last year by TASCHEN. This title is the artist's equally surreal and sensual viticulture follow-up: Vins de Gala. A Dalínian take on pleasures of the grape and a coveted collectible, the book sets out to organize wines "according to the sensations they create in our very depths."

Clean Eating For Every Season: Fresh, Simple Everyday Meals by Alicia Tyler takes you beyond the food you eat, exploring the multitude of health and nutritional benefits that can be yours when you subscribe to a clean lifestyle. In every way, clean eating is all about consuming whole food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. Taking a creative yet doable approach to cooking, readers find it easy to enhance the natural flavors of any meal without compromising the integrity of their food. Here, you'll find over 250 easy recipes for healthy living year-round plus bonus meal plans for easy shopping and cooking.

Favorite Cakes: Showstopping Recipes for Every Occasion by Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen shares simple, easy-to-follow directions, ideas for customizing, decorating tips and techniques, and common baking mistake solutions will help bakers of every level make the most of this book. Organized by basic recipes, modern, and specialty cakes, and including 40 recipes and full-color photography, there's a cake for every occasion.

Secret-Layer Cakes: Hidden Fillings and Flavors that Elevate Your Desserts by Dini Kodippili, the creator of the blog, The Flavor Bender, describes herself as a mad scientist in the kitchen. Through her experimentation, she developed secret-layer cakes. These unique cakes, which appear traditional at first, all have a hidden middle or bottom layer that will delight any dessert enthusiast. Her creations include blueberry cheesecake with a surprise lemon blondie layer, black forest mousse cake with a surprise layer of sour cherries and maple cheesecake with a hidden bacon brittle layer.

Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish Way by Anna Brones was released in the UK in July and is being released this month in the US. Brones presents valuable Swedish-inspired tips and actionable ways to create a more intentional, healthy lifestyle. Instead of thinking about how we can work less, lagom teaches us to think about how we can work better. This title is about finding balance between aesthetics and function, focusing on simplicity, light, and open spaces. Health and wellness in lagom is a holistic approach for the body and mind including connecting more in person, caring for self, managing stress, keeping active, and embacing enjoyment in daily routine.

Ramen at Home: The Easy Japanese Cookbook for Classic Ramen and Bold New Flavors by Brian MacDuckston shares over 100 recipes for broths, noodles, side dishes, and toppings, this cookbook makes it easy to enjoy real ramen any night of the week.

Other titles released this month include:

And in time for our New Year's Resolutions, other books to get us on track:


Ultimate Fit Food : Mouth-watering recipes to fuel you for life by Gordon Ramsay provides the popular chef's go-to recipes when he wants to eat well at home. The book is divided into three sections, each one offering breakfasts, lunches, suppers, sides and snacks with different health-boosting benefits. The Healthy section consists of nourishing recipes for general wellbeing; the Lean recipes encourage healthy weight loss; and the Fit section features pre- and post-workout dishes to build strength and energise. Good for you food without sacrificing taste and flavor.

Good Food Eat Well: Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes by Good Food will show you how to make delicious, healthy and balanced recipes in your slow cooker. From curries, chillis, soups and guilt-free puddings, through to fresh ideas for stews, and vegetarian meals, there is a slow-cooked meal for everyone. Accompanied throughout with full-color photographs and a nutritional breakdown of every recipe, this collection of Good Food's favorite triple-tested slow cooker recipes will work first time, every time. Good Food's body of work is indexed for our members.

The Mushroom Cookbook: A Guide To Edible Wild And Cultivated Mushrooms - And Delicious Seasonal Recipes To Cook With Them by Michael Hyams and Liz O'Keefe is an informative portrait gallery of varieties of mushrooms and offers culinary suggestions for making the most of each one. The delicious recipes are grouped seasonally, from Morel ravioli or Chestnut mushroom and mousseron tart to Kale and shiitake soup and a Gourmet mushroom burger.

Home Economics: How to eat like a king on a budget by food blogger, Jane Ashley, unlocks the key to savvy shopping and provides tools to cook from scratch rather than rely on prepared foods. This book offers delicious, quick recipes, together with simple instructions for everything from how to joint a chicken to making your own bread, pastry, sauces and dressings. Along with weekly menu plans and fully-costed shopping lists, you'll find money-saving tips, as well as dedicated menus for different diets, including vegetarian, vegan, low-carb and gluten-free.

Lose Weight for Good: Full-flavour cooking for a low-calorie diet by Tom Kerridge delivers a low-calorie diet with a difference. It's based on hunger-satisfying portions of delicious, low-calorie dishes that taste amazing. The focus is on the food that we can and should be eating to lose weight, which is easy to make and won't make you feel as though you are missing out. Recipes include Warm halloumi salad; Salt and pepper squid; Sweet potato and black bean burritos; Sticky pork chops; and Baked doughnuts with sweet five-spice dust.

Gizzi's Healthy Appetite: Food to nourish the body and feed the soul by Gizzi Erskine is being re-released in the paperback this month. This title was previously published in 2015 and is indexed for our members.

Lisa Riley's Honesty Diet by Lisa Riley shares the secrets behind her incredible 12-stone weight loss. This book shares fast, simple, delicious low-carb recipes; easy-to-stick-to eating plans; everyday fitness ideas to get you up off the sofa; an 'honesty diary' section for keeping track of progress and tips for staying healthy on-the-go and when eating out.

Solo Food by Janneke Vreugdenhil was released in the Netherlands in 2016 in Dutch and arrives in the UK this month. This cookbook celebrates cooking for yourself with 72 satisfying recipes. Many people love to spend hours in the kitchen for their family or friends, but eat a pizza in front of the TV if they're alone. Vreugdenhil demonstrates that cooking without other mouths to feed can be extremely satisfying.

Onwards and Upwards: 40 Signature recipes from Art School Restaurant
by Paul Askew is the debut book from acclaimed Liverpudlian chef. The book showcases 40 recipes featuring the best of seasonal produce. It is a celebration of great produce, of a sparkling culinary talent and of sensational ingredients. These dishes are taken from Askew's signature restaurant, The Art School in the heart of Liverpool.

Classic Food of Northern Italy by Anna Del Conte is an updated edition of the original Classic Food of Northern Italy published in 1995 which won both The Guild of Food Writers Book Award and the Orio Vergani prize of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina. Del Conte revisits classic dishes to show the best of northern Italian cuisine - both rustic and sophisticated. In this collection of over 150 recipes Anna has chosen the very best ideas sourced from acclaimed restaurants, elegant home kitchens, rural inns and country farmsteads.

Vegan in 7: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Rita Serano demonstrates how cooking vegan doesn't have to be complicated. She offers nourishing and delicious recipes with not a single fake overprocessed vegan burger in sight. Plus, all her recipes are low-fat and free from refined sugars. With chapters broken into Start, Fast, Fresh, Nourishing, Gather, Sweets and Basics, including recipes for nut milk and vegetable broth if you want to take it a step further. Rita eschews obscure ingredients in favour of natural, seasonal and organic produce. This book is beautiful and we will be bringing a promotion to you soon.

Other books released this month include:


Hong Kong: Food City by Tony Tan explores the vibrant city of Hong Kong through 80 exquisite dishes, from the cutting-edge contemporary to the traditional, from both the high and low of its cuisine with recipes from the city's iconic hotels, its hawker stalls, and even a legendary dumpling house on the outskirts of Kowloon. Tan weaves his recipes with stories that trace Hong Kong's Chinese roots, explore its deep colonial connections and tantalise us with glimpses of today's ultra-modern city and most delicious eating spots. This book was released late last month in Australia. It will be released in February in the US.

A Timeline of Australian Food: From Mutton to Masterchef by Jan O'Connell takes readers on a tasty and sometimes surprising culinary journey through 150 years of Australian food. Lavishly illustrated, this tasty book looks at what we've eaten, how we've shopped, and how we've produced and prepared our food, decade by decade, through depression, war, and decades of abundance.

Roast: The New Classics by Louise Franc shares a collection of classic and more innovative roasting recipe from a simple roast turkey to roasted peaches with crème fraîche. Get more from your oven and update your roasting technique with this classic and contemporary collection of delicious roasting recipes. Chapters cover meat, poultry, vegetables, fish & seafood, sides, and desserts, and contain more than seventy classic and more contemporary recipes including beef cheeks in red wine, classic roast turkey with spicy cranberry sauce, beef pot roast, roasted lamb shanks with cannellini beans, mustard-glazed roast leg of ham, sticky roast pork ribs, roasted ducks with cherries, whole-roasted harissa cauliflower, and slow-roasted peaches with lime mascarpone. With step-by-step carving instructions for beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, and pork, as well as popular game meats, it is the perfect way to update your roasting skills and expand your cooking repertoire. This title was released in late October.

Pidapipo: Gelato Eight Days a Week
by Lisa Valmorbida is a celebration of authentic gelato, alongside classic Italian and contemporary seasonal desserts, cakes, and drinks. All the recipes in Pidapipo are dictated by the seasons - giving you the freshest and most contemporary introduction to the sweet art of gelato! Discover 60 deliciously cool and creamy creations, including gelato, sorbetto, granitas, desserts and drinks, all exquisitely photographed and accompanied by illustrations from renowned French illustrator Jean Jullien.

New Zealand

The Tart Tin by Matt Cross shares recipes from throughout his career as a professional chef and will guide you through the creation his famed treats that sells at the Otago Farmers Market. His retro styled caravan has a consistent queue waiting to load up on his hand-made, delicious offerings. For Matt, these recipes aren't just a list of ingredients and measurements, they're snapshots of his life, passed on from chefs and people who have influenced him through his journey. From fine dining restaurants to trendy cafes, the most important things to Matt when it comes to food are quality ingredients and, more so, passion, pride and technique. The ability to spark a memory or feeling through food is one of Matt's goals. I had to order this book from New Zealand. 


  • Cati  on  12/17/2017 at 8:15 PM

    Hi Jenny, I always enjoy reading through your book reviews. Today in your first paragraph you emphasise that we don't want basics , but we need innovative recipes, challenges etc. In light of this I wonder how The Sunday Dinner Cookbook fits in. I scrolled through the recipes, courtesy of EYB index. It starts out with how to boil, scramble, poach eggs, then how to make stocks. Then some of the cakes use cake mixes e.g Cosmic Carrot Cake page 134 needs a carrot cake mix, Black Forest Cake page151 needs a chocoalate fudge cake mix, and German Chocolate Cake page 403, needs a devil's food cake mix and Ovaltine. At the time I was checking the book, only 3 members had the book, and there was only one rating of 1 star. It still might be a really useful book but I hope to hear more comments before I spend $42 online. Does anyone know if it is selling in Australian bookshops where we could actually look at it before buying?

  • Jenny  on  12/17/2017 at 8:39 PM

    Cati: Sunday Supper is a new release this month hence only 3 members having it on their bookshelves - it isn't on my top books of 2017. It's a nice book for someone looking for help to plan menus. I'm not a fan of cake mixes myself - but there are many cooks who use them and doctor them up - many cooks who look for shortcuts. The monthly roundup focus on new releases for December only to let everyone know what books were published. There are many folks that love Pioneer Woman and I feel her books are basic - but I covered it in the monthly roundup. For books that I would whole-heartedly recommend for someone beyond the basics see my Best List of 2017 linked within.

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