December 2019 New Cookbook Review

How did we reach the end of 2019, and the decade, so quickly? It seems that Eat Your Books has been covering and indexing cookbooks for our members for ten years in just a blink of an eye.

Every year cookbooks get better and better and this year was no exception. My best cookbook lists – Part I and Part II – share my favorite cookbooks and Jane is working on her mammoth best lists for sharing later this week. Have no fear, we have a lot to look forward to in 2020 and I will continue to update that post frequently.

Be sure to follow us on social media (buttons located on right lower sidebar on the home page). If you would like to order any of these titles, using our affiliate links (right beneath the social media buttons) or the BUY BOOK button on the book details page, will help to support EYB and our indexing efforts (as well as help us to include worldwide options in some promotions). Most of our titles are released in multiple regions and are available locally and through worldwide sellers such as the Book Depository that make global titles available to more members with free international shipping.

If there is an  available for a cookbook, look for the orange icon in the blurb. Clicking on that icon will take you directly to the preview. Also, please note that author events are indicated at the end of each paragraph where applicable. (Events).

United States

Michael Symon’s Fix It with Food: More Than 125 Recipes to Address Autoimmune Issues and Inflammation by Michael Symon is the first-ever health-focused cookbook from the celebrity chef. After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and external lupus, Symon learned which foods triggered inflammation and pain, By beginning with a “reset,” readers with similar issues will identify which foods to avoid, and then, with 125 creative and health-supportive recipes, they’ll learn that just like Michael Symon, you don’t need to sacrifice delicious food to eat healthfully and be pain-free.

Beginner’s Baking Bible: 130+ Recipes and Techniques for New Bakers by Heather Perine walks you through all the essential techniques you’ll need to bake over 130 sweet and savory recipes and get them right every time. Learn the tools and staple ingredients you’ll need for baking, pick up building block skills like measuring, mixing, kneading, creaming butter and sugar, and whipping egg whites and soon you’ll impress your family and friends with muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, quiches, and even savory galettes.

Cake Decorating for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Like a Pro by Rose Atwater teaches the novice decorator how to transform deliciously simple cakes into dazzling feasts for the eyes and taste buds. Super easy step-by-steps will guide you through cake decorating techniques, like smoothing or texturing frosting, handling a pastry bag, piping rosettes, creating a drip effect, hand lettering, and much more. Then, put your skills to the test with ten amazing cakes you’d be proud to share with your loved ones.

Gifts from the Modern Pantry: Healthy Handmade Treats for Any Occasion by Rachel de Thample leads us through making edible gifts. This book is organized around the techniques of infusing, fermenting, pickling, jams, baking, tempering, and drying; using everyday ingredients to create treats for any occasion. With ideas and tips on how to package your creations, treat your loved ones and yourself to these delicious offerings.

Pastry for Beginners Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes for Sweet and Savory Treats by Sharon Glascoe is for the home baker who wants to up their baking skills with picture-perfect pastries. This pastry cookbook includes step-by-steps and photos for fundamental dough-making techniques, like blind baking pie dough, kneading soft yeasted breads, laminating an airy puff pastry, and piping a light choux pastry; as well as dozens of recipes for flaky and flavorful sweet and savory pastries.

Mediterranean Instant Pot: Easy, Fast, Authentic Recipes for Eating Well by America’s Test Kitchen Editors is an Instant Pot-authorized cookbook that makes it more convenient than ever to cook the Mediterranean way, incorporating more vegetables, grains, beans, and seafood into your diet, and exploring the healthful, authentic flavors of cuisines ranging from Turkish to North African in everyday one-pot meals.

The Defined Dish: Whole30 Endorsed, Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes by Alex Snodgrass shares gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free recipes that sound and look way too delicious to be healthy. This is a cookbook people can turn to after completing Whole30, when they’re looking to reintroduce healthful ingredients like tortillas, yogurt, beans, and legumes. Recipes like Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa or Black Pepper Chicken are easy enough to prepare even after a busy day at work. There are no esoteric ingredients in these recipes but instead, something to suit every taste, each dish clearly marked if it is Whole30 compliant, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and more. Alex includes delicious variations, too, such as using lettuce wraps instead of taco shells, to ensure recipes can work for almost any diet. And for anyone looking to stick to their Whole30 diet for longer, at least sixty of the recipes are fully compliant.

Sabor Sabor: Sensational Spanish Flavors by Sandra Alvarez is a beautifully illustrated modern Spanish cookbook that will inspire a new appreciation of Spanish flavors and techniques. While participating in the competition Masterchef Holland in 2015, Sandra received a lot of attention for her Spanish-inflected recipes. She decided to create a book using versions of her traditional family recipes which are simpler, more modern, and healthier. They contain less sugar and more vegetables than traditional cooking, include vegetarian and vegan dishes, and have something for every budget. This title is being released in the US, Belgium, and the UK.

Half the Sugar, All the Love: 100 Easy, Low-Sugar Recipes for Every Meal of the Day by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel M.D. M.S.P.H. is like a cross between Eat This, Not That and Deceptively Delicious. Here the authors present an eye-opening education, an action plan, and a cookbook all in one. It shows us how to shop smartly to avoid hidden sugars. Busts the most common myths about sugar (honey is not healthier, sugar substitutes are questionable at best). In addition, we are given seven easy tips for globally reducing added sugar at home, helps us stock our pantries with better ingredients, and then offers 100 family-friendly recipes that minimize added sugar while maximizing flavor, from granolas and yogurt pops for breakfast through big-batch sauces to make the tastiest dinners, to ingenious desserts.

Ready, Set, Dough!: Beginner Breads for All Occasions by Rebecca Lindamood teaches us to master twelve basic dough recipes so that bakers of all skill levels will be well equipped to make a variety of bakery-quality breads that can even serve as a full meal. One-hour dough and a variety of quick breads mean that you can whip up tasty bread even on a tight schedule.

Bowls: Vibrant Recipes with Endless Possibilities helps you compose 75 interesting bowls that incorporate a multitude of flavors and textures, from a Harvest salad bowl (abundant with squash, apples, and goat cheese) to a Cuban-style pork mojo quinoa bowl, all while streamlining prep work to keep them casual and fun.

Stunning Buttercream Flowers: 25 Projects to Create Edible Flora, Cacti and Succulents by Jiahn Kang delivers 25 incredibly approachable decorating projects. Kang, founder of the cake design company Brooklyn Floral Delight, shows you how to easily sculpt delicate flowers, cute cacti and floral arrangements all from delicious buttercream icing. With simple instructions and helpful step-by-step pictures, you’ll quickly master the art of beautiful cake decorating no baking expertise required!

Epic Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Inspired Recipes That Take Air-Frying in Deliciously Exciting New Directions by Emily Paster combines everything you love about air frying with the easiest, everyday recipes to enjoy conveniently crispy meals. Air fryer meals are family favorites because of taste, but they also create healthy everyday meals, which makes everyone happy.

Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age by Catherine McCord shares her family’s story and some of her favorite smoothie recipes when her son became ill and nothing else worked. Years of witnessing the positive effects that smoothies can offer inspired McCord to create a smoothie bible packed with almost 100 of her favorite, tried-and-tested recipes. With guidance from top nutritionists, McCord also explains how to eat based on your age and details the health benefits of key smoothie ingredients.

Modern Pasta Sauces: Delicious and Creative Twists on Your Favorite Classic Recipes by Paula Jones is a fun, affordable way to try new delectable Italian dishes classic pasta sauces simmering with creative, modern flavors you’ll crave. You’ll be inspired to make 60 mouthwatering sauces you’ve never tried before like Kale pistachio pesto, Squash Carbonara with pancetta, and Vegan vodka sauce. Modern Pasta Sauces is the perfect go-to guide for home cooks from beginners to seasoned chefs who want to elevate mealtime with homemade pasta sauces that satisfy and delight.

Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Eating by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale is much more than a cookbook. It’s a travel guide, narrative journey and richly illustrated exploration of a 4,000-year-old cooking culture. Find out more about this stunning book in our promotion and be sure to enter our giveaway to win a copy. This book was published in the UK and Australia in 2015.

Power Spicing: 80 Simple Recipes for Well-Seasoned Meals and a Healthy Body by Rachel Beller is a primer to demystifying the healing powers of spices and their ability to fight inflammation, burn fat, protect your organs, and boost your metabolism, all while enjoying flavor-packed dishes throughout the day. From turmeric that gives your morning latte its antioxidant boost to cayenne that infuses that bar-snack popcorn with an anti-inflammatory kick, spices are superfoods in their own right.

The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook: 300 Fresh and Simple Recipes for Better Living by Peter Minaki provides all the tools needed to make healthy, classic Mediterranean meals right at home. Including 300 recipes – most of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, along with make-ahead and slow cooker meal – this cookbook is perfect for Mediterranean diet beginners.

The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook: 175 Super Easy Recipes Made Just for You by Joanie Zisk guides the reader in making fresh, delicious, home-cooked meals for one without creating a week’s worth of leftovers or leaving an abundance of unused fresh ingredients that quickly go to waste. Each of the 175 single-serving recipes are quick and simple to make and save you both time and money.

The Super Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook: 115 Easy, Healthy Recipes That Are Ready When You Are by Kristi Arnold is filled with simple dishes that involve no pre-cooking and that rarely exceed 10 minutes of prep time. Simply load your slow cooker (or Instant Pot) with raw ingredients, go about your day, and return to a ready-to-serve meal.

Other titles of interest:


The Joyous Cookbook: 100 Real Food, Nourishing Recipes for Everyday Living by Joy McCarthy offers a collection of 100 whole-food recipes for happy, healthy living. From easy-to-make breakfasts, hearty mains, and one-pot meals, to sides and salads, snacks, and desserts,

The Obesity Code Cookbook: Recipes to Help You Manage Insulin, Lose Weight, and Improve Your Health by Jason Fung makes it even easier to follow Dr. Fung’s weight-loss advice from his best selling book – The Obesity Code. This book is an indispensable tool for home cooks looking to lower insulin, lose weight, manage diabetes, or simply lead a healthy, longer life.

United Kingdom

China: A Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes From Beijing And Canton, To Shanghai And Sichuan by Terry Tan is an impressive 600 plus page volume that offers hundreds of recipes, background detail, and 1500 photographs. The book promises to be accessible too, the ingredients and stages of every recipe are clearly explained and shown, and authentic tastes are assured with the clear and reassuring guidance.

Simply Good for You: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes, Bursting with Goodness by Amelia Freer, the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author and renowned nutritional therapist, has written a book packed with the best recipes from her own kitchen. Here she shows us how to make simple, every day, nourishing meals – because you don’t have to compromise between taste, ease, and health when it comes to the food on your table. In this beautiful cookbook, discover 100 quick and easy recipes for varied and tempting dishes that are, quite simply, good for you.

Casa Cacao: The Return Trip to the Origin of Chocolate by Jordi Roca and Ignacio Medina includes forty recipes, formulas and totally new creative ideas with cocoa as the mainstay of desserts, chocolates, and ice cream. Jordi Roca is one of the world’s most advanced chocolatiers and was proclaimed the best pastry chef in the world in 2014, 50 Best Awards. This book shows Jordi’s search for the origins of cocoa and his journey to discover how to master chocolate for the creation of new, totally revolutionary desserts. He travels through cocoa fields in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador to meet producers both in the interior of the jungle and in the new areas that produce some of the most prestigious cocoa on the market.

How to Be Sober and Keep Your Friends by Flic Everett shows us how and why we can still be the life and soul of the party, keep our friends, and not drink. This is the latest in the “How to” series from Quadrille: How to be Gluten-Free and Keep Your Friends: Recipes & Tips and How to be Vegan and Keep your Friends are the first two titles in this series.

Mustard: A Global History (Edible) by Demet Güzey is a delightful global history of all things Grey Poupon and gleaming yellow, Demet Güzey takes readers on a tour of the ubiquitous mustard, exploring its origins, its use in medicine and in the kitchen, its place in literature, language, and religion, and its strong symbolism of sharpness, perseverance, and strength. Packed with entertaining mustard facts and illustrations as well as a selection of historic and modern recipes, this surprising history of one of the world’s most loved condiments will appeal to all food history aficionados.


Waste Not Everyday: Simple Zero-Waste Inspiration 365 Days a Year by Erin Rhoads is a step-by-step, day-by-day guide to simple, progressive lifestyle changes that will have a big effect on what you throw out, and on the health of our planet. With tips, tricks, recipes, motivation and inspiration, Erin Rhoads, well-known author of Waste Not and passionate waste advocate, takes you on a gentle journey towards zero waste, day by day. Split into four easy-to-follow parts, this title features 365 achievable daily changes that will lead to a genuine shift in thinking and action, motivational reminders to help you keep sight of the bigger picture, as well as daily, weekly and monthly mini-challenges to help you progress.


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