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It's National Cheesecake Day

raspberry white chocolate cheesecake

Today is National Cheesecake Day, and if it's a good enough reason for Dorie Greenspan to celebrate, it's good enough for me. Cheesecake's relative ease and make ahead nature are only two reasons it's such a wonderful dessert. You can also play around with a seemingly endless combination of toppings, crusts, flavors, and textures to suit any mood or occasion. There are even savory cheesecakes for those who don't have a sweet tooth.

Whether you make your cheesecake in a springform pan or regular cake pan, there are several tips to make sure your cheesecake is as creamy and delicious as possible. First and foremost, make sure your cream cheese is fully softened or you'll end up with an unpleasant lumpy texture.

Many recipes don't require it, but pre-baking your crust is another excellent technique. That way it stays crisp for a longer time. Even though it's tempting to dig right into your cheesecake, let it chill completely before removing it from the pan. This usually takes at least 6 hours, so plan for an all-day or overnight stay in the refrigerator.

The EYB Library contains over 1,400 online cheesecake recipes, like these Member favorites:

Margarita cheesecake from Martha Stewart's Cakes by the Editors of Martha Stewart Magazine
Tall and creamy cheesecake: A basic from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Pumpkin cheesecake from Feast: Food That Celebrates Life (UK) by Nigella Lawson
Original New York cheesecake from Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen
Raspberry white chocolate cheesecake from Cheesecakes, Pavlovas & Trifles by Australia Women's Weekly (pictured top)
Aubergine cheesecake from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

At Eat Your Books we want to bring you the best recipes - our dedicated team searches out and finds online recipes excerpted from newly indexed cookbooks and magazines. New recipes from the best blogs are indexed daily and members index their favorite online recipes using the Bookmarklet all the time.

Below you'll find this week's recommendations from the EYB team.

Remember you can add any of these online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf - it's a great way to expand your personal recipe collection.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!


From blogs:

Apricot and Olive Oil Cake from indexed blog Cannelle et Vanille



From AUS/NZ books:

1 recipe from Lucio's Ligurian Kitchen: The Pleasures of the Italian Riviera by Lucio Galletto & David Dale, indexed by an EYB member



From UK books:

15 recipes from New Bistro: Including Recipes from France's Best Bistros by Fran Warde, indexed by an EYB member



From US books:

19 recipes from Pure Delicious: More Than 150 Delectable Allergen-Free Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, or Cane Sugar by Heather Christo

Enter our Pure Delicious GIVEAWAY (US only -- Ends Aug 15th)


6 recipes from  The Power Greens Cookbook: 140 Delicious Superfood Recipes by Dana Jacobi


5 recipes from  One Dough, Ten Breads: Making Great Bread by Hand by Sarah Black


7 recipes from Handmade Gatherings: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations and Potluck Parties by Ashley English


5 recipes from  The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island by Cathy Erway, indexed by an EYB member


6 recipes from  Entertaining in the Northwest Style: A Menu Cookbook by Greg Atkinson, indexed by an EYB member

Farmers market hacks


For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the farmers' markets are now at their peak. The tempting array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be dizzying. Sometimes we pass up on certain produce because we just aren't sure if it is ripe or because we've had problems with it spoiling before we get a chance to use it. Cooking Light Magazine offers five hacks that can help us make sure we make the right choices, both at the farmers' market and when we bring our haul home.  

One conundrum shoppers face is whether that heavy watermelon is really ripe or if it's going to be pale and tasteless. Forget the time-honored "thump test", and instead use visual clues, says the magazine. Instead, look for "a deep-cream or yellow ground spot-where the melon sat on the ground as it grew - to show that it ripened adequately before harvest. Light green or whitish spots indicate underripe melons." Another hint is to look for a rind that is not too shiny or too dull. The former can indicate an underripe melon; the latter an overripe, mealy fruit. 

Morning may be the best time to shop, if you can fit it into your schedule. This is especially true for sweet corn. If you know the vendor has plucked the corn just before coming to the market,  you should grab it as early as you can. You should store corn in the refrigerator, because the cold slows down the conversion from sugar to starch. 

The opposite storage method is indicated for other farmers' market finds. Cucumbers and basil should both be stored at room temperature, according to the magazine. Basil, a tropical plant, is especially sensitive to cold temperatures and will turn black when stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). Instead, you should store the herb "in a cool, shady place in your kitchen, stems submerged in a glass partly filled with water. Then place a large zip-top plastic bag over the top of the basil," instructs Cooking Light

Improve your pie making skills

 apple pie

Who doesn't love a great pie? Some foods wax and wane with changing tastes (think aspic), but pie's allure has held strong for centuries. According to historical records, approximately 22 million pies were baked and sold in Manhattan way back in 1895, and the number is no doubt much higher today. Pies are popular the world over, and although you can find them in any supermarket or bakery, there's something especially satisfying about making one yourself. While pies can be intimidating to the novice, with practice anyone can be a pie pro. Saveur Magazine can help you master the techniques with four tips to making better pies.

The crust is the component that gives most people pause. Saveur believes that there are two key elements in making a tender, flaky crust: don't overwork it and let it properly rest. Of course the definition of overworked is imprecise, but the magazine has a few suggestions. First, fight "the urge to combine everything to the point where it looks well blended and smooth. A slightly shaggy mass dappled with bits of butter is fine. If in doubt, stop sooner than you think," says the magazine.

One tip that is probably the most difficult to embrace is to bake the pie longer than you think. Says Saveur, "When it first looks done, it isn't. Keep it going and going so that the filling is cooked through and the crust is crisp, top and bottom. If in doubt, bake it longer." The takeaway from all this is that you can't rush perfection, so plan on setting aside plenty of time to end up with the best pie ever.

Photo of Rosemary caramel apple pie from Saveur Magazine

The doggie bag gets an upgrade

leftover roast chicken pad thai 

The doggie bag, once seen in France as terribly gauche, has started to gain some acceptance. The first Parisian restaurant to embrace 'le doggie bag' was Le Coq Rico, a roast chicken palace that opened in 2012. The chef, Antoine Westermann, encourages patrons to try more than one of the restaurant's whole chickens at a time so they could experience the differences between the heritage breeds. That means a lot of leftovers, and with a hefty price tag, diners probably felt that they deserved to take home every last bite. 

Now that a branch of Le Coq Rico has opened in New York City, the upscale doggie bags pioneered in France are coming to the US. While the bags themselves - glossy shopping bags with paper containers - aren't new, what's inside of them is. In addition to the leftover food, each bag contains "a creamy sheet of thick paper with recipes. The recipes are easy and not earthshaking, but their presence gives the leftovers a shimmer of potential," says the NY Times

These recipes aren't just for ways to use the leftover chicken in a sandwich or a stir fry - the instructions also include methods for using the bones and even the juices that collect in the bottom of the container. While the move in France to embrace the doggie bag has been spurred by government efforts to reduce food waste, no such effort will likely be required in the US, where the doggie bag has enjoyed a long history.

Photo of Leftover roast chicken pad Thai from BBC Good Food Magazine by Rosie Birkett

Review of Korean Food Made Simple by Judy Joo

Korean Food Made SimpleJudy Joo, host of the Cooking Channel's Korean Food Made Simple, has written a cookbook by the same name (recipe index here). In her cooking show, Joo travels Korea to sample its dishes and then transforms them into simple meals that we can create in our home kitchens. Don't let the word "simple" mislead you, in this case it means simplifying the mystique behind generations-old recipes and modernizing them for today's kitchens. There is nothing simple about the history behind these dishes or the flavors of these recipes.

Korean food is a combination of spicy, tangy and funky but always totally delicious, making it one of my favorite cuisines. I am always eager to get my hands on any book that deals with international cooking and since I am of fan of the television show, I couldn't wait to review and test Joo's book. I have made a few of her recipes from the Cooking Channel site and they were all successes.

In her cookbook, Joo shares 130 recipes that will banish our need for take-out. She begins with a comprehensive chapter on the Korean pantry including some photographs to help identify unfamiliar ingredients. The chapters are indexed as follows Kimchi & Pickles; Pancakes, Dumplings, & Other Small Bites; Salads & Veggies; Rice; Noodles; Soups & Stews; Seafood; Chicken; Beef & Lamb; Pork; Sauces; Bread; Sweets and ending with Drinks.

The chapter on Kimchi and Pickles shares several versions of kimchi, the fermented cabbage that is offered at every meal - including breakfast! Joo gives permission for us to purchase kimchi to create some of the other recipes in this book but recommends that we should try to make it once at home. The process doesn't seem overly complicated and only requires two very large bowls to brine the cabbage and a large container for fermenting. Perhaps one day when there is room in my refrigerator I will attempt it.

The recipes in Korean Food Made Simple vary from traditional Korean Dishes such as Galbi - BBQ Beef Short Ribs to twists on Americanized dishes: Kimchi Pulled Pork Disco Fries and Spicy Pork Belly Cheesecake. Some purists will not appreciate the addition of those type of recipes but I value them in a book. While I love the classics, I also enjoy fusion flavors and find I am more successful getting my family to try something they are somewhat familiar with but with different flavors.

It was difficult to choose recipes to test because I wanted to make them all. I endedKorean Fried Chicken up making the Meaty Dumplings and Ultimate KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). The Ultimate KFC was spectacular, it was a bit of work but good fried chicken always is. The crust that you achieve is so crisp - it crackles when bitten into. The Korean barbecue sauce and pickled daikon were perfect accompaniments to this dish. I added a little honey to the barbecue sauce because it was a little too spicy for me. We had the leftover chicken the next day because I went a little crazy and doubled the chicken recipe. I served the chicken with some white rice and with the Meaty Dumplings. Even though most of the crispiness was lost with the chicken - it still was incredibly flavorful.

Meaty dumplingsThe Meaty Dumplings were easy to bring together and delicious. I halved the recipe because I don't have the freezer space that will allow me to freeze them on a tray. My goal is to clear out the freezer so I can make these delicious dumplings in bulk to supplement a meal or for snacking. Korean Food Made Simple is the perfect book for any level cook to delve into the art of a foreign cuisine. Joo offers many tips and hints along the way to ensure that our Korean dishes are successful and her instructions are very easy to follow.

Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sharing Judy Joo's recipe for Meaty Dumplings with Eat Your Book members.

Photos for test recipes by Jenny Hartin. Jenny is an enthusiastic home cook who lives in Colorado, owns the website The Cookbook Junkies and runs the Facebook group also called The Cookbook Junkies. The Facebook group is a closed group of 30,000 cookbook fans - new members are welcome.


My mom used to enslave my sister and me to make these by the thousands. Plump dumplings neatly lined up on plates and trays covered every surface of the kitchen. I used to only eat the skins, shaking out the meaty insides for my sister. As I got older, I learned to savor those juicy gems as well, but the crispy skins are still my favorite part. If you prefer, the dumplings can be steamed instead of fried. These are a best seller at my restaurant, Jinjuu.

Filling:Korean meaty dumplings
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
6 ounces firm tofu, drained and finely crumbled
2 1/2 cups finely shredded Korean or napa cabbage leaves (ribs removed)
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Dumplings:
48 thin round eggless wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil, for frying
Dried chile threads (silgochu)
Chile-Soy Dipping Sauce, for serving

FOR THE FILLING: In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Mix together using your hands, really breaking up the tofu to yield a very uniform texture.

FOR THE DUMPLINGS: Line a couple of baking sheets with waxed paper and set aside. Fill a small bowl with water. Unwrap the wonton wrappers and cover lightly with a piece of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Lay a wrapper on a clean work surface and put a tablespoon of the meat filling in the center. Dip a forefinger into the water and run it along the edges of the wrapper to moisten the surface. Fold the wrapper in half. Starting at the top of the half-circle and working toward the ends, press firmly together to seal, pressing out any air bubbles.

Lay the dumpling on its side on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, making sure the dumplings aren't touching on the baking sheets. Once the dumplings are assembled, if you don't plan to cook them right away, you can freeze them on the baking sheets, then bag them up to store in the freezer. Without thawing the frozen dumplings, boil or steam them to cook through, then pan fry if you like to make them crispy.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, lay the dumplings on their sides in the pan in a single layer without crowding the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them and cook until the other side is golden brown and the filling is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the fried dumplings to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. If you prefer not to fry the dumplings, steam them in batches until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter (steamed dumplings do not need to be drained).

Transfer the fried dumplings to a platter. Top with some of the chile threads and serve immediately, with the dipping sauce.

TIP: If you'd like to check the seasoning of the filling for the dumplings-or any kind of filling or stuffing that includes raw meat or fish-cook a small patty in a lightly oiled skillet, then adjust the seasonings to your taste.


This sauce is my go-to sauce for dumplings, such as my Meaty Dumplings (page 54) and King Dumplings (page 56).

6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons Korean apple vinegar (sagwa-shikcho) or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh Korean red chile or Fresno chile (sliced on an angle)
4 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, very thinly sliced on an angle

IN A SMALL BOWL, stir together all the ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

Text excerpted from KOREAN FOOD MADE SIMPLE ©2016 by Judy Joo. Photo ©2016 by Jean Cazals. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

July cookbook roundup

Every month Jane and Fiona wade through hundreds of cookbooks, selecting and reviewing all the best new releases of U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand cookbooks. The only thing left for you to do is to add them to your Bookshelf.

July brings a focus on Indian recipes with cookbooks from several respected authors. Grain-free cooking and baking remain popular themes, and quick and easy recipes are also featured this month.


cookbook collageIngredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market by Marcella and Victor Hazan: When Marcella Hazan died in 2013, the world mourned the passing of the "Godmother of Italian cooking." But her legacy lives on, through her cookbooks and recipes, and in the handwritten notebooks filled with her thoughts on how to select the best ingredients-Ingredienti. Her husband and longtime collaborator Victor has translated and transcribed these vignettes on how to buy and what to do with the fresh produce used in Italian cooking, the elements of an essential pantry, and salumi. 

Modern Potluck by Kristin Donnelly: A cookbook for those wanting to break out of the usual potluck routine, Modern Potluck contains dozens of make-ahead recipes perfect for a crowd, including selections that are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan (although meat gets its due). The book also includes  practical information such as how to pack foods to travel. Kristin's tour dates are in the Cookbook Events Calendar.

Cake Magic! by Caroline Wright: Cake Magic! is a formulaic take on the art of cake baking. Choose a batter, flavor with syrup, add a frosting to achieve combinations like Candy Bar Cake: Darkest Chocolate Cake + Caramel Syrup + Malted Milk Chocolate Frosting + crushed candy bars. The layout is heavy on the visuals, featuring photos in the front and recipes tucked in the back. The book includes vegan and gluten-free variations, plus how to tweak the recipes to make sheet cakes, Bundt cakes, and cupcakes, too. Check our Caroline's classes in the Cookbook Events Calendar.

Pure Food: A Chef's Handbook for Eating Clean, with Healthy, Delicious Recipes by Kurt Beecher Dammeier: Dammeier, chef, restaurateur, food entrepreneur, retailer, and educator, has spent the past 30 years of his life working to rid his own diet of food additives, and nearly 20 creating and selling pure, unadulterated foods through his Seattle-based family of food businesses (including Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Pasta & Co, and Bennett's Restaurant). In Pure Food, Kurt shares his own story, as well as providing a roadmap for readers to forge a diet based on pure, additive-free foods.

cookbook collageFast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People by Philia Kelnhofer: Cooking can sometimes involve mile-long ingredient lists and require more time than one cares to spend in the kitchen after a busy day. With Fast and Easy Five Ingredient Recipes you'll find over 100 recipes that only require five ingredients (or less) and use simple ingredients in unique ways.

Cook Korean by Robin Ha: Fun to look at and easy to use, this unique combination of cookbook and graphic novel is the ideal introduction to cooking Korean cuisine at home. Robin Ha's colorful and humorous one- to three-page comics fully illustrate the steps and ingredients needed to bring more than sixty traditional (and some not-so-traditional) dishes to life, including kimchi, bulgogi dupbap and gimbap. Robin has some signings in the next couple of days - details here.

My Halal Kitchen by Yvonne Maffei: Maffei is the founder of the popular cooking blog and Islamic lifestyle website My Halal Kitchen. Her new book celebrates halal cooking and shows readers how easy it can be to prepare halal meals. The recipes include everrything from classic American favorites to takes on international dishes like Coq without the Vin, Shrimp Pad Thai, Chicken Tamales, and more. As Maffei often says to her million-plus social media followers, halal cooking elegantly dovetails with holistic living and using locally sourced, organic ingredients.

The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet by Laura Fuentes: Geared toward making foods the entire family will enjoy, the book by author and grain-free mama Laura Fuentes contains recipes for delicious, healthy, allergy-free meals from breakfast to dinner and dessert. A sampling of the recipes titles includes Grain-Free Breakfast Cookies, Sweet Potato Morning Scramble, Veggie Falafels, and Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups, and Coconut-Brownie Bites.

cookbook collageNo-Bake Treats: Incredible Unbaked Cheesecakes, Icebox Cakes, Pies and More by Julianne Bayer: This new take on easy to prepare no-bake treats takes them to another level with indulgent flavors. The distinctive and contemporary takes on no-bake classics includes items like Peanut Butter and Banana Icebox Cake, Brownie Batter Cheesecake, Coconut Lime Cookie Truffles and Dulce De Leche Pie.

Home Skillet: The Essential Cast Iron Cookbook for Easy One-Pan Meals by Robin Donovan: Food writer Robin Donovan became an instant fan of cast iron cooking because of its ease and versatility - plus, it gets better the more you use it! Home Skillet is the complete cast iron cookbook, making the best use of this multi-functional pan with recipes from cinnamon rolls to skillet pizzas to blackened fish tacos to skillet pies.

Kathryn At Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining by Kathryn M. Ireland: We know that interior designer, textiles designer, and consummate entertainer Ireland can pul together stunning tabletops. She can also create delicious meals, and here she shares her notes and advice on entertaining, particularly outdoors, in an elegant scrapbook style. The recipes for breakfasts, picnics, andlelight dinners, afternoon tea and more are all interlaced with her signature fabrics.


cookbook collageSuper Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver: This cookbook continues with the popular philosophy behind Jamie's Everyday Super Food. The recipes have clear and easy-to-understand nutritional information on the page, including the number of veg and fruit portions in each dish, plus there's a bumper back-section packed with valuable advice on everything from cooking with kids and tackling fussy eaters, to good gut health.

Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop: The Lower Yangtze region, Jiangnan, has been known since ancient times as a 'Land of Fish and Rice'. For centuries, local cooks have been using the plentiful produce of its lakes, rivers, fields and mountains, combined with delicious seasonings and flavours such as rice vinegar, rich soy sauce, spring onion and ginger, to create a cuisine that is renowned in China for its delicacy and beauty. Drawing on years of study and exploration, Dunlop explains basic cooking techniques, typical cooking methods and the principal ingredients of the Jiangnan larder. This book will be published in USA in October.

Love Your Lunchbox by James Ramsden: Ramsden, creator of the Secret Larder supper club, co-owner of resturant Pigdin and author of Do-ahead Dinners and Do-ahead Christmas has applied his practical do-ahead ethos and talent for inventive and satisfying flavour combinations with the theory that homemade lunches needn't be boring or expensive. This a paperback reprint of a 2014 book.

Mr Todiwala's Spice Box by Cyrus Todiwala: Cyrus Todiwala is known for combining flavors, spices and ingredients in ways no other Indian chef has ever done before. He loves mixing Western dishes with Indian flavorings to create recipes that make innovative and delicious use of spices. Offering an entirely fresh look at spices, Cyrus takes just 10 of his favorites and bases 120 recipes around them. This book is also published in the USA this month.

cookbook collageFresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Every Day by Meera Sodha: Following on from her bestselling Made in India, Meera Sodha reveals a whole new side of Indian food that is fresh, delicious and quick to make at home. These vegetable-based recipes are proper feel good food, and full of flavour. There are familiar and classic Indian recipes like dals, curries and pickles, alongside less familiar ones using fresh seasonal British ingredients, like Brussels sprout thoran. Meera will be cooking up a storm at some events in London, details in the Calendar.

Indian Made Easy by Amandip Uppal: Here you will find a fresh approach to Indian cooking, with uncomplicated recipes for tempting vegetarian  and meat-based dishes. Complete your meal with homemade chutneys, pickles and infused rice, then finish off with a decadent dessert or spiced chai. Special features guide you through making paneer, yoghurt and flatbreads, plus there's a menu planner and information on pantry staples, must-have spices and alternative ingredients. The book is also published in Australia this month and will be published in the US in September as My Indian Kitchen.

Dinner Tonight: 200 Dishes You Can Cook in Minutes by Lindsey Bareham: In this collection of simple, accessible and mouth-watering recipes from the winner of the Guild of Food Writers' British Food Writer of the Year Award, Lindsey Bareham helps solve the never-ending question of what to make for dinner. The book is filled with ideas from Lindsey's award-winning weekly column in The Times.

100 Desserts to Die For by Trish Deseine: The glamorous and decadent recipes in this book promise that even those with the strongest willpower won't be able to say no. Split into chapters of Classics (think Milk chocolate and salted butter caramel mousse), Chocolate (Chocolate, peanut butter and oreo biscuit tart), Soft (Croissant pudding with caramel and bourbon), Fruit (Eton mess with rose, strawberry and roasted rhubarb), and Ice (Banana, mango and date tarte tatin with creme fraiche ice cream), 100 Desserts to Die For has a recipe for every occasion. This book is also published in Australia this month.

cookbook collageCan It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Food by Gary Allen: Artisanal canned tomatoes and homemade kimchee might be trendy items now, but they come from a culinary need as old as human civilization itself. Exploring the history and science of preservation, Allen examines all the major techniques-from drying to smoking to salting to canning to fermentation-reveling in the cornucopia of different foods they have produced.

Squirrel Pie (and other stories): Adventures in Food Across the Globe by Elisabeth Luard: Award-winning writer and journalist Elisabeth Luard is one of the most knowledgeable foragers on the planet, as well as one of the foodie sphere's most entertaining voices. Her worldwide travels--from the Andes to the Outer Hebrides, from the deserts of India to the Arctic tundra--have meant she has tasted some of the most extraordinary ingredients the natural world has to offer. In this enchanting food memoir, she shares the knowledge gained from a lifetime's worth of experience foraging in the wild.

Flavour: Eat What Your Love by Ruby Tandoh: Organised by ingredient, Flavour helps you to follow your cravings, or whatever you have in the fridge, to a recipe. GBBO finalist Tandoh encourages us to look at the best ways to cook each ingredient; when it's in season, and which flavours pair well with it. Look out for an upcoming promotion with this book.

Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison: Collison amazed the judges and viewers alike as the youngest ever contestant in the 2014 series of The Great British Bake Off. In her first book, she offers a brilliant new approach to baking - a way to master baking, while adding 'twists' to recipes to make contemporary bakes that everyone will love.

cookbook collageStirring Slowly: Recipes to Restore & Revive by Georgina Hayden: Whether it is a quick and comforting noodle bowl or a hearty slow-cooked pie, this book celebrates food's power to restore, revive and rejuvenate. But it isn't just about the food on your plate: it's about how it gets there. Stirring Slowly celebrates time spent in the kitchen, because cooking nourishes you inside and out.

Aimee's Perfect Bakes by Aimee Twigger:, This book features recipes from Aimee Twigger's kitchens as featured on her popular blog, Twigg Studios. Each treat has easy-to-follow instructions and is paired with stunning photographs shot by Aimee herself. She also gives crafty tips for beautifully wrapping and presenting her delicious bakes to make perfect, edible gifts for any occasion. Aimee runs food styling and photography workshops - check out details in the Calendar.

Made in Spain: Recipes and stories from my country and beyond by Miriam González Durántez: In Spanish families, when you have eaten a really good home-made meal, people stay at the table long after the meal has ended, chatting and putting the world to rights. Made in Spain is full of dishes that will encourage you to do just that. The recipes stick to the key principle of Spanish cooking - respect the ingredient - bringing a taste of Spain to your family's kitchen. Miriam is the barrister wife of the ex-Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg so there are some interesting political anecdotes in the book.

Australia and New Zealand

cookbook collageDelicieux: The Recipes of France by Gabriel Gaté: Delicieux is an accompaniment to Gabriel's popular Taste Le Tour program on SBS, with more than 200 recipes, including terrines, gratins, crepes, mousses, fricassees, casseroles, brioche, gateaux, souffles and tarts from every region of France.

Sweet Delights by Eleanor Ozich: Her popular New Zealand blog, Petite Kitchen, has had two successful cookbooks and now Eleanor has self-published a little book with a collection of her wholesome sweet recipes.

The Power of Flour: The deliciously versatile world of flour in baking and cooking GLUTEN-FREE by Rowie Dillon: Proving that even if you have to restrict gluten in your diet, you don't have to miss out on classic dishes that traditionally use wheat-based flours. Using a variety of flours, seeds and grains, Rowie, who suffers from food intolerances herself, has developed a collection of savory and sweet recipes.

Cooking advice from Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich

EYB Members love Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's many cookbooks. In addition to writing several books, Bastianich has been a regular contributor to the PBS cooking show lineup since 1998, including her most recent series, 'Lidia's Italy'. Viewers of her program often ask her what is the one thing they can do to improve their cooking. Since teaching people to become better home cooks is one of her biggest passions, Bastianich is happy to answer this question. She recently shared 7 tips for becoming a better home cook.

Number one on her list: respecting the seasons. Fruits and vegetables purchased from local producers in season have the best flavor, are more affordable, and can offer better nutrition. Another important principle that she adheres to is adding flavor at the end of the cooking process. "We all love the flavor of butter and olive oil in our foods, and we usually begin the cooking process with them. But to maximize that flavor, save most of the butter or oil to add at the end of the cooking process since heat dissipates flavor," she says.

Keeping an eye on temperature is also key, as the level of heat often affects the final texture of the dish. Bastianich, like many chefs, extols the virtues of a good cooking thermometer. The article provides a few other tidbits, offered with Bastianich's signature saying: "Tutti a tavola a mangiare: Everyone to the table to eat!"

The connection between cookbooks and history

 Brunswick stew

Cookbooks can serve as snapshots of the period in which they were written. Many books from the 1990s, for instance, feature the sparse plating and ingredients that rose to prominence during that decade (hello, truffle oil). But even beyond the obvious connections with what we eat during any given time, cookbooks can shape how we view historical events. An Epicurious interview with professor Carrie Tippen explores the ways that differences in a specific recipe's narratives speaks volumes about how the writers "formulated Southern history, memory, and identity."

Tippen approaches the subject by studying different recipes for a single dish -  Brunswick stew. As with many foods, the origin story for the stew varies, with three different areas claiming it as their own. The most frequently quoted story is that the stew, a combination of barbecued meat and vegetables, was created by an enslaved cook named Jimmy Matthews, who concocted the dish one evening at his owner's hunting camp in Brunswick, Virginia.

In examining recipes for the stew from nine different Southern cookbooks published from 1981 to 2011, Tippen found that earlier books included some version of the Jimmy Matthews story, although many of them were whitewashed. For instance, one cookbook describes Matthews' owner as his "employer". Some newer descriptions of Brunswick stew skip the origin story altogether. These recipes describe the stew in terms of a family tradition or other personal narrative. This omission is essentially the rewriting of history, says Tippen. "Erasure is the inevitable consequence of this turn from history to memory," she writes in an article published in Food and Foodways, "supplanting the innovations of African American and Native American cooks and marginalizing their share of Southern culture and identity."

The article examines how Tippen became interested in this field of study, and how she chose Brunswick stew as the focus of her recent research. It also explores how cookbooks could explore history in a different way that doesn't marginalize people.

Photo of Official Brunswick stew from The Washington Post, indexed by an EYB Member

Foods that you grow to love


When I was a child, there were a few foods that I never wanted to eat. My parents never forced me to clean my plate, but I did have to at least try a food before proclaiming that I didn't like it. I know why I didn't like a few of the items - certain vegetables were often overcooked and once I had them properly prepared, I realized their appeal. But others were more of a mystery. My mother's vegetable soup, based on an old family recipe, was one of those foods. Despite trying a few spoonfuls each time it was served, I balked at eating the soup throughout my childhood and adolescence, even though it was well made.

The soup had a definite Ukrainian influence, containing a hefty quantity of beets, although it wasn't quite borscht. Since my great-grandparents - although of German descent - grew up in western Ukraine near the Moldova border, this is not surprising. I am inclined to think that the pronounced beet flavor was what put me off of the soup, but whether that was the case or not, I never developed a taste for it while I lived at home.

After I had lived away from home for a couple of years, I came back for a routine visit during which my mother served the same vegetable soup that I hadn't liked as a child. Now, however, there was a difference: I found it delicious. While the soup was cooking, the familiar aroma that I once despised now had me salivating.

What was the reason for this change? Was it because I had been exposed to many new and exciting flavors since I left home? I had not yet tried borscht - that came a few years later - so that wasn't the answer. Had my tastebuds changed as I got older? Was it just nostalgia for something that reminded me of home? I don't really know why I suddenly enjoyed the same food that I had found unpalatable just a few years before.

Science may have the answer. Some scientists believe that you will grow to like a food just by repeatedly eating it. Perhaps in the years away from home I had tried enough foods reminiscent of the major flavors to push me over the edge. Or maybe it was just a longing for home. Whatever the reason, I now relish the soup that I once hated. Do you have any foods that you once hated that you've grown to love?

Photo of Borscht from The Hairy Bikers' Meat Feasts by Hairy Bikers and Dave Myers and Si King

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