- Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, the overdue and exciting companion to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, promises to fill the bellies of a number of lactose-intolerant and vegetarian/vegan lovers of sweets. The cookie on the cover sucks you in - I can't imagine what miracles are contained within this cookbook's pages - Magical Coconut Cookie Bars, Peanut Butter Crisscrosses, NYC Black & Whites - OH MY! $17.95
- If you're me (and you should be, 'cause it's great) you can't hear the name "Lidia Bastianich" without thinking of the silly and sexy Fabio Viviani from Bravo's Top Chef. What I fail to acknowledge, sometimes, is the enduring voice and legacy of Lidia, who has brought Italian cooking and culinary history to the masses for many years. Her latest cookbook, Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy, is a literal and literary tour of Italian regional cuisine, "starting at the north, working down to the tip, and ending in Sardinia". $35
- Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day should probably be on the top of my list. I've been spoiled since the spring with a local bakery's artisan breads and have decided that I need to figure it out for myself. This book promises to be an invaluable resource from one of baking's most well-respected chefs. $30
- The sequel to Cooking, James Peterson's Baking has been touted as the next best reference book for bakers, from novice to sourdough-slinging genius to jellyroll warrior. Clearly organized and written in Peterson's winning style, this cookbook would be a great gift to someone who is still trying to figure out what to do with all the baking and pastry accessories that perplex them. I'm a firm believer that the basics of every style should be learned before the fluff, and this looks like an excellent way to do that without shipping yourself off to pastry school. $40
- Yukon Cornelius...ahem, excuse me...Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef: Las Vegas has a sectioned pig tattooed on his arm as both an homage to his Southern background and his fervent commitment to delectable pork. The cover of Ad Hoc at Home naturally reminds me of this, but it's so much more than a dedication to America's "other white meat". Owner of The French Laundry, a James Beard award winner, and someone committed to clean, delicious cuisine, Thomas Keller's latest at home companion would be a great gift for the person in your life who likes hip spins on traditional comfort food. $50
- Serious Eats has been "Cooking the Book" The Craft of Baking for a few weeks, and I have to admit that I'm thoroughly intrigued by the recipes. Written by Tom Collichio-discovery and James Beard award winner Karen DeMasco, this book is designed to take the seasoned baker to new and imaginative heights. Especially exciting: this book seems to be a whirlwind of delights from cookies to candies to ice cream. Something for everyone! $35
- While I'm dubious about trusting two skinny dudes from the South to tell me what's what about true Southern cuisine, I AM excited about the fresh and light complements to the standard heaviness of the fried, butter-soaked dishes that my dear sweet Paula Deen has been ladling into our arteries the past few years. The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern is an evolution of something these boys have been doing for quite a while (their site). I imagine this book will be a less preachy complement to the whole food/slow food fad of late. $35
- Finally - the pièce de résistance - what I like to consider a culinary Rick Roll! Cocktails Cocktails Cocktails! Check out Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time, sure to be a great way to incorporate a drinking game into watching any of her shows...or perhaps this. Ooooooo, GOT YA! $17.95
Hot, fresh and ready to read!
Cookbook publishers are smooth movers, I say. Just as the holiday season busts out into full swing, we have a bevy of hot and fresh published books and guides to help us navigate holiday cooking, resolutions for the new year, or just fun and inspirational kitchen adventures. I've included a few exciting releases in this post (counter-clockwise from top left).