smitten kitchenDeb Perelman has garnered a pretty significant following from her blog Smitten Kitchen, and has transformed cooking in her 42-square-foot Manhatten kitchen from a feat to a pleasure.  She crafts everything from unique desserts to one pan entrees to sophisticated appetizers, and more; documenting her accomplishments with beautiful photographs and detailed instructions.

One of the primary things that sets Perelman apart from other food bloggers is her excellent conversational writing style.  She is witty and warm, and provides a healthy mix of anecdotes and edification.  That is why I was ecstatic to see that she had released a cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  This charming cookbook features a diverse array of recipes, accompanied by exceptional tips and explanations. Much of the cookbook features vegetarian friendly recipes — as Perelman was a vegetarian for a large chunk of her life — but there are definitely recipes for the carnivores included as well.

When I saw this book at the library, I promptly checked it out.  And then a few days later, bought it. It now sits in my kitchen with a fine layer of bread flour on it from repeated use (the recipe for homemade pizza dough is now a family favorite.)  I bought it because it met my two cookbook criteria: Providing photographs of every dish and using fresh and affordable ingredients.  I recommend checking this cookbook out as soon as possible.  And then you have to make the pizza dough, the sesame-spiced turkey meatballs and smashed chickpea salad, and, of course, the apple-cider caramels.