better on toastHot or cold, savory or sweet–there’s nothing better than fresh, flavorful ingredients on a slice of perfectly toasted bread!

Toasts are the ideal meal, whether you need a handheld lunch, a creative buffet for hungry guests, or a craveable midnight snack. Better on Toast features more than seventy elegantly simple recipes for toasts to appeal to every taste–from Hot Miso Crab to Shaved Asparagus with Serrano-Basil Butter to Lavender Ricotta. Jill Donenfeld layers flavors and uses quality, wholesome ingredients to make each recipe stand out, while her magical toasting techniques bring out the best in every bread, from thick-cut brioche to hearty grain to her signature gluten-free Quinoa Millet Bread.

Let’s have a toast!

(description from publisher)

Not that they’ve ever really gone out of style, but pies are enjoying a resurgence of popularity these days with several new books extolling their virtues and delights. And what better time to try some new pie recipes than the holidays?

A Year of Pies presents beautifully photographed seasonal recipes that include such delights as a Chocolate & Orange Marmalade Tart in winter, a Strawberry & Rhubarb Ginger Hand Pie in spring, a classic Lattice Top Triple Berry Pie in summer, and Rosemary Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie in autumn. A Basics section offers six piecrust recipes, troubleshooting tips, and advice on selecting seasonal ingredients.

An utterly charming collection of regional heirloom American pies, from long-lost recipes to classic favorites, sweetly illustrated and chock-full of time-tested baking tips and secrets for perfect pies Before cooking shows and celebrity chefs there were church dinners, community bake sales, and county fairs-events for which regular women made and served their prized family recipes. The United States of Pie invites readers on a journey back in time.

From a ‘proper’ quiche Lorraine to an indulgent raspberry cheesecake pie, Tart it Up shows you the secrets for creating great pies and tarts every time. Pies and tarts are the ultimate comfort food. Whether sweet or savory, elegant or hearty, they are great for relaxed entertaining, family get-togethers and even weekday suppers.

(descriptions from publishers)

A unique combination of old-fashioned chutzpah (becoming your own boss) and cutting edge technology (using twitter to tell your customers where you are), food trucks are all the rage. Significantly cheaper to open than a traditional brick-and-mortar restuarant, food trucks open the door to a better life for newly arrived immigrants (bringing authentic recipes from home) to a creative outlet and financial independence for wannbe-chefs and foodies. Plus, yum!

Food Trucks by Heather Shouse tours the country exploring the funky world of street food, from Hawaii to Los Angeles (ground zero for taco trucks) to Miami to New York City. You’d think (at least I did) that food trucks would be most prevelant on the coasts and in the southern, warmer states, but there are plenty of trucks worth seeking out in the Midwest (Madison, WI especially), the North and the Northwest. Interestingly, Chicago is considered a food truck backwater – city regulations prohibiting cooking in the truck means the food has to be prepared offsite, although it looks like that will be changed soon.  

Not quite a cookbook (although there are more than 40 recipes) and not quite a travel guide (although you’re going to want to hunt down some of these gems), Food Trucks is a fun look at a piece of Americana that is alive and kicking. Plus, again, yum!

Julie and JuliaThe long anticipated movie Julie and Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, opens today and whatever the reviews, it’s sure to be filled with beautiful food. Based on the book Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, it follows the cooking adventures of a young woman who, in an attempt to bring some focus to her life, decides to make every recipe in Julia Child’s iconic Mastering the Art of French Cooking – in one year and all in her tiny kitchen.

This isn’t the first time food has been the centerpiece of a film. Take a look at these entries for more mouthwatering fun:

Big Night – An Italian restaurant on the brink of closing pulls out all the stops in one last attempt to keep the kitchen running.

Babette’s Feast – An unexpected windfall allows Babette to create a once-in-a-lifetime banquet for her longtime benefactors, a pious religious group that deny earthly pleasure.

Chocolat – When a mysterious single mother moves into a small French village and opens a chocolate shop, magic and controversy soon follow.

Sideways – Two best friends spend a week touring the California wine country, discovering passion, exploring their failures and searching for the perfect wine.

Like Water for Chocolate – In this romantic fantasy a couple is denied the chance to marry. To be near her, the young man marries her sister and she expresses her passion for him through her cooking.