soul food loveA mother-daughter duo reclaims and redefines soul food by mining the traditions of four generations of black women and creating 80 healthy recipes to help everyone live longer and stronger.

In May 2012, bestselling author Alice Randall penned an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Black Women and Fat,” chronicling her quest to be “the last fat black woman” in her family. She turned to her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, for help. Together they overhauled the way they cook and eat, translating recipes and traditions handed down by generations of black women into easy, affordable, and healthful – yet still indulgent – dishes, such as Peanut Chicken Stew, Red Bean and Brown Rice Creole Salad, Fiery Green Beans, and Sinless Sweet Potato Pie.

Soul Food Love relates the authors’ fascinating family history (which mirrors that of much of black America in the twentieth century), explores the often fraught relationship African-American women have had with food, and forges a powerful new way forward that honors their cultural and culinary heritage. This is what the strong black kitchen looks like in the twenty-first century. (description from publisher)

perfect eggEggs are one of the world’s superstar foods: inexpensive, protein-rich, versatile, and easily renewable. Every food culture has its own take on eggs – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and the dazzling variety of dishes in The Perfect Egg is not to be missed.

The ladies behind the popular blog Spoon Fork Bacon challenge us to set aside our usual over-easy assumptions and reimagine eggs: from Beet Fettuccine Carbonara to Spicy Korean Bibimbap, and from Baked Egg Boats to Tea Eggs. Along the way, they unscramble the history of egg cultivation and consumption, and crack open the story on egg anatomy, egg types, and what the grading system really means. Additionally, they cover the do’s and don’ts of important techniques from boiling to aerating to pickling eggs.

The Perfect Egg is a fresh, unique, and singularly modern take on the most humble of foods. (description from publisher)

french bistroThe corner bistro offers all the highlights of French cuisine: crepes, bouillabaisse, ratatouille, and beef bourguignonne – all with rustic flair, simple ingredients, and impeccable flavors. Now, with Maria Zihammou’s French Bistro, you can cook up the authentic tastes of France in your own kitchen.

Each recipe shows how intricate meals steeped in culinary tradition can be re-created with simple techniques using modern ingredients and equipment. This is a tribute to proper French cuisine, featuring bistro takes on such classics as: Marinated olives, Croque-monsieur and croque-madame: open sandwich with ham and cheese, Pan-bagnat: picnic sandwich with tuna and veggies, Quiche Lorraine, Soupe à l’oignon: French onion soup, Entrecôte with béarnaise and many more mouthwatering dishes. In addition, a chapter on cheese shows the proper making of a cheese course, a French tradition.

French Bistro takes you into the world of cozy French neighborhoods and cuisine with a charming design and gorgeous, photographs. Discover the joys of French cooking and be inspired by passionate food! (description from publisher)

my drunk kitchenOne day, lonely cubicle dweller and otherwise bored New York City transplant Hannah Hart decided to make a fake cooking show for a friend back home in California. She opened her laptop, pulled out some bread and cheese, and then, as one does, started drinking. The video was called “Butter Yo Sh*t” and online sensation My Drunk Kitchen was born.

My Drunk Kitchen (the book!) includes recipes, stories, color photographs, and tips and tricks to inspire your own adventures in tipsy cooking. Hannah offers cocktail recommendations, culinary advice (like, remember to turn off the oven when you go to bed), and shares never-before-seen recipes such as: The Hartwich (Knowledge is ingenuity! Learn from the past!) Can Bake (Inventing things is hard! You don’t have to start from scratch!) Latke Shotkes (Plan ahead to avoid a night of dread!) Tiny Sandwiches (Size doesn’t matter! Aim to satisfy.) Saltine Nachos (It’s not about resources! It’s about being resourceful.) In the end, My Drunk Kitchen may not be your go-to guide for your next dinner party . . . but it will make you laugh and drink . . . I mean think . . . about life. (description from publisher)

dinner the playbookThree signs you need Dinner, the Playbook: 1) Chicken fingers qualify as adventurous. (Hey, they’re not nuggets.) 2) You live in fear of the white stuff touching the green stuff. 3) Family dinner? What’s family dinner?

When Jenny Rosenstrach’s kids were little, her dinner rotation looked like this: Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Pasta. It made her crazy – not only because of the mind-numbing repetition, but because she loved to cook and missed her pre-kid, ketchup-free dinners. Her solution? A family adventure: She and her husband, Andy, would cook thirty new dishes in a single month–and her kids would try them all. Was it nuts for two working parents to take on this challenge? Yes. But did it transform family dinner from stressful grind to happy ritual? Completely.

Here, Rosenstrach – creator of the beloved blog and book Dinner: A Love Story  – shares her story, offering weekly meal plans, tons of organizing tips, and eighty-plus super-simple, kid-vetted recipes. Stuck in a rut? Ready to reboot dinner? Whether you’ve never turned on a stove or you’re just starved for inspiration, this book is your secret weapon. (description from publisher)

baking chez moiWith her groundbreaking bestseller Around My French Table , Dorie Greenspan changed the way we view French food. Now, in Baking Chez Moi , she explores the fascinating world of French desserts, bringing together a charmingly uncomplicated mix of contemporary recipes, including original creations based on traditional and regional specialties, and drawing on seasonal ingredients, market visits, and her travels throughout the country. Like the surprisingly easy chocolate loaf cake speckled with cubes of dark chocolate that have been melted, salted, and frozen, which she adapted from a French chef’s recipe, or the boozy, slow-roasted pineapple, a five-ingredient cinch that she got from her hairdresser, these recipes show the French knack for elegant simplicity. In fact, many are so radically easy that they defy our preconceptions: crackle-topped cream puffs, which are all the rage in Paris; custardy apple squares from Normandy; and an unbaked confection of corn flakes, dried cherries, almonds, and coconut that nearly every French woman knows.

Whether it’s classic lemon-glazed madeleines, a silky caramel tart, or “Les Whoopie Pies,” Dorie puts her own creative spin on each dish, guiding us with the friendly, reassuring directions that have won her legions of ardent fans. (description from publisher)

plenty moreYotam Ottolenghi is one of the world’s most beloved culinary talents. In this follow-up to his bestselling Plenty, he continues to explore the diverse realm of vegetarian food with a wholly original approach. Organized by cooking method, more than 150 dazzling recipes emphasize spices, seasonality, and bold flavors.

From inspired salads to hearty main dishes and luscious desserts, Plenty More is a must-have for vegetarians and omnivores alike. This visually stunning collection will change the way you cook and eat vegetables. (description from publisher)

mastering my mistakesFor years, Dana Cowin kept a dark secret: From meat to vegetables, broiling to baking, breakfast to dinner, she ruined literally every kind of dish she attempted to make.

Now, in this cookbook confessional, the vaunted first lady of food and exceptional entertainer finally comes clean about her many meal mishaps. With the help of friends – all-star chefs, including Mario Batali, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Tom Colicchio, among many others – Cowin takes on 100 recipes dear to her heart. Ideal dishes for the home cook, each recipe has a high “yum” factor, a few key ingredients, and a simple trick that makes it special. With every dish, she acquires a critical new skill, learning invaluable lessons along the way from the hero chefs who help her discover exactly where she goes wrong.

Hilarious and heartwarming, encouraging and instructional, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen will inspire anyone who loves a good meal but fears its preparation. Featuring gorgeous full-color photography, it is an intimate, hands-on cooking guide from a fellow foodie and amateur home chef, designed to help even the biggest kitchen phobics overcome their reluctance, with delicious results. (description from publisher)

in a nutshellThe only cookbook of its kind, In a Nutshell is a complete guide to cooking and baking with nuts and seeds.

After working for years as instructors at the Institute of Culinary Education, Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian deliver the essential cookbook for Mother Nature’s most versatile and nutritious ingredients. With more than 250 recipes exploring the culinary and cultural history of nuts and seeds in everything from Pumpkin Seed Guacamole to Hazelnut Roulade, In a Nutshell unites the smooth, crunchy, savory, and sweet. In a Nutshell is organized to reflect the way we eat meals today, with chapters like Nibbles, Dip It, Noodles and Nuts, and Family Style. Omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike will delight in dishes both simple and complex, from Almond-Crusted Mac-and-Cheese to Pistachio Biryiani.

Culinary cheerleaders for the powerful team of sixteen nuts and seeds featured in the book, Tannenbaum and Tutunjian prove that nuts are so much more than a happy-hour snack. (description by publisher)

bitterIn Bitter, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness.

What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They’re bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we’re much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers, dark chocolate, coffee, greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée, high-quality olive oil and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe – all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness – bitter is finally getting its due.

In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes – like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita – award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life. (description from publisher)