This is the third part two a GFR holiday tradition: Dean Tudor’s annual list of his favourite new cookbooks and food and wine related volumes in bookstores now. Dean covers some of the big names, but always includes interesting and sometimes overlooked gems from this year. Click here to browse the whole series for 2013, and watch for a new category of book every week. – Malcolm Jolley, Ed.
PART THREE: FAMILY & FAMILY VALUES COOKBOOKS
FAMILY COOKBOOK (DK Books, 2013, 496 pages, $35 CAN hard covers) is an in-house production from DK Books, with 700 easy-to-prepare recipes with children and adults in mind. There are over 1000 full-colour photos here. Each prep has a nutritional breakdown.
THE KINFOLK TABLE (Artisan Books, 2013, 368 pages, $43.95 CAN hard covers) is from Kinfolk magazine. It’s a collection of some 100 recipes designed for unfussy dining for small gatherings. It is a bit rustic, but then all the preps come from tastemakers in small towns throughout North America and Europe. These are reliable dishes for memorable dining. Every meal (including breakfast) and every season is covered; there are also menus such as winter menu featuring roast chicken, greens and potato soup, and focaccia.
THE PREPPY COOKBOOK (New Harvest, 2013, 256 pages, $30 CAN) seems to be a perfect gift book, written by Christine E. Nunn. These are the classic recipes for the modern prep. This is the preppy kitchen, with a pantry and desire for summer living at the cottage with family and friends, sports, the European tour, the brunches, cocktail parties, showers, holidays, and entertaining. Typical recipes include pissaladiere and lobster rolls. Don’t forget the preppy rules at the table: martinis are never made with vodka; tea sandwiches have no crusts; always pick up asparagus with your fingers.
THE VINTAGE TEA PARTY YEAR (Mitchell Beazley, 2013, 304 pages, $32.99 CAN hard covers) is by Angel Adoree, the creative director of the project. These are how tea parties used to be – let’s bring them back!! You can wave the Union Jack at a New Year’s Eve tea party, a children’s tea party, a tea for two affair (e.g. Valentine’s Day), a bachelorette party, wedding or baby shower, a street tea party, and Christmas. A dozen offerings in all. For each event, there is a selection of best foods, drinks and décor. But of course you can mix and match recipes, craft projects and hair styles – whatever. She concludes with how to create a sequin snood.
COOKING SLOW (Chronicle Books, 2013, 224 pages, $41 CAN hard covers) is by Andrew Schloss, a food author and former president of IACP. This is home cooking – recipes for slowing down and cooking more, emphasizing braising, roasting, grilling, baking, frying and steaming. He also uses a slow cooker and sous vide techniques. There are great photos for most dishes: family smoked pork chops, greens and beans steamed in beer and bacon, and osso buco with apples and bourbon.
ONE GOOD DISH (Artisan Books, 2013, 256 pages, $30 CAN hard covers) is by David Tanis, food writer weekly with the New York Times (City Kitchen). Here he emphasizes the pleasures of a simple meal: just great for cooking at home with uncomplicated food. The book is an eclectic collection of his fave dishes, some meant for two, others for a large crowd. But usually it is a one dish meal, such as spaghetti with bread crumbs and pepper, or breaded eggplant cutlets, or south Indian cabbage with black mustard seeds.
THE SOUP & BREAD COOKBOOK (Rodale Books, 2013, 308 pages, $27.50 CAN soft covers) is by Beatrice Ojakangas, author of 28 (!) cookbooks. She’s written everywhere, and specializes in Scandinavian cuisine. Here she has more than 100 seasonal pairings for simple meals. It’s arranged by season, beginning with Spring. Each meal is a combo of a soup and some (different) bread. So there is a May Day celebration soup with Scottish currant bannock, a walleye chowder with Parmesan garlic bread, and a chicken and dumpling soup with Dutch raisin bread. I like the suggestion of a bread for each soup, but the adventuresome out there can easily mix and match.
PIZZA BREAD & MORE (Taunton Press, 2013, 240 pages, $24 CAN soft covers) is by Academia Barilla, an Italian centre for the preservation of Italian gastronomic culture. Here they feature 100 or so recipes for focaccia, ciabatta, rolls, breadsticks, crackers, calzones, and pizza (thin- and thick-crust). And of course you can do it all at home. Easy to use with lots of Chef’s Tips.
ALICE EATS (Whitecap Books, 2013, 264 pages, $29.95 CAN hard covers) is by Pierre A. Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal: he’s a graphic designer and food illustrator/cooking school grad; she’s a food correspondent on CBC Radio One and food editor of Parents Canada. Here is the full text of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as appropriate recipes, photographs, and new illustrations. All the preps have been inspired by the characters and events in the story: Mock turtle soup, Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts, Little girl bacon-and-egg-salad sandwiches. A great Holiday gift. [See GFR interview with authors here. – Ed.]
MELT (Little, Brown, 2013, 212 pages, $33 CAN hard covers) is the art of macaroni and cheese, as written by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. But they use fine cheeses and unfamiliar pasta shapes. The 75 recipes are organized by style – stove-top, salads, casseroles, sweets. For example, there’s Goat with edamame, fennel and rotini; Pumpkin stuffed with fontina, sausage and mac; Blue cheese with squash, sage butter, and rotini. This book is upscale all the way, but it might be a way for parents to join kids at the dinner table with a serving of “mac and cheese”. The book concludes with a cheese compendium, a pasta guide, and a resources list.
BEST OF ROSE REISMAN (Whitecap, 2013, 428 pages, $36 CAN hard covers) is a collection of preps, largely drawn from her Metro newspaper columns and her Huffington blogs. These are healthy recipes, celebrating her 20 years in the food writing business (she’s the author of 16 cookbooks, runs a catering business, and is a restaurant consultant) . It also comes with advanced log rolling, which I felt wasn’t needed for her. Each prep has health tips and nutritional data. Most everything is also low-fat. A good family resource.
THE SOUTH BEACH DIET GLUTEN SOLUTION COOKBOOK (Rodale Books, 2013, 262 pages, $31.99 CAN hard covers) offers 175 slimming and gluten-free recipes. Every meal is covered. Arthur Agatston, MD, the author, is the originator of the South Beach Diet. Many of the recipes take 30 minutes or less from start to finish. Not only is gluten gone, but also most highly refined flours, sugars and saturated fats.
Dean Tudor is a Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus, The Treasurer of The Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and creator of Canada’s award-winning wine satire site at fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. Visit Dean’s websites at deantudor.com and gothicepicures.blogspot.com. His motto: “Look it up and you’ll remember it; screw it up and you’ll never forget it.”