Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Bouquet of Spring Cookbooks


Just in time for the beautiful spring produce arriving daily at our farmers' markets, three new cookbooks have been published.  Each one of them highlights seasonal recipes and inspires us to get into the kitchen and start cooking! These books are beautiful and even though we are not supposed to "judge a book by its cover," these three beauties tempt us with their looks.  Luckily they are also filled with fantastic recipes.  They should give us plenty to cook as we enter this season of the very best vegetables and fruits of the year.  By the way, have you noticed how beautiful food photography has become?  Food stylists and photographers are producing gorgeous images that make us want to cook as well as decorate our kitchens and homes.


Cookbooks today are so much more than just a collection of recipes.  These books feel personal.  They are often as much about the authors' lifestyle as they are about their cooking style.  The warmth that infuses these cooks' invitations to dinner is often an overall characteristic of their personality.   We usually learn that nurturing and feeding others is a big part of their lives.  Their passions are cooking and making a warm and cozy home.

I am inspired by the role that food and the kitchen play in the lives of these cooks.  No wonder we can read a cookbook from cover to cover.  We are learning about serious cooks and their cooking life, which is centered around food and feeding their family and friends.  And it is always inspiring to see other people's kitchens and pantries.  For me the best cookbooks remind us of how much pleasure there is to be had in cooking and spending time in the kitchen.  I really treasure the moments in my kitchen and when I bring new cookbooks into it, a whole new world of cooking opens up for me.  Not to mention the delights of adding a new piece of crockery, a handy new utensil, a beautiful new bottle of olive oil, or an overflowing bowl of tomatoes -- these are the elements that add up to the warmth and beauty of a kitchen.      


In "Ripe, A Cook in the Orchard,"Nigel Slater offers delectable recipes for dishes that he prepares with the fruit that he grows in his beautiful garden in London.  As in his previous book "Tender," there is much information here about his vegetable garden and orchard.  Slater is a devoted gardener and talented food writer and there is great inspiration here for gardeners as well as cooks.  The photos are just beautiful!  






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"What could be sweeter than a life with friendship and food at its center"?  This is the theme of  Beatrice Peltre's new cookbook "La Tartine Gourmande."  Peltre, who was born in France, is the creator of an award-winning blog by the same name.  In this cookbook she offers her favorite recipes as well as the inspiration behind each dish.  This cookbook is the story of the author's life as it revolves around food.  These recipes look fresh and delicious.   




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In "Very Fond of Food," English cookbook writer Sophie Dahl has given us a year in recipes.  Her  beautiful new cookbook is filled with stories about each meal.  The food feels old-fashioned and healthy at the same time.  Dahl's memories and stories about life with her family and food make for good reading -- this a book you can sit down and read from cover to cover.  And the photography -- gorgeous!  As I read this book, I felt as if I had fallen into a cozy cottage in the English countryside.

The lovely Sophie Dahl








Happy Cooking!

20 comments:

  1. Sunday, I love cookbooks, especially beautiful cookbooks that tell a story. At first glance I was immediately drawn to La Tartine Gourmande. Who would not want to read a cookbook that encourages an inspired life. Upon reading further and viewing the most gorgeous pictures I don't know if I would be able to chose. Enjoy your weekend, Bonnie

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  2. You are so right about the photography in the cookbooks these days. I love reading them, finding out more about the life of the author/cook. I can always go online to find a recipe but sitting down with a cookbook leaves me feeling nurtured and comforted (and hungry).

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  3. Oh, Sunday, for someone who is known to read cookbooks as bedtime stories, these are just delightful to ponder.

    I truly admire the work done by food stylists and often wish I had their talents - or cameras - or both.

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  4. Oh my those are new and very tempting cookbooks...
    I am taking a break from my cooking as I am hosting dinner for 6 and have been prepping all day.
    So Sunday I am catching up with your posts over a mug of tea and you write so well, it's a pleasure to be here.

    Those roses are lovely, please show us more of your garden.
    Hostess
    XO

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    1. How was your dinner party? Thank you for your kind words. I will take some photos of my garden this week. This is such a great time for it.

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  5. great recommendations. I'm interested now in checking out Peltre's blog! thanks.

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  6. I love Nigel Slater, his Kitchen Diaries is one of my favourite cookbooks. Joanne

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  7. Beautiful cookbooks, but I must look through the last group I bought, before buying anymore. The home we're currently in, has an unappealing kitchen (it's a rental), but in 2 months we'll be moving to a home, that we're currently remodeling, with my dream kitchen and will absolutely be more inspired.

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    1. I can't wait to hear about what you are doing with the kitchen!

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  8. Sunday, hi! What an inspired start to the morning! Everything you've written resonates. With this gooorgous weather I feel overwhelmed with options for where to start - sumptuous pages or fresh markets or the very most instant gratification to one like me, jumping right into the kitchen for a whirl-about with whatever's there! I hope to never take such blessing for granted along with the most precious blessing of a good nights sleep and the op to read for leisure this morning. It's been forever! Your perspective is ever-fresh ~

    Loving that your weekend w M worked out!

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  9. I adored Sophie Dahl's first cookbook largely because it read like a memoir - I don't think I even looked at the recipes the first time I went through it. I will have to track down Very Fond of Food since it sounds just as wonderful and I now really want to make that spicy eggplant dish from the page you photographed!

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  10. Lovely to read about some new cookbooks as just recently I've been thinking about maybe a new one. Happy cooking.

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  11. I love both of Sophie Dahl's cookbooks and can page through them again and again, even when I'm not looking for a recipe. I actually made a few things from Very Fond of Food today, including her rhubarb rice pudding, which completely changed my opinion about rhubarb!

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    1. Thanks for the tip, I will try that recipe now!

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  12. I love the beauty of cookbooks these days! They are a joy to look at. I'm not much of a cook, but when I see cookbooks like the ones you've featured I feel inspired. I have the Sophie Dahl on hold at my library and I can't wait 'til it comes in!
    BTW, your photos are beautiful too!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I think you will definitely be inspired to cook when you see this cookbook!

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  13. Delightful post. I love "Tender," and I'm sure "Ripe" is wonderful, too! I have "Very Fond of Food" now, and I cooked from it last week. I really just want to sit down and savor it, though (I bought the British version of Sophie's first cookbook before it came out in the U.S., because I couldn't wait). "La Tartine Gourmande" looks really good--it keeps popping up on my Amazon "recommended for you" lists--wonder why! :)

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  14. Hello Sunday,

    I am a bit behind this week. I love cookbooks and have quite a collection as do you. Can I make a recommendation? Once Upon a Tart the same name as the bakery/cafe in NY. The book is beautiful and is filled with delicious muffin, tart both savory and sweet, sandwich recipes as well as cookies and many other things.

    I think you might enjoy it!

    Have a great day!

    Elizabeth

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  15. I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my brand new monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved May Edition

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